After graduating from Valley High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kelly returned to Los Angeles. While on a test shoot for a modeling agency, she was approached by a former Playboy Playmate who was interested in managing her, and who placed Kelly as a receptionist at a surgeon's office who would provide Kelly breast augmentation in exchange for hours worked. She ultimately decided against the procedure, leading to her being fired. That exposure to the medical field prompted her to attend school for a year to become a surgeon's assistant; afterward, she worked as a scrub technician. During the four years she spent in that vocation she continued auditioning for film and television roles.