Welcome to the new FFB BFF Series, featuring Cassie Silva, my best friend, nearest and dearest, unicorn, mermaid, wonder woman, goddess, seeker of everyday magic, Broadway beauty, acting angel, and tremendous talent ready & willing to steer the ship of this new series! This series is devoted to sharing meaningful conversations between Cassie & I (currently over Skype as we reside across the world from each other– LA to Londontown!!). We’ll be answering any and all of your questions about Broadway, health, fitness, wellness, or anything you could possibly dream to wonder about… if we can help, we’ll talk it out! If we don’t know, we’ll ask our pals.. if they don’t know we’ll get out our sandcastle tools and dig through information to find the answer. You are heard and no question will go unacknowledged! This is a sneak peek of a big FFB project launching in the Fall and I couldn’t feel more Honored & Inspired to have this honeybee next to me for it! ?
If you’ve missed the initial invite for questions, not to worry, it’s a multi-part series so feel free to ask more questions in the comment section of this post or on our Instagrams and we’ll add them to our next conversation!
NOTE FROM CASSIE: Hi Fit For Broadway World! Thanks for having me back. I’m Cass! I love Jane with my whole heart (who doesn’t). I can attest that she is relentlessly inspiring with a heart of radiant gold… And mermaid hair. So, when she invited me back to talk Fitness Vibes & Healthy Strides with the Broadway Tribe, I felt truly honored. I’ve been an actor for a super long time on TV, in some movies and even on Broadway a time or two. I’m happy to be here. Let’s make some magic!
FFB BFF, x Cass
P.S. Ask away and please don’t be shy! Everyone deserves a chance to fly.
Photo by Tynan Daniels
Fun Fact: Cassie thought of the new FFB motto “Broadway Tribe, Fitness Vibes, Healthy Strides” which I am OBSESSED with!! Shimmy over to FITFORBROADWAYAPPAREL.COM to snag your muscle tank, crop top, or t-shirt featuring this new design!!
J: I can hear you but I can’t see youuuuuuu.
C: You just look like a dream.
J: Why can’t I see you!!!! But you look amazing I know it. Because your hair is mermaid hair and your face is perfect. I am SO excited!!! How come I can’t see you but you can see me!
C: You’re coming in clear.
J: Well I can hear you crystal clear.
C: Alrighty, question number 1 from Jamie H. “Question for you two, what is your favorite part about living in NYC (besides Broadway ), and what has living in New York taught you about yourself, healthy living, or just life in general?”
J: My favorite part about living in NYC apart from Broadway because duh, can’t get enough… I think the fact that everyone is so motivated more than any other city I’ve ever lived in. I feel like people are just so dedicated and are pushing themselves to the max in New York which is so inspiring! I literally wake up every day in New York and think, “how can i do more?” which I know sometimes could be a negative feeling.. you don’t want to feel like you’re never doing enough but at the same time that kind of mentality pushes you to be the best version of yourself. You’re constantly surrounded by people who make you want to be better, particularly the people on Broadway who are doing their show, doing side projects, then exercising, then teaching fitness classes, being there for their friends, having families, etc etc etc… they go 100 miles an hour at all times and it makes me want to do the same.
New York has taught me a lot about how to deal with my emotions. You’re bombarded with situations that make you experience so many emotions every single day so I’m constantly learning how to react in a healthy way. Also, how to stay self-motivated and positive, you constantly have to rise above. Rise Rise Rise. Sidenote: You guys, Cassie and I are going to The Rise Festival in Vegas in October and I can’t even wait!!!
C: MIC. DROP. —> I can’t wait to live out our Tangled dreams together.
J: It’s going to be the most magical. Ok, but back to New York… it’s literally the best place, in my opinion, for healthy living! You have access to so many cool things in the health and wellness world. Best fitness ever, best places for healthy eating ever, and the coolest people who are pioneering things in the wellness world. It’s so exciting to be a part of that because you feel like you’re constantly learning, constantly introducing your mind and your body and spirit to new things. For example, last year there was a trend wave towards meditation and all the sudden all of these mediation studios popped up and you could go mediate any night of the week at a really beautiful studio where you could meet fun people and get your calm ON. I thought that was so cool! Things are constantly changin’ to bring different wellness and health trends to you.
Life in general, the biggest thing… It’s actually been my theme lately, the quote, “No one is you and that is your power”. In New York, it’s so easy to feel like you’re not unique enough or that you’re not going to make the impact you want to make or someone has the idea you have or especially in the Broadway community.. auditioning and I think keeping in mind that no one else is you so whenever you get your opportunity it’s because it was perfectly aligned for you to have. So if you’re feeling stuck or things aren’t going your way it’s because life is just setting you up for what is going to be yours. I think that’s true for everything, not just your jobs but relationships or really anything in your life.
C: That was beautiful *Clapping*
J: What do you have to add beautiful friend?
