Take Your Career to the Next Level!
Work 1-on-1 with Dane, host of You Booked It.
EP 163: Kayla Capone Kasper (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it. Episode 163. Okay. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Kayla Capone, Casper, are you ready for this Kayla?
[00:00:16]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:00:16] I’m ready.
[00:00:17] Dane Reis: [00:00:17] Brilliant. Kayla is a voice teacher slash coach actor and singer located in central Pennsylvania. She has performed regionally across PA and recently made her New York city debut.
[00:00:31] She is an adjunct instructor in music at Lebanon Valley college, where she received her BA in music with voice concentration. Kayla continued her. Kayla continued her education by taking classes and studying with the best in the business, including Natalie, why he’s Betsy Wolf, Sherry Saunders and leading vocal.
[00:00:51] Pedagogues such as Mary Saunders, Barton and Jared Trudeau. She is a NATS member and maintains a full private studio. Kayla creates educational content for singers and theater students on Tik TOK and has a following of over 30. Teen thousand. she also creates a series on Instagram where she partners with a different professional in the theater industry each week to go live and talk about their experience, offer advice, answer questions, and learn.
[00:01:21] She can be found on stage in the studio, teaching, riding bikes with her husband or. Enjoying a good cup of coffee, Kayla. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, filling the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.
[00:01:44]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:01:44] Yeah, thank you. So I’m a Jersey girl originally from New Jersey and,
uh, kind of located planted into Pennsylvania. Um, through college, I went to Lebanon Valley college. Uh, it’s a small liberal arts school. I went there for a voice and I studied classically. Um, and I had always done in loved theater, but. there aren’t really many programs out there to study specifically musical theater, voice.
[00:02:13] Most voice degrees are going to be classical. That’s sort of the,
sort of the, the baseline that’s out there. Um, so since college, I have pursued more, uh, of that education for theater specifically, because that has always been my love. Um, And now I’m here in central Pennsylvania, actually my husband and I just bought a house, is crazy.
[00:02:37] Yeah. W
uh, last week, I think no, two weeks ago it’s been a
[00:02:41] Dane Reis: [00:02:41] brand new. Okay.
[00:02:42] Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:02:42] Yes. So new,
So new, so new, we got a cat. Yes. Yeah. And so, um, that was really exciting because, uh, when all of this COVID finally subsides, I’m really just excited to have my own studio space to teach from because we were just in a nice little, one bedroom apartment before.
[00:03:03] Just with the piano right. In my living room teaching from there.
Um, so I’m excited for that. Uh, it’s been cool to teach virtually through all of this. That’s been a unique experience even through the college I’ve, I’ve taught, uh, some stuff just through zoom, so yeah.
[00:03:20]Dane Reis: [00:03:20] . Very cool. It is crazy the whole virtualization of this industry, but it also has a lot of conveniences, right.
right. Because you’re working from home.
[00:03:29] Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:03:29] Yeah, definitely.
[00:03:30] Dane Reis: [00:03:30] Beautiful.
Well, what’s move on and dig into this first section here.
[00:03:35] And Kayla, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote you’d like to share with everyone?
[00:03:43]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:03:43] Yeah. This is so simple. And I don’t know if I can attribute it to every anyone, but it’s that you are enough and
that that’s it.
[00:03:53] Dane Reis: [00:03:53] Yeah, I love that. And you know what that quote specifically has come up so many times through this entire interview process on this show and what I really like about that and thank you for bringing it up because it’s. Become a through-line these, I love interviewing in this kind of format where we ask the same kind of questions to pretty much every single person that comes on the show.
[00:04:15] That way we really start seeing the fundamentals of what is making successful careers in this industry, and clearly the whole concept and that you need to be, that you are enough, is such a massive fundamental and through-line to success in this industry.
[00:04:32]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:04:32] Yeah. Yeah. Agree. And
you know, it’s so much easier said than done. It sounds so simple, but that is so layered and nuanced because as humans, we. Inevitably develop all of this baggage through, you know, what we’ve experienced in life through hardships, through maybe things other people have said about us and that we’ve started to believe whether they’re good or bad.
Um, and so it’s hard to really just strip those things away and believe that you, as you are showing up, being present is enough. Always.
