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2009 - 25 years of Santa Barbara

Justin Gocke : «A Santa Barbara reunion, wouldn't that be fun !»

 By Nicolas, exclusively for Santa Barbara : le site Francais, December 2009

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On December 03 2009, Justin Gocke agreed to take on his time to answer exclusively the questions of Santa Barbara : le site Francais. The former actor talks about his debuts, the Santa Barbara years as the sixth interpreter of Brandon Capwell, and his life since the end of the show.

The beginnings before Santa Barbara

At first, I'd like you to tell us a little about you : How old are you today ? Where do you live ? Do you live in couple or have children ?

Today I am 31, I live at the beach in Ventura, which is about 30 minutes south of Santa Barbara. I am currently still looking for Mrs. Right ! I have no kids but I am the uncle to some wonderful nieces and nephews ! I have a Master's degree in Business and doing consulting work for various companies and have a couple of family businesses I work for.

You started your acting career very young. How did you start in the business ? Did you have family in the show-business ?

I started acting around the age of six, just as a summer project to keep me and my brothers and sister busy. I ended up getting the first four or five jobs I went out for, my first of which was The Burning Bed with the late Farrah Fawcett, and just kept working continually since then until the age of 14.

During Santa Barbara where you had a recurrent role, did you continue to go to school or did you follow a particular class ?

I went to regular school and had a set school as well. They would bring in teachers to help me do my work while I was on set, which I would get packets from my normal school, and I would work 3 hours a day in the set classroom, while taking breaks for blocking and rehearsal.


The time of Santa Barbara

You replaced Brandon Call and four other young actors as Brandon on Santa Barbara in August 1987. How did you start in the show ?

My memory of starting the show is a little fuzzy, but I believe I was introduced as returning from camp or boarding school. The cast was very friendly upon my arrival, and Robin Mattson was very supportive.

Brandon was one of the most balanced characters of all the show, despite all the storylines he went through. What memories do you keep of him ? Were there other storylines you would have liked for him ?

When you had Gina as a mother you never knew what you were getting into. I have great memories of when the show went to Disneyworld, The Wheel of Fortune shows, and the Christmas shows, those were all great fun for me as a kid. I would have like to have been developed later as a bad seed, but it never happened.

You were very young at the time, but did you understand all the sexual games and allusions often played by Robin Mattson and Justin Deas as Gina and Keith ?

Yes I was pretty aware of the story lines that surrounded those two. I must say that when Justin Deas and Robin were together on the show, there was real electricity in the air. Those two made it incredibly fun to be on set, they really played off of each other.

In 1989, you won a Daytime Emmy award for Santa Barbara (as best outstanding juvenile male in a drama series). Do you remember that day? What did it change for you ?

That was such a fun and memorable day, not just because I won but the show won so many awards that night, there was so much joy and excitement in the air. It was really great being swept up in that moment, and it is a great memory for me. The award landed me a couple of extra movie jobs that I got without having to interview for just because of the status it brings an actor, so that was fulfilling in its own way.

What were your favorite male and female acting partners as Brandon Capwell ?

Justin Deas and Robin Mattson, we were like a family on and off set.

You were one of the long-time Santa Barbara actors to know the last months of the show. When did you learn that Santa Barbara was definitively coming to an end ? What do you think may have saved it ?

I had heard that they were considering replacing me so Brandon could start doing the bad boy thing, as I was still pretty young and not quite fitting that image they were thinking off. It upset me, yet I understood it, although it never took place. As for saving the show, we were always in a bad time slot in the States, so we were always working against that. As for the internal issues, I was too young to understand what was happening to give any real feedback on that.

What were your best (and worst) remembrances from the show, on a relational and on a professional level ?

I really don't have any negative memories of the show, it was always a warm and inviting experience for me. It allowed me a lot of opportunity to work consistently with people who were very understanding and caring towards my needs as a kid. I have much love and respect for Robin Mattson and I guess my only regret is losing contact with her.

Did you keep in touch with members of the cast or the crew after the end of the show ?

Not really, I started high school and ended my acting career shortly after, and as a kid, it is out of sight, out of my mind, but I would always like to reconnect.


These 17 last years after Santa Barbara and now

Can you come back on the following years of your career after your departure from Santa Barbara ?

I am not acting presently yet am considering going back in just to give it a shot just for fun. Acting is incredibly competitive and you really have to commit to the time it takes to find work. As for a Santa Barbara reunion, wouldn't that be fun !

Do the people you befriend today know about your acting career and your times on Santa Barbara ?

It always comes out at some point but it is just a brief history of who I am and what drives me. When people learn of it, they tend to say "That makes a lot of sense", as I am very expressive in how I conduct myself.

Is there something you would like to say to all the Santa Barbara fans all over the world ?

I just want to say thank you for enjoy the show as much as you do. It was a remarkable and forward thinking show as soap opera go and we really pushed the status quo, and I think the fans understood and appreciated that. Thanks !


Once again all my thanks to Justin Gocke for his time and his kind memories.