Thursday, January 12, 2012


Sorry guys, totally dropped the ball!

Since my last post, Phil has visited twice in Minneapolis and Dallas, I then went to San Antonio and am now in Knoxville for the week.

The only day we do not have shows is on Monday, but since we are usually only in a city for a week, Mondays are devoted to travelling to the next city. I was very happy to hear that we would be getting a real, travel-free day off this past Tuesday, with opening night on Wednesday. I spent it doing...drumroll...absolutely nothing. I took a shower at 3pm and went to see Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

You really start to appreciate very small things on tour that most people travelling probably don't think too much about. For example: hotels. Usually when I'm at a hotel for one day or two I could care less about how much sunlight gets into my room, but if I am given a room that overlooks the lobby or the shadow of some taller building, I switch immediately. This is our home for a week and I think a lot of front desk folks don't think about that, though I'm sure it's frustrating to have fifteen people demanding new rooms because its not bright enough. haha!

Another "little" thing: A good meal. A bad meal can break an entire day for me. I usually get takeout and a local deli/Subway for lunch and dinner, but once a week I really like to just sit down at a restaurant that got good reviews in the city and have a nice slow meal...but when that meal is bad/service is bad, it really messes with me. I haven't had a home cooked meal in MONTHS, so when I try to have the closest thing to one and it is disappointing, I get so cranky!

One week left until I spend the rest of January/part of February in sunny Florida!!!

Third hotel room's the charm! Finally got a lovely view of the Tennessee River and foothills :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Grand Rapids, MI
I missed a week! Sorry guys!

Grand Rapids was absolutely lovely. The theater was gorgeous, though the stage was a bit odd. The actors were so far away that I felt like we were doing two separate things. Nevertheless, the city and the people were amazing. We spent most evenings at a Bitter Creek-esque bar called Hopcat with some amazing sours and even a Petrus. Heaven. I had to cross the river every day to get from the hotel to theater. The city had just set up their Christmas decorations making my walk all the more beautiful.

I spent a lot of time alone last week and it felt really good. I had a lot of time to assess my priorities on this tour.  My default routine when I'm not feeling motivated these past few weeks has been: wake up late, sit around, play a show, drink, sleep, repeat....umm might sound amazing for like, 3 days, but it gets depressing!

In Grand Rapids I made a point to branch out and discover some things. I found an amazing sushi joint in the basement of one of the downtown office buildings. Sketchy, but surprisingly delicious. I also got my ass up every day and either did Insanity with friends or the elliptical for 30 minutes. This alone gave me the energy to practice, play a good show, be in a good mood, etc.

Well we are now in Minneapolis for two weeks and I am loving it here. Granted it is 14 degrees right now....with a wind chill of 5...I went to my first Opening Night party last night. Even though I am just in the pit, it really makes you feel like you are part of something huge, and that makes me happy.

Phil is visiting in 5 days for the first time since I went back on the road (6 weeks!). I am counting the seconds!! We plan on going to one of Anthony Bourdain's restaurant picks from the Heartland edition of No Reservations, Piccolo, followed by a benefit concert for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS featuring the cast of Les Mis. He'll also see the show on Wednesday and we might squeeze Mall of America in there too :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011 Dayton?

I don't know how normal people behave, but if I try to feign happiness when I'm actually miserable, I tend to have a breakdown within 72 hours. For me, the term "staying positive" doesn't always work! I can be happy with what I have in my life and be aware that I am blessed, but sometimes you just have to say "this f*ing sucks". However, the hardest part for me is getting back on the train once I admit this. I'd much rather just pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep until I'm in the next city...alas, that's not how life works.

As upsetting as being in Dayton is during Thanksgiving while my husband is 1,900 miles away, I have so much to be thankful for. I got married this year to my best friend and love of my life, I got a job that is in my career path, I get to travel the country, I have amazing friends (new and old!) and I feel myself getting stronger and more confident in myself every day. These are the things I need to focus on when I get dropped in a crappy city or when I start to doubt myself. 


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Meditation Saved My Life

Hellllo Appleton, Wisconsin! What a lovely town. Believe or not, this city of 80,000 people has a state of the art concert hall (one of the nicer ones I have seen so far) with some amazing acoustics!

Last week was Toledo, Ohio...a completely different story. On Friday night during the show my wallet was stolen from my green room, they caught the guy in a stolen car a few hours later. I was at the police station until 4am. But silver lining! I got everything back!

The robbery plus money woes plus a whole lot of internalized insecurities regarding my musicianship has left me a big ol ball of stress. I got a massage on Tuesday which was lovely, but what has really helped is meditation 20 minutes a day. It is my time to sit and just "be". Sometimes I speak words of encouragement, sometimes I just sit and take in my surroundings. After doing this, I feel confident and strong and usually play a really great show. It helps me accept that I will never have a perfect show, and nobody around me will either, so when that little blip does occur, I flinch, brush it off, and move on.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Do you ever feel like, for whatever reason, you are trying your absolute best to do the best job you can and it never seems to be good enough for some people?..and then you are very aware of those people's actions and think they are all directed toward you?...and then you internalize all that negative energy, and then you start to pick apart every thing you do until you lose sight of what is really important?

Welcome to my week! Any words of wisdom to break this cycle would be much appreciated!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Heart Providence.

Well here I am back on the road with Les Mis!

I would be lying if I said it was easier to leave my husband this time around. It's not so much the time apart as it is the potential for something terrible to happen with me not being there. I will not be back in Boise until July, 2012. I really think it's the most counter intuitive thing to voluntarily walk away from the person you love more than anybody on this Earth for any long period of time. A week before my departure, I didn't think I was going to be able to do it! Thankfully, my better half called me a ding dong and reassured me that he would be fine. 

The plane ride (Boise -> Chicago -> Providence) was rough as I have four instruments to lug around and two 40lb suitcases, but once I got into the city, I fell in love. This place is absolutely lovely. We are in a Marriott downtown about 7 blocks from the theater, which is fabulous as well. Johnson and Wales culinary institute is right down the street, so the food choices here are pretty amazing. My bestie/MOH Christina's parents will be the first of my family to see the show, so I am really excited for them to see it. Here are some pictures so far!:

Occupy Providence

View from my hotel room. Hello shopping mall!

View of theater from my seat in the pit

I want to go a UTI degree!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The Kassels are BROKE

This is not a pity party post, don't worry, it's actually pretty hilarious how pathetic we are this month!

The tour has been in DC for 5 weeks which means I am "laid off" until October 31. Don't get me wrong, I am SO happy to be home with just means we are one breadwinner short this month :)

Phil and I have always seemed to look back on times like these and laugh the time we were got into a fight in a Chicago supermarket over which bulk package of Ramen was the better deal...or when we watched the Simpsons for two weeks straight on DVD while we saved up to get our cable installed...or that week we ate nothing but lentils...ok its not that funny, it is a struggle...but I don't see any reason to dwell. Yes, we could have been more frugal, yes we probably shouldn't have gotten that credit card with the ridiculous limit, but what's done is done. I will be back on the road before I know it and if I spend more than 10 minutes freaking out, I will regret it like crazy!

We went to the Farmstead, a fall festival of sorts that has a corn maze, greasy delicious food and pig races! 

Phil and the "Pumpkin Blaster"!

Overlook halfway through the Corn Maze

Pretty Lulu and profession photo-bomber, Gus :)

Justin and Shara's sweet buddy, Henry!