Babes Speak: Kimberly Logan

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Kim (right) with Gillian Humiston in The Double, 2011

Your name?
Where are you from? 
Mount Morris, MI, near Flint
What’s something people would never guess about you from looking at you?
I was obsessed with the “Have a nice day” smiley face growing up, and I still have many decorating my home.  What can I say, they make me smile!
What made you decide to pursue theatre?
I see theatre as a calling.  I’m an extremely empathetic person. Watching movies where someone got shot in the knee would cause me to grab my own knee in phantom pain.  Seeing live theatre, hearing the cracks in someone’s voice when their emotion became overwhelming would move me to instant tears.  The idea that as an actor, I could embody another person’s story, and share it in such a way that might make the audience see the world a little differently felt like the ultimate gift and challenge.  Margaret Wheatley says: “You can’t hate someone whose story you know. You don’t have to like the story, or even the person telling you their story. But listening creates a relationship. We move closer to one another.” I believe theatre is the perfect conduit for this storytelling and experiencing. The idea of bringing humanity closer together (especially in our current state of divisiveness) is truly appealing to my soul!
What drew you to stage combat?

I grew up playing team sports. I was on the baseball team, the softball team, flag football, volleyball, basketball, swimming and track.  Teamwork appeals to me and was a source of learning about how to work together (even with people I didn’t necessarily like personally) and also how to have each other’s back.  I’d also always wanted to be a dancer (music makes me super happy!) but with all the sports, I didn’t have the time. When I discovered stage combat in my late teens, and then was more immersed in it for my 1-year drama course in London, I was reminded of the sense of team-work I’d had doing sports and also got exposed to some fancy footwork that felt like dance choreography.  Combine that with character work, and I find it to be the single most difficult, challenging, and fun thing to do on stage!

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Kim (left) with Megan Schemmel in Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride, 2012

What’s your favorite weapon?
Playing with machetes for Julius Caesar was pretty spectacular.
What drew you to Babes With Blades?
Pretty much the fact that I got to utilize my stage combat skills on a regular basis.  When I moved to Chicago, I knew instantly that I wanted to work with them. I took a couple of workshops (Fighting with Found Objects and Gender Swap are the two I remember most), saw several productions, and auditioned 3 times before being offered the role of Ismene in “The Last Daughter of Oedipus“.  When I learned more about the mission to create more roles for women in theatre, especially fighting roles, I was hooked and joined the ensemble on my second production with them (which was also a world premiere by a female playwright – I knew they were my kind of theatre artists!).
Who is your role model (and why)?
This one’s tough – I tend to become obsessed with different parts of people’s lives and careers, and as I change in my own life, that obsession shifts to other people.  My Mom has always been a major influence in my life and a hero for a multitude of reasons.  I grew up watching her do her absolute best in some of the absolute worst circumstances.  She finally graduated college the year before I graduated high school and I had never been more proud of anyone in my life.  The older I get, the more I realize just exactly how young she was when she was going through some of those bad times.  I’m honestly not sure I could have handled it, but she did.
In terms of profession, I’ve recently become obsessed with Judy Greer.  I read her autobiography and discovered so many quirky things that I felt instantly that if I ever met her, we’d be best friends.  Her down-to-earth, Midwestern attitude (she was also born and raised in MI) reflects my goals in life and career.  She works constantly in voice over, movies, and television.  But you can tell she’s not seeking the limelight or the star glitz.  She’s just doing good work, consistently.  I admire that beyond words.
Mopping up the carnage after BWB's Titus Andronicus, 2015

Mopping up the carnage after BWBTC’s Titus Andronicus, 2015

What women’s issue is most important to you?
I’m honestly appalled by the issues surrounding women’s healthcare in this country.  The idea that someone else’s religious beliefs can in any way influence what I’m legally allowed (and in some cases medically encouraged) to do with my own body is revolting to me.  That, of course, leads to the ‘women’s issue’ of under-representation in government, religious organizations, and pretty much all the professions anyone talks about – which is its own issue and also very important to me!
What is one small thing people can do to effect change in their community in regards to this issue?
I donate to Planned Parenthood on a regular basis and I try to ensure that all the candidates I vote for are clear on their standing in regards to healthcare access for women.  I’ve also been considering volunteering at my local Planned Parenthood clinic – it’s about a 10-minute walk away, and one of these days I’m going to stop in and say “What can I do to help?”  Of course, the less cynical part of me hopes that by continuing to grow the theatrical canon of women’s stories, the ‘under-representation’ issue will begin to even out, thus creating more respect for women in general!

**Be sure to see Kimberly live in action as Hedwige Sourile in our upcoming production of 180 Degree Rule**
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