[00:05:06] Dane Reis: [00:05:06] for sure. And I think one of the hardest caveats of that statement is that by saying you are enough, also requires you to figure out who you are.
that is, that is a hard ask and a hard question to, to ask yourself and to really spend time with yourself. Cause it’s. You know, outside of this very unique COVID time, it’s hard to find the time to just be introspective and to spend time with yourself. Cause we’re always going, going, going, going, going.
[00:05:37]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:05:37] Yes. And especially in this industry, we are also always listening to the opinions of other people about ourselves. Whether we take it in or not,
you know, if you book or don’t book a job, that’s saying something to you and it. And it can be, you know, if you’re, if you don’t book it, you can start to believe, Oh, I’m not enough.
[00:05:55] I wasn’t enough for this. Or, and that’s just not true. There’s so many, of course we know factors that go into things about why you are or are not the right fit for a certain thing, but it has nothing to do with who you are.
[00:06:08]Dane Reis: [00:06:08] exactly. Right.
Right. Very well said. And let’s move on to this next section here.
[00:06:15] And Kayla, of course you are an entertainer, I’m an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that. This industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries in existence. And you know,
you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like your having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work.
[00:06:41] And while yeah, there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out?
[00:07:01] The other side better?
[00:07:04]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:07:04] man, this was hard for me to narrow down because I feel like,
uh, everything is a challenge, which is. So I think sort of sort of also part of the beautiful thing of it that, um, there is so much challenge and growth to be had from that. But, um, something that really sticks out to me was a couple of years ago, I was hired as the soprano soloist to sing, uh, Brahms Requiem with a group here.
I mean, I was very prepared, had rehearsed it like the back of my hand really knew it very well. Um, and. When we were in the performance, uh, I don’t know about halfway through the solo. There’s several measures of rest. And I actually, I came in a measure early for my second entrance and it was the sort of thing that.
[00:07:55] Like I knew it was happening as it was happening and
I, I couldn’t stop it. I had to sort of keep going and be off because I couldn’t just stop singing because they were these sort of long phrases and, um, had to sort of maneuver to get back on time. But the thing about that, there’s two really important things that stick out to me from that.
Um, one is in the moment that it was happening, one of the orchestra members, uh, Turned around and glared at me. Like it was, I felt it through my soul and I was already like essentially having a panic attack. Like, Oh God, this is so bad. Um, and I, it was, Oh man, it was hard to even keep going. I just wanted to cry and run away.
Um, But then afterwards, uh, the director, I, you know, came up to me and he just congratulated me and he said, wonderful job. And I was so profusely apologetic about it and said, I’m so sorry. I don’t use like, Oh, don’t, don’t worry about it. It w it was still great. You were great. And just the distinction between.
[00:09:03] These two professionals in the industry,
um, who are both really successful, you know, a talented musician, a really talented director, um, and the way that it was handled, um, it really stuck with me, especially as a teacher, too, thinking about how. Oh, I through their failures through their mistakes. Um, the thing about this director is he trusts me and he knows that I did the work and knew that in that moment that I was human and that I messed up and, uh, didn’t feel the need to beat a dead horse and pointed all out.
[00:09:36] Like we all knew. I knew everyone knew. I’m sure the audience didn’t know, but.
Um, yeah, so that, that really, that stuck with me and really taught me a lot.
[00:09:47]Dane Reis: [00:09:47] Yeah, for sure. That is the funny thing about when we screw up on stage, is that very rarely does the audience. Even see it or notice it. And it’s crazy how time just seems to expand when you’re in the middle of screwing things up. Isn’t it you’re like this that’s crazy, but really it’s been about four and a half seconds.
[00:10:06] And. That’s also terrifying in some ways, but exciting. And I know exactly that feeling of coming in and your music and the wrong time in that tree. Like you describe it.
Like, I know I’m screwing up, it’s in my head, but I can’t just stop. Like, what am I, you know? Cause then, then people do know. Right. Right. And eventually you get, you get, you get back on track and it’s crazy, but I really like how you pointed out these two different reactions to, you know, the same, the same scenario.
Right. And you’re right. Things happen. We have to just continue moving on. Like you said, I knew I screwed up. He knew I screwed up. We don’t need to beat a dead horse about it. The point is that you’re a professional and you keep moving forward. That is the takeaway. I think.
[00:10:46]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:10:46] Yeah, absolutely.
[00:10:48]Dane Reis: [00:10:48] , because we’re going to screw up.
