How Logan Clark of The Casting Collective Is Helping To Make the Entertainment Industry More Diverse and Representative
Have fun! One of the best things about what we do is that it’s entertainment. It’s pop culture. While the work is tough and there are some really challenging days, try to see the fun in everything. It is easy to become clouded by the challenges. Always look at the light at the end of the tunnel as a celebratory moment, as opposed to an oncoming train.
As a part of my series about leaders helping to make the entertainment industry more diverse and representative, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Logan Clark.
Logan Clark, a 13-year veteran in the television industry, created the Casting Collective to bring like-minded professionals together in a collaborative and valued working environment that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. The Casting Collective works to curate a specific group of professionals to cast a variety of unique shows, projects, and specials.
Logan has worked on TV juggernauts from “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars” to groundbreaking television such as HBO Max’s “Legendary,” a series praised for being the first reality competition show to feature the underground Ballroom scene and showcasing the largest Black + Transgender cast ever on television. In addition, with a background in music, Logan co-executive produces many major network TV hits such as all three seasons of “I Can See Your Voice,” as well as “Game of Talents” with Wayne Brady and “Alter Ego,” the world’s first avatar singing competition. The Casting Collective’s upcoming projects include FOX’s “We are Family” with Jamie and Corinne Foxx, as well as Kristen Stewart’s LGBTQIA+ ghost hunting show.
Logan’s additional casting credits include “The Masked Singer” and “Name That Tune” for FOX, “Barmageddon” for USA Network, “Best in Snow” for Disney+, as well as projects for Westbrook Media, Fremantle North America, Lifetime and Scout Productions. He has also served on the talent team for the 70th Annual Golden Globes, the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started off my career working with Suzanne Bender in the talent department on shows like American Idol and Dancing With The Stars. I would support her in talent bookings for a ton of unscripted shows and specials. It was on Showtime at the Apollo for FOX that I was offered a role in casting, and I loved it! I’ve always been a huge people person, so the idea that I was going to go out into the wild and find people that wanted to be on TV and who wanted their dreams to come true, was quite thrilling! I got bit by the casting bug and the rest was history.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
One of the most interesting things that has happened to me since I started my career was the ability to use my background in music and my love of finding talent. I grew up in a very musical household where my father was a choir director and a music teacher. The ability to use my skills and passion for music, while finding singers and performers from across the country and around the world, has been one of the most filling and interesting parts about my career.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Early on in my career, I had the opportunity to welcome the cast of STOMP to perform for Showtime at the Apollo. It was 6 AM and I was trying to be bubbly and welcoming and make sure people felt a little bit of energy as it was so early in the day. I remember saying to everybody, “Good morning and welcome! We’re so excited for you to bring in the noise and bring in the funk!” What I didn’t realize is that Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk is a direct competitor of STOMP on Broadway. So, I learned that sometimes I need to just let the morning be the morning and not try to be the comedic relief. At that moment, I had to put my foot in my mouth a bit. It was; however, such a funny moment and everybody had a laugh about it. It was one of those moments that was just a blip in time, but just always making sure you know what you’re talking about.
Ok, thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our discussion. Can you describe how you are helping to make popular culture more representative of the US population?
You know, that’s a really interesting question and something that’s so incredibly important to me and my entire team at The Casting Collective. Representation is so important especially in today’s climate. Making sure that we are representing not only what the show’s creative is in front of the camera, but also behind the scenes. We make sure to build a team that is from all walks of life so that way we can truly find incredible individuals from everywhere and leave no stone left unturned. One of the reasons I really enjoyed pivoting from talent booking to casting is that we are able to represent the mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, and cousins from communities all across the country. It is truly our honor to find talented individuals and make their dreams come true, as cheesy as that sounds. It is something that is so rewarding not only to me but to our entire team.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by the work you are doing?
One individual in particular whose life was impacted by what we do is one of the performers from Legendary season one. His story and his journey is unlike anyone that I have ever met. While I’m going to omit his name, he ended up being somebody that I am still in awe of and have limitless respect for. He really embraced the entire experience of being on the show. He is now killing it in everything he does and we are so proud that we were able to offer him this opportunity. We are even more proud that he took this opportunity and ran with it and made it his own. That’s something that I talk to talent about all the time. This is an opportunity on a television show, but how are you going to take it beyond the ending credits? This individual did that and I get goosebumps thinking about it still. His life has completely changed.
