Strik­ing A Bal­ance

Upscale Living Magazine - - Profile - By Heléne Ra­mack­ers

The for­mer ‘The Price Is Right’ pre­sen­ter is tran­si­tion­ing into a new ca­reer, work­ing along­side her hus­band on their fam­ily-owned Smith En­ter­tain­ment Group. Gwen­dolyn Os­borne-Smith re­veals her in­ter­est­ing past and her ex­cit­ing fu­ture prospects.

Tell us a bit about your­self.

I feel that I am at a great place in life. I am ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a ca­reer tran­si­tion from leav­ing ‘The Price Is Right’ af­ter twelve years and I’m ex­cited about all the pos­si­bil­i­ties for my new ca­reer tra­jec­tory.

Your mother is Ja­maican and your fa­ther is Bri­tish. That sounds like the best of both worlds. What are your fond­est child­hood mem­o­ries?

Food! I love the fact that I get so much great food from dif­fer­ent cul­tures. It was also great to travel to dif­fer­ent coun­tries at a young age. It helped me to dis­cover cul­tures in such an in­ti­mate way and en­abled me to adapt to var­i­ous dif­fer­ent cul­tural en­vi­ron­ments. I def­i­nitely have the Ja­maican love for dance. I learned to whine (pro­nounced wind - like wind­ing a clock) my waist at a young age (and have got­ten pretty good at it over the years!). I en­joyed go­ing to the South of Eng­land to the Bri­tish sea­side with my grand­par­ents for fresh fish and chips. My child­hood was quite a unique fu­sion.

You are a model. When did you model and talk us through the in­ter­est­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing places you were able to visit?

I like to rem­i­nisce about trav­el­ing to the Caribbean is­lands while liv­ing in Mi­ami. I still have a love for the is­lands and trav­el­ing to dis­cover new ones. The world sees mod­el­ing as one as­pect but it was in­ter­est­ing to work in var­i­ous ar­eas of print, com­mer­cial, and run­way. One of my most mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ences was when I got in­spired by the suc­cess of Halle Berry (who doesn’t love Boomerang?!) and de­cided to chop off my long hair. It was a huge risk and my agent wasn’t happy about my hair chop, but it paid off! I booked a huge print ad for Saturn al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards and I’m a car en­thu­si­ast as well so I en­joyed the job.

Any anec­do­tal / hor­ror sto­ries about mod­el­ing?

I once did a run­way show for a huge de­signer and one of the other mod­els stole my shoes just be­fore I hit the stage. I was fran­tic and re­ally an­noyed but I car­ried on and re­al­ized that I could walk/werk pretty well in heels two sizes too small.

How did you end up on ‘The Price is Right’?

I was work­ing as an ac­tor on the Bold and the Beau­ti­ful for a beach scene. My wardrobe was a small bikini! The B&B stage is so close to TPIR that they share a bath­room. A TPIR grip saw me and went back to TPIR and told a pro­ducer, Kathy Greco about me and the rest is his­tory…

Hav­ing spent twelve years on the show, it must be part of who you are. What was that ex­pe­ri­ence like?

Mod­el­ing is sim­i­lar to act­ing in that you of­ten cre­ate a “char­ac­ter” for the job. I was able to in­fuse my love of dance and sketch comedy fun for show tap­ings. When I first started I was a sin­gle mum and work­ing on TPIR was a great way to get my foot in the door in the en­ter­tain­ment world. Plus it pro­vided flex­i­ble hours to also spend time with my el­dest daugh­ter in the early years.

Share with us the most ex­cit­ing part(s) of the show and were there ever dis­ap­point­ing mo­ments?

The be­gin­ning of ev­ery show is the most ex­cit­ing part. It re­minds me of be­ing in a play and the mo­ments be­fore go­ing on the big stage … the hair, make-up, au­di­ence, fan­fare. Many times be­fore a tap­ing, I’d look on the back­stage mon­i­tors to see the au­di­ence. Their ex­cite­ment and cos­tumes/cus­tom t-shirts al­ways en­er­gized me be­fore hit­ting the stage. TPIR has the great­est au­di­ence and noth­ing com­pares to tap­ing a show in front of a live au­di­ence or cheer­ing fans.

It must have been emo­tion­ally chal­leng­ing to say good­bye … did you have mixed feel­ings about let­ting go?

I didn’t have mixed feel­ings; I was pre­pared to move for­ward with my ca­reer to the next chap­ter. How­ever, for the tap­ing of my last show, I got very emo­tional hear­ing Drew Carey say on the mi­cro­phone that it was my last show. Hav­ing to say good­bye to the au­di­ence, which was also filled with my sup­port sys­tem of friends and fam­ily on that day was emo­tional. I def­i­nitely wasn’t pre­pared for that. Work­ing on a show for twelve years cre­ated a fam­ily en­vi­ron­ment. Dur­ing that time pe­riod I ex­pe­ri­enced many life mile­stones: I got mar­ried, had two more chil­dren, lots of birth­days, etc. …

Now for ex­cit­ing times ahead – you and your hus­band have started your own busi­ness – Smith En­ter­tain­ment Group. What is the fo­cus of your com­pany and what is your in­volve­ment?

