Behind the Scenes with Tracy Locke, the Enthusiastically Zany Host of IBStv
During the Builders’ Show, you know Tracy Locke as the perky host of IBStv. She zips around from booth to booth full of fun and energy, and each morning as you plan your day, you tune into IBStv to see what interesting things she’s talking about – that you, too, “must see.”
But what you don’t know about the fun and fierce Tracy Locke is what she does the other 360 days of the year – when she isn’t hosting IBStv.
A Totally Random Career
Tracy began her career as a reporter for a television station in Denver, Colorado. Four years into it, she was invited to work at a new channel company, The Outdoor Life Network, now NBC Sports. While there, Tracy experienced a random moment when a friend encouraged her to take a comedy class, which included learning improv. “When I started, I didn’t know anything about improv, but had a blast! It was so much fun,” said Tracy.
Soon after discovering improv, much to her family’s chagrin, Tracy quit her job and started doing comedy full time, with improv and stand-up bits in clubs in and around New York City. One such gig was with stand-up comedian Lisa Lampanelli. “After the show, Lisa asked if I’d be interested in going on tour with her. It was such a fluke because at the time, I didn’t realize how big of an act she really was.”
Tracy took a chance and said yes – which turned out to be a career-shaping move, as it turned out to be a two-year national theatre tour that included such notable locations as Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall. “It was totally random how it happened. I got so lucky with that,” said Tracy.
Fast forward to this past July, and Tracy had another multi-comedian gig at a comedy club in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. While there, another female comedian saw her act and mentioned that she thought Tracy would be good as a warm-up comedian for the live shows taping in New York City.
“She told me that there were only seven people in New York doing this type of thing, and that she was the only woman,” said Tracy. “That, I found quite interesting.”
A month later, the same comedian called “out of the blue” asking Tracy if she wanted a shot at being the warm-up comedian for the Katie Couric Show. “I thought, I have to go for it because it’s so random … just like the situation with Lisa Lampanelli,” said Tracy.
Tracy went for it and became the second female doing warm-up comedy in NYC!
While Tracy has only been the warm-up comedian for the Katie Couric Show a short time, she has already had several memorable moments, including doing improv with guest star Jane Lynch, who is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester on “Glee.”
“During one of the commercial breaks, Jane remained on stage, called out my name and shortly thereafter, we did an improv scene together and entertained the audience! It was such a random moment – Jane knowing my name and her willingness to interact with the crowd. She couldn’t have been more gracious.”
While the Katie Couric Show is often full of fun and laughs, Katie is also known for her heavy-hitting journalism. For shows on hard topics such as rape, human trafficking and domestic violence, Tracy needs to have a completely different approach during breaks – which can last from two minutes to 30 or more. “Naturally, for those shows, I take a more journalistic approach by interviewing audience members, asking them about their lives and seeing what they think of the show,” explains Tracy.
Another memorable guest was Aimee Copeland, the University of Georgia college student that went zip-lining, fell into a river and contracted a flesh-eating bacteria. In order to save her life, she needed to have both of her legs and arms amputated. “That was one of the most inspiring guests, to date,” said Tracy.
Totally Random Fun with Tracy as the Host of IBStv
For the last two years, Tracy has been the energetic host of IBStv. She, along with the NAHB production team, dig deep into all corners of the Builders’ Show to provide you with a fun perspective, and in five days, she walks every inch of the IBS floor to showcase some of the Show’s hidden gems.
“The Show is enormous,” said Tracy, “so the best way for the audience to get an idea of all that there is to see is for us to walk it. We see what’s happening, who’s there and what looks interesting.”
Tracy continues, “It is our job to cover as much of the Show as we can so the Show audience doesn’t miss anything!”
One of Tracy’s favorite aspects of the Show is The New American Home. “Every time we do stories on The New American Home, I’m always blown away. It is always such an interesting home with unbelievable features. I find it fascinating and am looking forward to seeing this year’s home,” she said.
Last year, Tracy also took to the street – the Las Vegas Strip, that is. There, she ran into some interesting charmers who were more than willing to talk to her – from “Elvis” to “Rocky Balboa” to “Snoop Dog.” “Vegas is such a visually interesting backdrop – from the themed casinos to the characters on the street. You never know who you are going to bump into,” jokes Tracy.
So what can you expect from Tracy and IBStv in 2014? “The theme for IBS this year is ‘Expect More’ – which will be so much fun to play off of!”
Does that mean more zany situations, more amusing interviews and more totally random moments from Tracy? We can only hope!
“From the production team to the exhibitors, everyone is willing to go the extra mile to make it the best possible Show,” says Tracy. “I am climbing through booths, sitting in race cars and coming up with some crazy stuff – and everyone just rolls with it.”
During the Builders Show, you can tune into IBStv right here at BuildersShow.com.
To learn more about our enthusiastically zany host, Tracy Locke, and to see a schedule of her upcoming performances, visit TracyLockeComedy.com.