30 Days of Women: Katia Dragotis
During one of my recent trips to LA, my good friend suggested that I meet up with Katia.
His exact words, "She's a badass Minnesota girl living in LA." Which is a great thing to hear. Anytime you get to meet some incredible Midwest people in a place like LA, it really makes you feel more comfortable. She welcomed me in wide arms and a big ass smile. We took, pictures, drankbeers in the sun and really got to know each other. Hearing her struggles in life, her advances and what brought her to LA.
Meeting people like Katia reminds you of the importance of meeting new people.
Now I've got a life long friend in LA. -Flow Johnson How old are you & where are you from?
27 - Minneapolis, MN
What do you do for a living?
I'm a freelance sports reporter and host
Does it reflect where you want to be?
Absolutely, I'm working towards gaining more experience and relationships in the industry to gain larger on camera roles
What brought you to LA?
This is the entertainment capital and although there's more competition,
I saw it as more opportunity to launch my career on a larger scale. Plus, the sunny weather is always a plus for a Minneapolis born girl.
whats a common misconception of working in the sports/entertainment industry?
I think some people may still think it's so glamorous.
I've worked the ESPYS for the past 3 years as well as many high profile games and events and
there's so much sweat and behind the scenes drams that goes into creating a successful project.
whats the hardest thing about being a woman in your field?
I think there's still a struggle to be taken seriously in this field. People assume things about you or how you look, so you really have to prove yourself. I also think it's keeping a balance in your life, taking your career serious but also taking time for yourself and your family.
How do you overcome them?
Surrounding yourself with positive people in the industry who trust and support you as well as developing strong relationships with individuals who respect you.
whats been the hardest thing that you've had to overcome in the work place that made it hard to come back?
Just breaking boundaries and attempting to find your call and place in the industry. Remaining focused when things are not looking great is difficult and something that is a constant struggle in my career journey.
Do you have a good female tribe that gets you through?
Yes! I was so blessed to meet my mentor, Fox Sports' Laura Okmin and be part of her GALVanize tribe of women in sports who support each other. We check in with each other, uplift each other and practice together, it's refreshing.
Advice for other women entering the field?
Explore many areas of the industry until you find the place that feels right. I've worked from a small sports agency, to a big professional team and everywhere in between, I think my experience at all those have contributed to me being a well rounded sports personality. I understand all aspects of how the industry works, and can keep those things in mind as a reporter.
Have you fangirled out over meeting anyone?
Lol yes. Dennis Rodman. I grew up all around Basketball and to interview him on the Red Carpet was just a true "wow" moment for me. I knew I wanted to be apart of the game growing up, so to interview him made my little girl self very proud. I could also imagine telling my father (who passed away 3 years ago) about it and him just saying "that's pretty cool Kati". I actually posted my Facebook status about fangirling out Pre Interview and the popular sports gossip site, Terez Owens, made a post about me, which was kind of embarrassing, but funny.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I don't have a set "dream job" that I like to say, because I think in this industry, it's a journey that's unpredictable and I'm open and ready for the right opportunity for ME to present itself. But I will say, I see myself as a well-known sports reporter, hopefully telling the stories of many athletes. How do you stay focused in a city and atmosphere that foster wild & long nights?
Well I bartend and waitress as well, so I work a lot on the weekends, that helps. For me, I'm ALL IN for this career path, so for me I know I have to remain focused and continue to work on my craft in order to be what I want to be. There's no Plan B for me, I know I must be successful. It's also about balance, I'm a social person, so I try to balance a work hard, play hard lifestyle. Whats your creative process?
Truly getting my mind right. I have to get into a zone, filled with prayer, candles and envisioning my goals. If i'm doing any type of interview or on-camea appearance, it's heavy research, writing down every question I could possibly want to ask, practicing OUT LOUD is very big in my process and then simply having confidence in myself and my process. Before any on-camera opportunity, you'll probably find me in a corner talking out loud to myself, repeating over and over my main questions or statements. Do you have lots of female counterparts that you get to work and get along with?
I didn't until recently. When I met Laura and became part of her GALVanize group of women, I found that and it's been great.
It's refreshing to meet smart, beautiful and relatable women in our industry and have the opportunity to vent with each other or just support each other. How has traveling so far from home helped you to grow into who you needed to be in order to succeed?
My first year in LA was HARD, but I also knew that it would be and that I was in it to win it here. It opened my eyes more to the industry and also the entertainment industry in general, I've learned A LOT. Also, LA is just this melting pot, of slightly crazy, passionate hustlers who are all seeking a goal, so I've learned a lot from all the people I've met here as well. Who has been your biggest supporter? My mom has been amazing, especially with my move to LA, I couldn't survive without her. Whose been your biggest opposition?
I don't think there's ever been a true opposer. Those who have maybe not supported me, I give zero energy to, and are not apart of my life. what was the turning point where you decided you had to be in LA? I didn't see my career in Minneapolis at this stage in my life, so I knew I had to remove myself. I felt as though I had to create and envision the life that I wanted, and for me, I saw my career and success in LA. Whats been your biggest jump in the right direction over the last year?
Truly committing myself to practicing and working towards my goals everyday. I try to film and interview weekly, even if it's just friends, acquaintances or strangers, striving to be better daily, so that when the BIG opportunity comes, I'm prepared. It's a commitment. how long did it take before LA felt like home?
Honestly, driving into LA on my very first day, I had a feeling of this is right. But going into my 2nd year in LA was when things really started to smooth out and truly feel right. Whats something you would tell your 22 year old self?
I wish I would have reached for more opportunity and practiced daily. Also that there's room for everyone in the industry, just because you didn't land that one job just means it wasn't the RIGHT opportunity at the time.
Who are you for halloween this year?
Lola Bunny from Space Jam. Last 5 played songs?
Jolene - Ray Lamontagne Caroline - Amine Probably ANYTHING by Mariah Carey No Diggity - Black Street Childs Play - Drake Last 5 movies you saw? Hit it Hard - the ESPN 30 for 30 on John Daly Hocus Pocus Something probably really bad on Netflix with a very basic plot before bed