[00:10:49] It’s an inevitability. Doesn’t matter how much you prepare. Eventually something is going to go wrong. you can’t do something 1,000,001 times and not have one thing go incorrect, you know,
[00:11:02] Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:11:02] right, right.
[00:11:03] Dane Reis: [00:11:03]
[00:11:03] Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:11:03]
[00:11:03]Dane Reis: [00:11:03] sure. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your. Spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer.
[00:11:24] Tell us about that.
[00:11:26]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:11:26] Okay. So I do have two. One is a moment that I witnessed and one is a moment of me actually singing. But the first one was when I was eight years old.
Um, uh, seeing Phantom of the opera, I saw it in. In the front row. Um, my mom and my mom’s uncle who, um, he was sort of like a grandfather to me and a father figure to us.
Um, he would take us into New York, uh, every single Christmas to see a show from the time at the first one was the lion King, which I think was the year before. Um, And, um, man, I have so many fond memories of that, but specifically seeing Phantom sitting in the front row and during think of me, I don’t even know if I have the playbill somewhere, but I don’t remember who was playing Christine, but whoever was playing Christine, I must have been sitting there just so enraptured because when she was at the front of the stage, she looked at me and she winked at me.
[00:12:21] I just like in my eight year old self lost it,
uh, it was just so beautiful and really, really beautiful for me to see someone who is singing like me because I’ve always sort of had this classical voice, uh, from a young age. And it was something that I didn’t like about myself for a really long time. Um, So to be seeing this woman singing so beautifully and to connect with her in this one little moment was just everything as a little girl.
Um, and then the second would be when I was actually performing one time, this was in fourth grade. We took a class field trip to a nursing home to, um, Do different sorts of, uh, acts or entertainment for the members of the nursing home. And, um, I remember, uh, two other friends and I, we did this like choreograph dance to some sort of patriotic song.
[00:13:18] I don’t remember, but I remember we had
like felt red, white, and blue felt letters and just thought we were so cool. But, um, I also sang, Oh, Holy night. Uh, as a solo for them. And it was just so crazy to see and hear the reaction of all of the. Um, all of the seniors, either people singing along or some people crying, some people laughing, some people clapping.
I mean, who knows what sort of memories that might’ve stirred for people, but, um, that was really, really profound to me to see how music impacts people and can impact others at a young age.
[00:14:00]Dane Reis: [00:14:00] . And it can impact people in such different ways. That’s what is so cool about this? , really like those two moments. And thank you for sharing those.
[00:14:10]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:14:10] Yeah. Thank you.
[00:14:11] Dane Reis: [00:14:11] Yeah. And let’s piggyback on that real quick and talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and callbacks, if they happen to be a part of it, but what was going on in your life.
[00:14:26] And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.
[00:14:32]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:14:32] Yeah. So actually the other day, this came up in my memories on Facebook that four years ago, I had a callback for April and company for a community theater, which I ended up. Getting the role, but this was
really, really big for me because I didn’t start pursuing, performing really seriously until then. Um, and even since then, I say it’s kind of been a slow burn of really starting to trust myself, take risks, put myself out there.
Um, but. , um, after college I lived, I went and lived in Connecticut for a little bit, and I was working for a nonprofit and doing absolutely nothing with music or singing or theater was just working, uh, uh, you know, a nine to five, whatever. Um, and I moved back to Pennsylvania. And sort of had this newfound, um, passion and fire to, to really continue and finish, uh, what I’d started and, um, and start pursuing.
[00:15:37] What I’ve always wanted to do. And I had a friend who reached out and told me about these auditions and said I should audition. And I did. And it was, I didn’t know what I was doing at all. Like
I had, I had to go print out headshots, which I didn’t have headshots. So I just pulled a picture off of Facebook and, uh, uh, make a resume for the first time.
[00:15:55] I had never made a resume before.
Um, and. I don’t, what did I say? Oh, I sang, um, I sang moments in the woods from, into the woods, um, because I don’t know, I didn’t know how to audition at all, but I was thinking sometime I’ll do more song time. Um, Um, yeah, but yeah, just getting the call that I had booked. It was really, really, uh, just an encouraging moment of Oh, I can do this and I don’t have to have it all perfect and figured out yet.
[00:16:29] And that’s
sort of what I’ve taken for since then, you know, that it’s always a work in progress and a journey and you have to start somewhere. Um, Um, so that really sort of kicked things off for me.
