Earlier this year, I covered a story on Kristin Chenoweth discussing her migraines, which start with vision changes and then move to nausea and a headache. She said that she’s been able to control them for the most part by cutting back on caffeine and sugar, which doctors told her to avoid. She also has to make sure she gets enough sleep. There’s an added level to Kristin’s medical issue though, as a performer she just can’t take time off whenever she needs to. (Not that many people can, but she has audiences watching her.) In a new interview with People, she described having a migraine during a performance for a show’s financial backers. It was early in her career and she couldn’t bow out at all.
Chenoweth, then 29, was cast in her first Broadway role in the musical Steel Pier. As the cast prepped for the show, they had to do “what we now call the big backer’s audition,” she explains to PEOPLE.
“It’s when all the money people come and decide if they’re going to put money in your show or not — and I have a migraine.”
“I could not get off the floor in the girl’s bathroom at the studio,” she says. “I remember the choreographer, one of the women I look up to the most, Susan Stroman, came in and said, ‘Are you okay?’ I said, ‘I don’t know.’ She goes, ‘Well you’re going to get okay. You’re going to be okay.’ By the grace of God, I did the two-hour show and the minute it was over, it returned [to the floor].”
“Really and truly, there’s nothing you can do when it comes,” she says. “You can do things to prevent them, but I don’t think we’re there yet as far as what we can do when it’s actually looking at the eye of the storm.”
She continues: “I told my mom many times, ‘If I could just cut my pinky off, I could play the piano, I could play the guitar, but if I could just not have it anymore, I would.’ She said, ‘Yeah, but then there would be something else.’ Everybody has their cross to bear in this life, so there’s that way to look at it too.”
Is she saying she would cut off her pinky if that would keep her from ever having migraines again? That was phrased oddly so it’s hard to tell. I like what her mom said about how we all have our crosses to bear though. That’s a good way to think of it, “if it wasn’t this, it would be something else.”
Someone close to me had a migraine for the first time recently. We googled his symptoms, which started with not being able to see out of the corner of one eye and were followed by nausea and a headache. It seemed just like a migraine and was brought on by exercise. I hope this isn’t a regular thing for him. I think I only had one once and would never want to go through that again. I can’t imagine getting them randomly at key moments like that.
Also Botox is a treatment for migraines.
Photos credit: Getty and via Instagram