WHEN you think of Hollywood you think of sun, sea, stars and success so no wonder Wokingham actress and singer swapped Berkshire for life in LA.

Victoria Summer moved to LA in 2009 to pursue her singing and acting career. She said: "I came to LA for the first time at 11 years old. It was such an important step in my life because I always dreamed of Hollywood and of course Disneyland, but coming from a single parent family, we couldn't afford to holiday there, so when my best friend's Dad asked me to accompany them - it was a dream come true! It was at that point I decided that one day I was going to live in America."

When asked how it compares to life in Wokingham, Victoria said: "Well what can I say... you are swimming around realising you are a tadpole compared to all these sharks and you have to get smart quick and work out what it's all about. That took me a while. I'm still working on it...but that's the industry."

Victoria has starred in a remake of Bram Stoker's Dracula, which she says is her most interesting project to date, and has also starred in The Zombie Diaries, which later got taken on by the infamous Weinstein Brothers.

She said: "I had never done a movie before. I was a complete novice and I learnt so much! I'm petrified of such films and we filmed a lot of scenes in the dark in some forests in the middle of nowhere just outside London.

"It was quite freaky actually, come to think of it. But the make-up was fun, especially as I was the 'sole survivor' - I sort of got to stick around and be the heroine. I liked that!"

The actress, who was inspired to act after watching Mary Poppins and The Sound Of Music as a child, started recording her debut 'vintage pop' album this month and will do weekly video blogs from the studio on her social media sites.

She said: "Singing is completely different. When you do theatre, and actually film too, the director quite often has a very specific viewpoint in mind of how he wants you to play the scene.

"With my music, it's me, it's my create. And having done the West End stage, nothing beats singing live and when it's your own song and the lyrics really mean something personally to you, it's even better."

Victoria was born in Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital and at 19, the former Emmbrook School pupil earned a scholarship to the prestigious Art Educational School in Chiswick.

Now she has her sights set on the big time. She is involved in her music, auditioning for film, commercial, TV and theatre roles, charity work and of course those red carpet events. "Life is unbelievably busy," she said. "My mother keeps telling me I need a holiday but I honestly find I'm happiest working on my career goals."

-Follow Victoria on Twitter: @VictoriaSummer and visit her website www.victoriasummer.com.

- The Guide has teamed up with the rising star to bring you the latest news from the Hollywood front and her life trying to make it in the industry. Victoria's first monthly column will be in next week's Guide! Don't miss it!