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Why Kayla Johanson Almost Said No To Gold Rush: White Water

"Gold Rush: White Water" is the mixing of the popular "Gold Rush" franchise and a different style of mining from what is typically shown on the series. Generally set in a remote area of Southeast Alaska, "Gold Rush: White Water" is a spin-off show that, like the show that inspired it, focuses on the pursuit of gold, but the subject of this series is mining for the precious resource in and around streambeds. This requires specialized equipment and the knowledge of how to use it properly in the harsh wilderness.

"Gold Rush: White Water" is currently in Season 5 and has seen new full-time cast members join the veterans of Fred "Dakota" Hurt, Carlos Minor, and Dustin Hurt. Kayla Johanson is one of these recent cast members, and she was a seasoned gold miner long before joining the cast of "Gold Rush: White Water." Despite the success of the "Gold Rush" umbrella of shows, Johanson was at first reluctant to join, but what caused this apprehension?

Kayla Johanson was camera shy and owns her own business

Before lending her skills to "Gold Rush: White Water," Kayla Johanson had spent six years dredge mining in Alaska, which essentially involves scooping and dragging mud (via Gossip Next Door). She also already had a profitable business. Speaking with Hollywood Soapbox, she said, "I wasn't sure if I was going to do it yet or not, mainly because I already had my own dredging operation going here. I usually work by myself, so I'm my own boss. I make my own schedule, and I don't really have anyone telling me what to do. At most, I might work with [one] other person if I bring in some help, but for the most part I work by myself. So I was kind of [on] the fence if I wanted to change that and leave that behind."

She also explained that it took some time for her to get used to the cameras and that she had been immensely camera shy for most of her life, joking that she felt like a deer in headlights her first week. However, Johanson looked at it like she does her mining, considering it a challenge to be overcome. She said that she is now comfortable around cameras but reflected on how rough the start of filming was. It's luckily for us that she did, because "Gold Rush: White Water" always thrives with the addition of new blood.