[00:16:41]Dane Reis: [00:16:41] Great. You don’t have to be perfect and have it all figured out yet. That is huge. I think because it’s so easy to get caught up in the getting ready to get ready phase.
Right. And at some point you got to get, you got to take the leap and oftentimes when you just keep pushing forward and you prepare as much as you can in that moment and you just keep going forward.
[00:17:03] That’s usually when the good stuff really does happen because you’re not, you don’t really have the time to overthink things. You’re just able you go in there, you do it. And that’s what it is versus being so overly prepared. , it’s easy then to start stressing yourself out and putting a lot of pressure on yourself instead of just blowing through it and just doing the work.
[00:17:25] Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:17:25] Definitely.
[00:17:26] Dane Reis: [00:17:26] Yeah. Just do the work,
right. Beautiful. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And it’s a weird time, right? We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:17:48]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:17:48] Yeah. Ooh. So the, I can’t believe it’s been what, seven, eight months since this all started, um,
um, Oh, going on a year. It’s just, I it’s crazy. I, um, was I’ve journaled a little bit through this time, which. Uh, I wish I did more of it’s I’ve always been really inconsistent with that, but, um, it’s been really interesting to look back and just see the different things that have happened even through just this time.
Um, but the thing that I’ve come to realize is that I really need to work on myself as a human first and foremost, always. Um, whether that means eating well or. Meditating or exercising, just taking care of myself in every way. Um, because I’m not going to be a good performer if I’m not. Doing well as a person, uh, perform our own work teacher, you know, um, to really be my best.
[00:18:44] So I’ve been trying to focus on that a lot more
in, in many ways through, through some journaling, like I said, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, um, and then into like more practical career things too. Um, research taking classes, I’ve taken lots of classes through this time online, which is really neat. Um, I’m not super far from New York, but it’s still a process to get up there and take a class.
[00:19:06] And right now I can just do it from my house on zoom. So that’s been really great right now.
Um, and I think that that’ll be, I think that’s one of the sort of good things, I guess, from this moving forward that people are. Seeing that, um, things are much more accessible than we had once thought. I think, um, I do hope that continues moving forward.
[00:19:29] I hope that they are, there is more inclusivity, more diversity of course.
Um, more accessibility because this industry is it’s really elitist. Um, you know, it’s, it’s expensive to be a part of this industry and to partake even as a consumer of the industry. Um, and I think that this time has sort of leveled things.
[00:19:50] For everyone.
Um, and something that I’ve been really passionate about doing during this time is trying to make education and opportunities accessible to all people, um, through Tech-Talk I ended up, uh, offering a free masterclass, but I had tons of people audition for, and I had a few participants and, um, yeah.
[00:20:13]A girl from Malaysia participated. Um,
Um, yeah. And it’s just been amazing to see the connections that can happen and that, um, yes, I believe that artists should be paid. Teachers should be paid those things, but also there are so many things that we gatekeep that are not needed to, like, you shouldn’t have to pay, I don’t know, hundreds of dollars to take a class to know.
[00:20:37] Where to look in an audition. There’s just things that I think should be information that people should,
uh, just be readily available. And, um, and so, yeah, that’s part of the Instagram series that I’ve been doing too, just talking with other professionals and. Um, it’s just an hour a week, but an hour of people can tune in or go back and listen and just hear other people’s experiences and learn from it.
[00:21:00] Cause I know for myself there was so much, I didn’t know, or learn until I either was in the room or took classes or things like that.
[00:21:08]Dane Reis: [00:21:08] yeah, for sure. I really like your outlook and the way you’re approaching this entire industry, as far as the education is concerned. And I agree with you and that’s a big reason why I even started this podcast in the first place was to. Fill that gap between training and the real world. When you actually go out with this skill set that you created now, how do you make that skillset work for you?
[00:21:31], how do you turn your skillset into an income generating career that you can live off of?
You know, and we all eventually figure it out. Right. But my goodness, I spent years before I really figured it out, you know, and I could have. That those are years of prime performance time in my life.
[00:21:50] You know what I mean? That I was figuring things out. If I would have had a lot of this information before even entering the industry professionally, gosh,
the, the advantage and the leg up I would have is, is crazy to even think about.
[00:22:02]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:22:02] Yeah. Yeah.
I, I agree wholeheartedly.
[00:22:05] Dane Reis: [00:22:05] Yeah. And let’s move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview.
[00:22:11] I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another, or you ready? All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?
