Courtesy of David Lockhart
Perhaps David Lockhart was destined to be an actor, so he could continue the lore of his surname, which originated with the 13th century Scottish king Robert the Bruce. After all, the California native has wanted to be an actor for as long as he can remember. And once he started digging into the history of his clan, he put his skills to work to create a vehicle in which he could honor his grandfather’s legacy and the power of human creativity both at the same time.
It all started in Oakland Hills, California, where David knew he wanted to perform from a very early age. As he recounted in a recent one-on-one interview, “My parents showed me this piece of paper from when I was like six and it said, ‘What did you want to be when you grow up?’ I was like, ‘Actor.’ No astronaut. No fireman.’”
His future seemed to be set in stone. He acted in school plays since kindergarten, loving the freedom of being different characters. But there was one role that became the focus of his creative energies. A method actor from the get go, David recalls, “I wouldn’t answer by name. I’d answer to Underdog. I’d wear a cape. They couldn’t take the cape off me.”
He continued doing theater in high school and shooting films with his friends in his free time. Next he received a degree at California State University, Chico in Media Arts with a minor in Theater. After studying at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, David took a job as a writer, producer and correspondent for the TechTV show “Internet Tonight.”
“I’d go around and test out sporting events that weren’t covered that much on television but had a strong Internet presence like mountain unicycling and the yearly Arm Wrestling Championships in Petaluma,” Lockhart explained. The show won back-to-back regional Emmys for "Best Entertainment Program" and "Best Educational Special."
But when the channel was bought and David started working on a show that focused a lot on video games, he decided it was time to switch gears. “I’m such an outdoors person and I don’t have the patience to stay inside that real gamers do.” Instead he focused his talents on something that would have a more positive influence on young people by taking theater to schools.
In the traveling theater company, he performed two person plays at a variety of institutions. “We never knew where we were going to perform,” he remarked, “Sometimes it was in a cafeteria for 30 kindergarteners and sometimes it was a big huge gymnasium where they had all the school districts come and it would 1,000 middle-schoolers.”
His career continued with starring roles in the films The Crow: Purgatory 2 and The Dead and the Damned. But it was a chance encounter that led him to focus on a much more personal project.
“I met someone who’s name is Christopher Lockhart and he asked me if we’re related,” noted David. “I was like, ‘I don’t know?’ then he asked me, ‘Where do your Lockharts come from?’”
David didn’t know. Both his parents were only children and both of his grandfathers died at relatively early ages. “We’re isolated Lockharts,” he conceded.
Out of curiosity, he started doing research not only into the legacy of the family name, but also into his family itself. First he traced the surname back to its Scottish roots to Sir Symon Locard, 2nd of Lee. Symon was said to have carried the key to a silver casket that Sir James Douglas carried on the Crusades. The casket held the heart of the Scottish king Robert the Bruce, who had asked that his heart be carried into battle upon his death.
As of that weren’t a dramatic enough tale, David also discovered some fascinating personal history while doing his research. “I found out that we were tried during the Salem witch trials, but exonerated based on a technicality. More recently, I also didn’t know much about my grandfather on the Lockhart side,” he acknowledged, “But he was a pro golfer in the 1930s and built one of the first golf courses in California. He was also a bootlegger, before he was a pro golfer.” During his athletic period, David’s grandfather built a golf course in Porterville, California, where he lived with his wife and young son — David’s father.
Armed with all of this newfound information, David started to weave the history of the Lockhart name and the folklore of his grandfather’s life into a story. The result, a film appropriately called Lockhart, as David describes it is “sort of like The Da Vinci Code and Raiders of the Lost Ark with a touch of Matrix."
Lockhart is the first film in a planned trilogy. This installment is set in present day, but flashes back to the Crusades and the 1920s.
David describes the plot, “The main character, John Lockhart, gets a note from his dead grandfather that he’s supposed to go to Porterville to the golf course and dig up Old Number 9.”
After unearthing a case of moonshine, John Lockhart finds an ancient crystal artifact that’s the key to a great adventure. “The Lockharts have been hiding this for the right moment. The crystal has an algorithm code in it that can provide the world with clean energy. The High Cabal doesn’t want this information to come out because they use energy to enslave the population. And so John must complete the quest that Robert the Bruce wanted them to go on 1,000 years ago.”
The film is a truly epic adventure but it also has a deeper meaning. As David theorized, “We all are infinite power, but we block ourselves. We don’t realize how powerful we are. So what the crystal really does is unblock the power of who we all really are.”
A theme that clearly grows from the actor’s own philosophy of life. “When people are doing whatever it is that they are passionate about,” he says, “that’s when they come to life —whether you’re a musician or an artist or a filmmaker or a journalist. That’s when you are your true authentic self and tapping into that power. You are your divine self. We are all amazing and powerful and beautiful and I love helping people to remember that.”
Lockhart premieres on September 10 at the Crest Theater in Los Angeles for more details visit the movie’s website.