SHE was dubbed 'the kid from Fame' after landing a place at a top New York drama school.
And life for Gayle Rankin has continued to be like a movie now she has graduated.
The 22-year-old, who initially trained in Glasgow, is now starring in a play in Manhattan, where she still lives since finishing at the world famous Julliard School a year ago.
It's the latest of a series of jobs which has kept her busy since finishing at the school attended by Hollywood stars such as Robin Williams, Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney and Kelly McGillis.
Gayle said: "It was very hard but I had an amazing time. I was given a lot of great opportunities and played a lot of wonderful parts. It seems so far away now. I've been really lucky and I'm having a really good time.
"The first year is always the hardest so its been really great I've got such a good running start."
Gayle went to the Dance School of Scotland, in Knightswood, before heading to New York when she was just 17.
She was helped with the cost by winning a scholarship, as well as a Donald Dewar Arts Award, a scheme set up in memory of Scotland's First Minister.
After her four-year drama course finished last year she has been fighting it out with other actresses for parts.
And so far she has worked with top directors, appeared in independent movies, and even starred in hit TV show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
It has been on TV in the USA – and her parents in Scotland were also able to watch it on TV here.
Gayle was a guest star in a gruesome episode, alongside rapper turned actor Ice-T, who plays Detective Odafin Tutuola.
She said: "It was really fun. He was really great, totally professional and a great actor. All the cast were really welcoming. It was shot at a place called Chelsea Piers. I was on it for a couple of weeks so it was a substantial job.
"I play Holly Schneider who was a Plain Jane actress who came to New York with her friends to pursue acting, and got jealous of her more good-looking friends... what she does to them is quite terrible. I get put in prison – it was terrible but fun. Bad girls are roles I really like to play."
The Emmy-winning actress Mariska Hargitay also stars in the show, and Gayle said: "She was a really sweet woman."
Her current role is in a play which is creating a buzz in the New York theatre scene.
Dubbed a family drama, Tribes is about a deaf boy called Billy and his unconventional family, in which Gayle plays the sister.
On at Manhattan's Barrow Street Theatre, it has just won outstanding play at the Drama Desk Awards and has gathered 20 more nominations.
IT has also been given the thumbs up by critics from newspapers such as The New York Times.
The cast includes Oscar-nominated American actress Mare Winningham, and Gayle will be in the show until September.
She said: "Its been really wonderful and we've been winning a lot of awards."
It's Gayle's second off-Broadway play – the name given to shows playing in New York in smaller theatres than the big Broadway productions
She has also appeared in The Illusion, which was directed by Tony Kushner who was nominated for an Oscar for his film Munich in 2005 and won the Pulitzer Prize for his play Angels in America.
Gayle, who lives in 116th Street, though is currently house sitting for cast member in the trendy West Village, has also worked with acclaimed New York theatre director Brian Mertes, including appearing in the classic The Seagull, of which she's now working on a film version.
And she soon will have her sights set even further from Scotland – Los Angeles.
Gayle, who can work in the States thanks to a special visa for extraordinary artists said: "I am auditioning and maybe I'll go to LA. I'm going to finish this show, which is scheduled until September and I might go to LA. There's a lot of cool film and TV stuff happening."
IT'S all a far cry from life in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, where her family lives.
But they couldn't be more thrilled for her – especially as her mum, Anne, 51, who like Gayle's dad Gary, 53, works for Scottish Power, said she always thought performing was something Gayle would grow out of.
She said: "She's done so well but she's worked really hard. We just wanted her to be happy in whatever she did.
"She has wanted to do it since she was about seven or eight. She went to Scottish Youth theatre and the former RSAMD, and amateur dramatics.
"It's something that's always been part of her life. You think they'll grow out of it, but she never did."
However Gayle does miss sister Heather, 25, and niece, Morgan, 1. She said: "You miss so much of them growing up but we Skype which is good."
Gayle starred with rapper turned actor Ice-T in the hit crime series Law And Order: Special Victims Unit
"If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere..."