OnlyOnAOL: Kristin Chenoweth shares her oddest pre-show habit
By: Donna Freydkin
Kristin Chenoweth's new 13-song album, "The Art of Elegance," is a loving tribute to songs close to the singer's heart. Oh, and it debuted at #1 on Billboard's current and traditional jazz charts. Tracks include Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "I've Got a Crush on You," along with James F. Hanley's "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" and our personal fave, "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.
This is, after all, the vocal mega-talent who originated the role of Glinda in the musical "Wicked," earning her another Tony nomination. Chenoweth herself was smitten with singing the first time she saw "The Sound of Music," at about age 7.
"When Julie Andrews sang on top of that hill, I thought, 'I'm in.' That was a real moment for me. I saw the joy that came from her. She had to sing. It reminds me that you sing because you have to," she says
Before she goes on stage, Chenoweth gets her body and mind in order. "I pray before I go out. I always pop my knuckles and my ankles and knees. It's really attractive. I have to get my body warmed up and ready. Luckily, a lot of the dancers do it too so they know what it is," she says. "I love Tiger Balm. I call that instant warm-up."
And yes, despite her years on Broadway, she gets the heebee-jeebees. "I still get nervous. Yesterday I was even nervous just for interviews. I want to be able to speak or sing concisely. I don't get so nervous that I can't do my work," says Chenoweth.
Speaking of work, one of our personal favorites was Chenoweth's turn as booze-supplying April Rhodes on "Glee," playing a dropout who hits rock bottom. Whether on stage of screen, her exuberance at performing shines through.
"It's exhilaration. It's more about when you walk off for me. How you feel after it's done. It's a high. It's one that I keep chasing. That's why I'm in show business. I love having that feeling of having nailed something. It's a rush," she says.
And now, allow us to be totally shallow for a second. Chenoweth has a radiance to her, a total glow that we want to bottle up and keep for ourselves.
"That's so nice. Depends on the day and how far away you are. For me, the keys are sleep. I still drink Coca-Cola but I'm a lot better about that. Eat, sleep and food are the best healers for our body. I try to get some exercise. If you snooze, you lose. That's also part of it. I have products that I feel good about using," she says. "Oh, and team wine right here. That never hurts."