MeetLauren Baldwin from Wigan, Lancashire, who moved to LA 7 years ago to continue her career as an actress.
Was there a particular reason you chose LA ?
When I was a kid I had a printout of a photo of downtown LA stuck to my bedroom wall with a pencil drawn arrow pointing to one of the tall buildings that said 'Lauren's Apartment!!'. (Now that I know LA better I realize of course that would have meant I lived on the 50th floor of a bank). I watched a lot of film and TV as a kid and knew that all of my favorites were made in LA in some shape or form and that's why I knew I had to live there as soon as I could. Not many people can say that their childhood dreams came true, but mine certainly did!
What one thing do you miss from home?
The people! But I get a lot of visitors so that helps. I also miss watching football matches at a decent hour. Those 5.45am kick-offs are brutal…but you'll find me at the pub watching my boys (Liverpool) regardless of the time!
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus Wigan?
Well let's see….Wigan has it's own 'Walk of Fame' now so really it's just like Hollywood! Obviously the weather is insanely different and public transport can be difficult here.
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
In Altadena there is a hike up to Echo Mountain (http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/EchoMountain_4472.asp) where you can find the remains of an abandoned hotel complex and its grounds. It's fascinating to see where the old train line ended up there and its a lovely place to hike to with amazing views all the way to the top. This year I watched the 4th of July fireworks all over LA from up there…I highly recommend it!
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?
Come here with fresh eyes and no delusions of grandeur. And get a car!! If you have a regional accent like me make sure you can do some kind of 'standard' Brit accent too (if you're an actor)….the Northern tones can be confusing to none-Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey fans and for some reason we are expected to sound like Bridget Jones (ah, the irony) at auditions here!
If your life was a TV show what song would be the theme tune?
Diff'rent Strokes! Living in LA you meet people from all walks of life and it helps to be tolerant and mindful of that.