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Kaitlin’s Story: From Broadway to Biden

November 20, 2023

Kaitlin’s Story

Kaitlin was working on the Broadway production of Hamilton in Chicago prior to discovering Arena Academy. After her time on Broadway and completing Arena Academy, she found herself working for the Biden campaign as the Ohio Operations Director. During her time there, she met some incredible people and stretched her skills well beyond what she thought their limits were. Her experience at Arena taught her the importance of advancing progressive agendas and restoring the rights of those who need them.

How has Arena Academy impacted you?

I spent the first decade of my career in theater, and went to (the first!) Arena Academy as I started to think beyond the industry. In the wake of 2016, I had seen so many trainings available for potential candidates, but none for those of us who would rather be the person behind the person. Finding Arena was a gift! I went in without any political experience and with a lot of anxiety, but was instantly put at ease by the warm, welcoming, inclusive environment at Arena. Coming from a niche industry, I was nervous about translating my skills, but a) I severely underestimated the theater –> politics pipeline and b) the instructors and fellow attendees had the remarkable ability to see what I couldn’t – they could identify my strengths and made me see the value in them. It was extremely confidence-building and I credit that experience with giving me the courage to venture outside the industry.

What advice would you give future Academy participants?

If you want to break into politics, you simply have to go to Arena Academy. I can’t imagine a better way to learn about life in politics and find your place therein. Taking the next step or transitioning to a new career is terrifying, but, even if you don’t end up working in the political realm, you will learn about yourself and the incredible strengths you bring to the table.