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Artist Spotlight: Theater Artist Justin Locklear Is A Jack Of All Trades

Justin Locklear has been working in Dallas as a "theater artist" since 2009.

Justin Locklearis 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!’

Locklear came to Dallas in 2009. Learn more about his journey as a North Texas creative from Art&Seek. Learn about other North Texas artists in the Artist Spotlight.","_id":"00000174-20e3-d47e-a1f7-72e723290000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank" title="Share link">","_id":"00000174-20e3-d47e-a1f7-72e723290000","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">

Jerome Weeks is the Art&Seek producer-reporter for KERA. A professional critic for more than two decades, he was the book columnist for The Dallas Morning News for ten years and the paper’s theater critic for ten years before that. His writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, American Theatre and Men’s Vogue magazines.