I don’t remember how I met Cassie Klein.
Suddenly, we were friends on social media. Just a dad, with a blog. Just a woman, with a budding modeling career.
And a background in the National Guard. What’s more — what makes her an incredible choice for #GirlsRock and a perfect voice to support — is wisdom and drive that defy her age. No, that’s not right … drive and wisdom aren’t exclusive to the aged.
Rather, it’s for those who both have it within them, and seek to discover where the combination can lead them in life.
Please give a warm CD — I mean, JAD — welcome to Cassie Klein. She’s the latest alumna to join #GirlsRock. You’ll find her story as compelling as I did.
Eli: When you were little, what did you think you’d grow up to be?
Cassie: When I was little I always thought to be in the world of performing arts. To this day, acting both stage and film has always been my dream. As I have gotten older, I see myself growing into the woman I’ve always wanted to be. Through staying motivated and productive within my acting career has helped me grow tremendously.
Eli: Describe what kind of woman you’ve always wanted to be.
Cassie: If I had to describe what kind of woman I always wanted to be, I would choose the woman I am today. I’ve been through so many life changes from enlisting in the US Army to signing a contract with an acting and modeling agency all within the same year of each other. To be able to do so many tasks at once and also be able to maintain a beautiful marriage is one of the many reasons I am the kind of woman I’ve always strived to be.
Eli: Let’s start from the top, Cassie. What was it like enlisting in the Army?
Cassie: I never would have thought I would’ve enlisted in the US Army until my senior year of high school when I struggled to find a way to provide financially for my future. Not to say I had it all bad, but I needed a way to support my future the meanwhile boosting my morale. My father and older sister are both enlisted, so the military really isn’t anything new to me. I knew that if I did a part-time army, I’d be able to fulfill my dreams of being an actor while serving my country at the exact same time.
The actual enlistment process was very high speed and not for the faint of heart, to say the least. We had people dropping out left and right for medical reasons along with not being able to take the heat of basic training. Even though I was under so much pressure being put in an environment I never imagined I would personally be in, I can promise you I made some of the closest friends I will ever have in my lifetime and I wouldn’t change a single career choice I made because of that.
Eli: Did your military service benefit you when your career turned to acting and modeling?
Cassie: My military service helped me be comfortable in high-speed situations and being able to not only be able to work under pressure, but still excel at given tasks in a short time period.
Eli: You signed a contract with an acting and modeling agency the same year. How did that happen?
Cassie: I signed with The Heights Agency here in Atlanta right around my two-year mark of being enlisted part-time with the guard. It’s been hard at times trying to juggle so many things but I know my heart and priorities always lay with the industry. I keep a calendar where I will plan out months in advance so that I know whether or not to take on an opportunity.
Eli: Planning is one area I struggled with but have improved on – and it’s something I’ve stressed as crucial to my girls. Tell me a little about your calendar routine, and how you prioritize and balance.
Cassie: To answer you of course in regards to my calendar routine is: as soon as I have an opportunity, I will write it down on both my phone calendar and my physical copy I keep in my home. My routine tends to be all over the place so how I balance and prioritize this is by getting into rhythms of days I usually have off as my availability days. Also with the National Guard, I have a schedule for the entire year that allows me to plan around those events!
Eli: Are you modeling and acting at the same time? How are they similar to you in terms of what you need for your best results?
Cassie: I am modeling and acting! I plan on making this my entire career and dedicating every moment to building myself. Both of my agencies have given me amazing opportunities. The Heights Agency was able to get me connected with a photographer who got me on Vogue. As for Bailey’s Entertainment Agency, some amazing people such as Doug Bailey and Tyson were able to give me the tools I needed in order to make me a successful actor and overall performer.
Eli: What’s one important lesson you’ve learned in all this?
Cassie: One important lesson I’ve gathered from my all-over-the-place life is to always tell yourself “I am worth what I’m fighting for.” It’s so important to believe in your goals because how will anyone else see your worth if you don’t even see it within yourself? There will be a competition for anything you do in life and it’s important to chase what’s important to you specifically. We only get one life and to live it the way that is the happiest is the only important factor. Money comes and goes which means do not let it control what path you go down in life.
Eli: What things have you found to be more valuable than money?
Cassie: Self-worth is far more valuable than money could ever be. Understanding your purpose in life, no matter how big people may view it to be. Finding what’s true to you is the most important thing in the world. Money is a construct and the only real thing is finding your true happiness.
Eli: How much of your own true happiness have you found?
Cassie: I feel as though I am always learning and growing. There’s always a higher level of myself I can reach, whether that be intellectually, spiritually, or anything else. I’m in a place mentally where I feel very confident with who I am and if my younger self were to look at me now, she would be very happy. That’s always a drive for my happiness, to make my younger self proud of me.
Eli: What’s next for you, Cassie?
Cassie: I’m always pushing to do the next opportunity that would be the most beneficial for my career. What’s next for me from this point on is constantly submitting to auditions I feel are right for me and pushing myself to get that lead role I’ve always wanted. It’s time that I focus on my career and get serious with self-tapes, polishing my resume, and networking like never before. I’m excited for what I make of the future.
Eli: Thanks so much for taking the time for this, Cassie. What advice would you give girls or women when they’re thinking about their future?
Cassie: I would say to never compare yourself to what someone else has. I know it can be hard when women are told at a very young age how they should conduct themselves or what they need to look like to be beautiful. I cannot stress this enough, you just existing is beautiful. This industry is becoming more inclusive (as it should) and there is a place for you within this field if you believe there is. Do not let anyone walk all over you and don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
Oh, and one more thing, your mental health should be your top priority. I want you to push yourself to achieve your career goals but don’t feel bad if you need to have moments of self-care. Now get out there and show them FACE!
A to Z Challenge
A is for A new name for this blog
B is for B is for Bibster, baseball, and a spot by the birdbath #Gratitudeandshit