A native of Natick, Massachusetts, David Locke is currently on tour with Cirque Du Soleil’s smashing Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities, which plays at Suffolk Downs through July 10.
Locke is an Acro Net artist and is featured in a spectacular Act 2 opener involving high-flying amphibious creatures in a dazzling trampoline act. A gymnast since the age of four, Locke has also performed with Cirque in Viva Elvis and KA in Las Vegas.
How does it feel to come back and perform in your hometown?
The tour is so different from what I’m used to. This is my first tour.
Does being on tour add to the exhaustion of performing?
It’s just a different lifestyle. I’ve talked to a lot my friends who’ve come and visited me and from what I gather, Boston fans are really loyal; they’ve been coming for 10-plus years and they’ve never missed a show. I saw my first show in Boston in ’92.
What do you think most people would be surprised to know about performing with Cirque Du Soleil?
I guess it would be all the little day-to-day stuff. A lot of people don’t know that we do our own makeup, and then they’re really interested in how much we train and that we have a full-size kitchen here. It’s a lifestyle, and people are always really interested to hear about the backstage stuff.
If you could help in the creation of a new Cirque Du Soleil show made up of the music catalogue of a famous artist, who would you pick?
Good question. It’s hard to say. Maybe Bowie. I think Bowie would be a great one.
What is the hardest thing about being a Cirque performer?
It comes down to how much experience you’ve had in shows. Whenever something goes wrong, you rely on that experience to cover up any type of mistake. It comes down to keeping the audience involved in the show, and if something goes wrong you have to kind of cover it up. That’s what it means to be a performer.
Tell me about the time that something went most wrong for you.
You know, if something goes really wrong we’ll stop the show; they try to keep us really safe, but mostly it’s just little stuff. If we miss a trick we have to get back up and do it again. Sometimes I’ll ask people after the show if they noticed something, and they’ll say, “No, I didn’t see that at all.” That’s the part of the magic of Cirque—to represent our best show at all times, even if something goes wrong.
Does the audience ever distract you?
The audience, for the most part, are so, so enveloped in what we’re doing that a lot of times they’re not really a distraction. It’s better to have them there laughing and hooting and hollering. We kind of thrive off that.
Do you have family coming to the show while you’re here?
Yeah, I’ve got 13 coming on the 26th, and my mom’s already seen the show three times and she’s coming for a fourth.
That must be cool.
Yeah, she’s the original person that introduced me to the Cirque world when I was young and took me to shows and really helped me figure out that was going to be my dream. Seeing it as a kid, I would tell her that was what I wanted to do when I got older.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S KURIOS: CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Through 7.10 under the Grand Chapiteau at Suffolk Downs, 525 William F. McClellan Hwy., Boston. CIRQUEDUSOLEIL.COM