Game Show Gig Big Deal For Durham Foursome
News Advertiser – February 7, 2007
by Mike Ruta
DURHAM – On the first episode of Deal or No Deal, the first contestant was an Alberta firefighter who walked away with $109,000 after making a deal.
The first briefcase he chose was No. 5, held by Gray.
While Gray is honoured to have been picked as a model, she didn’t exactly need to pad her resume. The St. Mary Catholic Secondary School grad’s career blossomed at a young age.
“When I was in high school my first major gig, I think I was 15 years old, I landed an ensemble role in “Chicago” and that kind of kick-started everything,” she says.
Gray danced in two scenes and the film went on to win the Academy Award for best picture. During the experience, she realized a career in show biz was for her.
Immediately after her high school graduation, she landed a role in “The Producers” and after other appearances on TV and in films, including a gig as the dance double for a lead character in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”, Gray is now preparing for an ensemble role in the musical “We Will Rock You”, which debuts this spring in Toronto.
As if that isn’t enough, she is a certified makeup artist who formed Fancy Face.
“Being a makeup artist was something I always wanted to do since I was a little girl,” she says. “I formed my own company and it’s something I wouldn’t mind falling back on. It’s kind of my way to take a step back from the limelight.”
As for Deal or No deal, Gray says she didn’t know what to expect when she showed up for work on the first day. To a person, she found the other women “humble and polite” and not at all stereotypical, diva-like models.
Being a briefcase model might look like a sweet gig – beautiful clothes, face time on national TV, and all you do is open a case.
But, the razzle dazzle of TV doesn’t tell the whole truth behind the hard work. Not only did they get to be the messengers of possibly horrible news (or positively life-changing), they were charged with occasionally entertaining the crowd on one of the many breaks during filming.
The clothes might be fabulous, but not too many people want to stand in a freezing studio for hours on end in a micro mini. And the shoes – well, the three inch stilettos might help the already towering ladies look Amazonian, but try standing in a pair for hours on end.
After the last episode was filmed on Jan. 25, several models were almost limping off the stage, and some returned in slippers to get souvenir photos.
In the end, it was all worth it. “I just feel very gratified and fortunate to be one of the girls,” Gray says. “I think it’s pretty cool.”
She encourages young people to aim high and work hard. It’s obviously worked for Gray.
“Shoot for your dreams and don’t give up,” she says. “You’re happiest when work isn’t really like work.”