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ATP! Presents: Cassadee's Corner (November 2012)

Our very own in-house guidance counselor Cassadee Pope is back, with her latest monthly installment of "Cassadee's Corner".

Each month, Cassadee will be answering questions and offering advice about school, relationships, breaking into music..you name it! If you have anything on your mind that you would like to ask Cassadee, drop her an e-mail at cassadee@alterthepress.com with the subject title "Cassadee's Corner" and your question might be featured in next month's column!


How does it feel to be on The Voice?

There are no words to describe it. I feel like I'm watching myself in a dream. To know I've made it this far by just being myself makes my heart warm. I'm extremely happy!

Two of my friends and I fight medical depression. So we are wondering what you like to do when life gets you down.

I'm so sorry to hear that. I always feel so unqualified to try and give advice about depression, well because I am. I hope you are getting the professional help that you need. As far as getting through tough times, I always turn to writing. I've never been the best with expressing my emotions in conversation. So writing songs is my way of releasing some of the things that are hard to express otherwise.

I'm not the type of person who normally does this sort of thing but you have given such great advice in the past I figured I'd give you a try since I can't talk to my friends about this. I am starting to really like a coworker of mine and I think she may like me back but I am not sure how to proceed. She has some baggage, but it's baggage that I have dealt with in past relationships and can accept now although I am not sure how she would feel about "placing her baggage in my lap" as it were. I also come with some baggage, the biggest of which is I am leaving town for an internship for 16 weeks starting in January, and I would feel terrible asking her to wait for me. The problem is I think we could have something special because our personalities and sense of humor match up so well and it is really easy for me to talk with her. I guess what I am really asking is, knowing all the issues with dating coworkers, me leaving for a good chunk of time, and other issues, should I pluck up the courage to ask her out or should I just try and be the best friend/coworker I can?

If it were me, I would pursue this but take it slow. You seem levelheaded enough to know that this situation will take patience and honesty. I'm in a long distance relationship so I know it's not easy. But I'd rather work to keep the relationship strong, than miss out on something so great. I think you'd regret not at least trying to make this happen more than knowing you actually tried.

I've wanted to be a singer for as long as I can remember, but I never really thought it was something I could realistically achieve. After seeing the success you had with Hey Monday and the success that is bound to come your way with making it onto The Voice, I just wanted to ask what advice you could give girls like me who want to be in a band and be a performer like you. Where should I start?

My voice coach, Marie, was VERY smart in the way she ran her business. She gave vocal lessons AND booked shows for her students to perform at festivals, fairs, etc. That's how I became experienced in performing live at such a young age. Then that escalated to me playing in bands and jumping up on stage with bands at shows. You have to get yourself out there and try to get booked to sing whenever possible. Also, try and put together some demos you can put up online for free. That way when people hear about you, there's something floating around they can listen to. Most of all, have fun. That's a major selling point for not only the labels, but the consumers!

What is your favorite quote to live by?

"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after other have let go." -William Feather

I was wondering how you are able to make a long distance relationship work? Teach us your secrets!!!

I think our relationship has managed to stay incredibly strong because of honesty. If there are things on your mind, you HAVE to say something. To let things escalate and boil over time is a horrible dynamic for any relationship, but especially for a long distance one. Communication is key. Rian and I are always in touch, and we try to FaceTime or Skype whenever possible. Our careers also help us to see each other more often than not. With his touring and me living in LA, our paths cross a lot. I think our situation is a little easier than most because we don't have strict 9 to 5 job schedules to work around. The biggest reason our relationship works is because of our respect for one another; respect for each others responsibilities and feelings.

Do you believe in friends growing apart as they get older? One of my best friends means the absolute world to me, but as of lately, it seems like I just don't matter anymore, and she's become a different person. I've tried reaching out multiple times and it's never accomplished anything. I don't want to lose my best friend, because we've been through everything tough together, but I don't want to beg her to be in a friendship she no longer has interest in. I just want to know if I should stop trying before I hurt myself any more trying to keep her around.

I do believe in friends growing apart as they get older only because I believe people change as they grow. It's unfortunate that your friend hasn't at least kept you up to speed on her thoughts and feelings regarding your friendship. It seems to be the decent thing to do since you've been through so much together. But I think it may be more effective to give her space. She'll end up coming to you when she needs you, like she has in the past. When that happens, you need to be up front about the way you feel. Also, it's not uncommon for friends to drift apart, but then reunite later on. My best friend Ali and I were like sisters growing up, but then lost touch for about 10 years. Now we're living together in LA! So don't be discouraged if this friendship feels like it's ending. Because it might just be that you both need to grow as individuals.

