LIFE'S A BEACH

Through bad times and good, the sisters of SHeDAISY continue to buoy each other up

Story by Bob Paxman • Photo by Ron Davis

It's mid-morning on a sun-baked southern California day off the shores of Zuma Beach. The SHeDAISY sisters - Kristyn, Kelsi and Kassidy Osborn - are preparing to shoot their latest video, "Mine All Mine," as the hair and makeup crew fuss over them like mother hens.

Everyone's facing a long day - and night - of filming. But the girls set an energetic tone right away, smiling and trading jokes.

"We actually don't start shooting until 11 a.m., which is really comfortable for us," says lead vocalist Kassidy, the youngest of the trio. "We function better at this time of day. I like to do early morning workouts, so I'm more of a morning person. But my sisters definitely are not."

That draws a good-natured giggle from Kelsi and Kristyn.

"Those early morning shoots, where you have to start at 5 or something, are really hard for me," agrees red-haired middle sister Kelsi. "And if Kristyn had her way," she kids, nodding toward the eldest of the three, "we would start really late."

"It's like this all the time," declares Kassidy. "We get along very well. We spend a lot of time with each other, so it's important for us to have a healthy working environment. There isn't anything that we can't say to each other."

And they'll testify that their open, "all-for-one" attitude keeps their relationship on a steady course. It especially helped raise Kristyn's spirits when she went through a painful divorce earlier this year.

"She was feeling very sad and frustrated," reveals Kelsi. "But she tends to be a little more quiet and reserved than Kassidy or me. We just told her, 'Get it off your chest. Even if you have to yell at us to get your aggression out, let us be your sounding board.' You can go crazy with this lifestyle, because it's just not the norm, so you can't let this stuff rule your life."

Kristyn rebounded from her funk and found solace in writing. She wrote every tune from the group's latest album, Knock On The Sky, which includes "Mine All Mine," a song dealing with regret.

Kristyn covered the whole emotional gamut," says Kassidy. "She wrote sad songs, strong women songs, and a few happy ones, too. A lot of them came from her personal situation, and I really admire her for that."

"We looked out for her during that rough time," adds Kelsi. "There were times when we were all scheduled for interviews or something like that, and Kristyn would just tell us, 'I can't handle that today.' And that was OK - the two of us could cover for her. It's nice when you can have that built-in support system."

After a few scenes, the director calls for a break. But instead of heading their separate ways, the sisters make a group beeline to a backstage trailer.

"Whenever we have some downtime during recording or making a video," says Kassidy, "we use that as kind of a catch-up time. We talk on the phone every day, even if it's just to say, 'What did you do today?' I think if we went one day without doing that, we would feel very out of touch with each other. But we have very separate lives outside of that.

"When we're home," she continues, "Kristyn and I tend to write and just be off in our own worlds. Kelsi is married so she spends that time with her husband. So today, we'll go to the trailer and talk about what's going on in our lives."

Kassidy certainly has something special going on in her life. She and Rascal Flatts guitarist Joe Don Rooney have been dating for several months, and they see each other as often as their whirlwind schedules permit.

"We're still at that 'dating' point," she says, smiling. "But it's going along really well. I like being with him - he's a very positive guy, always upbeat."

The relationship has captured Kassidy by surprise - in the past, she wasn't exactly keen on dating musicians. "I used to say that I would never do that because all we would talk about was the music business," she explains. "But now, I think it's better to have someone who understands what I'm doing. Joe Don knows the demands of the business, so he doesn't freak out if I can't call him for a couple of days.

"I'm grateful that I found him," Kassidy sighs, her eyes starting to sparkle. "He's come along at the right time in my life. It's a little hard sometimes because we never get to see each other - but we leave a lot of phone messages."

She can likely expect more games of phone-tag, as the SHeDAISY train prepares to crank at full speed ahead. The sisters are already looking forward to spring 2003, when they headline their first major tour.

"We have been on a small acoustic tour this fall, very low-key," says Kassidy. "It's hard to believe that we have never officially been 'on tour,' but we've been waiting until we had enough material to fill out a show. I'm so ready to do that - I can't wait!"

In the meantime, their wait between scenes is over, and the girls shift back into video mode. After several more hours of performance scenes, the clip finally wraps around 1 a.m. They're exhausted but ecstatic.

"It was worth it!" exclaims Kassidy. "We saw the most unbelievable sunset tonight. Even the people on the crew who live around here were talking about it." Kelsi stretches and lets loose a wide smile. "The whole atmosphere of this video was just perfect," she says. "We couldn't have asked for a better night."

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