By Patrick Perron
The Mercury News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The transition from model to a woodworker came naturally for Joanie Sprague, who grew up fixing things around the house with her dad in a small suburb of Pittsburgh.
The Mercury News
Joanie Sprague used to strike a pose, now she strikes nails with a hammer.
It’s all in a day’s work for the 36-year-old, five-foot-nine blonde from Huntington Beach, Calif., one of two new carpenters on TLC’s reboot of “Trading Spaces.”
“When you’re a model, unless you’re super-big, big time like Christie Brinkley, you know there’s an end to that career,” she said in a video posted to the show’s website. “I just knew that it was time to shift.”
That transition from model to a woodworker came naturally for Sprague, who grew up fixing things around the house with her dad in a small suburb of Pittsburgh called Beaver Falls.
Home improvement wasn’t her dream job.
“When I was a freshman in college, I really wanted to model,” said Sprague, who dropped out of the University of Findlay in Ohio and moved to New York after 9/11 to do just that.
But at the insistence of her dad, Sprague returned to college and earned her computer science degree _ and then she hit the runway.
Sprague, then known by her maiden name Dodds, moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to compete in Season 6 of the CW reality show “America’s Next Top Model.” She placed second.
While her career took her around the world, Sprague always found the opportunity to show off her skills as a carpenter, including repairing drywall in her apartment. So after “America’s Next Top Model,” she went on to co-host DIY Network’s “Run My Renovation” where she got to build and renovate.
She has also appeared on other do-it-yourself television shows.
So what was it like joining the talent of “Trading Spaces”?
“I was blown away,” she said. “Carter knows exactly what he wants. He’s super fast. The pace at which that man works is super-intimidating. And Ty is an artist.”
But this isn’t a glamorous job.
“The budget is so crazy,” she said. “Sometimes you have to make things out of scraps. I’m building stuff all the time just so I can get good.”
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