California is regarded as the Golden State, one of the places that people generally visit when they decide to visit the United States. With an economy that supersedes many countries with economic super hubs like Hollywood and Silicone Valley, it’s one of the most exciting and craziest places in the world.

For most actors, the dream of making it in Hollywood is the penultimate goal, where big-name stars are exalted and turned into film icons, able to sell movies on the back of a name. The star power, which can result in stars earning paychecks of up to $25 million, is what often sells films. When you think of Tom Cruise, the actor has created an empire for himself… One of the few actors who can still command such high salaries by simply appearing in films. His name is big enough to headline the poster all on his own, not requiring the padding of support from other lesser-known stars. You can understand why having attached to a film comes with such a high price tag.

Snapshot from the first Los Angelique tale…

The American dream is tied into this idea of making a big in Hollywood, something that immigrants like Arnold Schwarzenegger can attest to, having felt a connection to the country since his early days in Austria. While it can be likened to winning the lottery with thousands of actors pouring into Los Angeles every month, most seasoned actors will tell you that you can’t expect success overnight.

Mark Ruffalo infamously attended hundreds of auditions before making it in Hollywood. Calling it a 10 year overnight success, you can understand why the process isn’t all glitz and glamour. Most will tell you to give yourself four years before even thinking of getting somewhere. A combination of luck, timing and networking, it does seem like something quite surreal and like the illusion of film, everything isn’t always how it seems.

The city is made of up of many dualities, purporting to be Tinseltown and then immersed in the smog of pollution that it’s often difficult to make out the Hollywood sign. In Los Angelique: Tales from Tinseltown, South African actress Angelique Pretorius gives us an inside scoop. Having made a name for herself in South Africa, the beautiful and talented Black Sails actress decided to make a move to Los Angeles in an effort to set up into the big league.

Her stories about making the movie, pursuing her first break, envisioning fortune and fame are juxtaposed with the tougher, hard realities of continuing to ply her craft as an actor in Los Angeles. This monthly series is a humorous, honest and entertaining piece about what it takes to make it in Hollywood. You can read it first on, catch the first in the Los Angelique series, here.