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Meighan's California Dreaming

The former Shortland Street actress is playing a student in Hollywood! It's a long way from Kaitaia to Hollywood, but talented actress Meighan Desmond has been quick to bridge the gap. The former Shortland Street star, famous as teenage tearaway Lulu, has fallen in love with life in Los Angeles, where she been checking out the movie-making world for the past few months. The bubbly 20-year-old says she has come a long way since she left her home town of Kaitaia at 16 to attend drama classes in Auckland. And she intends to keep moving, hopefully back to the film capital of the world. "I wanted to do some reconnaissance before I started swimming with the sharks," laughs Meighan. "I may have some more TV work coming up here, but that's not confirmed. I'm planning to go back to LA again within the next six months. Some people go to India to have a spiritual journey. I guess it's typical I ended up going to LA." Since leaving Shortland Street, Meighan has starred as the evil goddess Discord, an occasional role in Hercules, but for the most part has been pursuing her second love, traveling. "I've always traveled. When I was 14, I saved up for a year and went to Hawaii by myself for a month to stay with friends," she says. When she was 18, Meighan visited Los Angeles, San Diego and Mexico. Then it was back to Hawaii and Los Angeles last July with best friend and fellow Shortland Street actress Angela Dotchin. "We came back at the end of August, I said my good-byes in September, then in October I went back to Los Angeles. I found an apartment in Beverly Hills and just hung out. The place really is a movie bubble, but it was fascinating all the same. I felt like I was doing my homework or something. I'd just sit and study people. I saw so many differences between the people in New Zealand and California. In New Zealand what you see is what you get. In LA you think you have someone figured, then they just totally change." Ironically, because of the glut of actresses in LA, Meighan ended up playing the student. "If you said you were an actress, people's eyes would sort of glaze over," she says. "It's true what they say about every plumber having a screenplay and every waitress being an actress. In the end I'd just say I was a student." Although she insists she is not moving to Los Angeles purely to pursue her career, Meighan says she would ultimately love to star on the big screen. And she may already have a head start in Hollywood thanks to a look-alike who stars in an American soap! "I was asked on three occasions whether I was Gillian's sister on one of the daytime shows," she says. "Once I got used to people sticking their face up to mine I thought it was quite funny. I must have a double out there!"