True Blood dancer returns to Tassie

Source: The Examiner

Life just keeps getting better for Tasmanian dancer Lockhart Brownlie - if that is even possible.

Fresh from last year's 10-month world tour as one of pop sensation Katy Perry's four male back-up dancers, the 22-year-old has spent the past year performing on American television show True Blood, dancing with Kate Hudson, Kesha and Taylor Swift, starring in a movie alongside Katy Perry and meeting US President Barack Obama, just to name a few things.

It has been four years since the former St Patrick's College and Newstead College student left the country for Los Angeles after completing a one-year course at Sydney's Brent Street and performing as a featured dancer in the 2008 Australian production of Wicked.

But for now, Brownlie is back in Tasmania enjoying some time with his family at their Newstead home and telling people about his past year.

"It's been pretty crazy," he said.

Brownlie - or just Lockie to his close friends - started the year as a dancer on American television vampire series True Blood.

"That was really interesting to be a part of ... because they had never had dancing before," he said.

While Brownlie is known for his many featured performances on hit television series Glee, he said working on True Blood was completely different.

"It's always fun going in to do Glee, but they have dancers every week so it's good to do True Blood, which is a whole different genre," he said.

"It's very sexy and it was just nice to see a different script and work with some really renowned chorographers."

However, Brownlie still continued his contract with Glee.

"Glee's awesome, it's such a good job," he said.

"Every time you get called to do it, you never know what you're going to do.

"You can rock up there and you could be doing a full dance routine or you could walk on and just do a little turn or jazz step."

When Brownlie got the call to do his sexy, Americano-Dance Again routine with Kate Hudson - which aired as the first episode of Glee season four in Australia in September - he had no idea what to expect.

"I was actually in Vegas the day before auditioning for a movie," he said.

"I had a phone call from my agent right after the audition saying `Glee want to hire - can you get back to LA by 10am tomorrow?' This was at probably like 2pm.

"So I booked the flight that night and then took it the next morning.

"I rocked up at 10am (to rehearse) and they were like, `OK, so you guys are the four featured dancers and you're going to be doing a big dance routine with Kate Hudson'.

"It took me a second to work out who they were talking about because I wasn't expecting anyone of that calibre to be working with.

"They said, `She'll be here at 12pm', so we had to get the four-minute routine perfect and then she was going to come in and start working with us."

Brownlie said Hudson was an awesome woman to work with.

"She's such a professional person to work with and it was really great to have her on the set," he said.

"She was calm, funny and lovely and she was like `let's organise rehearsals at my house before we do it on Monday.'

"Unfortunately we couldn't because not all the dancers had the schedule to work it in, but she was awesome.

"I've found celebrities are really just normal people that are lucky enough to have a talent and be caught in the limelight."

At the same time as taking in the fame of performing to the cameras, Brownlie spent a lot of time on stage performing with Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards and Kesha at the American Music Awards.

And of course, Perry is still a big part of Brownlie's life.

When Brownlie was home last year, he said he wasn't sure if he would be performing with Perry again.

"At that time, I didn't think we were going to be doing anything with Katy," he said.

"I was contracted for the tour (California Dream's World Tour) and then after that, that was all that we really knew of."

But as soon as he got back to the states, it was straight to India for another concert with the 2012 Billboard Music Awards' Woman of the Year.

"We were in India for literally 48 hours, and then there was a lot of trips like that.

"We'd fly into London, be there for 48 hours and then fly out, then we went straight to Asia."

He said the concerts weren't like the world tour - they were more one-off jobs such as performing at the opening of events and at big functions.

Three one-off performances with Perry included performing for US President Barack Obama.

"On our first show we managed to meet him and have a photo with him," Brownlie said.

"We got in there and he was like `hi guys' and then he shook our hands and literally just grabbed us on the shoulders and we had this kind of football hug for the photo."

The whole experience of performing for Obama, especially the security, was crazy, Brownlie said.

"At the first show we did, we did our performance and then they said to us `OK, you have 15 minutes to get out of the building, get all your things and get changed, because when Obama comes in, it's total lockdown and you can't leave'.

"We were running getting our costumes off and then he was early. So we were halfway through getting our stuff off and they were like `No one can leave for the next hour and a half to two hours'.

"We were stuck in our change rooms. You can't go anywhere - there was security left, right and centre.

"So for those kind of experiences it was crazy."

Despite the whirlwind of concerts and television performances, Brownlie said the highlight of his year was the release of Perry's Part of Me 3D movie, which he starred in as one of her main dancers.

"The movie was just the cherry on top of everything.

"We knew at the beginning of the tour that they'd be doing a movie and obviously at the end of the tour they filmed it - but we didn't really know the extent of the movie."

It was released in July.

"For the premiere, they closed down Hollywood Boulevard, which is a massive deal.

"We had a 45-minute (free) concert in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, then we walked the red carpet, we went to the Chinese Theatre - which is the biggest premiere movie spot - so it was really awesome.

"It's a really cool thing to have. Now those memories are going to be there for life."

Brownlie admitted watching himself on-screen was a "little weird".

"Especially in the cinemas in 3D.

"It was a little crazy because I think that was the first time any of us had seen the show that we'd been in for a year."

But now that the year has come to an end, Brownlie is enjoying some time with family and friends in Tasmania until December 30.

"It hasn't been a rest though.

"I've been seeing everyone and I'm helping put together Tasmania's first theatre restaurant, in Hobart. It's opening in March next year.

"It's kind of like Dracula's and Showboats in Sydney.

"So I was here for that in Hobart for four days just to put my name on something and give something back to Tasmania."

He said he was helping with choreography and costume design.

Brownlie will fly to Sydney for New Year but come back home to teach in Hobart at Jenina's Dance Workshop's annual summer school from January 9.

It's back to the US for a concert with Perry on January 19.

"Then it's just back to auditioning and hoping to have a great year like I did this year.

"In this industry you can't plan anything, because you'll literally, like I did with Glee, find out the day before that they want to use you."


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