We had the good fortune of connecting with Gena Lee Nolin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gena Lee, how do you think about risk?
I knew at an early age I wanted to be in California. I had won a few beauty contests, but ultimately wanted to be on the west coast. At the time, I didn’t have any money and I didn’t know anyone there, but when you don’t have anything you have nothing to lose. That was my attitude. That’s what thrusted me towards LA.
I was cast on The Price Is Right as a Barker Beauty on CBS soundstage 33. Across from us was stage 31 which housed The Young and the Restless and stage 32, The Bold and the Beautiful. As luck would have it, whenever they needed a model or actress, they would come over to stage 33 to fill spots and I ended up their go-to girl. That was my first time ever acting. My first scene was with Vivica Fox actually. I was star struck during the scene! My intent was never to be an actress. Showing microwave ovens and cabin cruisers felt like I had hit the jackpot at the time. I was totally fine being on The Price Is Right.
I didn’t have an agent when I booked my first parts. I got the show, then I got an agent, after that I became part of SAG and finally ended up Y&R and B&B. My roles on Baywatch and Sheena followed, then I wanted to become an author and write about living with thyroid problems. All of that would never have happened if I hadn’t gone out west. Sometimes you have to just jump in with both feet and hope for the best!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As I said in the other questions, I got my start being a Barker Girl showing off microwaves and here I am turning 50 as a published author, accomplished actress, and I have my family. Was it hard? You bet. You have to stick by your guns and just keep trying. A lot of it is right time right place. You can still better your chances just being willing to take a chance and checking your ego at the door.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There’s plenty to do! You have the beautiful surrounding desert area that has gorgeous sunsets. Pinnacle peak park and McDowell Sonoran Preserve are worth checking out. There’s Butterfly wonderland when I want to relax in some greenery. Old town Scottsdale is great to walk around.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I won’t name the person out of privacy, but the best peace of advice they gave me was to have a good head on your shoulders and being aware being in the public eye is a job. It’s not glamorous at all. There are elements that are glamorous – you have those days you’re working with an incredible photographer and catered to. Other days you’re making call after call after call, feeling rejected. All in all, it’s a job. You have to take it seriously. If you want to take acting seriously, be prepared and be on time! Know what you’re doing. You’ll gain the respect of of your colleagues, producers, directors, casting directors, studios. That’s what propels your career – your reputation. That bit of advice made all the difference in my career.
All the sunset (golden) desert shots credits are: Photography: Tracy Ann Battaglia “Fully Alive Photography” Makeup: Tamara Bickley “Makeup Artistry by Tamara, llc” Hair: Catherine Sorrentino “Vjordan Salon” Location: The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Furniture: Dang Fine Rentals & Designs All the other shots (red dress, white shirt, white dress, blue dress, black shirt) Photography: Tracy Ann Battaglia “FullyAlive Photography” Makeup: Gena Lee Nolin Hair: Sarah Wilks with “SKW EXTENSIONS” Location: The Scott Resort & Spa