Interview With Geoff Gustafson, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”

By Ruth on July 23, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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Anyone who knows me well knows that when it comes to Hallmark and the many series of movies they present on their network, Signed Sealed, Delivered holds a very special place in my heart. It is one I have supported from its inception, and the core group of characters embodies some of my favorite actors of all time. That’s why I was absolutely dumbfounded when Geoff Gustafson agreed to an interview with me. I can’t even delineate the elation that coursed through my veins. And I am even more ecstatic to be able to share this interview with all of my readers as Geoff shared a plethora of things about his career, his work on Signed, Sealed, Delievered, and even his future aspirations.

 

geoff-gustafson.jpgRH: What inspired you to become an actor? What kind of training have you had?

GG: When I was in high school, I took a drama class, and my teacher said I was good at it, so I kept doing it. After high school, I joined a comedy troupe. Eventually, I ended up at the University of Victoria in their theatre program. I graduated with a BFA in Theatre in Education. I officially started my acting career in 2000, and landed my first commercial in 2003. Over the last twelve years, I have taken scene study, audition, Shakespeare, Meisner and other classes.

How did you first get involved with the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series?

I auditioned five times over two months and finally booked the job.

It is unusual to have a core group of four actors who seem to have clicked from the beginning. How do you account for this unusual chemistry between the four of you?

I think it’s probably strong casting. Martha {Williamson} was very thorough in her audition search. As well, the four of us have a fair bit of experience in the industry. Actors don’t always know when they are going to work next, so it’s really in everybody’s best interest to get along.

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KWIK KWOTES

From the #POstables fans

Marybeth Rudzinski: “I love Geoff’s portrayal of Norman’s layers. He’s intelligent, private, shy, and discussions about feelings scare him. At the same time, he’s loyal, compassionate, searching, and courageous. Geoff’s nuanced performance using his face, body, and voice captures all of the layers which endear Norman to the audience!”

Barbara Bridges Potter: “One of my favorites is the Christmas one when Norman demonstrates his positions that he displays for the Nativity scene. Just a breath of fresh air, he is for sure. Thank you.”

Michele DeRose Mick: “I’m glad to see Geoff as Norman get to take the next step in his relationship with Rita.”

Julie M. Gerhart Rothholz: “What I admire about Geoff is that with Norman, he sometimes provides comic relief and quirkiness, and others, he delivers emotion, thoughtfulness, and sentimentality. Knowing when and just how to execute a scene just endears Norman (and Geoff) to the viewers. Everyone should have a Norman.”

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When it comes to your character of Norman, how much input do you have in creating your character and storylines? How much does Norman match your real personality?

Martha has always been very encouraging and generous in her inclusiveness. If she hears an ad lib she likes during a read through, she often adds to it or reminds me to use it when we are filming. As for how much of me is Norman-like, I like to think I’m more confident, but Norman is probably more patient. He is definitely smarter. I’m more social.

As Martha Williamson is the creative genius behind the show, how would you describe her as a person?

As a person, Martha is overflowing with generosity and genius. For her to bring as much skill and talent to her work and then be so trusting with us to interpret her words is truly humbling. I’m very fortunate to get to work with her scripts and to be guided by her experience.

What has been your favorite episode so far and why? Who has been your favorite guest star and why?

Wow. There are a few. My favourite is probably episode ten when we find Norman’s grandmother, played by Carol Burnett. That was one of my greatest moments as an actor. A dream come true.

download-3.jpg.jpgIn the upcoming film One in a Million, what can you tell us about the film, your character & your character’s relationship with Rita without spoiling the plot?

I’m not supposed to say anything but I can assure you we see more deeply into the growing relationships between the Postables…

 

What is the atmosphere like when filming Signed, Sealed, Delivered

We’ve been doing this for a few years now so there is a lot of routine and familiarity behind the scenes. We all have our quirks. Some of our crew has been with us since the pilot, and I’ve gotten to know them quite well, which feels great.

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paris 10KWIK KWOTE

Crystal Lowe, Co-star Signed, Sealed, Delivered

“One night after a cast dinner, Geoff and I were walking to get a cab. It was pouring rain, so he told me to wait while he found them for us. A couple of very intoxicated and rough guys came over and were about to harass/aggressively hit on me when Geoff showed up right in the nick of time to defend me. The guys quickly walked off. Who knew Norman could be so gentlemanly and brave all in one?? True friendship when someone will take on a group of people to protect you! Pretty awesome, huh?”

