As Carrie Locklyn grooved her way onto a stage dancing to the melody of “It’s Like That,” singer Mariah Carey slowly approached the front of the platform and smiled at an arena of screaming fans.
Working as a backup dancer for Carey’s The Adventures of Mimi tour in 2006, Locklyn was traveling from Phoenix, Arizona, to Tokyo in less than a week.
“The transition from being a professional dancer helped me in everything, and it helped me in being a professional commercial actress,” Locklyn revealed. “When you’re on set, you understand different people’s roles and movements.”
Locklyn left her hometown of Cape May when she was 17 to fulfill her dream of working in the entertainment industry. She now lives in Mt. Laurel, where she continues with her passion in a home studio.
“My very first on camera gig was after I moved back to Mt. Laurel, which is always a fun fact, because you know everybody thinks that happens in Los Angeles,” Locklyn said.
After her son was born in 2014, Locklyn traveled to New York City, where she met with her commercial agent. Two weeks later, she received a call about an opportunity to be on a show called “Hotel Impossible,” on the Travel Channel.
The show aired from 2016 to 2017, with hospitality expert Anthony Melchiorri traveling around the world to help inexperienced hotel owners save their properties from closure. Locklyn, who has a side passion for interior design, was cast as a home stylist for the show.
“That was my first kind of venture into … mixing my on-camera design work on that level,” Locklyn explained.
After “Hotel Impossible,” Locklyn continued her on air career as part of the design team for the series “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on HGTV, hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson. That show began in 2020, but is still on hiatus because of COVID regulations, meaning Locklyn and the rest of the crew are unable to film new episodes.
A strike on the entertainment industry didn’t stop Locklyn from continuing her design career: She decided to work on her own business, GIDGliving, by designing and staging hotels, residential and commercial properties for Realtors.
“I actually am working on a lot of hotels down at the Shore,” Locklyn noted. “Mom-and-pop businesses started reaching out to me, especially at the Shore, Wildwood, North Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest. I’ve done quite a few hotels down there.”
As for her television career, Locklyn is a spokesperson for Casper Mattress and will do shows on Canada’s QVC and TSC inside her garage, with a full setup of lights and sound.
Before working with artists like Carey and Justin Timberlake, Locklyn started her career in the entertainment business as a professional dancer in New York City. Once she graduated from Lower Cape May Regional High School, Locklyn landed a dancing opportunity on a cruise.
While all of her friends were attending college, Locklyn decided to forgo higher education to chase her original dream of becoming a dancer, a skill she has been practicing since she could walk. Once the cruise was over, Locklyn took three months off, then traveled to New York for another job opportunity.
“I was commuting back and forth from Queens into Manhattan to do a show, and then I ended up staying in New York for about four years,” she recalled. “I was working in the city and working in the restaurant business. I eventually made my way out to California.”
The pop dancer wanted to become the next Jennifer Aniston, and once Locklyn received a role on a Joe Boxer Kmart commercial, she was able to leave New York and set off for the West Coast.
After working under commercial choreographer Wayne Cilento, known for choreographing Broadway’s “Wicked,” Locklyn got a spot on a tour with Carey as a dancer.
While organizing people’s homes, Locklyn likes to incorporate aspects of dancing.
“Just understanding how to read the room and reading people’s personalities,” Locklyn explained. “When I then walked into someone’s home that I was organizing, I try to understand how to read the room, how to read their energy a little bit more.”
Locklyn hopes to someday write a book and open a brick-and-mortar store in New Jersey, but for now, her main goal is helping people through the design and functionality of their homes.