Kevin Ray Johnson
I would like you to meet the oh so talented Eben K. Logan. Originally from Maryland, Eben is currently starring as Miss Honey in Matilda at The Drury Lane Theatre in Illinois. Some of her credits include the 2015 National Tour of Memphis, Sweet Charity at The Marriot Theatre, Ragtime and A Chrismas Carol at Ford’s Theatre in DC, and Jelly’s Last Jam at Signature Theatre in Virginia just to name a few. I first met Eben well over ten years ago while attending Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. Every time Eben hits the stage she truly leaves her mark and it is something you will never forget. It was so great to catch up with an old friend and a fantastic artist!
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a performer?
I was 23-24, somewhere in there and I'd given up theater. And my best friend pulled me out of super early retirement to do a production of Ragtime. And I knew I'd never stop again.
Where did you study? Are there any mentors that truly helped make you the performer you are today?
I briefly went to U arts for a year. So technically there, I guess? But besides that to be honest I really haven't had much in the way of formal training. My high school acting teacher, Mrs. Spring, set the foundation for sure. She taught us Uta Hagen and Stanislavski, acting 101, and of all my teachers, she taught me to tell the truth and how to fully invest in that. Since then, I feel like I've been mentored by the game. I watch, a lot, and I study humans and how they interact with each other and the world. Every time I see another show, every time I see anyone taking part in this medium whether on stage, on television, in film, I'm dissecting what they're doing and how they're doing it. And then I twist it to fit what I do and who I am as a performer if I find it useful. It's probably bad advice.
Congratulations on Matilda at Drury Lane! Do you have any favorite moments in the show?
Every moment, to me the show is the moment. It's always an opportunity, always a gift. I love this job.
Are there any shows that you have done in your career that will always be near and dear to your heart?
Right now I'm thinking of the shows that have made me see that I can do and be more than I thought. HAIR was the show where I finally could use my voice unimpeded by doubt and a lack of self-confidence that I'd carried for years. American Idiot was when I learned I was badass and strong as hell, even though off the stage I sometimes felt the exact opposite. Jelly's Last Jam, because I played on of the Hunnies who sing a lot but witness most of the show silently, taught me how much of an impact you can make just utilizing stillness on stage, and the power of your eyes, how much you can relate with a look. This show, among other wonderful things, is a constant lesson on how not to be a lazy soprano, but also how to be emotionally present and available 150% of the time. I get something from every show I do.
What advice would you give young performers who want a career in this business?
Do go to school. Be okay with what you can and can't do. Come to terms with your abilities, trust them and cultivate them even if they lead you into a different position in the business. Maybe you'd change the world as a director, you know. A lot of people falter in this business because they want to be something that their talent does not lend them towards. They're so busy trying to be something else that they completely disregard who they are. I've watched other people do this, and I've done it myself. I went a long time wanting to be the type of singer that could just throw intricate runs and riffs into whatever I was singing. But that's not who I am as a vocalist, and that led me to disregard what I was actually good at. I'll never be the best singer in the room, but I do know that I can pull on your heartstrings with a song like most people can't. I can make you really feel something. That's my thing, that's something I do well. And it's good, because I fit in my own separate lane and it has my name on it. Don't try to be the straight man, if your gift is making people laugh. Be good with what you got, the uniqueness that is you. Do you, boo!
Matilda at The Drury Lane Theatre is currently running until June 23rd. To learn more about Eben’s current show make sure you visit – www.drurylanetheatre.com