We met actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth when she was in Manhattan recently.

When you first performed on the stage were you nervous?

Yes. I have been performing since I was your age, maybe even younger, and the first time I went on stage, I got so nervous. Even now, whenever I go and do a show -- I get nervous before I go out, and it can take me a couple of songs to calm down and just relax.

What inspired you to be an actress?

A lot of people have inspired me, like my mom. She was always, 'Do whatever you want to do. If you want to be a singer, if you want to be in business, if you want to be a nurse -- whatever you want to be, go for it.' So she was a big inspiration. Do you guys know who Dolly Parton is? She's a country and western singer and she was somebody I looked up to a lot, and she inspired me a lot. I guess the other person is Julie Andrews. If you ever see the musical "Sound of Music," the movie, that singer also inspired me a lot. I love, love musicals.

Out of all your movies, which is your favorite and why?

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I like all of them for different reasons, but there's this one movie I did that whenever it's on, I can't help but laugh. It makes me laugh. It's called 'RV' and it's about recreational vehicles. It was funny and I still laugh -- not at myself, but at the other actors.

Do you have any pets?

I have a dog named Madeline; she's a white Maltese. She's this white little fluffy dog. I've had her for 10 years and she's like my baby. She goes everywhere with me. In fact, I'm shocked that I don't have her here with me right now. I love her.

Can you tell us about Maddie's Corner?

Maddie's Corner is an organization that I started that helps animals get the medication they need and also spayed and neutered, and helps find homes for homeless dogs and cats. So it's a good one.

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Do you prefer the stage or screen?

I like them both for different reasons, but if I had to pick I would say the stage because I like to have a live audience there. I like the interaction. I like to talk to people. When it's the camera, it's just the camera. But I still like that kind of work, too. I just like the stage best.

What is your home state and do you visit as often as you would like to?

I'm so proud to be from Oklahoma, and I go home all the time to visit my parents.

You have a master's degree in arts and performance. Was it difficult to achieve it?

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Yeah. . . . It was hard. I had to write a big, big paper at the end of my thing and a lot of people had to look at it and either pass me or fail me after all those two years of work. And to get into graduate school I had to take a score, an orchestral score, and analyze it musically, which is very hard, and I was very nervous and I barely got in. But I did graduate and I did get my master's.

How old were you when you performed "Wicked"?

I was 34 when I very first started. I was old, but I had done Broadway before that. I was 24 when I first went on Broadway and 34 when I did "Wicked."