As an insider, this might be obvious to you, but I think it’s instructive to articulate this for the public who might not have the same inside knowledge. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why it’s really important to have diversity represented in Entertainment and its potential effects on our culture?
I think it’s very important for us to have diversity represented for many reasons. It is about that little kid watching TV saying, “wow that person looks like me!” Even when it comes to different types of performers, we want young people across the country to be able to turn on their televisions and say, “I want to be a part of that. I want to find that community in my hometown.” It’s also about opening the eyes of viewers across the country and around the world. It’s about showing the authentic community, whether it’s a culture, subculture, etc., in its purest and most authentic form. Diversity means everything to myself and everyone at The Casting Collective.
Can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do to help address the root of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?
This is a really tricky one but one topic I always discuss with potential contestants is: putting yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to put an email address in your bio on Instagram or a contact number so that producers can find you. Producers are always looking for talent. Making it turnkey so that anyone can pick up the phone and say, “Hey, we want to book you for this job!” It’s so incredibly important. I also look at my peers and ask, “how are we challenging ourselves to put our finger on the pulse of every community out there for representation?” Going to showcases, going to open mics, going to comedy nights, widening our networks as much as possible so we can find talent.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
For myself, Leadership means not only helping the team move forward, but also understanding how we can get the job done. Not just throwing things into the wind, but truly understanding each person’s job function. From there, I help and guide in the decision making. One of the best qualities, I think, about The Casting Collective is that we embrace everybody and truly want producers of all walks of life to come in and contribute at the highest potential. We love to see people develop new ways of doing things and innovative ideas. We also want to have answers for any questions that may come up. For me, it’s about rolling up the sleeves and doing the work. I truly love being a part of it all with the teams. It is so rewarding to cross the finish line together!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why?
Five things I wish someone told me when I first started:
One — Embrace the sweet moments! Being able to pick up the phone and make the call that someone has booked a job is the most rewarding part of this industry. It is thrilling and it fuels me daily!
Two — Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s OK! I love to make people happy. We are in the business of people. It makes me happy to know when producers and networks are happy with the job that we’ve done. There are going to be people that feel a different type of way about you or the work you’ve produced. It is about understanding that not every person is going to like you. In the words of my mother, “Kill ’em with kindness!”
Three — The hours are long, but the friendships are forever! I have met some of my best friends working in this industry. If it wasn’t for taking a job or making a jump, I might not have ever met them. I believe that while the work is always going to be a challenge, there is always a possibility that you’re going to meet your best friend, and that can be quite exciting!
Four — Be the best at everything you do! Whether it’s making copies, getting coffee, driving someone to the airport, or creating a pitch that’s going in front of a network, stop at nothing to impress. Every single detail matters. The more you embrace trying to outshine yourself, the more you’re going to stick out in the crowd.
Five — Have fun! One of the best things about what we do is that it’s entertainment. It’s pop culture. While the work is tough and there are some really challenging days, try to see the fun in everything. It is easy to become clouded by the challenges. Always look at the light at the end of the tunnel as a celebratory moment, as opposed to an oncoming train.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Gosh, this question has so much gravity! You never know what you say and what you do, and how it can affect or inspire somebody. I try to lead with my heart and with kindness and the power of “thank you.” One of our founding principles at The Casting Collective is the power of “thank you.” The appreciation shown to staff and colleagues. The appreciation towards producers and networks for bringing us onto this show or project. Appreciating the value that someone brings to the table is everything.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
There are so many lessons I have yet to learn, and so many lessons I have already learned. I do think that it’s a combination of two things I have already mentioned. It is the power of appreciation and the power of “thank you.” It aso knowing that not everyone is going to like you. It can be liberating realizing that you can go in and do the best job you can do, be the nicest person you can be, and some people just won’t connect with you. And that’s OK! As long as you can rest your head on the pillow at night and know you did the best you can while knowing you were a kind, authentic, and hard-working individual. What more do you need?
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
This is a huge one! There are so many people that come to mind. One person that has brought in an enormous amount of positive change in recent pop-culture and recent history has been Michelle Obama. She is one of the most inspiring and thoughtful people and is such a great example of a human being. She is real and authentic. I feel like if we all took a page out of Michelle Obama’s book, what a wonderful world this could be!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
If you’d like to follow me, you can follow me at @Logan2tall or at @TheCastingCollectiveLA. While you’re at it, check out our website at www.thecastingcollectivela.com
Thank you so much for the fun opportunity! It was great chatting with you!
How Logan Clark of The Casting Collective Is Helping To Make the Entertainment Industry More… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.