Marc Snetiker
November 12, 2014 AT 07:00 PM EST

Rising Broadway star Jessie Mueller will have a lot to be thankful for as the year ends, considering that she scooped up a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (which, considering Mueller’s trajectory, will almost certainly not be her last).

Mueller delighted crowds all year as Carole King, the singer-songwriter at the center of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, but the difficult, demanding role is far from her first experience in the spotlight. Coming from a family known for their part in the performing community in Chicago, Mueller talked about her theatrical childhood when she dropped by EW’s studio.

Watch the Tony winner relay her first musical obsession, her worst case of the giggles, and more Firsts & Worsts below.

Mueller stars in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical through March 6, 2015.

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