Meet TJ Ramini from London who moved to LA 6 years ago
to pursue his acting and writing career
Was there a particular reason you chose LA ?
I was always going to move here. I knew that from a very early age as I've always been an actor and so it was just the natural order of things, really.
I'd done rather a lot of TV, film and theatre back home and was 3 and a half years into a series regular on The Bill for ITV. I was offered representation and help with the visa and all the paperwork from a few different people so, with my partner Annie McQueen's full support, I left The Bill and made the move.
What one thing do you miss from home?
I miss many things about home but if I had to pick one, I'd have to say, banter. Ask anyone who knows me - I'm a talker! I love nothing more than a good chat over coffee, a drink, a meal, a cuppa, whenever. Banter is an essential part of British culture and for me, one of our greatest attributes.
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus the UK?
It sounds extremely uncouth, but it's the money and the opportunity. I've been a professional actor for 20 years and the state of the business back in England sickens me. The pay has gotten worse and worse, as have the standards. I've been offered a number of notable jobs back home since being here and each one of them would have COST me money if I'd accepted them! It’s outrageous. I really feel for my fellow thesps back home.
It's the same with the writing side. I sold my first feature script to Universal within a year of moving here, although it was a British film and I have two TV shows in development right now. Americans aren't afraid to say yes.
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
I don't know if it's "a hidden gem" per se but it's certainly special to me. I live in Santa Monica (along with several other thousand Brits!) and for the last 6 years, I've played footy with a bunch of them every Wednesday afternoon at 3.45pm. I absolutely love it. It's great exercise obviously, but it's more about the banter and the setting more than anything else. We're mostly Brits with a few Yanks too but we're all "from somewhere else" and truly appreciate the beauty and freedom that life in LA has afforded us. Hackney Marshes it aint!
|Hackney Marshes: photo Hackney Gazette|
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here ?
It's a pretty boring thing to say, but be prepared. Don't just pack a suitcase and come. Visit for a considerable amount of time and do your homework. If you're an actor, meet up with other actors, meet agents and managers, go to classes, make connections and then move. If you're not an actor (well done!) but I feel it's still the same attitude.
It's a pretty boring thing to say, but be prepared. You should come over for a few months at least, before making the move.
Lastly , how can we find you on the Internet ?
I’m on Twitter (@TJRamini - how creative…) and my acting school, NBS - New British School, has a Facebook page:Facebook.com/newbritishschool
While the name may imply otherwise, it isn't just for British actors! 90% of our members are American, it's just the British style of teaching and acting which seems to be rather popular on this side of the pond!