Editor – Justin Howard @Jthnomad
Talent – Logan Browning @Loganlaurice
Photographer – Kyle @Kylesonthemove
Style – Nyvia Weathersby @nwstylist
Make Up – Erik Torpe @Eriktorppe
Hair – Rene Cortez @Hairbyrenecortez
Location – @Sofitellosangeles
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
Logan Browning, this is a girl who gets around. In the last few years, she’s portrayed diverse roles from Jelena Howard, the villainous diva on VH1’s hit series Hit The Floor, to Zora, a super hero on the Playstation Networks series Powers. Now she has taken on the role of a biracial black activist on the critically acclaimed Netflix series Dear White People. One wonders when she has time to breathe, let alone prepare for these challenging roles. In this editorial, we wanted to capture Logan just being herself and having fun. So to do that, we literally took her to the rooftops of Hollywood, above all the glitz and the glam to find the real ‘Logan’. Enjoy!
Logan Browning, Real Talk
Justin Howard : What is a role that you want to lend your voice to that you haven’t done yet?
Logan Browning : I have to think about that honestly. I would love to do a biopic on someone’s life. There is so much responsibility in portraying the true essence and character of a living or once-living person. Sade and Eartha Kitt are two queens who come to mind when I think of non-fiction stories I would love having a hand in bringing to screen.
Justin Howard : How do you prepare for a role?
Logan Browning : That depends on the role. For the show, Hit The Floor, I had to be a dancer and I wasn’t. So for eight months I went to The Edge in Los Angeles where I trained every day in ballet and jazz. While I was getting ready physically I was also getting ready mentally, understanding what it means to be a dancer. To understand the culture and the business were just as important as the technique training. I do a lot of preparing by just being present and talking with people. I listen a lot and absorb the wisdom and suggestions of others. The process of preparing for a role is different for each one, but what is universal when it comes to my prep is doing my research.
Justin Howard : What is the role that is closest to your heart?
Logan Browning : I think whichever role I am currently playing holds that title. When I am living with that character I am loving them just as much as I am loving me.
Justin Howard : Let’s talk about you as the “Yes, Girl.” You mentioned earlier one of the secrets to your success, was that you always say yes. What does that really mean?
Logan Browning : I like to say yes… But I don’t always say yes. Let’s put that out there and explain. I say ‘Yes’ to opportunity and to life. ‘Yes’ is a state of positivity. However, I am also very comfortable saying “No” because when I say ‘No’, I am saying ‘Yes’. Meaning, I am saying ‘Yes’ to my worth, my well-being, and my best possible artistic self. When the ‘Yes’ is to a role, it is usually because it is something new and outside of my comfort zone and within my moral parameters.
Justin Howard : That is something I don’t hear very often in LA, that word morality. From what you have shared, it sounds like your parents were big in forming your moral sense. How would you describe that?
Logan Browning : I have amazing parents. Growing up, they were my best role models: good people, compassionate, loving, hard working individuals. I am striving to be like them and to exceed their expectations. Because they are so…
Justin Howard : Larger than life?
Logan Browning : Yes! Because I started my career at 14, my parents had to be on set with me. They taught me to be kind to everyone. It was of great importance that I treated everyone with respect regardless of what they looked like, where they were from, or what job title they held, and to have fun! People go to work sometimes dreading it. Only really having fun once they leave. Think about how much of your life you spend working! It needs to be enjoyable. To be enjoyable, you only have to worry about three things: being kind, respectful, and having fun!
Justin Howard : Let’s talk about something you have created on your own, aka your social media presence. How did you do it?
Logan Browning : I didn’t. I mean I did, but it is more so the people who are following me who built my social media. I started my Instagram when everyone else did years ago when it was new. I just posted what I wanted to, and it was fun. As it became more popular, more people started following me–especially my fans. It wasn’t just my friends and family any more. I think people like my Instagram because I’m candid a lot of the time. I want people to see me as a human, not a celebrity. I am grateful to have the followers I do because they are a part of my growing platform to try to make a positive difference and share love in this world. I try to be as kind as I can. I don’t answer a lot of people on Instagram because…
Justin Howard : Don’t DM her cause girlfriend won’t reply!
