It would be pigeonholing to describe Justin Locklear as an artist-in-residence at Ochre House Theater. He is, but he's also a visual artist and a producer and conceptual artist with Danielle Georgiou Dance Group (DGDG). He also has popped up onstage and behind the scenes at theaters across Dallas.
But his work at Ochre House — as playwright, actor, costumer, musician, puppet designer, and more — is what people associate him with the most. Locklear's keeping his Ochre streak going as Nikola Tesla with the Expo Park company's next original work, Dreaming Electric.
Before the show opens on October 29 (it runs through November 19), Locklear took the time to fill out our survey of serious, fun, and sometimes ridiculous questions.
Name: Justin Locklear
Role in Dreaming Electric: Nikola Tesla, scientist and inventor
Previous work in the DFW area: Ochre House Theater, Shakespeare Dallas, WaterTower Theatre, Cara Mia Theatre Co., Undermain Theatre, Second Thought Theatre, Dead White Zombies
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia
Where you currently reside: White Rock Lake, in the water.
First theater role: The Turtle in a skit about the Turtle and the Hare, in vacation bible school.
First stage show you ever saw: No clue. Probably something at Georgia Shakespeare Festival.
Moment you decided to pursue a career in theater: I was walking through the park one day, and I saw a bright flash of light. "Be an actor!" was somehow spoken to me, without words, and I saw an image of myself standing on a stage. And then, like, I got some fro-yo.
Most challenging role you’ve played: Probably the Turtle.
Special skills: Unsolicited anecdotes, shoulder massage, puns.
Something you’re REALLY bad at: Listening to people eat.
Current pop culture obsession: Mindless, unyielding human conflict.
Last book you read: I was reading Illuminations, a collection of essays by Walter Benjamin, and then, like, stopped. But I liked it. It was cool.
Favorite movie(s): The Imposters, Big Night
Favorite musician(s): Eryka Badu, Ligeti, Stefan Gonzalez, Trey Pendergrass, BlackTaffy
Favorite song: "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama" by Frank Zappa
Dream role: Krapp in Krapp's Last Tape by Samuell Beckett
Favorite stageworks: Mean and Dreams of Slaughtered Sheep by Matthew Posey; Einstein on the Beach and Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Robert Wilson and the Berliner Ensemble; Cafe Müller by Pina Bausch; Mother Courage and Her Children and How Much Is Your Iron? by Bertolt Brecht; Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett; La Veillee des Abysses by James Thiérée
Favorite actors/actresses: Stanley Tucci
Favorite food: Oreos
Must-see TV show(s): Oxymoron, but I suppose I can recommend Psych for fans of Encyclopedia Brown, bad jokes, and '80s references.
Something most people don’t know about you: I’m taller than I think I am.
Place in the world you’d most like to visit: Surprise me, I’m down.
Pre-show warm-up: Depending on the project: yoga, walking around in a state of irrationally stubborn concern, tongue twisters.
Favorite part about your current role: Tesla was an actual genius, and it’s fascinating to investigate how a genius lives his truth — what his internal life looks like.
Most challenging part about your current project: Getting to discover a new play in a matter of weeks is always the most challenging yet life-giving aspects of working at the Ochre House. It’s fun, it’s educational, it’s risky, it’s barreling headfirst down a hill of inspiration with an audience waiting at the bottom.
Most embarrassing onstage mishap: Random C-word out of nowhere. Just a bad moment for a breath.
Career you’d have if you weren’t in theater: Park ranger
Favorite post-show spot: The Couch. It’s super exclusive.
Favorite thing about Dallas-Forth Worth: The art and the people, not necessarily in that order.
Most memorable theater moment: Getting stabbed? Or yeah, casual sodomy with confetti cannons.