Career Chat ‘N Chew: Kat West, Career and personal development coach for Actorians

If there’s one thing I love, it’s talking with people who love what they do about what they do for a living. How they got into it, why they love it, their successes, struggles and everything in between- no story is too small.  So I wanted to start talking with local Astorians about this. We meet at a local restaurant to sample the diverse cuisine of Astoria (hence the title of this column) while chatting about all things career. This week, I sat down with Kat West, a certified professional coach who works with actors and theatre production professionals in a dual capacity- as a production manager and interestingly, as a certified coach, who works with the same group to help them get out of their own way to move ahead in their career and achieve a sense of balance. We met at Astoria staple Queens Kickshaw.




On the table:

-Two grilled cheese and tomato soup combos (I mean, how can you resist?)

-Cappuccino & Green tea



  1. Tell me about what you do.

I have wonderful dual careers that feed each other. My first love is theatrical production stage management in NYC- mainly new musicals, but I like it all and am open to anything from opera to puppetry. For a long time, I have seen first hand how people’s behavior gets triggered, how that affects them and then affects a project as a whole. I was trying to support someone close to me and nothing we were doing was helping her. People had often asked me if I was a coach or had ever considered being a coach. So I decided to look into it. Coaching, and the intensive coaching program I completed, was one of the best self-investments I have ever made. It’s enriched my life and given me the tools to help others enrich theirs. Even if you are fortunate to do what you love for a living, work-life balance can be all-consuming and difficult. Having a strong background in the arts and now with my coaching tools and certifications allows me to truly enjoy helping my colleagues achieve great results.


  1. Who do you work with mainly?

I work with entertainment professionals, mainly theatrical – who are either looking to navigate from one classification to another or just having trouble with work/life balance. For example, you could be a dancer looking to transition into something new but you’re not sure how to go about it. That’s where I come in. I look with my client how they are showing up to life and work now vs. how they want to show up.  I am their scene partner that helps them go from a supporting character in their life to the leading player.


  1. Tell us about a client success story.

Oh! I was working with a theatrical manager who was just across the board dissatisfied with her job, her health and life in general. We worked together for 9 months, and within that time, she got a new job she loves, has a new workout regimen she’s sticking to and has been able to connect to her true passion by getting rid of all the clutter in her life. She is a testament to how many aspects of life are connected to one another and clearing aspects of dissatisfaction in one area can open you up to lots of opportunities in another area.  It was really cool to watch and I can’t wait to see what’s next for her.


  1. What is one thing you would tell an Astorian (or, Actorian as actors in the area are often called) who wants a change but isn’t sure where to start that they can do right now to make a small change and get moving?

Take 10 minutes to think about where you want to be 1 year from now, then 6 months, than 1 month from now. What’s one thing you can do today to get where you want to be in that one-month time frame? Write that stuff down! The more specific you can be, the better. It sounds counterintuitive because people may think, “Don’t I want to be open to all possibilities and isn’t being specific very confining?” That’s understandable but if you don’t narrow things down, your energy, attention and action will be diffused over lots of disparate ideas and it will slow your momentum down. Creative thinkers generally are big picture thinkers. Working with a coach helps them to define the small steps it takes to get to those big dreams!




Jill Ozovek is a career specialist residing and working in Astoria, Queens. She works with millennials and those in a mid-career rut who are either looking for a change but have no idea where to start, or they’re in a career they love and want to have a clear professional development roadmap to knock their career out of the park and live a life they love. She can be reached for a complimentary consultation at [email protected].








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