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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Representation matters. This week’s guest is dedicated to making representation a reality in media and the arts. With 13 years of television industry experience, Logan Clark created the Casting Collective, a casting agency that brings together like-minded individuals and celebrates inclusivity and diversity.
Logan has worked with TV shows like “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and “Legendary,” the last of which has been praised for featuring the largest Black and transgender cast on television. Check out the episode to learn more about Clark’s amazing work and how you can prioritize authentic representation, too.
advocating for others
Growing up as a gay teen, Clark experienced the isolation of not seeing representation of people like him in entertainment. Clark has made it his mission to help others find the representation that is sadly elusive for so many minorities.
In his casting work, authenticity takes pride of place. He and his team talk to people and listen to their stories as they look for skills and qualities that producers and networks don’t see and work on behalf of talent. “[W]hen it comes to leadership and running teams, as a casting director, my number one job at the end of the day is to be the advocate for talent [and] the person in the room. [...] I have to be the one that says [in these creative conversations], ‘No, respectfully, this person deserves this opportunity,’ and to continue to fight and fight and fight.”
For Clark, it comes down to this: “[A]s a white man, I know the position that I'm in, and I want to use that to open every single door I can for people.”
what authentic representation truly means
Clark is careful not to approach diversity and inclusivity from the perspective of just “checking boxes.” The team focuses on getting to know their talent so that they can fill roles with the right people. “[Y]es, I wanna make sure that there's representation for everybody, but we're not just putting on people to put people on.”
“For me, representation is about [...] giving the audience true representation of people that they connect with. And if you don't have the connection, the representation doesn't matter. [P]utting somebody on that is really owning and killing and slaying what they do, that's representation in its best way.” For Clark, representation has to have depth, purpose, and meaning.
"Living for the dead" and authentic casting
Clark and his team put these values into practice with one of their latest projects: casting for Kristen Stewart’s “Living for the Dead,” streaming on Hulu. A paranormal reality series, the show follows a group of LGBTQ+ paranormal experts who travel the country and help the living by helping the dead. Clark praises the show for how the experts help heal others not only from the “things that go bump in the night” but also from loss.
Starting from a pool of 2,000+ people, Clark and his team narrowed the group down to 100 people that they met in person, where Clark put his “superpower” to work: “walk[ing] into a room and see[ing] kind of the person's soul in five minutes.” In the end, Clark knows they found the best of the best. “They are incredible characters, extremely gifted in what they do.”
Watch or listen to the episode to learn more about Clark’s dedication to representation and the amazing projects he’s worked on. And if you haven’t already filled your Halloween season with “Living for the Dead” episodes, keep the spooky vibes going this fall by watching on Hulu!
NSLS is dedicated to the values of diversity and inclusivity, and we’ve talked to many leaders who pursue and promote the same values. Check out another pioneer fighting for LGBTQ+ rights and representation.
Listen to this episode to learn about...
- [1:26] Clark’s mission and dedication to increasing representation in casting
- [6:24] Clark’s role and its impact on the casting process
- [9:42] “Living for the Dead,” the Kristen Stewart-produced paranormal reality show
- [18:36] Increasing representation of the LGBTQ+ population in media
- [20:40] Avoiding stereotypes when casting
Watch the Members Only episode to hear Clark’s advice on being an authentic champion for diversity and inclusivity in your work.