A Magazine from California State University, ChicoSpring 2016 Issue

Making a Magical Experience

Making a Magical Experience

I have done some pretty fantastic things in my life so far, and I think it’s hugely thanks to Chico.

Brown (BA, Musical Theatre, ’07) works as a guest talent coordinator and production coordinator for Disney Performing Arts

Brown (BA, Musical Theatre, ’07) works as a guest talent coordinator and production coordinator for Disney Performing Arts

Every day, alum Katie Brown watches as young children undergo an amazing transformation. From the fun-filled day’s beginning—when the children under her watch are feeling the most nervous about what’s to come—to its end, when they start to view themselves as leaders, witnessing and participating in their growth is an integral part of Brown’s career at Disneyland and California Adventure.

Brown (BA, Musical Theatre, ’07) works 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 children’s performing groups like school choirs, marching bands, and dance groups, in addition to Girl Scouts and school leadership programs.

These performing groups perform or take part in a number of workshops that are taught by professionals. Brown helps coordinate pre-production and day-of operational aspects. For instance, after initially meeting the children 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. Sometimes, it’s simply seeing the happiness on children’s faces after a great performance. Other times, it’s the pleasure of witnessing kids develop self-confidence by the end of the program. 

“It’s a true joy to be able to see them see themselves as leaders,” she said. “They say, ‘Wow, that is something I can do! I’m more of a leader than I thought I was.’ And it’s just rewarding all the way around.” 

In whatever way Brown can, even if it’s smiling at a stranger on the street or remembering the thrill of a child seeing Mickey Mouse for the first time, she tries to spread positive attitudes.

“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 it doesn’t happen every day, but I do try, and I think that’s my main goal.”

At Chico State, Brown was active in many different areas, including the Honors in General Education Program and a particularly memorable class, Mind and the Machine, which she says prepared her to be conscious and think from many different perspectives.

She also took advantage of all of the opportunities that the Department of Music and Theatre presented her. These activities ranged from working in the scene shop, the costume shop, and the prop shop, to managing the stage and holding recitals. In fact, this is how she got a job right out of college with the North State Symphony.

Music and theatre faculty like Bill Johnson taught Brown a lot about flexibility and the importance of thinking quickly on one’s feet, in addition to planning ahead, she said.

“I feel that [Chico State] really prepared me for everything that I’m doing and everything that I hope to do in the future,” she said. “I have done some pretty fantastic things in my life so far, and I think it’s hugely thanks to Chico.”

 

Rachel Ward is a social media intern with Public Affairs and Publications. She will graduate in spring 2018 with a BA in women’s studies and a BS in business finance.