|Pistol Packin' Paula|
|Age (at audition)||48|
When Pistol Packin' Paula gets ready for work, she grabs her nickel plated .45 Cimarrons and her bull whips. She twirls and shoots her gun like Annie Oakley. She cracks her bull whips like Calamity Jane. Growing up in Connecticut, Paula didn't give much thought to cowgirling, guns or horses, but that would soon change. Being the type of person who sets her sights on something and goes for it, she first decided to become a stuntwoman. She went to stunt school to learn high falls, roof rolls, car hits, and saddle falls. She even learned to be set on fire! It was here that Paula showed interest in the skill that would change her life. She saw the guys twirling guns and asked them to show her how to do it. They all told her that it was no use for her to try because her hands were simply too small to twirl real guns. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Paula set out to prove them wrong, so she taught herself.
After graduating from stunt school with $50 in her pocket, Paula headed west to follow her dream. In 1990, she landed a job as a stuntwoman at Rawhide Western Town in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is where she began twirling guns professionally and became Pistol Packin' Paula, western performer. Paula is the only woman in the U.S. who twirls real guns professionally. She twirls two .45 Cimarron revolvers and twirls them into her fancy custom-made holster by Alfonso of Hollywood. Her one-woman show includes gun twirling, cracking bullwhips, and a foot-stomping wild west dance. She has also expanded her skills to include her horses Jake and Tonto. Her performances, both live and on television, have been enjoyed around the world. Paula also performs around the country portraying Annie Oakley in special events and Wild West Shows.
In 2005, she packed up her things, including her two horses, Jake and Tonto, and hit the dusty trail to Texas. She set up camp and settled at Enchanted Springs Ranch, a western movie set/theme park. In 2006, Paula drove up the trail to Claremore, Oklahoma to compete for a World Champion Gun Spinning title. She won her first World Championship presented by Wild West Arts Club. In 2007, Paula drove all the way to Nashville to rescue an Australian Cattle dog who she named Pepper.
In 2008, Paula and her dog, Pepper, were in a major roll-over accident that almost ended her career. She endured multiple fractures on her pelvis, ribs and a bruised lung, but to her relief, Pepper was fine. He was a hero and went for help. After six months of recovery and the help of many friends and fans, she was determined to get on her feet and perform again.
In 2009, Paula got back in the saddle and headed to Las Vegas to compete for another World Champion Gun Spinner title. Although there was stiff competition, she won her second world championship and was presented with an award by the Wild West Performing Arts Society! She is the first and the only woman to win this title. Her goal now is to help children develop self-esteem, encourage them to deal with everyday challenges and most of all, follow their dreams. Paula has successfully made a living as a western performer and has performed for many legends like David Carradine, Louise Mandrell, Melissa Gilbert and other performers around the world. 1
Pistol Packin' Paula's audition in Episode 802 consisted of twirling two pistols and shooting blanks with them. She also sliced with a bullwhip a rolled-up piece of paper sticking out from Nick Cannon's mouth. Heidi Klum and Mel B buzzed the act. Although Howard Stern voted yes, Heidi, Mel B, and Howie Mandel all voted "No," eliminating Pistol Packin' Paula from the competition.
- Pistol Packin' Paula was the first western performer of Season 8 whose audition was televised.