Young Actor Soars in 'Peter Pan'
By Dottie Havlik | February 25, 2008Logan Fritz, 9, is in the third grade at Rhea Valley Elementary School in Damascus, Va. The son of Becky Fritz, he plays Michael Darling in Barter Theatre's production of Peter Pan, which continues through April 13. He recently sat down for a chat with A! Magazine for the Arts.
How much acting experience do you have?
I've done one other play here called Oliver! I was a Fagan's boy, an orphan. I've done a few church plays. That's pretty much the only experience I've had.
But you've always liked performing?
Sometimes I would sing "A Man of Constant Sorrow" for my grandmom. She'd pay me five bucks. And I always carried around sticks, and in the car I would pretend I was, like, playing instruments. Now I'm taking guitar lessons from Ben Mackel, who plays Peter Pan. Once I went to Food City wearing a ninja costume in my bedroom slippers.
You're a natural, then.
Everybody always told me, "Logan, you're so dramatic. You need to take acting lessons." Then one day I got a flyer and it said "Auditions for the Barter" and I said, "I need to do this." But my cousins were living in Arizona, and I was going to go visit them during the summer. First, my mom said "No." And I was devastated because I wanted to audition so bad. Then she said, "Logan, if you make it, I'll let you do it, and skip the trip."
What were auditions like?
Well, it was a little bit nerve-wracking the first time I actually did it. I was really nervous, so I went over my monologue and my song every single night.
How did you choose your audition pieces?
I was looking in a school music book, and I saw "Give My Regards to Broadway," and I said, "That sounds kind of theatre." I picked that song, and I chose a monologue from Lord of the Rings, when Aragorn and his army are going to fight.
What's your favorite part of the theatre?
It's that I'm doing what I love and entertaining other people. I've made a lot of new friends. I hang out with Ben (Mackel) and Sean Campos a lot. That's really cool. Me and Sean call each other brother. We're really tight, really close. And me and Ben, we share a lot of the same interests, so we hang out a lot. We always bring in oatmeal creme pies to exchange. We both love 'em.
Anything else fun about the Barter?
My mom works in the box office, and pretty much every night we walk up to the balcony to see if we can see Robert Porterfield's ghost. I've never seen it, but when it's really sunny I've heard wind sounds, and I don't know what that is, but I think it sounds suspicious. Sometimes I wish I had X-ray vision so I could see through the wall.
What's the hardest part of performing?
Making sure that I don't mess up or do anything wrong, like forgetting my lines. For me, that would be humiliating. They hired us to study these lines and to get the play down. They didn't hire us to forget our lines and make the whole show look bad.
Do you want a career in the theatre?
Yes! I would love to have one. If that doesn't work out, I'd really like a music career. But if I do get into theatre, I'd like to do both. When I'm not doing a show, I could play music at places, like maybe the Carter Family Fold. I think when I get too old for acting, I'd like to be the Artistic Director. [This last sentence made me chuckle — Angela]
Rehearsals sometimes last from 3:30 to 10 p.m.
It is a long time to me, but I'm glad we have a long time because I just love acting. It's one of my favorite things in the world. We started Jan. 11 and opened Feb. 5. That was kind of stressful, too. I was thinking, we have such a short rehearsal time, I'm going to forget all my lines. But I've got 'em all down. I'm giving myself confidence, telling myself "If I did it with Oliver! I can do it here." But I didn't have any lines in Oliver!
But you don't have rehearsal tonight?
No. And that's not a good thing. I don't like it at all!
Dottie Havlik is Vice President of the Board of Directors of Arts Alliance Mountain Empire (AAME) and chair of AAME's Arts for Youth Committee.