Idina Menzel: 'When I listen to Joni Mitchell, I want to quit singing'
Sunday 28 August 2011
My first job on broadway, in 'rent', was life-changing I'd been a wedding singer through college, but after a few years of doing my best renditions of jazz standards to clinking glasses and the sound of forks on salad, I thought, "Oh God, if this is all I do, I'll never be able to live with myself."
Most wedding singers have seen a heart attack on the dance floor Once I saw a guest collapse when I was on stage. I wasn't sure how to handle it, so I looked to the band leader and said to him, "Let's stop!" But he said, "No, the band always plays on." The bride came over and screamed at us. I felt weirded out by that.
'Glee' is ground-breaking in how it deals with sexuality [Menzel plays the lead character Rachel's biological mother.] For many young people, sexuality is a taboo, so I love how the show portrays characters such as Kurt Hummel. Viewers look up to him and it doesn't matter that he's gay.
The more successful I get, the more terrified I become as I have more to lose People have these incredible expectations. So instead of being inspired by, say, Joni Mitchell's music, I look at it and say to myself, "I'm going to quit – why would I think of writing or performing after listening to that?" It's why you go to therapy.
My two-year old son is a great dancer He's so jubilant about it and has his own little choreography: he does back-steps, side-steps, reach-ups... He loves Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" and Bruno Mars. We loop them over and over.
Being a mother has made me a better artist I used to take 40 minutes to warm up before going on stage. If you want to spend time with your child as well as having a career, you have to get up there even if your head's a mess. It's made me more relaxed, and I'm having some of my best shows.
It's been a dream of mine to run my own summer camp I went to one as a kid, and I put on productions, and got lots of confidence. Camp Broader Way [set up by Menzel with her husband] is for disadvantaged people who wouldn't necessarily have the opportunity to express themselves through the arts.
Idina Menzel, 40, is an actress and singer. For more information on her arts charity, visit abroaderway.org
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 3 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 4 Wimbledon 2015: Dustin Brown knocks Rafael Nadal out of championship
- 5 Primark and Penny's heir Barry Ryan drowns trying to save his 21-year-old son
Top Gear: Former co-host James May to present new BBC2 car show
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Game of Thrones season 6: Release date, plots and dragons - everything we know so far
Spider-Man should stay white and straight in the movies, says comic book veteran Stan Lee
The last decade has produced just four UK festival headline acts
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS