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“I was out for about a year and a half just trudging along trying to get my feet grounded in LA. Then things just turned,” Amber Coney reflects. 2016 has been a huge year for Amber. She’s most well known for playing Cricket on Freeform’s hit show Dead of Summer, but she’s no newcomer to the world of acting. “It wasn’t really a choice for me. It was just something that was inherent, like, in my blood almost,” she insists. Originally from San Jose, Cali., she began her descent into theater in elementary school and then at an artsbased private school. From there, she attended the University of Southern California to study film and participate in the BFA acting program. She’s always taken her work seriously; so seriously, in fact, that it affected her when she was younger. “I was always a perfectionist to a fault when I was a kid,” she says, “I would sob if I wasn’t doing my best work and it was almost debilitating.” And though she’s since learned to overcome those intrusive thoughts, she’s no less focused now than she was before stardom. Scouted by her current manager while at USC, Amber was happy to have someone assist and guide her through beginning the audition process, which she remembers as “horrible and terrifying” for a while. “Until I learned to take a chill pill,” she laughs. While auditioning for roles and trying to break into the business, she also delved into the world of screenwriting. “After graduation, I started writing because I got involved with James Franco and his production company. I worked as an actor first, but then he had me start writing scripts. That was the first time I had ever written a feature,” she remembers. It was a challenge that she welcomed, though. Writing has always been a part of Amber’s life, whether it be journaling, poetry or just intellectual pieces. Because she was working for such an established company straight after college, she put a lot of pressure on herself. She knew that all of the projects she worked on were going to be made, so she knew she had to put

her best foot forward. “I’d write in really short periods of time and just commit. I wouldn’t leave my apartment,” she says, “I sacrificed a lot of my social life to write.” Of the nine scripts she wrote for the company, one was made just as she accepted the role of a series regular on Dead of Summer, a supernatural horror series that takes place at a 1980’s summer camp. “It just changed my life instantaneously,” she says. Reminiscent of an actual summer camp, Dead of Summer was shot at a remote location in Canada. Amber didn’t even have cell phone service. “I was like, I don’t need it! I don’t even like being on the phone that much. I’ll just use WiFi! So I was really isolated,” she says. The seclusion actually turned out to be for the better, though; because of her disconnect from the rest of the world, she instantly bonded with her costars. A fact that might come as a shock to Amber’s fans is that she doesn’t like horror. What truly appealed to her about Dead of Summer’s script were the characters and approach to the genre. She read for the script and felt an immediate connection to Cricket. “It was weird because I thought that it was like they wrote the part for me,” she explains, “It was really bizarre because it fit like a puzzle. It was cool. There was something in my gut that was telling me this project could be it. It could be the one that starts things.” Thankfully, she was right. and she’s hopeful that the show will be picked up for a second season. As an anthology series, Season 2 would be set in a different era with totally new characters, a feat that Amber cites as an actor’s dream. A special aspect of doing television is that there’s an opportunity to work with the same people season after season, so she’s excited about the possibility. “At this point I’m very comfortable with my cast members and trust them, so it would be a really cool experience if we got to do it again,” she says. During the show’s first season, Amber wanted to focus primarily on defining how she approached a role. Now that she knows what to do to

prepare for a series, she would come into the second season with a different goal. “Now it would be about me experimenting in the doing,” she says, “Feeling free to try new things that I haven’t necessarily done before.” Amber has had an insanely busy year, but there’s still more for her to look forward to. Since coming back from the isolation of filming Dead of Summer, she’s been in nonstop meetings, auditions and tapings. She’s keeping the momentum going, on watch for guest starring roles, recurring roles on television shows and any films she might be right for. In addition to auditioning, she’s also writing a book adaptation for her costar Elizabeth Mitchell. “She passed a book along to me and was like, ‘I’d like to make this, I don’t know how’,” she recounts “I’m going to try to write the thing, so once I have a moment I’m going to get back and write that.” Some of her past writing projects are also coming into production soon. She’s written a few movies for Rabbit Bandini, including a film called Blood Heist, which she remembers as dark, strange and fun to work on. Another upcoming project is a movie called High School Lover, a film that her co-star Paulina Singer actually stars in. “It’s cool to see it all come together and things actually being manifested,” Amber says. “I think for a lot of people they put out the creative energy but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they see their work come to fruition. I’ve been very fortunate in the fact that there have been very palpable things that I’ve seen come together, so it’s been awesome.” Amber remains optimistic about the future. She’d like to have a constant inflow of work, especially when it comes to acting. “It’s very rare for an actor to be constantly working, but that’s what I want. I want to just be constantly on set doing different projects, whether that be film or TV,” Amber says. “And then I want to see where writing goes. I’m really open in terms of writing because it’s really fun for me.” Whether it’s through acting or writing, it’s clear that 2017 will be a bright year for her. NKD NKDMAG.COM

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NKD Mag - Issue #65 (November 2016)  

Featuring: Daya, Jimmy Eat World, Olivia Holt, Alli Simpson, Taylor Spreitler, Chord Overstreet, Sadie Robertson, Teala Dunn, Violett Beane,...

NKD Mag - Issue #65 (November 2016)  

Featuring: Daya, Jimmy Eat World, Olivia Holt, Alli Simpson, Taylor Spreitler, Chord Overstreet, Sadie Robertson, Teala Dunn, Violett Beane,...

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