I'm constantly trying to work on the person that I am and work on my shortcomings, and I guess I want people to know that it's ok to be a work in progress, as long as you keep trying to figure it out. But that search and that discovery is what makes life kind of rich, and it's what makes life rich... period.
You get to relive your childhood when you have a baby and you see these toys and these books you read when you were little - the innocence that you are able to maintain because you have to find that again in order to connect with your child keeps you in a special state of mind.
With young people, I always say, 'You're not doing anyone any favours by withholding your power.' As women, we do that a lot because we are afraid of being misunderstood or perceived as too strong. But the older I'm getting, the more I realise you have to let that go.
I started working professionally as soon as I could, doing weddings and things like that in high school, while everyone else was having keg parties. I just felt destined to do it and really committed and driven; it was something that just felt right all my life.
It's hard to absorb and to allow all that attention and accolades for 'Rent' because the rest of the country doesn't know who we are. Once I walk out of the door of 'Rent,' and I'm on the subway, it doesn't matter. It's an exaggerated sense of fame.
Usually I'm pretty myopic. It's hard for me to multi-task, so to speak. If I'm in a show and I'm creating a character, I'm just completely into that. It's really hard for me to do anything else like write music. I have to sort of shut down different sides of my head and just focus.
I used to be someone that needed nine hours of sleep; otherwise, I didn't think I was going to sound good when I sang, and I was very disciplined and anal about my preparation. When you become a parent, there just isn't that time, you know?
I think I hid my singing talent from a lot of my friends at school because I didn't want to alienate anyone. If everyone was singing along in the car to a Madonna song, I didn't join in because when we're younger we're afraid of sticking out or showing off, when in fact we should own those things that make us really unique.
That's what I love about songwriting - that you can write something about your own experiences and think it's completely specific to you, and then people can take away a completely different meaning for themselves. I really love that. I think you've been successful at writing a song when it has a larger life than yourself.
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.
Believe me, I don't take that lightly. To have struck gold twice with 'Rent' and 'Wicked.' I know it's rare and I'm very lucky to have that kind of phenomenon in my life. They're not just great shows, they're shows that resonate with young audiences.
Performing live on stage is such a community, whether it's my musicians or a cast of a show that I'm in. And then when you're in the studio or on set, it's a much more solitary experience. Both can serve me at different times in my life. And when I go back and forth from one to the other, it helps me appreciate all of them much better.
I feel like I was born to do this... I started working professionally as soon as I could, doing weddings and things like that in high school, while everyone else was having keg parties. I just felt destined to do it and really committed and driven; it was something that just felt right all my life.
I've met so many of my idols, but the one person that has eluded me is Bono. But because he's done 'Spider-Man,' I keep thinking maybe, through a Broadway connection, somehow our paths will eventually merge.
I set the bar high because I don't want to do just any other show just to keep working. I want to do something special that means something to people and speaks to them. Those kinds of opportunities don't come along all the time!
I have the potential to be very strong and powerful, sometimes angry, sometimes passionate. I also can be shy and withhold that because I am afraid. I don't want to freak anybody out with my passion... So I struggle with that all the time.
I love my husband very much. I knew it was real true love because I felt like I could be myself around that person. Your true, true innermost authentic self, the stuff you don't let anyone else see, if you can be that way with that person, I think that that's real love.
I have a wide spectrum, a wide demographic. I have the young girls, I have the gay community, I have many regular theatergoers. I do feel a tremendous responsibility and pride to be a role model for some of these young people.
That experience with 'Rent' went by so fast. I was younger. I didn't even really know what opening night was. And now I'm thinking back on the times I went to Broadway as a kid and the excitement I felt... And I'm realizing that I'm actually a part of that, so I'm learning to take it in, 'cause so often I shrug it away.
When I lived in London when I did 'Wicked' there, everyone told me the audiences might be much more reserved, but I found it was completely the opposite. They jumped to their feet sooner, even more enthusiastically than the New York audiences did, and they were just as warm and as enthusiastic and supportive as New York.