Theatre Graduate Looks to Start Career in New York

Kayla Katona is a Citizen Scholar double majoring in Theatre and Media and Information with a minor in Musical Theatre who will be graduating this spring. As she prepares to graduate, she took the time to answer the following questions reflecting on her MSU and Citizen Scholar experiences:

Why did you join Citizen Scholars?
When I first came to MSU, my advisor talked to me about Citizen Scholars and I loved the idea of this organization with the goal of being college students giving back to the community. It also made me think ahead to the possibility of studying abroad or away, which got me very excited for my future at MSU.

How has Citizen Scholars enhanced your MSU education?
I found so many opportunities that I would have missed if I hadn’t joined Citizen Scholars. Throughout my college experience, I tried to participate in as many activities as I could so it was very helpful to have a community that constantly tried to be involved like me and who promoted opportunities that I may not have heard about otherwise!

What has been the most impactful part of the Citizen Scholars program?
The most impactful part of the program was the people. I met amazing people and was able to do amazing things with them. The leaders of the program have always been amazing and it’s so clear how much they care about every person in Citizen Scholars. I always know I’ll have someone to talk to if I need help with something either school related or not. 

Did you use the Citizen Scholar funding?
I will be using the funding to travel to New York this summer and host a personal showcase where I will meet with different people in the film and theatre industries and help create a stepping off point for moving there the month after.

Were you involved with any clubs or organizations?
I have been very involved with the organization MSU Telecasters, specifically as the producer of the web show “The ShoW.” This played such a huge role in helping me progress my career goals and allowing me to become the best leader I could possibly be.

How has COVID affected your college experience?
Because both of my majors regard very hands-on and personal performances, COVID had a huge impact on my education in my last year of college. I’m lucky to have been able to continue to work with heavy safety guidelines to continue to learn the most while I am still here.  

What are your plans post-graduation?
After graduation, I am going to be moving to New York in the fall. While there, I will be pursuing a career in both theatre and in film production and just doing more of the things I love.

How do you think Citizen Scholars will help you in your career?
Citizen Scholars allowed me the opportunities I needed to put myself out there and try things I wasn’t used to. I gained a lot of versatility this way, which I believe is the most important thing for the jobs I am going for in the future.

Do you have any advice for people who want to go down a similar career path as you?
Do as much as you can before you graduate. It will be exhausting, but that’s how you know you’re doing enough. You have so many opportunities available to you that are harder to come by when you are out in the world on your own, so take advantage of them now!