Meet Janine from Yorkshire who moved to LA 5 years ago to continue her acting career.

Was there a particular reason you chose LA? I grew up watched movies and was mesmerized with the glamour of Hollywood. I’d stay up till the early hours every year to watch the glitzy Oscars. 
I knew acting was what I wanted to do from a very early age but knew staying in Yorkshire wasn’t going to help me get there. After moving to ‘the big smoke’, London was where I headed for drama school. Being a country girl from a tiny sleepy village, going 200 miles to a huge big city was not the usual done thing, so it was incredibly daunting, but I wanted to follow my dreams, so it had to be done! 
Then back in 2005 I took a few masterclasses with a Hollywood acting coach in London, this triggered my interest further to check out Los Angeles. Although I love London, the culture, and my acting career I achieved back home, I knew the fast pace of the city life wasn’t for me. New York is similar to London but I love how LA is spread out, not as fast pace, very green and all about entertainment and movies. Of course the all year round sunshine was the icing on the cake! 
I was then lucky enough to book a lead in a feature film which then brought me here. So I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, and so I followed my dreams.

What do you miss most from home?
Photo credit: Trevor Bowling
Apart from family and friends, good old fish & chips! Then I’d say a proper Sunday roast with Yorkshire puddings.  British Cadbury’s chocolate, Jaffa cakes, custard and Heinz baked beans.  I never thought I’d EVER say this but I’ve never appreciated rain until moving here.  The changes of seasons are also a biggie and the fresh country air and green rolling hills in Yorkshire. 

What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? If so why?
My first impression was “Wow this place is a huge maze and how will I ever find my way around without my tomtom!”. When you first get to LA, because its so vast and the roads are so long, it takes some getting used to. I’d say it takes about 3 months to get very familiar with the areas. Also it took that long for LA drivers to stop beeping me at every second ha! It was like been thrown in at the deep end and finding your way out to the flow of the tide.

What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus London?
The weather, culture and the fact in LA you can walk into a Starbucks and end up talking to a director who wants to bring you in for his latest role. That doesn’t happen very often in London. Its all about networking I’ve noticed in this town. LA has a lot of fun glitzy red carpet and networking events. But on the flip side, LA can be a very lonely place so you have to have a strong network of friends around you. Night life in London is way bigger and the pub scene is not the same here. The choice of healthy and organic food, natural non-toxic face/body creams and many wonderful fitness places in LA is much more widely available. And finally, the fact you can drive to the beach, desert or ski down snowy mountains without leaving the state is pretty amazing.

Do you have any hidden gems in LA that you want to share with us? 
Kiku Sushi in Larchmont Village is my all time favorite place; plus, the owners are so lovely and welcoming, Yamashiro Hollywood for romance and awesome views of LA, and I love Irori Japanese Restaurant in Marina del Rey. Yep I’m a sushi lover ha!
I absolutely love Malibu beach and all the coastline and mountains surrounding it. Manhattan beach is also one of my favorites too.
Although this isn’t a hang out spot, it took me 5 years to know about this place but I now can get my British food urges taken care of with Love love love this company and they are in Cali! 

I’m a big fan and proud member of BAFTA LA’s events they hold.  Always fun and great to mingle with like minded folk 

SAG-AFTRA Film Society is wonderful too
if you’re in the union and want to keep up with the latest movies released. 

A lot of people have misconceptions about LA - did you?
I was always told by my family how dangerous Los Angeles is from stories they had heard, and that you can’t go out at night and this that and the other. Well, you might get run over by a bus tomorrow as they say but I had to find out for myself. So, like London, depending on where you go then yes it can be dangerous but these are not the places I would hang out or live in anyway. Like all cities, you have good and bad areas.

What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?
Do your homework! Come out for a visit and see if LA is for you. Move with £10,000 to £15,000 in savings, if you’re an actor, have a good Agent/Manager who is going to be your right hand man, if you don’t drive then be prepared to learn (public transport isn’t like London) and know you will need enough savings to buying a car.

Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given?
Don’t believe everything someone promises you, don’t wait for the phone to ring; but do go out, be proactive and do it yourself.

Lastly, how can we find out more about you?
Check out all about me at I’ve just shot my latest horror movie playing a leading role in ‘F***, Marry, Kill’. 

Had the pleasure of worked alongside the lovely Timothy Carhart (Thelma & Louise) and Lorna Scott (Wanted).

The movie is set to be taken to film festivals this year. 

You can see more about the project and watch the trailer at

I’m also going to be in an Improv show with Shire Productions called the ‘The Unpredictables’ at the end of February, and I’m currently having a role written in for me in the webseries ‘Northsiders’ in the coming months too so watch this space.
Facebook page: Janine Gateland

IMDb page: Janine Gateland


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