In a prime example of more positive change for queer performers in television, Hulu’s new show “Living for the Dead” boasts not only a spectacular all LGBTQ + cast and executive producer (Oscar nominee Kirsten Stewart), but the show’s casting was implemented by out, proud and handsome casting director, Logan Clark.
Logan recently sat down with me for an exclusive conversation regarding his life’s work as a champion of LGBTQ+ representation in media. A 13-year veteran in the television industry, he created the Casting Collective, an agency with a mission to bring like-minded professionals together in a collaborative and valued working environment that celebrates diversity and inclusivity.
Logan has an impressive resume in the television industry, having worked on popular shows like “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars.” He also played a significant role in the groundbreaking series “Legendary,” which received praise for being the first reality competition show to showcase the underground Ballroom scene and feature a diverse cast of Black and Transgender individuals.
Additional credits include other successful network TV hits such as “I Can See Your Voice,” “Game of Talents,” and the unique “Alter Ego,” the world’s first singing competition with avatar performers. The Casting Collective has exciting upcoming projects such as “We Are Family” on FOX, featuring Jamie and Corinne Foxx, and “Living for the Dead.”
In my interview with Logan, as I learned more about his commitment to diversity, it was easy to see why he’s become one of the giants of the casting world. And that’s not a pun — this big bearded hunk stands at a whopping 6 feet 8 inches tall. Phew!
Casting Collective works to curate a specific group of professionals to cast various unique shows, projects, and specials. And judging by the entertaining trailer of “Living for the Dead,” Logan has a solid grasp on how to find the most talented cast-mates best suited for a project.
Interview with Logan Clark:
CA: Thanks for joining me, Logan! So first, I want to tell you, from the standpoint of being a performer myself, it’s still fascinating that today, out-performers are being cast in roles at all because I come from an earlier time in New York City where performers dared not tell anyone they were part of the LGBTQ community.
So, for you now, with this shift in the industry, what’s it like to work in media with a mission to proudly make more opportunities for queer-identifying people?
LC: It’s such an important conversation for me because, as a proud gay man, I never really found my place early on within the LGBT community. I didn’t really connect with one subgroup or subculture more than the other. So it kind of was like in this middle ground. And it wasn’t really until I received the call to work on Legendary —Season One. As the little gay boy who grew up in Pennsylvania, working on Legendary was when I felt I finally found my place within the LGBT community.
And I was so honored, lucky, and privileged to go out into the marketplace, have conversations with these incredible, incredible humans from across the country and around the globe, and help tell their stories to provide the pathway to global recognition.
Legendary was such an important show for so many reasons. It was one of the largest black casts ever on television and the largest trans cast. But also it was about more than just the competition for the participants. It was about what happened after the end credits. For example, it’s about the ‘Honey Balenciagas’ who went on tour with Beyonce. Or the Ballroom House of Marc Jacobs, becoming globally recognized through campaigns and commercials. The list goes on and on and even into the mainstream with Nike and Adidas commercials. We’re seeing ads from Macy’s … of, you know, these performers all just being who they authentically are.
CA: Wow, that’s amazing. So, would you say it’s the most rewarding show you’ve done?
LC: Yes, it was probably the most rewarding show I’ve ever done to date. Diversity, recognition, and all of those things are so important to me within that space because, being that small gay kid — I mean, well, I wasn’t small. I’m actually six foot eight.
CA: Wait, whaaat? You’re how tall?
LC: (Laughs) Yup! I’m six foot eight.
CA: C’mon! I mean, that’s not fair. I’m five foot nine on a good day — you got ALL the height! I can reach 6 feet though when I blow out this Afro! But damn! Okay, go ahead (laughs).
LC: Ha! Well, I know what it’s like being from a small town and seeing no representation of who I was on TV for a long time. We were fortunate enough to be a middle-class family who went on vacations once a year, and we’d go to Disneyland or Disney World. But we didn’t grow up with cable. We only had 5 TV stations at home.
But when we would go on vacation, I’d have cable access — and it was on! So, I remember one year we were watching The Real World -Season 9, which was in New Orleans. And that was when the cast member Danny was on, and his partner was in the military, so they blurred out his face because of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I remember watching that as an eight, nine, ten-year-old kid and thinking, that’s who I am.
CA: Well, speaking of cable — it’s a great segue to your new show, on which, of course, Kristen Stewart is the executive producer.
LC: Yes, I think the cat’s out of the bag now by way of the trailer, but she also narrates the piece. It’s a fun show. She’s an incredible collaborator.
CA: It’s nice to see her in something more quirky like this new series because she’s taken on some weighty roles. So now this is like her letting her hair down finally for something fun.
LC: 100%! Living for the Dead is premiering Wednesday, October 18th, on Hulu as part of their Halloween rollout. So, it’s the masterminds behind Queer Eye; it’s Kristen Stewart, and five incredibly talented, gifted individuals from across the country, all with a unique skill that will help in the journey of not only knocking on the door of those that are no longer with us. But also helping to heal those still around and dealing with loss and the things that may still be going bump in the night.
I think this is the kind of show that you pour a glass of whatever your favorite thing to drink is, and you sit around, and you’re going to laugh 100%, you’re going to be scared because there are some real spooky things that they get into.
CA: And so they are, like, ghost hunters? But “Ghost Hunties?”
LC: (Laughs) Yes, Ghost Hunties! So it’s a medium, a witch, a paranormal researcher, a tarot card reader, and a researcher, and every week, they have an assignment to figure out and find some resolution for the entity that might be on the other side — and the person that’s with us still here on earth.
CA: Sounds like a lot of scary fun. I’ll definitely tune in. Thanks so much for joining me, Logan!
LC: Thank you, Corey!
Watch the trailer of Living for the Dead and stream it on Hulu.