WOTM: Idina Menzel

“The most successful people are so original.” -Idina Menzel

Our inspiring Woman of The Month defied gravity and soared to stage fame as a well known broadway performer. She has earned herself many award nominations and wins for her unforgettable and truly memorable performances on stage and on screen. She has a powerhouse voice with a thrilling belt and definitely no shortage of talent. This issue’s Woman of The Month continues to challenge herself by inspiring and leaving her audiences amazed with her remarkable and powerful performances. Our Woman of The Month, Idina Menzel, is also a talented and mastered songwriter who writes and performs her own music. 

Menzel was born to a Jewish family on the 30th of May 1971 in New York. Her mother had worked as a therapist while her father was a salesman. After her parents’ divorce Menzel started showcasing her, now-famous, singing talent by working as a wedding and bar mitzvah singer. She was only about 15 years old. She did this while keeping up with her studies at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. Here was where she went on to study more on her musical pathway. Her love for music, theatre and the arts has been the drive that inspires not only her audiences and fans, but herself, to become a better performer each and every day. And you can most definitely see this through the passion that she gives out when she performs. “I'm constantly trying to work on the person that I am and work on my shortcomings, and I guess I want people to know that it's ok to be a work in progress, as long as you keep trying to figure it out. But that search and that discovery is what makes life kind of rich, and it's what makes life rich... period”.

Because she is such a great and exceptional performer, it’s only right if we were to mention and list out some of her amazing accomplishments as one. Menzel kicked off her broadway career by auditioning and being a part of the Broadway musical ‘Rent’ in 1995 where she played the role of Maureen Johnson. For her astonishing performance, she earned her very first-ever Tony nomination. After her successful Broadway debut, Menzel went on to her next Broadway musical performance, ‘Wicked’, in 2003 where she was part of their original cast. Needless to say, she was yet again amazing and her unforgettable  portrayal as the wicked witch Elphaba earned her a well deserved Tony award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Menzel had later on return to Broadway as the star of ‘If/Then’ where she, yet again, earned another Tony nomination. Although Idina Menzel has went on to work as a singer/songwriter and TV actress, she has left her mark as an extraordinary Broadway and musical performer. “The truth is I love musical theatre and always have”.

Though she may have the courage to be able to bring, not only herself but her characters alive on stage, Idina Menzel does admit to getting nervous behind the stage curtains. “All performers get on stage because they need to feel love from an audience. I might appear confident, but those three seconds before I get out there, I'm a mess. But I have to take the risk; otherwise, I'd be miserable and would feel like I wasn't seeing through my personal destiny”. Despite her ,at times, overwhelming nerves, she pushes through her fears and uses them to her advantage when performing in front of a live audience. Not only does Menzel use these nervous emotions as fuel to get herself on stage but she claims to using them as fuel to get her through her many performances. Some might see nerves as another reason to call it quits, but according to Menzel, nerves give her another reason to push herself forward and give everything she’s got on stage. “Nerves are good. They keep you alive”.

Despite making a mark as a Broadway performer, Idina Menzel has also ventured out into songwriting and has four studio albums to boot. One of which was debuted as #1 at the Billboard Holiday Albums Chart. It seems that she is not afraid to reach out and challenge herself into other forms or genres of arts. “As an artist, you have to express yourself. I make no excuses for my versatility”.  Aside from being a recording artist and a Broadway phenomenon, Menzel has also had her fare share as a TV and film actress with multiple recurring roles. The passion and strive she holds within her allows her to be astounding in all she does, in all types and forms of arts. “We are never doing anyone any favours by withholding our gifts from the world”. 

In short, Idina Menzel is an astonishing performer with an extraordinary career behind and in front of her that varies in versatility that crosses stage, film and television, and music. She continues to challenge herself and her attributes as an inspirational performer, only to become better. May the passion and drive that live inside her motivate everyone who has the golden opportunity to watch her do what she loves. May she continue to defy the odds that come her way and the nerves that try to eat her up behind the curtains. Idina Menzel, you are indeed a remarkable and irreplaceable jewel and gem of the arts. “It's about really trying to find what makes you unique”.


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