[00:22:32]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:22:32] myself, just not being secure and trusting myself my worth my voice, my heart.
[00:22:40]Dane Reis: [00:22:40]
Um, second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:22:45]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:22:45] Be yourself.
[00:22:47] Dane Reis: [00:22:47] Yes. Third question. What is something that is working for you right now, or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on pause?
[00:22:59]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:22:59]
Uh, definitely, especially now collaborating and reaching out to other artists. Um, yeah. And especially to reaching out to people that inspire me, uh, it it’s something new to me, but that has been incredible. The connections and friendships that I’ve formed from that have been just, just awesome.
[00:23:19]Dane Reis: [00:23:19] for sure. I agree with you. I mean,
I mean, look at us, we’re chatting just because we connected on Instagram, right? So there
[00:23:26] you go. Boom. And the fourth question. What is it your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.
[00:23:41]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:23:41] I think that the casts are great. This podcast is incredible. Everyone listening, go back and listen to all the episodes. Um,
Um, yeah. And other podcasts too, you know, people that are, um, like I, you interviewed Maggie Berra from actors aesthetic podcast. Her podcast is great. Um, really just these social media tools, I think too.
Um, Tick-tock has been really awesome, uh, which is sort of like the gym I never expected. Um, and Instagram, just, uh, people post and offer free information. There’s so much out there that really is free and available. Um, and you just gotta dig a little bit, but it’s there.
[00:24:20]Dane Reis: [00:24:20] , for sure. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
[00:24:38]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:24:38] It’s so hard. Cause I can’t picture going back and having all of these tools without all of the experiences that I’ve had,
you know, like all the difficult things, uh, that of course in the moment you wish weren’t happening. Um, yeah. But as I look back, those things have shaped me into who I am as a person artists teacher.
Um, but if I could go back, the thing I would probably do is just do everything sooner. You know, like trust myself sooner, go for things sooner, put myself out there more, do more things that scare me, go to more auditions, reach out more, just kind of everything I’m doing now, but maybe 10 years earlier.
[00:25:11] Dane Reis: [00:25:11] Yeah, and the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.
[00:25:23]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:25:23] everything that you are doing now. Will prepare you to be in this career in industry. You might not be where you want to be. You can’t see me, but I’m using air quotes.
Um, right now, you know, maybe you’re working in a job. You don’t want to be working in, maybe you’re waitressing, maybe you’re you’re back living with your parents.
Um, there are so many difficult things that we’re, we’re all kind of doing right now that we didn’t expect, or maybe didn’t want to be doing, but those things will only. Inform your artistry and your it’ll inform your humanity more, which will in turn, inform your artistry more. Um, and being a well-rounded human and kind a kind person, uh, is the most important thing in this industry is, um, yeah.
[00:26:08] Being human,
um, and reach out, reach out to people, reach out to the people who inspire you. Um, you’d be surprised what might happen and no, you’re worse.
[00:26:18]Dane Reis: [00:26:18] Yes. Nothing but gold in all of that. Thank you so much for that.
[00:26:23]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:26:23] Thank
[00:26:24] Dane Reis: [00:26:24] Yeah. And to wrap up this interview, Kayla, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
[00:26:37]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:26:37] Yeah. So you can find me on Instagram and Tik talk at Kayla Capone. Casper. My website is Kayla Capone, casper.com.
Um, every month for my voice. Studio. Well, I am accepting new students. So if you’re interested in voice lessons, you can head over to my website, but also every month I do studio hours where I have, uh, I set aside a handful of time slots for people to sign up for, for pay what you can lessons and.
[00:27:06] That can be, if you have a dollar that is sufficient, anything.
Um, and what else? Um, on Instagram, we, we chatted about this. I have a series every Thursday night. I go live with a different professional in the theater industry and talk about their experiences. And, um, the cool thing about that too, is we will answer your questions.
[00:27:26] So if you tune in, you can ask questions and we will answer them live for you.
[00:27:32] Dane Reis: [00:27:32] Cool. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything. Kayla just said into the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with her and be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, art, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know,
you know, aspiring to create a career in.
[00:27:55] The entertainment industry you booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career. It is integral to helping them succeed in helping you create a better, more fulfilling career in this wild and crazy industry. Kayla, thank you so much for being here.
[00:28:17] It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show today.
[00:28:21]Kayla Capone Kasper: [00:28:21] Thank you, Dan. I’ve so enjoyed talking with you.