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What has been your experience with the fans the #POstables?

The #POstables! Well now…to be honest, they make me feel cool. It had never occurred to me that I would have such a supportive, inspiring group of people (outside of my family and close friends) show such interest in my work. I am beyond grateful for their support, and I hope to continue telling stories that excite and unite them. 😎

Anything else coming up that you can mention?

I got married six days after we wrapped production in June.

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KWIK KWOTES

From the #POstables fans

Ashley Elizabeth Eppley: “Geoff, your character is so special to all #POstables, and I want to say on the first episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered, your heartbreak in not seeing the old woman before she passed reflected on the time how I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to my Nan AKA Grandma, for the pain hurt too much. Your heartbreak, the loss, and your emotion in that scene when you get the stamps filled my eyes and heart with tears. You are truly a talented actor, Geoff, for you will always be #POstables precious Norman.”

Jennifer Luxton Das: “I love his facial expressions! He conveys so much with just a look! He reminds me of so many of the great silent era comics who could light up the screen with their expressions. I also love the sensitive spirit he gives Norman. One of my favorite episodes of the TV show was when Norman’s grandmother visited. They were golden together. How was it to play opposite of Carol Burnett? Really love the comedy that he gives SSD. It’s hilarious, gentle and deliciously quirky!”

Donna Hamilton: “Thank you, Geoff, for bringing Norman to life. I love to see that Norman is showing his feelings more. You really make the #POstables feel like they’re all family.”

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As an actor, how do you balance your personal and professional life? What do you do in your free time?

I am very close with my family and have very good friends that I make a priority. They help keep me motivated and happy. I exercise regularly and eat healthy. I play soccer with a few teams year-round.

I’m also the department head of a Theatre Conservatory in Vancouver and have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges and successes of putting together a team of instructors and building a program of which we are all very proud.

Other than that, I love watching baseball. I am trying to watch a game at every MLB ballpark. I was just in Chicago and got to go to both US Cellular and Wrigley.

Do you have any plans to eventually write/direct?

I have a project I’m working on with a partner. It’s coming along, but we aren’t in a hurry.

unnamed-590x381.jpgAs a character actor who has played a wide variety of roles, what has been your most challenging role to play over the years and why?

That’s tough. I’m not an actor that finds it particularly easy. Certainly I have my strengths, but I don’t think I ever really feel like I’ve succeeded in overcoming the challenges of a role. If anything, it’s like an onion. I peel a layer off to reveal another layer and then another layer and another and eventually start crying.

So I don’t think I could choose one challenging role. I think Norman has been my favourite. The opportunity to peel back layers for three years has been a wonderful challenge. And there is still more to uncover, and I can’t wait to continue.

 

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From the outset, Geoff has always been one who holds a distinctive place in my heart. The memories I have over the past three or so years of my interactions with him online as well as seeing him create Norman Dorman on the screen thrills me to no end. And now that I get a clearer picture of him as an actor and as a person, I feel as though I am witnessing a portion of the secret of his success. In this business, it is rare to discover an actor who is willing to not only dedicate himself so fiercely to the creation of a memorable, lovable character, but is also willing to relate to his fans on a real level. I have it on good authority that Geoff can say so much with a limited amount of words in the realm of social media, and he is one who is sensitive, humble, kind, and relatable to his fans. While he may not be as active on social media as some other actors, he is authentic and candid while still manifesting his signature style of humor, sobriety, or whatever the situation calls for. Whether it’s crafting his characters on screen or merely sharing a word or two to his fans of gratitude and compassion, his interactions are perpetually direct and artless. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll always prefer the transparent, benevolent actors like Geoff, who are fully sincere and share sporadically rather than those who share ceaselessly but “it’s all about them” and seem rather pretentious. One thing Geoff will never be is counterfeit nor complacent, and I think it’s part of what makes him such a dynamic actor and a charitable person. Be sure that you watch him in the new film Signed, Sealed, DeliveredOne in a Million on Sunday, July 24, on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries network, and don’t forget to follow him via the links below as I am certain good things will continue to come about for this humble, but gifted gentleman!

FOLLOW GEOFF

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. Barry December 14, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful interview with Geoff Gustafson! I love Signed, Sealed, Delivered, and Norman Dorman is one of my favorite characters!

    • Author
      Ruth December 14, 2016 Reply

      So glad you found it! Thanks for commenting Barry. I had to work hard for this interview, but it was worth it!

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