Victoria Justice left South Florida nearly a decade ago for the bright lights of the other Hollywood, where she quickly found acting jobs that ultimately led to an eponymous Nickelodeon comedy, “Victorious,” the movies “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf” and “Fun Size,” as well as tween anthems such as “My Best Friend’s Brother” and “Freak the Freak Out.”
But ask Justice, now 20, if she remembers her childhood in our Hollywood, and her voice brightens, and memories pour out.
“Definitely! I went to Hollywood Central Elementary School. I was best friends with twins who lived next door. I had a trampoline in my back yard, and we lived right by Hollywood Lake, and my sister and I would ride our bikes to see manatees,” Justice says, pausing to catch her breath. “I had a great childhood. I loved living in Florida.”
Justice was speaking by phone from a tour bus as it made its way across West Texas toward a concert stop in Houston. The tour, which has Justice co-headlining with Nickelodeon stars Big Time Rush, hits the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on Friday.
Music is where Justice has been focusing her energies since February, when “Victorious,” about the high jinks of super-talented students at a Los Angeles performing-arts high school, ended a three-year run on Nickelodeon. While it has been customary for the network to drop a series after 60 episodes, it was still a surprising end for a show that featured the comedic and musical talents of Justice, Boca Raton native Ariana Grande and Leon Thomas III.
Dan Schneider, the man who created many Nickelodeon hits, including “Victorious,” seemed especially sad to see the show end, tweeting: “I hope you’ll continue to support Victoria Justice … and all the stars of ‘Victorious.’ I can almost guarantee you — they will make a big impact on the future of entertainment.”
Last month, Justice released a single, “Gold,” from an album due out before the end of the year. She describes the new music as diverse, ranging from upbeat piano-pop to tracks that are “kind of mellow, with a Katy Perry vibe.”
While she is moving forward, Justice says she’s mindful of the fans who got her where she is.
“I would like to bring my young fans along, of course,” she says. “I don’t think [the new album] will be something so mature that they won’t be able to participate. We’ll evolve together.”
VICTORIA JUSTICE, BIG TIME RUSH
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Cruzan Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury’s Way, West Palm Beach
Cost: $32, $79.40
Contact: 561-422-1658, CruzanAmphitheatre.net
More info: VictoriaJustice.net