Life After Chico: A Career at Disney
Every day, Katie Brown watches as young children undergo an amazing transformation. From the fun-filled day’s beginning—when children are feeling the most nervous about what’s to come—to it’s end—when they start to view themselves as leaders—witnessing and participating in these children’s growth is an integral part of Brown’s career at Disneyland and California Adventure.
Brown (BA, Music and Theatre, ’07) has the privilege of working as a guest talent coordinator and production coordinator for Disney Performing Arts as well as a facilitator for the Disney Youth Education Series. These two programs bring various types of guests to the park, including performing groups like school choirs, marching bands, and dance groups, in addition to groups like the Girl Scouts and school leadership programs.
These performing groups perform or take part in a number of workshops that are taught by professionals. For this particular program, Brown helps coordinate some of the pre-production and day-of operational aspects. For instance, after initially meeting the group in the morning, Brown takes them back to their workshop area before they go back out to perform.
Spreading joy is Brown’s driving motivator behind her workday. Sometimes, it’s simply seeing the joy on children’s faces after a great performance that makes her day. Other times, it’s the joy in seeing kids eventually view themselves as leaders at the end of the program. Developing this kind of self-confidence early on in children can play a crucial role in their personal development.
In whatever way she can, even if it’s smiling at a stranger on the street, Brown tries to bring joy to others.
“In this day and age, it’s so difficult with all the things going on in the world to remember to be grateful and to see those joyful moments…” she said. “Now, I’m not perfect and that doesn’t happen every day, but I do try, and I think that’s my main goal.”
Looking back, it isn’t hard for Brown to see the ways that Chico State has prepared her for such a vibrant job.
“I feel that it really prepared me for everything that I’m doing and everything that I hope to do in the future,” she explained. “I have done some pretty fantastic things in my life so far, and I think it’s hugely thanks to Chico.”
At Chico State, Brown was very active in many different areas. She was a part of the Honors Program for General Education and remarks on one specific class she took in her upper division theme that had a significant impact: Mind and the Machine. She described the class as thought-provoking, and said it prepared her to think about things from many different perspectives.
Brown also took advantage of all of the opportunities that the music and theatre department (MUTA) presented her. These activities ranged from working in the scene shop, the costume shop, and the prop shop, to managing the stage and doing recitals. In fact, this is how she got her job right out of college with the North State Symphony. MUTA faculty like Bill Johnson taught Brown a lot about flexibility and having the ability to think quickly on your feet, in addition to planning ahead.
Overall, she appreciates the well-rounded education that she received at Chico State.
Brown’s career is a wonderful example of the kinds of diverse opportunities that exist for Chico Alumni. Everyone has a unique Chico Experience, some combination of triumphs, struggles, and lessons learned. This all-encompassing experience is what ultimately aids our students in their journey toward a happy and successful life after Chico.