Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth opens up to PEOPLE about leaving her "legacy" on this world
Pint-size powerhouse Kristin Chenoweth has her hands in everything from the big screen to Broadway.
But there is one field in which she feels her best: “The happiest I am is every night on stage,” Chenoweth, 47, told PEOPLE at the JC Penney “Get Your Penny s Worth” campaign launch in New York on Wednesday.
The actress and singer is currently performing “opera, music theater, country and all of the original stuff” around the United States, an experience she told PEOPLE has been a “blessing.”
“I love it” she said with a smile.
“Getting to sing songs that I choose for a reason, not being a character, but [being] myself, gives me such a great opportunity to show people who I really am,” she explained.
After performances, audience members will say, ” ‘I thought one thing of you – but it s all together different,’ ” she said. “I always like to hear that.”
The Emmy and Tony award-winning performer has transformed into characters ranging from Glinda to Maleficent. But the real Chenoweth is simply a woman who, as her song “I Was Here” says, wants “to try to touch a few hearts in this life.”
Chenoweth spends her time giving to the Kristen Chenoweth Arts & Education Fund and expanding her Broadway Boot Camp and Master Class.
“It s turning into my legacy,” she said. “I want to just grow it and grow it so more kids can come and audition and have the fun week that I didn t have growing up. We didn t have that in Oklahoma.”
Chenoweth s attitude is consistently positive and gracious, though she admitted, It s not like this every day!
When life gets hard, she said, “I just have to get down on my knees and go, ‘Lord ‘ ”
And while she’s played a handful on stage, Chenoweth is far from a drama queen.
“Nothing s that big of a deal” she said.
Her secret to staying positive: “I just try to live with joy. And sometimes, it s a decision.”
“It s not every day I wake up feeling great,” she added. “I have decided to.”