After she 'crashed and burned,' Kristin Chenoweth took a life lesson from millennials about self-care
In a Q interview, the actor and singer talked about her new memoir, I’m No Philosopher, But I’ve Got Thoughts
From Broadway to TV to movies and music, Kristin Chenoweth is a true performing polymath.
"I'm no philosopher, but I've played one on TV. And in the movies. And on Broadway," she writes in her new book, I'm No Philosopher, But I've Got Thoughts: Mini-Meditations for Saints, Sinners, and the Rest of Us.
The book, which was released on Jan. 17, is a collection of musings, quotes and interactive activities along with some incredibly personal stories from Chenoweth's own life. You might call it a book of learned philosophy from the Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor.
In a new interview on Q with Tom Power, Chenoweth shared what she's learned, how she wants to live out her faith and what she's taken away from millennials about self-care.
Here are some highlights from their conversation.
WATCH | Kristin Chenoweth's interview with Tom Power:
Why write a book?
As with many performers, Chenoweth's career was put on pause during the pandemic. Creatively, she said she went from 110,000 per cent to zero.
It was then that her fiance, Josh Bryant, reminded her that she's always loved to write —something she'd been putting off because she didn't have time. He encouraged her to use the time in lockdown to jot down her thoughts.
"I just started writing at night, journaling at night, and seeing what came up," she said.
That's when she started thinking about how she couldn't turn off her mind, depression and anxiety, and the self-care that "everybody" was talking about.
"The younger generation — I used to make fun of [them] so hard, and be like, 'Oh, no, it's called work. You get work; you get paid. You keep going," said the Broadway star. "And I took a lesson, a page [from] their book — the millennials — and I learned that self-care is a real thing. It's got to happen."
Chenoweth is used to working non-stop (she started as a gospel singer at 12 years old), so allowing herself to stop for self-care has been a process, even after writing about it in her book.
"About three months ago, I crashed and burned," she told Power. "I stopped and I read my own book. I read my own book. I was like: 'You gotta practice what you're preaching, girl'."
What she really believes
While Chenoweth is leaning more into self-care these days, what's always helped her through life is her Christian faith.
"I grew up in the South," she said. "That's, like, what we do: we come out of the womb going, 'I love you, Jesus!' And then you eventually have to grow up and say, 'What is it that you really believe in?'"
But she said her faith may not look like what others consider Christianity to be.
"I think acceptance and tolerance — not just tolerance, but acceptance of people, where they are in their life. And loving all people. That's what we're supposed to do," she said. "And sometimes Christians, we kind of shoot ourselves in the foot. We lead with judgment… And I don't want to do that in my life."
The full interview with Kristin Chenoweth is available on our podcast, Q with Tom Power. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Written by Mykella Van Cooten. Interview produced by Mitch Pollock.