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From Marketing Pro to Movie Star

How Kogod School of Business alum Howard Lockie built a successful performing arts career through entrepreneurship.



When Howard Lockie (Kogod/BS ’83), quit his full-time marketing job to become an actor, he never dreamed he’d also pursue entrepreneurship. But the two are one-in-the-same, he soon discovered, if you want to build a successful career in the performing arts.

Only 2 percent of actors make a living from their craft alone, according to a recent study. This means a staggering majority of performers piece together multiple gigs to make ends meet—an approach Lockie sees as a unique business opportunity.

“We can and should stretch the boundaries of what it means to be an entrepreneur,” says Lockie. “It doesn’t matter which industry or area you’re focused on; it always comes back to business.”

Now an accomplished actor based in Los Angeles, Lockie balances different arts-related roles to create a career that’s uniquely his own. He’s an on-screen actor—recent credits include roles in Netflix’s “Colin in Black and White” and “The Saint of Second Chances,” as well as AMC’s “Millennials”—and performs regularly on-stage with live theatre groups.

He’s also a certified life coach for both individuals and teams, a part of his business he calls the “healing arts.”

“It’s about the collective greater good, and bringing things to light,” he says.

I’m always on the lookout for hidden stories that need telling.”


Howard Lockie

Actor and Kogod School of Business Alumnus

Prior to pursuing acting, Lockie worked in marketing for International Sports Summit, a global sports community and annual conference in New York City. While corporate life wasn’t for him—he felt “too boxed in,” he says—it taught him the strategic art of audience development, knowledge that’s been critical to his success in acting.

Today, Lockie targets six different “markets” through his acting roles, which include sports-lovers, family-oriented audiences, and Western fans.

He’s also gotten creative in how he reaches different demographics, particularly through his coaching-inspired TikTok videos. In his “Big Head” series, Lockie encourages young people—the platform’s primary subscribers—to overcome their life challenges by believing in themselves.

“Businesses are successful in large part because they have a marketing formula that works,” says Lockie. “They know their product, stay on-brand, and are clear on who their audience is.”

Lockie admits balancing so many disparate roles in acting and business can be challenging. But one common thread ties them all together: service.

Through his work, he aims to inspire and help others become freer and more fulfilled versions of themselves.

“Uninhibited acting shows people it's okay to let go,” he says. “It makes the audience wonder “What is this actor doing to be as free as he is? I also think people need to laugh and relax right now.”

Laughter creates a wonderful space for people to see an issue differently and find a solution.”


Howard Lockie

Actor and Kogod School of Business Alumnus

This same philosophy drives Lockie’s work as a life coach. Initially intended as a way to supplement his income, his coaching has grown into a passion-driven, multi-industry service where he helps people optimize their performance.

Lockie’s techniques include theatre games for lawyers and business professionals who want to become more improvisational; meditation to cultivate the presence of mind; and one-on-one consultations with leaders to chart strategies for positive change.

“I believe people only tap into about 30 percent of what’s available to them,” says Lockie. “I take the concept of performance, whether it’s on the stage or in the courtroom, to help people get the most out of it.”

Moving forward, Lockie will continue evolving his coaching, acting on the big and small screen, and in live theatre. One of his latest commitments includes the Off-Broadway play “Port Chicago 50,” which is slated to run this February at a local Santa Monica theatre.

The live production tells the story of a World War II bomb blast that killed more than 300 Black sailors in San Francisco—a lesser-known story that Lockie says “needs to be told.”

“Sometimes it feels like these hidden stories find me because they need someone to tell people,” Lockie says. “Hopefully this show helps these incredible men be recognized.”

Eventually, he envisions merging all of his creative pursuits into one as his own production company. He wants to create products and an environment that promotes self-love—a nod to his work as a life coach—and serve as a force for positive change in the often cut-throat entertainment industry.

“I want to treat it like a business, but bring love back into the public marketplace,” Lockie says. “I want to create something that helps people see it’s okay to fail and to take risks. These are lessons here for the human experience. It's all about letting go.”