Justin Locklear is lucky. He knew what he loved to do, had to do, from an early age. As early as elementary school in Atlanta, Georgia, he was doing pretty much anything involving performance.
“The device of storytelling was just dazzling to me,” he says. “When I was a kid I would listen to Andy Griffith tapes — his one-man show stuff — or Bob Newhart and all just these old comedians, well into the night. And then I would watch Buster Keaton videos. Just different little things that people can do performing. I was always, like, ‘That’s amazing! That someone can do something so simple but release this intoxicating identification.’
Locklear admits he wasn’t a good student, but any speech, any classroom presentation? He was there. So a teacher, Luann Purcell-Jennings, steered him into theater. And because she had gone to Baylor, Locklear did, too. He says all these early certainties gave him ridiculous amounts of self-confidence onstage: “Once I started doing shows I was like, ‘Yeah, I got it. Done! That just makes sense!’