LOOK closely at actress Scarlett Mack's forehead and you can't actually make out the word 'Trouble.' But you sense it was certainly there at one time.

"I was definitely the difficult child growing up," she says, grinning.

"And I'm not too far away from the character I play in the film, Blackbird, this rebellious girl who teams up with a boy in a small Scottish seafront town."

Blackbird premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival this week and Scarlett stars as Amy, a 'rebellious, difficult, fun-loving girl' from the Isle of Whithorn whose dad is constantly disappointed in her.

Amy teams up with local boy called Rowan (Andrew Rothney) who's also looking for excitement in life.

"Yes, I guess I'm a bit close to Amy," says Scarlett.

"I think my parents were constantly surprised when I'd ring home and not announce I was in prison, asking 'Can you come and get me out?

"Or that I hadn't done a bungee jump and my eyes had popped out, or that I was about to become a single mum.

"I suppose they weren't quite sure what I was up to."

Nor at times was Scarlett. Now living in Glasgow and set to graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland acting school, the 28-year-old is clearly focused on a career path.

But the road to clarity took a few twists and turns.

She explained: "I loved musical theatre as a kid, and sort of saw myself going into acting; I did a Higher drama and got an A.

"However, I decided to go to Lancaster University - just because it's on a major train line, to do a degree in Theatre Studies. But the thing is, I didn't tell my parents.

"My dad is a doctor and my mother a physio and I guess they would have been delighted if I'd said I wanted a career in medicine.

"But I didn't. I let them think I was doing a business studies course to keep them happy.

"Anyway, I was there a year before I owned up to what I was doing. It sort of blew my parents' minds."

She adds, smiling: "I guess I'm the typical middle child who rebels a bit."

After the Lancaster experience, Scarlett took off to Manchester and landed work at the Lowry Theatre, although it wasn't always easy.

"The Scots accent was easily disguised but local theatre companies tend to want to employ local people for the major parts at least.

"There are so many actors out there," she admits. "I got a few parts, but not enough big ones.

"And you don't get TV work if you don't have the original accent - unless you're a big name."

But smallish parts don't pay many bills.

"I took a job as an event planner with a multi-million pound company, thinking I would get time off for auditions and be able to work nights if acting work came along.

"And it was fun, doing a lot of wedding plans where crazy women with lots of money would come to you with the most bizarre requests."

Such as?

"The craziest was a one year-old's birthday party. The parents wanted a live elephant hired for the day to transport kids around the garden.

"But you can't put a one-year-old child on the back of an elephant. And how do you find an elephant in Manchester?

"We found a life-size robotic elephant, which did the job."

She adds, grinning: "These people had more money than sense. On the celebrity guest list, for a baby's birthday party, was David Gest and Amir Khan and a couple of footballers. Can you believe it."

Scarlett needed to get away from the obscenely rich to the next level. But how?

She said: "I spoke to a theatre director and she reckoned I should go to drama school. So it made sense for me to come back to Scotland and I got into the RSAMD, as the Conservatoire then was, and they offered me a full scholarship.

"Getting into drama school is all about being fearless."

Scarlett loved her stint in college: "I had a fantastic time. Even when we had to play at being an animal for a day and I was a meerkat and a jellyfish.

"First year students aren't generally allowed out to work. But when I was offered the part in Blackbird I said to the Head of Year: 'Look, I really need to do this one.' Thankfully she agreed.

"I was really pleased to get it. A lot of second and third year students went up for the role."

Scarlett is set to continue playing spirited creatures. Already, she has work lined up for the autumn, appearing at Perth Theatre in a production of Blithe Spirit directed by the legendary Johnny McKnight.

"I'll play Edith the naughty maid," she says. "It's perfect - and I can't wait to do it."

Scarlett admits she's career- focused, but hasn't surrendered to a conventional life.

"I'd love to have a caravan, where I can go where I like at any time. And a pug, one of those little dogs that look as if they've been battered in the face?

"My boyfriend is an actor and I'm lucky because he's bit of a gypsy like me.

"He tells me he'd like to live in a barge," says the actress, laughing. "But that's a little bit slow for me."