MEEOW!!! Say hello to this Cat on a hot tin roof.....
|Photo credit (Kevin Donelly)|
You may remember Catalina Guirado from living the glamourous life, gracing the pages of our tabloids and lustered after by teenage boys all over Britain. For in the mid 90's she was the star from the TV show "TGI-Friday!" and more recently "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here." But these days she can be seen cruising the PCH or riding her horses on the ranch.
So it makes sense that she moved to L.A. thirteen years ago to pursue freedom!?!
Now, Catalina works as the Creative Director of Guirado Design, an art licensing company that uses the art work of her late father, acclaimed Spanish abstract artist Juan Antonio Guirado, to design stunning textiles and scarves by her manipulation of the original art work using repeat techniques and seasonal color trends to create Wearable Art. www.guiradodesign.com
Was there a particular reason you chose LA?When I first set foot at LAX I felt I was 'home'. California reminds me very much of Andalusia in Spain where I am originally from with its weather, mountains and deserts, but it has the extra brownie points that everyone speaks English and Los Angeles is the epicenter of all things creative so I could work. I had a music publishing deal with Universal Music, and at the time I had been a very successful model and TV personality in the UK. I felt to be taken seriously (and to save my sanity) I needed to get out of England and be myself rather than what the press and public wanted to perceive me as, so I made LA my home, avoided anything to do with 'celebrity' and wrote songs, painted and lived the perfect boho life in Venice Beach.What things do you miss most from home?I miss my best friends and of course family. Museums, style and country pubs!What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus the UK?I find the attitude here a breath of fresh air. I like the fact that people say 'have a nice day' and I don't care if they mean it or not, at least they are up beat and polite! The service in restaurants is fantastic, people are friendly and laid back ( most of the time), everyone is creative and most of all , you are allowed to be who you want to be. Nobody cares if you want to walk down the street in a ball gown or superman outfit!
I can also have my dream lifestyle here, relax and be myself. I love the creativity I have here. Some people find that in London or cities but I definitely need mountains, sun, deserts and beaches to get the creative energy flowing. If you dream hard enough, LA allows you to fulfill your dreams, and encourages you to reach for the stars rather than suppressing you. And even if you don't make it , its much nicer to live here, go to the beach and work in a bar than in London!
Photo credit by Zimbio.comDo you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?I love the Malibu Cafe. One day I want to have a small ranch and will model it on the grounds there. Its like Alice in Wonderland , just magical.What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?Make sure you do your research first. For example, get the right visa, learn to drive if you can't ( I did 5 lessons is the UK then came out here and got my license straight away!) Brits in LA is really helpful , I didn't have that and it would have really helped me. Also, be prepared to go through a lot of friends. Its not like home where you make real friends straight away. I don't know anyone I first met out here anymore. It took a good two years and to be honest most of my friends now are from England or Europe AND I married an Englishman I met here. Its just the way it ends up working. Lastly, if you are in entertainment don't expect to work straight away, if at all. You can come here as a big star in the UK and end up working in a boutique here! I was told when I first arrived by my A&R guy it would take at least 2 years, even though I was already signed. It did! I got bored and moved back to London for a while to do TV again before feeling the calling of the Pacific coast line!