C: I think especially being in LA so many people say the energy is totally different from NYC. Creativity is so exposed and at the ready in New York. There’s people creating constantly all around you and I think that’s something so unique about New York so it really feels like a collective.. it’s like you are the medium of the five people you hang out with. Well if you’re in that community, then probably the people around you are in the know of healthy living and motivating themselves and because everybody lives in the boroughs suddenly you have an additional community! I feel like the caliber is considerably higher. You go to any acting class or fitness class and it is the cream of the crop people. Like Janie is saying, there’s constant motivation to get on that level. I’m not going to quote it right but I once heard something like, you don’t just hang out in New York, people who are in New York want to be in NY and are there for a reason because the energy and the expectations and the bar are so high.
J: What has it taught you about yourself?
C: To be fearless and do anything. You can have, be, do anything you set your mind to and that’s so apparent in New York because it’s always right there. I always say coming back to LA this time around, I couldn’t have done without being in New York first because New York fed me the soul food to have the courage, bravery & mindset I needed! It’s like bootcamp or something. Thank you, New York.
J: Totally! It’s a good lifestyle reference point. When I’m anywhere else, I’m like, ok how would I structure my day in New York to get the most out of it. If I ever feel stuck or like I’ve hit a plateau I just use that mentality to get back on track.
C: I want to just second everything you’re saying.
J: *singing* I second that emotion. Can you still see me?!
J: ahhh!! Ok, Alyssa C “I would LOVE to see some info on week to week nutrition!! I really struggle with what to do to keep myself healthy and also not bored with the same meal three times a day!” and ”I would love to know your go-to’s for eating before a show! I know people have their rituals before performing (mine is hot peach tea)!” Omg tea for me too!!!
C: TEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Another post. Another day.) Beau-tea-full questions, Alyssa! Here are a few of my favorite 2-show day / any ol’ day go-to’s:
- The bone broth you can play hide & seek with at Whole Foods or other health food stores
- An Herb kit for making your own
- Sweet potatoes Crazy vitamins, minerals & a heap of potassium. SP’s have a low glycemic index (which means they release sugar slowly into the bloodstream) and can regulate blood sugar & maintain energy.
- For More tater Sweetness… http://www.livescience.com/46016-sweet-potato-nutrition.html
- In cases of emergency, I ALWAYS have:
- Nature’s Path GF oatmeal w/ flax on hand. Add hot water (maybe a banana?) & BOOM! Magic.
- Egg white protein powder that I shake in a mason jar with Almond Milk. HERE
- My latest obsession is Spirulina popcorn. But, that’s a non-show snack. Cue: “Is there something green or corny in my teeth?”
- Roasted + Unsalted nuts. Usually cashews. You can grab pre-packaged single servings from Trader Joes or Whole foods, just watch out for those pesky additive & oils!
J: Ooo yes, cashews and nuts are my go-to’s for snack time. My advice for this would be something I’m trying to get in to lately.. eat seasonally because it helps you adjust what you’re eating, mixes it up, it’s cheaper! 🙂 Also when I’m feeling uninspired in the kitchen I literally go on pinterest and search my favorite vegetative or style of meal like healthy bowls, you can literally search “healthy vegetable bowl” and all these yummy recipes come up!!
C: I was going to say Pinterest!
J: Right?!!? It’s SO good. I feel like I search cauliflower and like a bajillion yummy things come up.
C: Cauliflower rice, forget it. Cauliflower pizza crust, forget it.
J: I haven’t tried it!!
C: *shocked* …when you come…Forget it! You know what else I thought of *do do doooo do do* singing* Seasonings!
J: Totally which I don’t do enough of or fresh herbs!
C: Yea! For herbs, you can get really cute mason jar herb kits for inside or you can hang em outside .You can grow basil, parsley and cilantro all on your own. Have your little garden. We also have a spice rack that spins (*fancy description) and obviously farm fresh (& organic) are the jam but you can buy the spice rack at Bed Bath & Beyond and for up to a year you have a refill offer so you can use all the herbs you want and they’ll keep replacing them.
**IT’S A 5 YEAR SPICE REFILL! Boom Crack!
- Spin-ny Spice-y Rack thing-y
- And how cute is this organic herb rainbow from etsy (support local!)
- Herb Garden in a mason jar
J: WHAT!? I need a spin-ny herb contraptions for my new apartment.
C: It’s the best. We have one of those giant stone bowls…
J: Yes! You make guacamole in those!!
C: Yes! Totally, I just throw a bunch of herbs in there, whatever smells good to me that day and just crush it uppppp.
J: Yum! you know what I’ve been really into lately and there are healthy versions of it… I feel it gets a bad rap but…
C: Edible cookie dough!
J: No, but if you have a healthy version of that, send the recipe *sings* MY WAYYYY! No, PESTO!
C: SO good!
J: So good but I feel like people typically say it’s not that healthy for you but you can make it healthy. It’s basically just pine nuts, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, and parmesan cheese (which you could even leave out).
