Helping artists take the leading role
in their daily off-stage lives.
For those of us who pursue an artistic life calling there is often tremendous personal and emotional sacrifice. Artists spend so much time and energy creating other worlds and characters that they can often disconnect with their own true selves. This can lead to depression, illness, and extreme judgment of oneself and others. “Suffer for Your Art” is a popular adage, but is all that suffering necessary?
My name is Kat West and I love and live in the performing arts. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, I come from a very theatrical family; my parents are singers and my brother is a singer and music teacher. I am a theatrical stage manager who has been working, surviving and thriving in New York City for over a decade and a half. In my career, I have stage managed a wide variety of artistic productions in theater, dance, opera, performance art, puppetry, cabaret and film. I have a wonderful husband, supportive family, friends and nephews and feel blessed with the production and life challenges I meet everyday.
It wasn’t always that way…
I was determined to move to New York City when I was “young and stupid” or else I wasn’t going to do it at all. So a few years out of college I arrived in NYC with a BA degree in theater arts from Penn State, some regional experience, about $4000 to my name, and no idea how to make a career for myself. Not knowing how to get into the business meant taking any gig I could get my hands on. How was I going to survive here? Stand out? Make a living? Find happiness or my calling?
As I began to gain experience and confidence, I struggled (and still do) with work-life balance. “I can’t go on vacation because I will miss this opportunity/not get paid while I’m gone.” “I can’t go to this wedding or that family event.” “I have to work four jobs to just get by.” “I’m not getting the kinds of shows that are the work I like to do.” “I can’t get a well-paying show.” Sound familiar? Along my way, as I’ve been finding my own balance, I have discovered how much I enjoy working with artists, not just on our craft, but on the crafting of life.
In my role as a life coach, I collaborate with entertainment industry professionals who feel like a supporting character rather than the lead player in their life and career. It IS possible for you as an artist to share your talents and storytelling gifts with the world without sacrificing your happiness, health, wisdom and wealth. I certainly don’t hold all the answers, but I do have a knack for working with people to empower them to find their own answers and help them be accountable to themselves to make those dreams a reality.
As a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) my work with clients combines the understanding of your craft with openness, support, kindness and humor. Everyone is the lead in his or her own life story. If you are feeling more like a supporting character in yours, I’d love to talk to you.
Your partner in life artistry,
- Bachelors in Theater Arts Pennsylvania State University (PSU)
- Certified Professional Coach (CPC): Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) and ICF accredited institute
- Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP): Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC)
Hello all! I am very excited and petrified to announce that I will be doing my first ever workshop this fall. Talking to a large group of people is not new but coaching a large group of people through a workshop is. I reached out to the amazing folks at Mark Fisher Fitness and pitched… [Read more]
Anyone who knows me knows that writing is not my strong suit. My spelling is terrible and my punctuation needs a lot of double-checking. All of the copy on this site is 100% my own but it was double and triple checked by several close friends and superior grammarians. So the last bit of this… [Read more]
Before working with Kat I was feeling like a victim of my circumstances. I felt like I was being controlled by everything around me. My biggest challenge was balancing my work, my family and my personal life. From working with Kat I realized that life doesn’t control me but I am the controller of my life. I can choose the way I think, feel or act in any situation even if it is challenging to me. From this work I feel less stress, more in control, more balanced and happier. It has given me a different perspective on life. It’s shown me that there are different ways and given me choices on how to experience them. Working with Kat will give you the confidence that you need to tackle any challenge that you may be facing.
Before I started working with Kat I often felt like I wasn’t in control. I wasn’t in the driver’s seat of my life because it felt like it was all too big for me. Working with Kat has given me more personal courage, freedom, and responsibility to myself. I have permission to be who I am and be OK with it. To take pride in my choices and trust that I can choose my own right path. Kat’s background in theater and her role in creating and managing those personalities helped me feel comfortable and confident talking things through with her. While I am not driving the Indy 500 yet I am out on the open road of life and feel like I am on the right track toward where I want to be.
Even though I am not in the entertainment business, I know that a lot of the experiences and people that Kat works with are creative types. My issues and blocks were based on my creative sensitivities. It didn’t matter what field I was in, she was in tune to those sensitivities. Generally I knew what I wanted to do but I wasn’t clear about how to get there. My confusion created a lot of fear, which was restricting me from seeing what I needed to do next. With Kat I feel freed up to pursue my goals. She is a great listener and has a great point of view. I love her spirit, insight, and dedication. She was able to help me see opportunities out of the box and together we gave me exactly what I needed to solve what was blocking me. Working with Kat was an incredibly positive experience. Anyone reading this I assume you have something you’d like to fix and improve. Look no further. She’ll take care of you like she took care of me.
Let's keep in touch
Everyone is the lead in their own life story. If you are feeling more like a supporting character in yours, I’d love to talk to you.
Random Kat Fun Facts
- My first movie was Star Wars at a drive in. When the ships went off the screen I kept looking into the night sky to see where they went. It’s a life long love and I have the t-shirt collection to prove it.
- My first performing role in theater was Peter Rabbit’s Mother in Kindergarten. My last two were Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and "Day By Day" soloist in Godspell both performed in Pennsylvania.
- I met my husband doing non-union summer stock with Prospect Theater Company in a small town in Georgia. (Neither of us were from there)
- When I moved to NYC, I had a little under $4k to my name, two suitcases and a teddy bear.
- I cook a fantastic full Thanksgiving dinner but can cook very little else.
- Current personal goals: to become fluent in Spanish, to travel to world