Tony Award-winning actress Laura Benanti has dazzled audiences on the stage as well as onscreen since the age of 18. She is best known for her appearances on Broadway, including the revival of The Sound of Music, Swing! and Into the Woods, but you may also recognize her for her recurring television roles on Nashville, Royal Pains and most recently Supergirl.
As if she didn’t have enough to do in her whirlwind life, Laura also finds time to write and play music. In 2013 she released her first solo album: In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention: Live at 54 BELOW. We caught up with the the busy actor/singer to find out a little more about how she stays balanced and happy with so much on her plate.
Live Happy: What projects are you working on now?
Laura Benanti: I am rehearsing for a show on Broadway called She Loves Me at the Roundabout Theater Company. It’s a beautiful love story. I’m also writing a comedic book of essays, tentatively titled I Stole Your Boyfriend (and Other Monstrous Acts on My Way to Becoming a Human Woman).
Who has taught you the most about happiness?
My husband, Patrick Brown. I watch him choose happiness every single day. He approaches every new day like it is a fresh start. He doesn’t dwell on the past or obsess over the future. He assumes the best of people unless proven otherwise, and even then he doesn’t take it personally. He just uses it as information and moves on.
When was the last time you laughed out loud?
Today at rehearsal. That’s what I love about rehearsals with Broadway folks. We laugh all the time.
What is your "go-to" movie or book when you want to lift your mood?
I love to watch the movie Some Like It Hot. Or I listen to [Buddhist teacher] Pema Chodron.
What are you most passionate about?
My family, my friends, music, laughter, being kind to others and fighting for what I think is right.
How do you make the people close to you feel happy?
I try to abide by the golden rule. But most importantly, understanding that I can’t actually make someone happy has been a very illuminating concept. I don’t have control over other people and how they might feel. All I can do is treat them with respect and consideration.
Where is your "happy place"?
My childhood home in Kinnelon, New Jersey. When my parents bought it over 30 years ago it was a run-down mess. They have lovingly and painstakingly turned it into an oasis.
How do you live happy?
I’m married to my best friend. I try to eat well, meditate twice a day for 20 minutes, and “lean towards the light.” Singing also makes me very happy.
Chris Libby is the Section Editor at Live Happy.