When CBS’ “Big Brother” returns for season 20 on June 27 at 8 p.m., one of the 16 “houseguests” will be Kaitlyn Sara Herman, who grew up in Plainview and is now a life coach in Los Angeles.
Herman, who turned 24 on April 24, had moved with her family to Plainview from Queens in 1998, when she was about 4 years old. At Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School, she participated in the theater club Drama Cadets, and in 2011 sang in the school’s “Plainview Idol” competition.
Herman went on to SUNY Oneonta, where she pledged the sorority Sigma Sigma Sigma, majored in music industry, with a minor in event planning, and graduated in May 2016. During school, she interned with the concert promoter Live Nation, and afterward was a junior talent coordinator with 21st Century Artists in New York, according to her online resume.
She and the 15 other “Big Brother” contestants will vie for the $500,000 grand prize while living in a house outfitted with 94 HD cameras and more than 113 microphones, recording their every move 24 hours a day. Herman’s competitors this season include a 40-year-old former undercover cop from New Jersey; a 30-year-old running back and wide receiver for the professional Women’s Football Alliance team the San Diego Surge; and a 34-year-old stay-at-home Maryland mom who goes by the nickname Rockstar.
Herman came to the show circuitously. As she blogs at her Kait Coaching website, she had suffered a panic attack in her late teens. “The feeling of panic was one of the worst things I had ever felt — all consuming, and debilitating,” she writes. More attacks occurred. She eventually was diagnosed, she says, “with selective IGA deficiency. Having IGA means that I am prone to any mucus related illnesses including Tonsillitis, Strep throat, Pneumonia, Bronchitis, etc. Each time I fell ill, I’d find myself in a mental spiral, questioning whether my feelings of sickness were stemming from anxiety or if I was actually sick. . . . After the diagnosis, I realized that it was both.”
This was the impetus to “fully take control of my life,” Herman continues, and she resolved to become a life coach. In September 2017, she received her certification from iPEC, a program accredited by the International Coach Federation, and then on Nov. 8, 2017, moved to Los Angeles’ Encino neighborhood. In addition to life coaching, Herman this February took on a part-time job as an airbrushing technician at a tanning salon.