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Rising Star Kar Logan: “Don’t let anyone shame you for taking some time to rest. You really don’t need to be in a hurry. For what?”

Don’t let anyone shame you for taking some time to rest. You really don’t need to be in a hurry. For what? The movie industry isn’t going anywhere. If you’re not working with a deadline that someone else gave you, then chill out. You will get there.

As a part of my series about TV’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing actor, writer and filmmaker Kar Logan. A Maryland native, Kar moved to New York in pursuit of a career in television and film, and it was after only a few short roles doing background work where he decided to take control of his own destiny and create opportunities for himself. Having starred in the BET Digital Series “Situationships” which he also produced and wrote for, as well as its official spin-off “Wingmen,” Kar understands what it takes to make a name for yourself in an industry where its easy to get overlooked.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

My parents are from Sierra Leone but I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Clinton, MD. I was the oldest of four kids and grew up surrounded by culture left and right, from being in the city to being in an African household as a first gen kid. Although I came from a two-parent home, TV almost acted as a step-parent to me. I was in love with cartoons and movies so that’s all I really wanted to do: draw, write and act.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

One time in high school I was in art class goofing off with a friend of mine. At the time we were kind of just classmates and just knew each other cause we had classes together, but we weren’t the best of friends. We somehow ended up freestyling a dialogue parodying the cliché Loose-Cannon Cop with the Angry Commissioner. At that moment we realized while we had fun with it, we both actually wanted to act. From that point on we just started looking up how to get into it.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Where to begin? From getting scammed by janky playwrights to awkward encounters with celebrities at events…There was this one time that is really crucial for me because this moment propelled me in the direction of becoming a filmmaker. I was doing extra work (again) for a television show and I had to be part of a chain gang, only they put us in actual shackles. We had to run around getting chased and while I had fun on set I thought “nah, if this is all the work I’m going to get right now as a black actor, I need to come up with a better strategy.” So I decided to take a break from the extra work and start writing and producing my own content, which led to my first short film, a mystery thriller called “5KNIVES.”

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?

Well, it wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back at it now I can’t help but laugh at how naïve I was. There was a playwright who cast me for a stage play he was doing, but it turned out to be a scam. At this point, he had already gotten my money. I was pissed but when I would go over all the details I overlooked, boy was I stupid. They were like right in my face but I wanted to be Ray Charles to the signs. It’s funny though because out of it I made some cool friends, one of which I always include in my productions.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Besides a new horror script that I’m working on, I’m focused on “Wingmen,” the official spinoff to “Situationships” on The show (which can be found on YouTube) follows my character, Theo, and his four friends as they navigate the bar scene while searching for the answers to all of their life problems. It was an idea I came up with when a new bar had opened up down the street from my apartment and I thought about how my guys and I needed a hangout spot close by to just go get drunk and talk. Then I thought it would just be cool to have a show or film about black men having barbershop talk but at the bar. And that’s where “Wingmen” came from.

I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I can give you a laundry list of reasons why diversity is important in the realm of TV and film. If an aspect of television is to tell stories that reflect the world and society we live in, how is it an accurate depiction if everyone on screen is white? And this isn’t to erase anyone else’s experience — everyone has a story to tell that should be heard but we just haven’t seen that and if we have it’s been in small contained dosages.

1) People need to see themselves in what they adore. I wanted to act because I saw “Kenan & Kel” and “The Famous Jett Jackson.” It made me feel like I could do it too.

2) We need new stories from new filmmakers. We shouldn’t keep getting the same tired narratives from gatekeepers so we need to let everyone get a shot.

3) With new faces come new audiences. Like I said, people want to see themselves, and if “Crazy Rich Asians” or “Black Panther” doesn’t prove my point, then I don’t know what to tell you.

From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?

In my opinion, the call for diversity needs to be less performative and reactionary. It comes off as much more genuine if the industry does the research themselves to locate these new talents. And you’ll see that some of them aren’t even new. They’ve been directing and writing for years but they just weren’t under the radar because they weren’t “the norm.” Now it’s time to do the work and show people that you’re serious about finding new talent.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1) I wish someone told me how to watch out for scams. See story above.

2) I wish I knew how expensive it was going to be. Do you know how much GOOD headshots cost? Man, I had to get my roommates to take photos of me for a while until I could get my money together.

3) I wish someone told me how to approach celebrities. I’m a people person but when speaking to someone I just saw on TV I always get my questions jumbled up between asking for acting advice and telling them how much a decision they made in the show made me throw a remote.

4) I wish I had someone tell me how hard this was going to be as a black actor. I’m sure acting is difficult for everyone, but it’s different when the roles are limited and only want a certain “type” of actor. For instance, I’ll see a production casting for African American but then I’ll get disappointed when they specifically call for them to look “Ethnically Ambiguous.”

5) I wish someone told me to value sleep more. When I first started out I was hungry for anything and everything I could get into, to the point where I thought I can’t sleep if I want to get this script done or this movie done. But now, I’m way more willing to take a month or two off to relax and catch my breath.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Don’t let anyone shame you for taking some time to rest. You really don’t need to be in a hurry. For what? The movie industry isn’t going anywhere. If you’re not working with a deadline that someone else gave you, then chill out. You will get there.

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. :-)

I don’t know. I love kids and I want to see more and more of them creating, especially young black kids. Often our imagination light bulb can get dimmed but if I could do like a workshop for them where they have the free space to create and REALLY find a passion for it, that would be dope. Call it “Black Kids Write Now” or something.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I owe so much of where I’m at to so many people; from close friends to family. From my girlfriend who always supports my decisions and collaborates with me, to my cousin who gave me a place to stay when I jumped on the Megabus to NY, to my cast and crew who helped me bring my scripts to life. I appreciate them all.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

A lesson my dad taught me that still sticks with me is that “everyone is going to want a piece of the pie when they weren’t in the kitchen helping you.” It’s relevant because you come across so many people that want to use anything they can to take credit for what you did or shoehorn their way into something you sweated to make. It happens a lot.

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. :-)

I thought about this, and I have to go with Ryan Coogler. I’ve become a fan of him since watching “Fruitvale Station” and I’m really into his style and the way he moves in the industry. I’m sure we’d throw great ideas around over lunch.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can follow me on @karlogan_ on Twitter and @karlogan on Instagram!

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!



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