Shorecrest High School senior Logan Yao of Lake Forest Park joins a distinguished group of accomplished artists and actors, such as Timothée Chalamet and Viola Davis, by becoming one of 20 nationwide students to receive a prestigious 2024 YoungArts award. Learn about Logan Yao…
Follow at: @logan_yao_
Hometown: Lake Forest Park, Washington
First job: I’m a student right now and mostly make money by pet/house sitting and babysitting.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: I love to go hiking or paddleboarding or finding great restaurants, but I’m biased toward anything on the water.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: I was recently honored with a YoungArts Award for Musical Theatre. YoungArts is considered the most competitive high school award for artists, and I was one of 20 people (and the only one in Washington) to be honored with the award in the Musical Theater Category. There are several different artistic categories, and some of past winners include Timothee Chalamet, Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Amanda Gorman, etc. I’m very honored to have received this recognition!
The biggest obstacle you overcame: COVID was incredibly challenging for most people I know, and that was certainly the case for me. I was in the 8th grade when school shut down and just about to open a show. For two years, everything had to be virtual and there were no opportunities to perform live. I was cut off from the thing that brought me the most joy and energy. Then my first year of high school was online and it felt like that was the time I had to decide whether I was serious about pursuing theater as a career or just a hobby. COVID really forced me to think about what my life is with and without theatre and my “why” of pursuing it. Looking back, I think I feel more confident about pursuing this path because I know what it feels like to not have it in my life.
Someone who inspires you and why: One of my biggest inspirations is Aaron M. Davis Norman. They are a teacher at Village Theatre KIDSTAGE in Everett and have been there since I first started performing. They’ve always looked out for me, challenged, and pushed me in all the best ways. They’ve been someone I can come to with anything, and I know they’ll be honest and supportive. Not only did they help me grow as a performer, but as a person and artist. They also taught me the importance of advocacy and humility, and I’m forever grateful for them.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Learn to love being in a room full of people more talented than yourself. I’ve learned that when people are “better” than you, it doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of being there. Take those moments to learn from other people and take feedback with an eagerness to learn. Notice others’ talent and allow yourself to be inspired by them. Then notice what you bring that is unique and what your strengths are. Find what is special about you, and lean into it.
Favorite quote: “I’m not convinced I know how to read; I’ve just memorized a lot of words.” –Nick Miller from New Girl
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I’m one of the few theatre kids who also LOVES football. I don’t play it, but I’m an avid Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football player.
What makes someone fabulous: It’s not necessarily about being the smartest or the most talented, but more about who you are as a person, and the impact you have. I would call anyone who takes time to improve themselves while making a positive impact on others fabulous!