Santa Barbara's fantasy sequences

 By Susan Morse, Soap Opera Digest, 1988

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Over the past four years, Santa Barbara has made a name for itself for being a humorous soap - and it was never more apparent than during a couple of fantasy sequences last month involving actors Robin Mattson (Gina) and Justin Deas (Keith).

The story : It was an excruciatingly hot summer day and, as luck would have it, the air-conditioning wasn't working. Gina and Keith were moping around the mansion, complaining about the heat... and picking on each other. At one point, Keith, who was experiencing pre-wedding jitters, thought to himself : "Am I really about to marry this insufferable nag ?" And, suddenly, in Keith's mind, Gina turned into exactly that : a hideous-looking shrew, who continued to yammer away at Keith as she stuffed cookies in her mouth. Frightening.

Later, with no relief from the heat in sight, a somewhat-giddy Gina became disgusted with Keith's method of keeping cool. First, he planted himself in front of the freezer, which led to entering the living room with a frozen turkey on his stomach, followed by planting one lamb chop under each armpit and, finally, dunking his head in a bucket of chocolate ice-cream. Seeing the food defrosting all around her - as well as Keith's face covered with goo - Gina exclaimed : "Great ... If we don't die of heat exhaustion, we'll starve to death !" and then imagined what her file would be like married to such a pig.  When Keith pulled his head out of the container of ice-cream, he had, indeed, turned into a sleazy-looking swine. Just perfect.

How it was done : The elaborate makeup (prosthetics) used on Deas and Mattson for those fantasy sequences was created by Santa Barbara makeup artist Carlos Yeaggy, who explains what was involved : "Originally the idea was for Keith to be a pig, and for Gina to be a jackass. But I thought that seemed too harsh... It wasn't cute enough. So I suggested an old, frumpy woman and (the producers) agreed. They're really cool about that - accepting input. I think (the scenes) were really interesting to do and hopefully we'll do more in the future. Santa Barbara is the only show that does really fun stuff these days. For me, it was nice to see the final outcome on screen - when the actors brought the characters to life. It made me feel good about my work. Robin and Justin are great to work with. They have a lot of patience. They're really professional. It wasn't easy for them to sit there for so long. It took about two-and-a-half to three hours to put on each face. And, with all the chemicals that were used, it sometimes got pretty uncomfortable for them."

"When I first started doing makeup about twelve-to-thirteen years ago, I took classes with (makeup artist) Michael Westmore (whose credits include the Rocky films), and that's where I first learned about using prosthetics (a nude-colored plastic material that is glued on the face and covered with makeup). I've done it before on other shows. It's obviously quite different from working with ordinary makeup. When we started Santa Barbara four years ago, it was everyone's intention to make the show different… funny... to really stand out. But I don't think it truly developed until the last six months or so. Now the show is a lot of fun."

A later storyline - Gina and Keith's search for the missing Mason Capwell - required yet another fantasy sequence. In it, Gina had a dream that she was at a circus, center ring. Julia cracked her whip and summoned Keith, who was a lion, then ordered him to jump. Gina wheeled in a big black box, insisting she could make Mason appear. However, only a rabbit popped out of the box. Santa Barbara makeup artist Carlos Yeaggy created the lion's look by first making an actual impression of Deas's face.

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