In just a few weeks, Shavaughn Ruakere has arrived in Hollywood, joined the Kiwi expat brat pack, played with Kim Crossman's pet tarantula and, of course, hit up the hottest clubs in Tinseltown.
On arriving in the big smoke and taking on Hollywood, Ruakere told Spy: "I love L.A. It's a real can-do kind of place and I'm really excited to be soaking it all up, fingers and toes crossed."
Her former Shortland St stars have welcomed the 37-year-old to Los Angeles as she starts her journey searching for stardom in Hollywood.
Ruakere hit the States last month and stayed with ex-Street star Lee Donoghue, who seems to be the gateway for Kiwis landing in L.A. Ruakere told Spy she was relishing living in the big city.
"I was originally staying with Lee. I kind of replaced Frankie Adams who was staying with him earlier in the year. Lee's been here for a few years now, and knows the place like the back of his hand. It's been great hanging around someone who's hilarious and so hospitable in a big ol' place like this."
In Los Angeles, a tight knit Kiwi crew has built up steadily over the last few years, with the brat pack embracing WeHo (West Hollywood) as their own. Donoghue lives in North West Hollywood. Queen of the expat actors, Fleur Saville, has also embraced West Hollywood over Beverly Hills. While close by in Silver Lake, Kiwi musos Joel Little and Gin Wigmore have embraced the area.
Ruakere says the expat camaraderie is real within the acting fraternity: "I went to a great Kiwi get together orchestrated by Harry McNaughton at Fleur Saville's place the other night. I caught up with Craig Parker, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Amanda Billing, James Rolleston and Michelle Ang amongst others. It's great to see so many Kiwis over here giving it their all. It's very inspiring and there is a wonderful support network amongst everyone, which is great for networking on auditions."
Ruakere has arrived at a quiet time in Hollywood, as everyone is away on summer holidays, so she is making the most of her time by training with the legendary Margie Haber.
"She's an acting teacher here who has coached the likes of Brad Pitt and Halle Berry and wow, she's amazing! I'm learning so much."
Ruakere went to see Kimberley Crossman perform her very first stand up gig a couple of weeks ago.
"She was really funny and I got to meet (and hold) her pet tarantula Harry, only in L.A huh."
Spy also asked Ruakere about her love life. "There is someone new but I'm not jinxing it by telling the media just yet."
Last week Ruakere moved into a sweet pad near downtown LA.
"It's quite a change from North Hollywood, (the infamous Skid Row is a only a few blocks away,) but I'm trying to make the most of that as well by signing up to serve breakfast to homeless people and helping out with a programme for under privileged kids."
Don't worry Ruakere has not become a saint, she's also hitting up the bars and clubs. On Sunday night she went to Da Club, where she was underwhelmed by the hedonistic lifestyle, posting this on Instagram: "Dudes spend thousands on bottles of champagne..... Dudes spray crowd with champagne. Staff throw hundreds of paper napkins on floor #wasteful #vulgar #wasntbroughtupwiththis."
Hold on Shavaughn, L.A gets way worse than that.