FROM TASSIE DANCE STUDENT TO THE SET OF GLEE – INTERVIEW WITH LOCKY BROWNLIE

Published on 3rd Sep, 2010

Tasmanian born and trained dancer Lockhart Brownlie moved to Sydney in 2007 to follow his dream of being a dancer. 3 years later this in demand dancer has danced in the musical phenomenon Wicked and has just filmed an episode of Glee in the US for the Britney Spears episode. DanceLife caught up with Locky while in LA.

1. You grew up in Tasmania and moved to Sydney in 2007 where you completed a Certificate IV in Performing Arts at Brent Street. How hard was it for you to pack up and move to a new State? What was the biggest challenge for you once you got to Sydney?

Moving to Sydney was a major step for me and my family. I always new I wanted to move to Sydney and attend Brent Streets Studio’s Full Time Course so for me it was an easy transition. I did have one big challenge and I guess for a lot of people who come from small dance studios and attend a Full Time course, especially one with very high expectations and prestige, is making yourself stand out from the rest and showing as much of your dancing ability as possible. As a boy it was a lot easier, as there were only a small handful of boys in my year but it’s still the same fear that a lot of people deal with. You need to be confident in who you are and think why you were chosen in the first place.

2. Auditions for full time courses are currently happening. What advice would you give to anyone auditioning for a full time course?

Auditions are scary and they never seem to get any easier. Never let your nerves take over your body. Try not to judge yourself against other people in the room, try and be totally focussed on what the audition panel is asking of you and remember why it is your there. TO DANCE.

3. You were selected to join the cast of Wicked which played in Melbourne for 13 months. What was it like being a part of such a successful show, also your first musical?

Being a part of Wicked was Amazing. Wicked was my first Musical and I was cast in the show fresh out of Full Time. Not only was it my first payed job doing what I loved but it was the biggest thing to hit Australia. I think the most memorable part of the whole process for me was the rehearsals and the creation of the show. Being a part of something with the amount of special effects, great music, great dancing and an incredible cast that Wicked had, was something really special to watch grow and come to life.

4. Dancers get hungry and curious in this country and tend to check out LA at some stage in their dancing life. While you were there for 3 months you signed with agency MSA. What was the process for getting in front of them and then taking you on?

I was lucky enough to be in LA when Agency MSA had their auditions. MSA hadn’t held an open audition in like 5 years, so it was a pretty big deal for everyone over here. Over 400 people attended this audition and it was my first experience auditioning in America.
The audition consisted of a Jazz section and a Hip Hop section. The Jazz was taught by Mandy Moore and Hip Hop by Tony Czar. The studio was small and we had to learn everything in multiple half’s. There were no cuts and no-one was really told anything on the day of the audition. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when I was visiting NY that I received a call and email saying I had been accepted into the agency. I flew back to LA to meet with them and it all went from there.

5. The process of getting a VISA is always difficult for us Aussie dancers. What’s some advice you could give someone who is looking to get their O-1 VISA?

Obtaining your O-1 working visa is a lot of work but definitely worth it in the end. Some advice I would give people who want to apply for their Visa is to start researching about it now, because it takes at least 7- 9 months of emailing lawyers/Attorneys before it gets approved.

6. You are currently over in LA and have just filmed a scene for Season 3 of GLEE with Britney Spears. Tell us about this experience and how you got this gig?

Filming for the hit TV show Glee was an amazing experience. The Episode is dedicated to Britney Spears but unfortunately I did not get to meet her. The episode is about the character from the show ‘Britany’ played by Heather Morris, coming in and out of dreams that she is actually Britney Spears herself. Britney appears on the episode but from what I heard only as an actress. My involvement in the show was being a dancer in a re-enactment of one of Britney’s hit music videos “Me Against The Music”. Heather Morris who plays Britany in the TV show is Britney Spears in this Video Clip and the whole set and costumes were created exactly like the real music video. Was a really exciting time for me especially as it was my first job here in LA.

Interview by Clint Salter

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