C: Cauliflower pizza with homemade pesto night?! I also would toss in because Alyssa said 3 meals a day… I am honestly such a grazer, I eat so much and a high fat diet for sure. So, I don’t stress about getting 3 meals in if my body is saying it’s A-Ok & working at an optimal health stat.
C: Especially recently meat has gone out a window for me, I’m just not so interest, I don’t really want it.
J: Me too!
C: And I feel like especially over the summer there’s so many vegetables in season that I’ve just been eating those and with lots of avocado. Listening to my body I’m surprised how much I can “overeat”… and I don’t need that food. I actually eat my biggest meal in the 3-6 window but if I’m doing shows I’m eating at like 2 in the morning, forget it. I’m just hungry. I curve that type of schedule with the list from above to keep my levels balanced. But on the daily I dig roasted nuts, crunchy carrots or a piece of fruit. If I’m not hungry I eat something smaller and snackier so I don’t get bored as easily.
J: I definitely haven’t been eating normal lately, like on my 5 meals a day schedule with traveling, but when I eat like you’re explaining, that’s when I feel my best.
C: BEST BESTIES! I’m obsessed with soup right now. Is that crazy town? It’s so hot here in LA.
J: Do you blend it?
C: Yes & Crockpot! Set and forget it! We be busy girl!!
J: YESS! I feel that.
C: When I can, I eat easy to digest “pre-digested” especially if I’m on the go, auditioning, shows, in class, by no means am I sitting down to eat a steak at 3 in the afternoon. Soups are easy to digest.
J: I’m all about the soups these days! ok Fancy Food Flag a wavin’!! 🙂
We have a question from Zoe! ”I wanted to ask if you have any advice for me because I just realized that I want to be in musical theater when I grow up, but I don’t really know where to start.” Take it away Cassielove!
C: Hi Zoe! My thoughts on getting into Musical Theater flew to exposure and experience. Do something, ANYTHING, to get that dream out of the noggin and the heart & into real life. This means class, workshops, heading out to the backyard with some actor pals, an iPhone & an age appropriate script. Get to know what roles you are realistically right for. It will give you an advantage when you come across that audition! Heck, get the karaoke tracks for Wicked & “Defy Gravity”. Whatever exposes you to the arts and even better grants you experience. Of course, seeing shows, watching films, reading books, youtubing your LIFE away (don’t discount master classes by the greats or Inside the Actors studio). Podcasts like the old school American Theater Wing & Original Cast Recordings. I remember one summer I challenged myself to learn at least 1 album per week. That’s where I “met” Millie, Shrek, Sondheim (in entirety), Fanny Brice, Gypsy Rose Lee, to name a few. The more you know, the more you grow.
J: I love that! My voice teacher in undergrad had me keep a “research/ listening” journal and I would document a new listen or watch every week. I’d head into the library and watch an opera and jot notes about my favorite roles or songs I wanted to sing and it was amazing how much I learned about myself and what I was actually interested in!
C: I love you. Can we go to the library & share headphones? You’re clearly my soul sister because I always have a “working title” page in my journals for content I’m absorbing. Anyone catching SHE LOVES ME on Broadway HD? It was available starting last Thursday and I believe you can EXPERIENCE it for up to a week.
J: Oh my gosh! yes! I cannot wait to watch!!
C: Also, I really believe working with likeminded people in a safe environment ASAP can promote wonderful growth. Know that you’re not alone & use that! Build your team! We will all be each other’s bosses one day, right? I wanted to have some links on hand for those looking for Year-Round + Summer Broadway & performing arts programs. So, I phoned my dear friend & goddess guru, Gabriella Green at Northwestern, who has incredible talent and serious experience in paving the Bway pavement. Here are her recommendations:
**Some of these are pre-college age programs too!
Pre-college programs (Camps held on university campuses)
Year round go-to’s NYC
- Broadway Artists Alliance
- Broadway Workshop (year round + summer programs)
- Camp Broadway
- The Broadway Artists Intensive
Year round outside NYC
Some staples for theater auditions & 411:
J: Um, ok this is a straight up directory from unicorn Broadway heaven! I would have cried some happy happy tears if someone how given me this awesome direction. Thanks Cass!! *high five* for spreading the awesome knowledge and resources. Ok, Zoe also wants to know… “What does the M in your name stand for?”
…Apart from Mermaid and Magic because duh. 🙂
J: Cassie Marie… sounds like a Princess name to me!
C: What is your middle name Princess Jane?
J: Elizabeth 🙂
J&C: There are so many resources. Penny for your thoughts, FFB tribe. What are you getting into? How are you staying curious? What are your favorite tips & tricks, health hacks or Bway community stepping stones, go-to’s & must haves? Shout out!!! Until next time!
X Princesses Jane Elizabeth & Cassie Marie
Photo by Tynan Daniels
SPECIAL THANKS to my sweet pal, Tynan, for taking these amazing mermaid photos of my gal, Cass! ? Check out his amazing work and for goodness sake, if you’re in LA don’t miss out on shooting with him! Head to his website tynandaniels.com for more information!