Logan Browning : I appreciate everyone who comments and likes. Every now and again I will reply. But I have to be careful because sometimes people take advantage. You can go from being a person into being a product. I have to find and maintain a balance of being personable and staying true to myself. What I like to do with my social, is if someone says something awful about anyone on my page, I block and delete them like nobody’s business. I don’t need that negative energy in my space. I wouldn’t have the fans I have now if I didn’t set that barrier up. When you come to my page, I want to you feel welcomed. You don’t need to see trolls. Just be nice to everyone.
Justin Howard : Let’s talk about your new project Netflix’s “Dear White People…
Logan Browning : I am super excited to share it with the world. It was a journey to bring this show to life. What people don’t realize is that when you are filming a series, you are onset for twelve hours at a time, in the dark, eating crap and being exhausted. It isn’t a natural way of being. You really have to work at keeping your body healthy because it is such an abnormal routine. The month before we started filming I worked at getting myself into a routine that would keep me healthy.
Justin Howard : What is the series about?
Logan Browning : It is a social satire set on a fictional Ivy League campus called Winchester University. It follows a group of young African American students navigating racial tensions on campus while discovering their own identities and defining their intersections as a part of them rather than being stereotyped. I play the revolutionary Samantha White who has a radio show entitled ‘Dear White People’ which gives the series it’s title.
Justin Howard : So you are the star?
Logan Browning : The show is an ensemble piece. I would say I am the glue connecting all the characters, but it is a multi-protagonist show so everyone really gets to be the star. The great thing about this format is the storylines really feel cinematic and you get to live with each character more than you would in a series with a solitary protagonist. It is a liberal look at the class, gender and race struggle of a marginalized group in society.
Justin Howard : What excited you about playing this role?
Logan Browning : Sam is the quintessential voice of so many young revolutionaries. I love having the opportunity to be a part of the 21st century activism time capsule. Sam is also a young woman who struggles with her own identity. Playing someone who is so sure about her voice, and internally stuck between worlds is a fascinating world I want to explore.
Justin Howard : Time for the silly questions! Favorite cocktail?
Logan Browning : Honestly? I went from being a whiskey girl to being a vodka girl. I am in my vodka stage. I don’t like sugary drinks and my mom doesn’t like them either. She is always telling me, “Liquor should be enjoyed on its own.” Keep it simple!
Justin Howard : Favorite travel experience?
Logan Browning : I became obsessed with this artist Ben Howard and I got these Coachella tickets. It just happened that Ben Howard and Two Chainz were performing at the same time but on different stages. All my friends were like “Who is Ben Howard?” They all wanted to see Two Chainz and I like Two Chainz as well so off we went to see him perform. But I ended up heading out early as I was a little upset that I didn’t get to see Ben Howard perform. So I looked up his tour dates, and it turned out he was performing on my birthday. In that moment I totally committed myself to going to see him perform. Turns out he was at a festival called the “RockNess Festival,” which is literally on the Lock Ness in Scotland. So I ended up chasing this artist to Scotland with my best friend on my birthday to see him perform. It was the best time, I got to see him perform in another country and it all came from me missing him at Coachella.
Justin Howard : What is a bit of spiritual wisdom you have learn and that you always try to live by?
Logan Browning : The spiritual wisdom I try to live by is, learning to trust yourself and not hurting anyone.
Justin Howard : What piece of advice do you wish you had been given, when you first started on this path?
Logan Browning : To live as much life as you can because the more you experience, the better person and artist you will become.
Justin Howard : I always like to end an interview by letting you have the last word. So here is your soap box, say what you will.
Logan Browning : Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Everyone should be open to failing because that is when we learn. Be open to learning from everyone. They don’t have to be older then you. It could be a kid who enlightens you. Just be open to the idea that everything and everyone around you has something special to teach you.