(Originally published on Jan. 7, 2011 in the Pine-Richland Patch. Reprinted with permission.)
When Logan Rowland saw how much fun his younger sister, Sydney, was having at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Academy Summer Camp several years ago, he decided to give it a try himself. There he was cast in the lead role as The Beast in Beauty and the Beast. His parents were astonished when they heard him sing in that performance.
“Logan began singing and we just looked at each other and said wow,” recalls Shannon Rowland, Logan’s mother.
Logan enjoyed it so much that he stayed on for another year and began taking classes in musical theatre. He was part of the CLO’s pre-professional program for two years and even made it as a Pittsburgh CLO Mini Star, but something called Broadway got in the way.
As part of an open casting call, the Pine-Richland seventh grader auditioned for the part of Pugsley in the Broadway show, The Addams Family, several months ago. On the day after Labor Day, he was notified that he landed a role in the ensemble of the show and also was cast as the understudy for the Pugsley character.
“This was the first time I ever auditioned for Broadway so I was really surprised at myself when I heard I would be part of the cast,” says Logan. “I never thought I could be here in New York. It was an amazing, thrilling feeling. I was so happy.”
His first show was October 12 and he rehearses at least one to two times a week, while performing eight times a week.
Rowland’s parents were as excited for him as he was. The thought of having to move their son to New York City did not dissuade the family.
“As soon as they said he made it, it was a no-brainer,” says Shannon. “Absolutely, we would be there and we figured we’d work out the details later. Some may say that’s crazy but how can you not. We support Logan. This is what he wants to do and we can’t deny him this. He worked so hard and we’re making it work for his sake.”
Shannon moved to a New York City apartment with her son, while Logan’s three siblings, Connor, Sydney, and Teagan stayed in Pine Township with their father, James. When Shannon comes back to Pittsburgh, Logan’s grandfather, Ron, goes to New York to stay with him.
Logan appreciates his family’s support and sacrifices.
“My family inspires me,” he says. “They are all really supporting me. It’s fun to be here, but I do miss being back in Pittsburgh and seeing my family every day.”
While in New York, Logan has been taking dance classes and is continuing his education through the PA Cyber Charter School. Looking ahead, Logan says that he plans to pursue his acting aspirations.
“I like to act, sing, and dance. This is what I want to do as my career,” he says. “I have made a lot of friends by doing this and met many new people. That’s what I also like about performing. You never know, though, things could change, but for now, this is what I plan to do.”
He hopes to be like his acting role model, Johnny Depp.
“I think he’s a wonderful actor,” says Logan. “I really like him. He’s great and he’s been in all kinds of movies that I like, such as Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Logan remains humble about all of his success to date. He’s still a kid at heart and enjoys the same activities others his age enjoy such as watching anything on Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel. He also likes reading and playing video games such as Call of Duty, Madden ’11, and Harry Potter on his Xbox 360 Kinect.
His advice for other kids who have acting or musical talent is to follow their dreams.
“Never give up—you never know, anything could happen,” he says. “But you also have to be willing to make some sacrifices to do what you love.”