Multiplatinum recording artist Josh Groban, who is up for a Tony Award this Sunday, said he is his own “harshest” critic.
“I wish I were the type of successful person that … didn’t have anxiety … or took criticism and turned it into a positive,” Groban told ABC’s Dan Harris in an interview for Harris' “10% Happier” podcast. “But I’m always the harshest person on myself first.”
Groban sat down with Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren back in January during Harris and Warren’s cross-country meditation tour. The interview is featured on the “10% Happier” episode posted today ahead of the Tony Awards on Sunday.
Groban said he was interested in meditation as a way to deal with anxiety.
“I get very narrowly focused on things when anxiety kicks in,” Groban said. “It’s very hard for me to see beyond those things in the moment that it’s happening.”
At the time of the interview, Groban was about two months into his Broadway debut as Pierre in “Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812.” Although his performance was critically acclaimed and later earned him a Tony nomination for best lead actor in a musical, Groban had been nervous about starring on Broadway.
“I was insecure about going into it because I hadn’t acted in a theatrical production since 12th grade “Fiddler on the Roof,’” Groban said. He was also “playing a character that I knew I was going to be very different from the kind of person I am in some ways, and very similar in some ways," he said. "I prepped. I worried … I pulled my hair out a few times.”
“I wish I could bypass the self-flogging anxiety and go only into the anxiety that just makes you want to do the best that you possibly can,” he said.
Groban said he has some hobbies to help him relax, including playing tennis and taking flying lessons. He also said he’s gotten more comfortable on the Broadway stage.
“To a certain degree, performing is very meditative for me,” he said. “Leaving the street and walking in the stage door every night and putting on makeup, going out on stage and being a character and telling a story centers my mind.”
“The Great Comet,” which is adapted from a section of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, “War and Peace,” is up for 12 Tony Awards.
Groban announced on Twitter that he will extend his time in the role through July 2.
When reached by ABC News this week, Groban said he practiced meditation for a few weeks after meeting with Harris and Warren, and said he plans to pick it up again after finishing his Broadway run.