Excerpted from People.com

Emmy and two-time Golden Globe nominee Chrissy Metz is taking her talents to the stage. The actress and country singer has just begun her City Winery Tour, where she will head across the East Coast performing her original music.

The tour has just begun, but fans of Metz may be surprised to hear she has been pursuing a career in music for quite some time.

“Some people don’t know that I’ve been going back and forth to Nashville for, gosh, five years now — ever since the second season of This Is Us,” Metz, 41, tells PEOPLE.

“I met Jason Halpert — who was Kelly Clarkson’s musical director — and he said, ‘I don’t know how to say this to you but literally a voice is telling me to ask you about music.’ I was like, ‘Oh my gosh… I want to sing country music.’ I got to write with some incredible songwriters, and I realized, ‘Oh, this is what I want to do.’ I’m so happy in a writers’ room collaborating with people I’ve never met before and four hours later having a song that could completely change someone’s life.” While Metz’s music career is an adjustment from acting, she says they aren’t so different from one another. “I love acting and telling stories and relating to the characters, and then helping other people relate to them, but music and acting are so similar. Acting is really a song without actual instrumentation behind it. A monologue is a song — it’s just a story that we’re all telling.”

Metz is best known for her role as Kate on the hit NBC show This Is Us, and while the TV series has come to an end, she is carrying lessons from her character into her music.

“Being able to grow my confidence and my vulnerability in a very deep way through the show has made me only want to share my heart and soul in a very real way, as opposed to just doing it through a character,” she explains. “The music is really about feeling through the healing and getting on the other side of it. The only way to go is through, and sometimes that means a lot of heartache and love and loss. The bigger picture of life and forgiveness.”

The actress and singer works to be her most authentic self in everything she does, whether it be acting, singing or even creating her wine label, the Joyful Heart Wine Co. “In anything that I do in my life… it has to come from my heart, it has to be authentic and I have to be behind it 100%. That’s really how we started this.” She also relays the importance of giving back by donating a portion of every bottle sold to World Central Kitchen “in support of efforts to nourish communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond.”

Even someone as successful and level-headed as Metz gets nervous to start new journeys, but she doesn’t let the fear stop her. She reminds herself to never sing the “shoulda, coulda, woulda song” because “any person that is on their deathbed, or who has gone through really difficult things always says, ‘I wish I would have done more of what made me happy.’ Success, real success is just happiness.”

When Metz feels the pressure or the fear that others will judge her musical career, she remembers that “we’re here to grow, to evolve, to change, to learn, to teach, and that is something that has nothing to do with other people’s opinions at all.” What she reminds herself, and hopes to impart to others as well, is if you want to do something that will make you happy, then why not? “You have to really listen to that still, small voice,” she tells PEOPLE.

Metz has millions of listens to her songs on Spotify and many fans coming to see her shows, and she never takes it for granted. “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be doing something that I’m passionate about and I love, because I know some people are in situations where they aren’t able to do that. And it’s unfortunate,” she says. “It’s not lost on me that I even have a voice to share. Having a tour and, like, people spending their hard-earned money and their time to come see me… it’s really special to me.”

There are five more shows left on Metz’s City Winery Tour, the next being this Saturday in New York City. “I always want to do a really great job and I want to make people feel something. Knowing that people are coming to see me… I’m here to share myself with the audience.”

While this tour is a continuation of a very successful career, for Metz, it’s the start of something new: “I like to live my life in a way that it could all be taken away,” she explains. “I feel like you have to treat it as if it just happened for the first time.”

Read the article on People.com HERE