How did you learn about the show?
I was out in California, and send in a picture by email. Within thirty
minutes I got a call. After speaking with me for about forty-five minutes and realizing that Iím a down to earth, country girl, I was invited to the studio. It all happened so fast. Within an hour and half of sending the picture in, I was at the studio in Sherman Oaks meeting producers, including Mr. Swartz and the casting director. I spend hours answering every question you could imagine. The next day they set me up for exams. After they deemed me as physically and mentally sound, they told me to get my bags ready.
How long did you have to get ready before you left for the island?
When I was chosen, they told me to pack my bags and get my passport ready, I might be leaving within days. However, they decided to put me on the second season. We shot within a week after the first season.
Where exactly is the island?
Was there anyone that you bonded with quickly?
Instantly, I bonded with Crazy Charlie. I knew that he was a smart, trust worthy man with valuable life experiences. I also bonded with gilligan zac and professor andy because we all went fishing together every morning. We enjoyed the adventurous side of being on a deserted island.
How long were you on the island?
I am sorry, but I cannot answer.
What was your favorite thing about doing the show?
Developing rich, life-long friendships with people that I love and would have never met if this opportunity were not available. The show also allowed me to remind myself that the best way of living is getting to the basics. I already had a taste of this lifestyle while living in Alaska and spending time in a remote area in Brazil. It is refreshing to get away from cell phones and traffic and live simple. Being a huge fan of Gilligan's Island and an Interior Designer, I was also impressed with the set design and the fact I got to walk on the set of the beloved Gilliganís Island.
What was your least favorite thing about doing the show?
My least favorite aspect of the show is viewing the sneaky way that editing can portray a situation that is not entirely accurate. Stating that, I was fully aware that it makes for good television. It does hurt a bit when cruel remarks are directed at yourself or other people you love. Since I am not a harsh critic myself, it takes a moment to prepare yourself for criticism.
What did the people you work with think about you going on the show?
They were very supportive of me. It is so refreshing to have the people close to you cheer you on.
What did your family think about you going on the show?
They were extremely excited for me. The character of Mary Ann is very well received and beloved in the south. Therefore, my family took it as a great compliment. Dawn Wells, the original Mary Ann, resides in Nashville as well. People love her here!
Who did you have the most in common with?
Zac and I had a lot in common because we are both light hearted, goofy, and adventurous. Off the island, I would say that Melissa and I have a lot in common. She is one of the most supportive, lively and radiant people I know. Her and I have a sisterly bond.
What were the Gingers like? Were they down to earth?
Erica was extremely kind and sweet. She never rocked the boat and got along well with everyone. Her demeanor is sincere and caring. Angie was awesome to me. Since her unfortunate injury, she was not on the island too long. She is wild and full of spunk. I loved when I got to see her during publicity opportunities. It was funny taking pictures next to her. She has thousands of poses, while Iím sporting my solid three. She has kindly invited me visit her if Iím in her area.
Do you talk to any of the other cast a ways?
I speak to most of my island friends on a regular basis. I have been able to visit with Jim and Donna, Crazy Charlie, Shawn, Zac, Andy, and Tiy-e. I am hoping to visit NYC to see Melissaís cabaret show. She and I speak often. She is extremely fun and a genuine friend whom I love. Crazy Charlie and I talk at least once a week. He is like a wild, crazy uncle that calls and checks up on me. Since both of us have been traveling quite a bit, we share stories. You know, men do not stay on the phone too long. Every week, itís about a five minute conversation. It cracks me up because every time he begins with a super high dosage of enthusiasm ďHowís my all-American girl, this is your crazy Charlie.Ē He is truly an outrageous swamp man. Television only touches on how funny he is. I love him as well! I have got to visit the Bounces a couple of times in Las Vegas. We keep in contact often. I fell in love with the city, blackjack, and this fun couple. Jim and Donna are fun loving and hospitable. Some of their jokes were showed out of context, they are great people to be around. I was also amazed by Donnaís interior design ability.
Gilligan Shawn and I have been able to travel and participate in sporting events together. He has turned out to be a close friend. Professor Tiy-e is hilarious. He is full of life and is always entertaining. Professor Andy and I are dear friends. He is a compassionate and caring individual. In all sincerity, the love triangle really is three friends that care for one another. Nothing is too hot and steamy. It was more innocent and sweet than portrayed. Before the show, I was strictly career driven and had not dated anyone seriously in four years, in which I dated the same guy mostly through college. Being on a deserted island allowed me to take time to feel out emotions that have been hidden for a while.
It is interesting and humbling to see how they edit my interview. A major percentage of the subject I was talking about is the hardships of finding love and missing your first love. Professor Andy and I did have a sweet chemistry, but we were playful with it.
Erica and Angie are great people and I adore it when I get to see them. However, I do not speak on a regular basis.
Had you done any acting or been on any other shows before?
I have been in a music video.
Do you think that you would like to do any more reality TV?
I would love to do a show that incorporates my love of country music, sports or interior design. Vanity set in when I say the roughest possible portrayal of myself on national television. For some reason, I was not concerned with looks on the island. I was like a tomboy, fishing, getting dirty, and not caring about any makeup and crazy hair.
Since your Dad was in the Army you were able to travel to a lot of places.
Yes, I have lived in Georgia, Texas, Germany, Kentucky, Alaska, and Tennessee. I love to travel! My parents allowed my brother and I the opportunity to explore and learn various cultures on a modest upbringing. In addition, I have traveled throughout Europe and over forty states. I also spend time working in construction and with children in Brazil.
What has been your favorite place to travel to and live?
Tennessee has my heart. I love the rolling hills, pleasant people, and cool music vibe of Nashville. My most remomorable place I lived is in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. We had to drive a couple of hours to get to a McDonalds. There were moose and caribou in our front yard almost every morning. It was remarkable to walk outside and see Cascade Mountains every day. The trail running was phenomenal . My dadís job was to teach survival techniques. It was a blast because we got to thoroughly enjoy the outdoors by skiing, fishing, and rock climbing. I loved Alaska as well.
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