Tehachapi native takes new form as singer Justin Timberlake
by Julianna Crisalli
Tehachapi News Staff Reporter
Tehachapi's own Cooper Campbell will be appearing as Justin Timberlake on the Fox show "Performing As."
On Tuesday, Sept. 16, Campbell's episode will air on Fox network. The show begins at 8 p.m.
"I'm extremely excited," said Chris Campbell, Cooper's brother. "I am very happy with the way things are going for him. We went to the show and he did an incredible job, it's definitely worth watching. We are all very proud of him."
Cooper is now 21 and living in Sherman Oaks, but he grew up in Tehachapi.
"I liked living in Tehachapi. In grade school it was cool. We lived on a lot of property," said Cooper.
He started at Cummings Valley in the fourth grade. He graduated from Tehachapi High School in 1999 with the memories of his reign as Winterfest and Homecoming King.
Even at this age, Cooper had an interest in entertaining. He was a member of a punk rock band called "SCHWAG." They opened for a number of musical groups including "Blink -182." Cooper played the drums and sang background vocals for the band.
"I got tired of sitting behind a drum set," said Cooper. "Both of my parents sang, I kinda had it in me."
He is now in his fourth year at Long Beach State where he is majoring in communications.
"If I don't become successful with singing, hopefully I can do something with public relations or something in the entertainment field," said Cooper.
Cooper first learned about the audition for "Performing As" from a friend. He auditioned with several other Timberlake hopefuls. Every week a winner is selected. Five will make it to the finals and will win $20,000 for making it that far. Those selected will perform again and the top winner will receive $200,000.
"I heard through a friend. He was somehow connected to the casting director. They wanted him, but he's kinda tone deaf so he asked me," Cooper said.
According to Glynis Campbell, Cooper's mother, the people at "Performing As" treated him like a star. He trained with the tops in the business, such as choreographer Tina Landon. She has worked with artists Janet Jackson and Christina Aguilera. Cooper also worked with voice coach Gary Catona, who has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Andrea Bocelli and many more.
"Working with people of that caliber was great. It was cool and a lot of fun. Everyone was very catering to your needs," said Cooper.
Cooper explained he did not grow up listening to Timberlake's music, but appreciates it now because it helps him improve his own vocal abilities.
"I didn't grow up on N'sync or other pop groups. I grew up listening to bands like Deftones' and Korn.'" said Cooper.
Part of the show gives viewers a glimpse into the life of the performer. Cooper's interview will highlight Tehachapi and travel to some of Cooper's home territory, like THS.
"They came back to Tehachapi. They were fascinated I grew up in a small town. They were totally blown away. We ate at the Garden Cafe. That was kinda fun," said Cooper.
He experienced a star's life from every angle. He had his own dressing room, people who answered his every need and he even had screaming fans in the audience.
"Having people scream at you is pretty cool," Cooper said. "Girls were even crying, that was interesting."
Cooper's family is very excited and proud of his accomplishments. They are looking forward to seeing his shinning moment on television.
"I've heard rumors his friends will be throwing Cooper parties," said Glynis.