PLAYBILL BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Kristin Chenoweth, Bouncing Back From Adversity

By Kenneth Jones
14 Sep 2012

Chenoweth on "G.C.B."
Photo by Bill Matlock/ABC

You're known as a person of faith. What does adversity do with your relationship with God? What kind of conversations do you have about pain and struggle?
KC: [Laughs.] My parents were able to be here for about four weeks. I couldn't have done it without them because I also couldn't put weight on my right foot for a good week because of my hip. I think for me, the question was, "Why me? Why me? Why me?" I come off tour in one of the most incredible artistic experiences and challenges of my life, [with] great reviews and excited to continue — I was going to do a movie, I was going to do "The Good Wife" and Royal Albert Hall, and then you say, "Why did this happen? Why me? Why me?" And, my mom said something very interesting. She said, "Why not you? You're just like everybody else. You're a person. You're no more special or worse off than a lot of people. Your talent makes you unique, but you're just human." So things happen, and there's no reason to ask, "Why me?" It should be, "Why not me?" And, that's helped me a lot.

I'm also a big believer in, "What goes around comes around," and then I go, "Did I do something?" And, she said, "No. Things happen, and why not you?" So that's one of the things that helped me get through it. She's right. She's absolutely right.

What's the short-term like for you in the next eight weeks?
KC: Frustrating because of my memory. Sometimes the words don't seem as easily — like they weren't on the tip of my tongue. It was weird to not be able to think of the word for whatever reason in whatever I was saying. That was weird. Not being able to multi-task like I used to. That all is getting better. In fact, I would say that it's darn near gone. But, you know, when you get whacked on the head pretty hard, that's to be expected. The neuorologist warned me and told me it would be that way. Going home, trying to get home and going the wrong way, it's like, "Why would I do that?" But that's exactly what's to be expected in that kind of injury, I guess.

Your doctors feel that this is recoverable, and you will return to 100 percent? Is that the indication?
KC: Yes! Fully recovered. I think, for me, it's going to be the challenge of the neck, because I already had a neck injury, but I had disc issues. This is more ligament issues, so it's a different thing. That's going to take a lot of time, but I will fully recover, and I will be back in the swing of life and singing very soon. I'm just going to have to continue and take good care of myself and get lots of rest when I can, and do physical therapy — so that I don't take a step backwards.

And when friends tell you to rest, you need to rest!
KC: And that's so hard for me — not my forte!

(Kenneth Jones is managing editor of Follow him on Twitter @PlaybillKenneth.)