The video: “Change” by John Waite.
The girl-now-woman: Tina Gullickson.
How old were you when you appeared in the “Change” video?
Ah…that perfect age where you can’t tell for sure, and it remains a mystery.
Where were you living at the time?
In the Los Angeles area.
What music videos, shows, or movies had you appeared in prior to that?
Mostly modeling. A few commercials, a few game shows.
How were you cast in “Change”?
I auditioned by meeting the director and discussing the character.
Do you remember what your reaction was when you were cast?
Yes, surprised and happy to hear so quickly.
Were you a John Waite fan?
I only knew a few Babys songs. Hadn’t heard him solo since “Change” was [the first single] from his first solo album.
Where was the video filmed?
On a sound stage in Hollywood. Sets were built inside to look like exteriors.
How long was the shoot?
The shoot took two full days. Very early starts and late wraps…typical hours for music videos.
How did you feel making the video?
It was surreal. My character was distraught, so I was thinking about that, and what she might be like.
Keeping the tears rolling and jumping off the building ledge. For the fall, we had two takes with no rehearsal.
How was it to work with John? What was he like? Did he hit on you?
John was very professional. I don’t remember having much dialogue during the shoot hours. No, he didn’t hit on me. We, the whole cast and crew, had a little time at the end of it all to hang out a bit. Very cool.
Any funny stories from the shoot?
Can’t remember any funny stories, but people do like to ask about the lines of powder on the mirror…I think it may have been cornstarch.
Anything go wrong on the shoot?
Nothing went wrong that I was aware of. I think it went smoothly. Maybe I just couldn’t tell through all the fog and tears.
What did you think of the video?
I thought it was unique to the genre at that time. Shot to look like a movie with a story, rather than musicians playing—it was different and I liked that.
What did your parents think of it?
I’m sure they were pleased, happy I was getting work.
What did your friends think of it?
Hopefully everybody thought it was pretty cool.
Did you watch the MTV World Premiere of the video, and if so, where and how did that feel?
Wish I had! No, didn’t get to see it till probably a year later when I was given a copy. Couldn’t get MTV where I lived.
Did you receive fan mail? If so, do you still have any of it?
Not back then. I do now, and that’s sometimes pretty funny.
What were you paid?
I was paid a daily rate, good for the times.
Were you ever recognized in public?
I was recognized often, but for the first year, I didn’t know it was on such heavy rotation, so it was unexpected.
Did you appear in other music videos after that?
Sure. I was playing in bands. We all loved making videos.
later in the 1980s
What are some of the other ‘80s videos you appeared in?
The other music videos from the ‘80s that I was in were promos for unsigned bands. As far as I know, none were played on MTV.
I did a national Kodak commercial, cast as the lead singer in a band that was meant to premiere on Oscars night (mid-’80s). That would have been something, but the product had a flaw and the commercial never aired. Oh well.
Did you ever meet other women who were female leads in a mainstream ‘80s rock video?
Sometimes on other auditions. Can’t remember anyone specifically.
If you went to college, where and what did you study?
I studied video production; thought I might want to host a music show.
What are you doing these days?
I’ve been working as a member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. I sing and dance, play guitar. Just finishing a CD of my own music with bandmates.
I’m hoping to finish a few more tracks for my album [in 2014]. For now I have a five-tune teaser CD (released at the end of 2013) but not yet set up to sell online. Soon, I hope.
Where do you live?
Still a Cali girl.
If you are/were married, what was your future husband’s reaction when he learned you were in this video?
Any work that had success was great!
Willing to be more specific about whether or not you’re married and/or have kids?
Got married ages ago, decided to not have children, but have spent many years rescuing animals, so I have had a lot of furry adoptions.
What did you think when you first heard from me?
I’m always pleasantly surprised when anyone takes the time to contact me to talk about the video or current projects.
Has anyone else ever interviewed you about this?
I’ve done interviews, but none as in-depth about “Change” as this one. ; )
Have you appeared at any fan conventions to sign autographs? If not, would you?
I would if they fit in our touring schedule.
Did you stay in touch with John?
No. I have run into him on occasion, usually because of a performance, maybe a meet-n-greet.
How do you look back on the experience?
It is a piece of pop culture history that I’m proud to have been a part of.
Tweet about this interview to @John_Waite!
Next: Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”; Bryan Adams, “Cuts Like a Knife” (1983).