We had the good fortune of connecting with Jake Cassman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jake, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
10 years ago — when I first started my band Drunken Logic — I didn’t spend any time thinking about work-life balance. I was working in a dueling piano bar full-time, busking a couple of times a week, finishing up school, and recording my first album. I wanted to do everything all the time, but particularly right now. I used to have a sign hanging above my computer that read “What are you going to do TODAY?”, as if I needed to guilt-trip myself into doing more than I was already doing. I spent most of the next decade approaching my career that way, at great detriment to my mental and physical health, and probably to my relationships and career as well. I got a lot of great experience, but was constantly cycling between burnout and manic work. I think I believed that, if I wasn’t struggling to stressing, I wasn’t working hard enough.

Like a lot of people, the pandemic led me to question a lot of my long-held assumptions. I realized that I didn’t want to play “Don’t Stop Believing” three times every weekend for the rest of my life, so I went back to grad school for music education. As we approach whatever “normal” is going to be going forward, I want to live a life where I have time to hang with friends, and go see their shows, rather than constantly stretching myself too thin and asking them just to come see mine. I want to be a part of a community of artists at the concert venues and comedy theaters where I work, and that means that I need to be able to reciprocate the support that those kind and talented people have given me. I want to try and give back to my community through education and activism, to give the gifts of music and laughter to as many people as I can. And I want to take better care of myself, to change the way I eat and sleep, and not to judge myself so harshly. I’m playing the long game now.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m proud to say that I’ve never backed down from an artistic challenge. Most of my work is done with Drunken Logic, which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary in April. We have put out three full-length albums and an EP, several award-winning music videos, and toured across the country in that time. We’ve overcome lineup changes, a cross-country move from Boston, and all of the other toils and troubles we artists face in our careers. But we’ve always stayed true to our recipe of eclectic rock music combined with thoughtful, honest lyrics. We’ve stared unflinchingly at sociopolitical issues in our songs and videos, and scared off some press outlets in the process. And we’ve had an awful lot of fun doing it. We’ve got a new EP coming in the fall.

On top of that, I work as a music director and performer at the Second City Hollywood, and collaborate with music other artists. I also teach music, still do some dueling pianos, and (like everyone else) am exploring podcasting.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Los Feliz, so I probably wouldn’t leave the neighborhood. Home Restaurant for dinner, Jeni’s ice cream for dessert, Ye Olde Rustic Inn for drinks. It’s cliche, but it’s great.

I should also give a shoutout to the Arts District though — for my birthday, I had dinner at Father’s Office, and then drinks at the Mermaid and Arts District Brewing. There’s so many fun places in that part of town.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shoutout Leslie Seiler, PK Kingston, and Macklen Maklhoggi. These three are tireless educators who have also taken leadership roles with the Association of International Comedy Educators (AICE), the union that the faculty of the Second City has formed. They have led by example, dedicated themselves to this cause, and kept the momentum of efforts going through thick and thin over the last year and a half. They are also three of the funniest people I know.

Website: https://www.jakecassman.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jakecassman/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/authwall?trk=bf&trkInfo=AQEoGuglgkeKCAAAAX9CB1hgZghnotG0hxZgA9Wmnmd_DtZ2GdLjI0MOXhzHm3P2fSJe5n934RaDMHls_4jmp8H2stYa93R0dhSqtjqByhYV5UMFZdSfy4ZbtoPtw9SLk3y5R7U=&originalReferer=&sessionRedirect=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.linkedin.com%2Fin%2Fjake-cassman%2F

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrunkenLogics

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrunkenLogic

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DrunkenLogicMusic

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