Humans of Harker: Keep calm, and the show must go on

Logan Frank performs from behind the scenes

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Humans of Harker: Keep calm, and the show must go on

"Just keep going. Because when you make mistakes, or when it's high pressure, you make it and then just keep going," Logan Frank (12) said.

Kathy Fang

"Just keep going. Because when you make mistakes, or when it's high pressure, you make it and then just keep going," Logan Frank (12) said.

Kathy Fang

Kathy Fang

"Just keep going. Because when you make mistakes, or when it's high pressure, you make it and then just keep going," Logan Frank (12) said.

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As the actors onstage gather for their final performance, the applause of the audience filling the silence of the theater, Logan Frank (12) leans back in his chair, in the shadows of the stage lights, and smiles. Another show well done—another night of cues smoothly run.

Logan is perhaps best known for his work in a field that is the most easily missed in a performance: technical theater. He was first inspired to take a tech theater class by his friend since seventh grade Zachary Wong (12) in his sophomore year, and from there, his career in high school tech theater took off.

“It’s cool, learning all about the different parts of the theater and how you could kind of help out in the background,” he said, in his trademark easygoing manner.

Logan had been acquainted with the world of performing arts before, having once performed in a middle school musical, but only in his sophomore year did he realize a true passion for the theater—a passion not for performance but for the mechanics of putting on a show. He especially enjoys the office of stage manager, which has become his focus both in his tech theater Certificate and in his work with tech as a whole.

As stage manager, Logan is responsible for helping the director of a show run the performances and, on the night of the shows, for becoming “the director after the director leaves.”

“It’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of pressure sometimes, but I feel like it’s more rewarding than other jobs at the end of the day, because all that responsibility and pressure—it feels like you’re the one making sure everyone’s doing the right job to make sure the show goes right,” he said.

Even under the pressure of running a show, Logan keeps his calm and is able to resolve the problem at hand, no matter the circumstances.

“One of the great things about stage management and working with a group of people is being flexible to respond to things that come up without freaking out about them,” technical theater teacher and production manager Brian Larsen said. “Logan doesn’t freak out that I’ve seen. That doesn’t mean he’s incapable of it, but he certainly hasn’t jumped into something like, ‘Ahhh we’re all doomed!’”

Part of the secret to Logan’s success is his trust in his peers to support and help him, and by collaborating with fellow student technicians, Logan has discovered the importance of being both friend and leader.

“You’ve got to teach them, and you’ve got to almost be like a boss, but you can’t be a too mean boss because then they’ll quit. They have no obligation to do it,” he said. “[So I’ve learned to] rely on others, trust myself and also trust other people to do their job right.”

Logan’s leadership skills shine through especially in his work as stage manager, when he is helping underclassmen learn the ropes backstage, as Zachary has noted.

“He’s a great mentor for the underclassmen,” Zachary said. “I think the deck crew and whoever’s working under the stage manager are really lucky because he’s one of the seniors who respects underclassmen… He makes things fun, which is really nice.”

Logan has recently stepped back onstage for this year’s dance show, and as a result of his unique perspective both in the spotlight and behind the scenes, he has learned how to deal with two different types of pressure in two different, though still interconnected, ways.

“It’s a different type of pressure behind the scenes—the pressure like you’ve got to make sure that the people are prepared to succeed. If you’re in the show, you’ve got to make sure you are succeeding,” he said. “One of them is more of a background type of pressure, and one’s like a revealing pressure—like the pressure of performing well in front of other people versus the pressure of preparing to make sure other people succeed.”

In both situations, Logan aims to keep his classic chill demeanor in order to combat the pressure of the moment.

“Just keep going,” he said. “Because when you make mistakes, or when it’s high pressure, you make it and then just keep going.”

Looking ahead, Logan hopes to keep teching shows, either by pursuing a minor or a part time job. in college. Even if technical theater doesn’t become his primary career, Logan is glad to have enjoyed the experience, as he lives with the simple motto of doing things “just for fun.”

“My main focus this year in trying new things was to make sure I don’t have any regrets… I’d rather do something and regret it than not doing it and regret it,” he said. “Personally, I try to do sports or tech theater—everything—just for my personal amusement and enjoyment. It’s fun to make friends and try something new.”

At the end of the day, Logan appreciates the thrill and success that comes with a show well-run or a year well-spent.

“I don’t know if it’s the feeling of success at the end, or the feeling of relief when it’s over, but that feeling at the end of a show, like everything went to plan, everything worked out at the end—it always feels good,” Logan said. “It’s like an accomplishment—like ‘I did this, and I’m proud of that.’”