The fo­cus of SEG is to cre­ate new and ex­cit­ing con­tent, in­clud­ing sports and life­style to show­case the tal­ents of oth­ers and of ours as well. We do scripted and un­scripted shows. My in­volve­ment is to over­see that all of the projects are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion with the right peo­ple. I also make sure that as SEG grows we main­tain our orig­i­nal vi­sion and adapt as needed. I’m in­volved in each as­pect of pro­duc­tion from cre­ativ­ity to clos­ing deals.

There is a say­ing one should never work with your spouse, fam­ily or friends … is this true?

It can be chal­leng­ing at times. We re­spect our cre­ative dif­fer­ences and thought pro­cesses. At the end of the day we have the same goal: to cre­ate fun and in­no­va­tive con­tent.

Is it hard to shut the door and not take your work home?

Giv­ing space, main­tain­ing pa­tience, and re­spect­ing each other’s process def­i­nitely helps to main­tain bal­ance.

How do you bal­ance your ca­reer and spend qual­ity time as a cou­ple and with your chil­dren? Do you be­lieve in date nights?

We fit what we can in when­ever we can. Some­times a date night can in­clude go­ing to a live tap­ing of our daugh­ter in a sit­com or go­ing to a UNC col­lege basketball game our son is play­ing in or watch­ing our el­dest per­form on­stage while on tour! It’s all very ex­cit­ing!!

What do you as a fam­ily do for fun?

We love to take va­ca­tions and dis­cover new fun places. We are ac­tive and like to ride bikes, snorkel, and spend time around water. We re­cently took a trip to Hawaii. The kids loved the mu­sic and ex­cite­ment of see­ing a luau. Ed­u­ca­tion through travel is fun.

And as a cou­ple?

I am a foodie so I love try­ing new places. It seems in LA there’s al­ways a fun trendy restau­rant open­ing or a great new chef so it’s fun to ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent foods. I am def­i­nitely the more dar­ing one in the re­la­tion­ship and will co­erce Kenny into some­thing like zip-lin­ing for fun.

You have the most in­cred­i­ble smile! You should be in tooth­paste ads! Se­ri­ously, how do you main­tain your gor­geous looks and stun­ning physique?

Well thanks! If you have any con­nec­tions, I’d love to do tooth­paste ads! Lol. Oral hy­giene has al­ways been part of my life­style. I keep my reg­u­lar den­tist ap­point­ments, floss reg­u­larly, and never miss a den­tal check up. *BIG SMILE* Hav­ing the pres­sure of my smile help­ing me get a pay­check has al­ways helped too! As for over­all physique, I al­ways try to fit some sort of ex­er­cise in three times a week. Even if it means walk­ing with one of my kids in the neigh­bor­hood. Pi­lates on a re­former ma­chine is my fa­vorite work­out and I can feel and see im­me­di­ate re­sults.

Do you like to re-in­vent your­self looks-wise? I see you switch be­tween brunette and blonde. A change is as good as a hol­i­day they say?

I al­ways love to switch it up! It’s easy to switch up hair and some­times it’s fun to make a change or two. A small change can help em­power and up­lift me.

Is it true that blondes have more fun?

In cer­tain cir­cum­stances, for sure. But over­all I pretty much man­age to have fun if my hair is blonde, brunette, or blue.

You are also a singer. What genre is your forte and who are / were your mu­si­cal in­flu­ences?

I love neo-soul. My in­flu­ences range from Mariah Carey’s early days to U2 to Etta James.

How is the record­ing process of your al­bum com­ing along?

It’s a process. I am try­ing to bind all of the chap­ters to­gether to make one book. Each song rep­re­sents a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence or time in my life so I’m work­ing to mesh them into a com­plete story.

Are your chil­dren mu­si­cally gifted?

They are. My 5-year old daugh­ter Lon­don never stops singing and danc­ing around the house. It re­minds me a lot of my­self as a child.

If you had a crys­tal ball, what do you see in your fu­ture? Jokes aside, what would you still like to tackle in your per­sonal life and ca­reer in the next cou­ple of years?

I would love to see my­self work­ing as an ac­tress in­cor­po­rat­ing my singing on a show that I co­pro­duce within five years.

Part­ing thoughts?

I am to­tally in love with the fact that Meghan Markle will be part of the Royal Fam­ily. Grow­ing up as a mixed race girl in Eng­land it’s not some­thing I ever thought I would see. With her also be­ing an ac­tress I feel she is some­one I can re­late to. Their union feels in­spir­ing to the fu­ture of our world which is uplift­ing and much needed right now. I’ll be wait­ing for my Royal Wed­ding in­vi­ta­tion! | Pho­to­graphs by Vince Trupsin

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