WCC theater instructor grooms future actors

WCC theater instructor Nick Logue plays the lead role in “Henry VIII” at the 2012 Hawai‘i Shakespeare Festival – Courtesy of Nick Logue
WCC theater instructor Nick Logue plays the lead role in “Henry VIII” at the 2012 Hawai‘i Shakespeare Festival – Courtesy of Nick Logue

Most know him as the confident man around campus with the loud, theatrical personality.

He often, if not always, wears a Boston Scally cap to class. Theater instructor Nick Logue influences his students to strive to be the best actors they can be in and out of the classroom.

His focus isn’t only on the theatrical side of acting; his teachings apply to life itself.

He tells his students the first day of class that “every day whether or not you are aware of it, you are indeed acting.”

Logue views acting as anything that a person wouldn’t usually do around their job or family. Thus, theater isn’t the only place people act.

At work, it is ethical to dress and act professionally because business owners want good reputations and want their employees to represent their company well. With family members, some people may act more respectfully than usual.

Logue’s impact and willingness to help others did not come without support. He grew up in Buffalo, New York, where he said he had a great support system. His grandmother saw something in him at a young age and told his parents to enroll him in theater.

At the age of 13, he was part of a theater program called the Studio Arena Theatre. By the time he was 16, he was a professional actor.

Though his path to becoming successful in theater came relatively smoothly, he understands that it may not be that simple for most people.

He knows life has many roadblocks. When he was studying Chinese and Asian acting in China, he had an accident and suffered a debilitating spinal injury. It forced him from being a professional actor to focusing on the education side of acting and theater.

After eventually finding a home in Hawai‘i, he went to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to pursue his MFA in Acting and Asian Theater. During his time at Mānoa, he met his wife and eventually found a job at WCC.

“Since arriving here, I’ve strived to build a strong professional actor training program on our campus, now mounting three annual productions in Palikū Theatre and launching some of our most dedicated students into careers in the performing arts,” Logue said.

“Theater is all about hard work. It’s a career with a 95% unemployment rate. If you want to succeed, you have to work harder than everyone else. Talent does not carry you far—you must train and hone your skills constantly, pound pavement and seek out opportunities to grow as an actor and gain exposure.”

For those who want to pursue a career in theater, Logue will push and test them so that they can achieve their dreams.

Many students welcome his presence and persona because he is easygoing and approachable for any kind of advice.

According to Austin Sunderman, a long-time student of Logue, “Nick helps people come out of their shells and helps build students’ confidence. His classes in particular influence a comfortable environment for people to loosen up and let things like stress out.”

Ultimately, Logue says he likes his job because of the students, his colleagues and the overall atmosphere. He says he “enjoys unlocking every student’s gifts and potential.” He feels his duty is to help everyone become stronger and more comfortable with acting. Because in his words, “every day whether or not we know it, we are acting.”

by Chase Sagawinit, Special to Ka ‘Ohana