TUCK US IN
miss january's excellent adventure took her from indiana to california -- where she's a nanny
She wasn't always an adventurer. Growing up in small-town Indiana, Jami Ferrell was the shy girl in the last row of the classroom -- the one looking dreamily out the window. "I was always reserved, even painfully shy. I didn't have any friends," says Miss January. Today, a grown-up beauty of 22, she still speaks in a voice as soft as a little girl's. Her hazel eyes shy away from a stranger's gaze. Yet there's something besides shyness here, something that constantly defies the quiet angels of her nature. There's a rebel in Jami, too. One day after graduating from high school, she went to the airport in Indianapolis, near her hometown of New Castle. "I had never flown in a plane, never been outside the Midwest," she says. Plunking down her Visa card, she was asked for a destination. "I chose Los Angeles. That sounded exciting." Soon she was wandering through Beverly Hills and Hollywood. She made friends with a few locals. "People are much more outgoing here, friendlier and more persistent than the folks back home," says Jami. One was too persistent. A fast-talking modeling agent invited Jami for an interview. Time and place: Sunset. The man offered Jami a deal. He could make her a star, he said, but first things first. "I stood up and left. That was the day I learned to be careful." Low on money, she took a small apartment in a dangerous part of East Los Angeles. Then Jami spotted a newspaper ad: Nannies Wanted. What better job for a quiet Midwestern girl? She got a position as a nanny in Malibu, where Miss January now looks after the children of a high-powered, high-profile California couple. "I love my life here. I love the kids, too. But even this won't last forever," she says, gazing at a spectacular Pacific sunset. "I know I'll just get restless again."
Photography by Arny Freytag, Stephen Wayda