Princess Anne Native and Former Art Department Coordinator for NCIS, Pat Kiah, Talks About Her Deep Roots on Delmarva
It’s a favorite show for so many people, not only on Delmarva, but around the world – CBS show, NCIS.
NCIS is one of those shows that leaves you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. A Princess Anne native, Pat Kiah, recently wrapped up a long career working on the set of NCIS as an art department coordinator and she stopped by the DelmarvaLife studio to talk about her deep roots here on Delmarva and her career.
Pat is back on Delmarva to attend her 50th high school reunion. She graduated from Somerset Jr./Sr. High School, which is now part of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore campus and is named after her grandfather, Dr. Thomas Kiah.
“I spent my growing years in Princess Anne on the campus of Maryland State College,” Pat says.
Her father, T. Waldo Kiah, was an education professor at UMES and was quite popular. Her grandfather is Dr. Thomas Kiah who was UMES’s fifth and longest serving leader.
Pat talked about how her parents were her inspiration and her role models.
“My parents were very supportive and instilled in me a value system that even I appreciate,” Pat says. “They were my inspiration for everything I’ve done. My family instilled in us the idea that we could do anything we wanted to do as long as we worked hard at it.”
“I never even thought I’d be anywhere near the entertainment industry. My parents were instructors and I wanted to be a teacher. Later in life, I decided I wanted to be a boss,” Pat says. “So that meant I wanted to own my own company – my own business. I did that at one point.”
Pat talked about the cast members and what her role was as an art department coordinator. She also talks about one of her most memorable moments as a child, which was travelling to Washington, D.C. at 14-years-old to hear Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Pat talked about advice she would give to students who are looking to go into the entertainment and production industry and how they can stand out from the rest of the competition.
“It’s a tough industry. It’s very challenging,” Pat says. “They just have to realize they will start at a production assistant – or even an intern but they have to learn the business from the ground up. It may mean low paying or no paying jobs, but it’s the opportunity to make contacts, which is so important, to get a foot in the industry. Be persistent because it’s difficult. You’re going to hear the word “no” a lot. You have got to have confidence in yourself and what it is that you know you can do and just stick with it.”
Her favorite TV shows today are two that are on CBS.
“The female driven TV shows are my favorite. Either produced, directed, and starring,” Pat says. “Madam Secretary and The Good Wife. Those are my two favorites. They are well-written and very creative. They’re very inspirational for young people. They present good role models.”
Pat concludes with saying the road to get to her career and where she is today was a journey that she is thankful for.
“It’s a long winding journey – a long winding road – to get to where I have, from social work which is what I started out in, to show business, but I’ve learned an awful lot along the way, ” Pat says. “And I have never let any teachable moments get by.”