We met singer, actress and author Lea Michele when she was in Manhattan recently. We love her as Rachel on the TV show "Glee."
Who inspired you to do acting?
I think it's just something I always wanted to do and I think along the way that there were people I found very inspiring and that encouraged me and that helped me. There are a lot of actors and people and performers that I love, singers that I really am inspired by, but for me, I just always knew that it's what I wanted to do no matter what. Even when you're young there's always something inside of you that says you know want you want to do, what makes you really happy, right?
Is it true that "Funny Girl" is coming back to Broadway and you're going to be the star?
I might. I did Broadway, I grew up in New York and I did Broadway from when I was your age until just about a couple of years ago. And I really love it and I definitely would like to because I love singing and dancing and I would love to be back on the stage and sing for people every night. So I have to finish "Glee" first and that will be for maybe another year or so.
Out of all four Broadway shows you acted in which one do you think was the best experience and why?
I really think that "Spring Awakening" was a show that I did just a couple years ago on Broadway, and I think that was the best experience. I learned a lot in it ... I made some really great friends from that show who are still my best friends today.
How are you and Rachel from "Glee" alike and different?
I'm very much like Rachel because I'm very determined like she is and I really love performing the way she loves performing, but in other ways we're not at all similar. I don't really like to be the center of attention all the time like Rachel does. I'm definitely not as aggressive as Rachel can be, but there are parts of her that remind me a lot of myself.
Would you rather live as Rachel or yourself forever?
Oh my gosh, definitely myself. 100 percent. Rachel has a lot of energy, but she's very fun to play at work, but I think I'll stick with Lea Michele.
In some "Glee" scenes how did you cry?
It's just always something I have been able to do. Ever since I was a little girl if you needed me to cry I could do it like that. And sometimes I would think of a sad movie, or a sad song, but if I was like Lois, I need you to cry do you think you could do it? No. But I just always could. I don't know why.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Watch TV, cook, play with my cat and go to dinner with my mom and dad or my friends or go see a movie.
What's it like walking around when people see you and realize it's you?
People ... [will] pretend that I don't see them and they'll take a picture and I'll be like "I just saw you taking that picture." I think sometimes when I see people that I really love and I see people that I'm a big fan of I get excited. So I understand that if people see me sometimes that they say, "OMG it's Rachel from 'Glee.' " As long as they don't take a picture of me when I'm in the bathroom or anything like that it's totally fine.
If you could go back to any time in your life what time would that be?
Well, I think it would be maybe my senior year of high school because by that point there were no older kids that I was scared of. So I felt really comfortable in school and I got to go to my prom and I got to go to my graduation and apply to colleges.
Have you ever gotten stage fright?
Yes I do a lot actually. I get stage fright all the time, but it's just something that I learned how to deal with. But I still do get pretty scared especially before I have to sing.
What's the most important advice you can give someone that wants to be an actor?
To just make sure it's something you really want to do because it's hard work and if it's what you want to do then go for it 100 percent -- not 99 -- 100 percent.