CBS New York's Stage Stories w/Broadway Girl NYC

By Brian Ives 

“The only reason I’m doing this… my entire influence was my parents.”

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Jane Krakowski, of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, “30 Rock” and “Ally McBeal” fame is in her dressing room, talking to Laura Heywood (aka BroadwayGirlNYC), about the origin of her acting career.

“We came to see every Broadway show,” she recalls. Her parents, she says, weren’t just fans: they also participated in community theater. “It’s where I saw my parents having fun. And because they exposed me to it at such a young age,” she became fascinated with acting and plays. “I was that young, hopeful person in the audience, being amazed by what people could do on the stage.”

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“I have such a clear memory of being eight years old and watching Chita Rivera in “Chicago.” At the end of the show, they throw roses out [into the audience]. I was this eight year old little hopeful girl, and Chita Rivera looked right at me and she threw me a rose. Fast forward about twenty-five years or so, and I’m meeting Chita Rivera on the first day of rehearsals for a show called “Nine,” and I’m in it with her! That was a really big day for me.”

“Nine” would lead to another big day for her: she’d go on to win a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in that show. This year, she’s up for another Tony in the same category: this time for her role in “She Loves Me.”

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To find out if she wins, watch the Tony Awards on CBS on June 12 at 8 pm ET.