What do you consider as your greatest accomplishment thus far in your music career?

I think getting signed to a major label was the first huge accomplishment. And getting in the top 10 on The Voice comes in a close second!

What can I do about bullying? I want to speak about it, but schools and everyone won't let me!

Schools won't let you speak out about bullying? They don't have the power to do that. If you did it in a way that didn't disrupt the class schedule or against school policy, then I don't see why they'd have a problem. I would look up NOH8, or any organizations that prevent bullying to see what you can do to contribute. The only person who can stop you is yourself. Don't let others influence you. If you know bullying is wrong, and you want to do something about it, nobody can say otherwise.

When did you start singing? And when did you decide you wanted to make a career out of singing?

I started singing and taking voice lessons when I was 4 years old. And I believe it was right around the same age when I decided I wanted to make it a life long career.

How do you manage your time? In other words, how do you find the time to do everything you need to do, but still have fun? Also, do you have any other tips on self-control (as in controlling yourself to spend your time wisely rather than waste it, etc.)?

I've gotten better with this over time. I used to let my career really control my life. And it took a while to realize that everyone needs a life outside of what they do for a living. So when I feel like I've done my job, and I feel I've been productive, I don't push myself too much further. You have to learn to take a breath and reward yourself sometimes. When I'm not singing or doing anything having to do with singing, I read, write, work out, catch up with friends and family, and maybe even take a trip out of town. You have to stay sane in order to continue on, so don't run yourself into the ground.

If you could switch places with someone for a day, who would you switch with?

I'd switch with Robert Pattinson, so I could hang with KStew for a day ;)

Which was more nerve-wracking for you; your first live performance at Warped Tour or your blind audition for The Voice?

Trying out for The Voice was WAY more nerve-wracking! At least the people at Warped Tour were watching because they already liked you!

Did you find that The Voice is an experience that helps you with being on your own?

It definitely has. It has pushed me to be comfortable out there on my own and to embrace it.

What TV shows do you like?

I love Once Upon A Time, The Newsroom, and True Blood!

How would you describe your own personal clothing style and what is your most treasured item in your closet?

I'd say I'm casual. I love my jeans and tee shirts and boots. My most treasured item would be my XXI studded boots. They really need to be resoled but I can't seem to let them go for even a day!

If you could meet any famous singer, who would it be and why?

I'd love to meet Kelly Clarkson. I've always looked up to her and have heard she's a REALLY awesome person.

I admire your talent and your courage to reinsert yourself into the media spotlight, which is both excited and extremely intimidating. You must receive a lot of judgement and critiques on appearance, both positive and negative. How do you stay positive and confident in yourself through all of the comments?

I've gotten pretty good at focusing on the positive rather than the negative. I remember how I used to let the criticism get me down, and it pisses me off. There were times I should've been on top of the world, but instead I was sulking about what someone said on some stupid website. You have to realize what you have and how so many people would give an arm and leg to get that. I also surround myself with people I trust and love. They keep me positive as well. The fans who are real fans lift me up enough to where the haters don't affect me anymore.

I've always dreamed of becoming a nurse. It's all I have ever wanted to achieve in life. Everything was going so well, I got into the top university for nursing in Scotland, moved away from home and was passing all my exams. Then I started to get ill and I fell and broke my foot so I was asked to leave as I could not go to my work placement. Since then I have constantly been told I will never make it as a nurse, people are set on me failing and I've been rejected for various care jobs and it's made me question everything. I got a letter from the university recently inviting me back in January but I am so scared to take that leap again incase I fail and I know I wont cope with that. Any advice?

Never let fear keep you from achieving anything. That's a huge lesson I learned through The Voice. I was so afraid I'd embarrass myself and have no chairs turn around. Man am I happy i didn't give in to that fear and skip my audition! Believe in yourself. You didn't fail at becoming a nurse because you weren't meant to be one. It was bad timing, and the reason it didn't happen before will present itself eventually. Get back out there and prove to yourself that you can do it.

Now that your are making so much progress on The Voice, what are your thoughts as to how your music career will change? Will you still tour and make new music?

I feel that I'm in a way better place than I was before the show. And that was the whole point. This wasn't meant to be my end all be all. It's an amazing opportunity that acts as a platform for anyone willing to use it that way. I hope to get signed, release an album, and tour the world! Oh, and to make singing my life long career :)