Interview with “Dead of Summer” actress Amber Coney
Hi Amber, please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a perpetual student, always looking to learn what I don’t already know. I believe very deeply in storytelling and the arts, in the powers they have to heal, instruct, entertain, provoke, and to evolve humankind. I am a great lover of travel and of books, and I seek opportunities that allow me to see things from different points of view! I’m an optimist with a grasp on reality, seeing into the potential of what is already there.
Why and how did you get started in acting and writing?
I fell in love with acting at a young age when I found theatre, an outlet where my playing pretend could actually transform into something meaningful. I had always been drawn to stories, and the fact that I could tell them by becoming another person in a world other than my own was amazing to me. In regard to my writing, I have loved literature for as long as I can remember, and once I refined my writing skills, I started to do it just about every day for academic, creative, and personal purposes. Both acting and writing are art forms that I found myself naturally taking part in, and there is nothing else I’d rather be doing with my time.
What roles do you like to play? And why?
I like to play roles that I either connect to deeply on a personal level, or that are so vastly different from myself that it is almost daunting to take them on. I glean so much artistically from both experiences, and find that I know myself better, and have a more developed perspective of the world around me by the end of either kind of of journey.
Tell us about “Dead Of Summer” and about your character Carolina ‘Cricket’ Diaz?
“Dead of Summer” comes from the astounding minds of the Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis and Ian Goldberg, all of whom I had the pleasure of working closely with on the first episode of the show. The series is set in the 1989 at Camp Stillwater, a Midwestern summer camp, which at first glance is welcoming and nostalgic for all the camp counselors (formerly campers) who reunite to work there for the season. Not before long, each counselor begins to experience mysterious, and sometimes horrifying instances of darkness as the ominous undercurrents of the camp awaken.
My character, Carolina (better known as “Cricket”) is one of the counselors who thinks she is in for a summer of excitement and fun at Camp Stillwater. Cricket is very warm and snarky on the surface, but is internally struggling with a reality that isn’t necessarily giving her what she truly wants or needs. Cricket is multi-dimensional, and her young-adult insecurity, her desire for acceptance and validation, is just as relatable to me as it is to most people. I don’t want to give away too much in terms of story-line, but as with all the characters in the series, there is much more to her than you might at first expect.
Now how is working with James Franco? What was the writing process like for “Mother May I Sleep With Danger”?
James is beyond imaginative, and his creative energy is contagious to me. To be on his level means never stopping or slowing down, so my involvement with him requires a lot of focus and commitment. He’s quite inspiring, and very generous in how he handles his work with other artists. I think we’re pretty cohesive creatively, so working with him is always something that I look forward to. My involvement with “Mother May I Sleep With Danger” began when I got a call from James explaining that he had been asked by Lifetime to helm a remake of the cult-classic, and had been given freedom in terms of altering the story. He wanted his concept to be turned into a full-fledged script, and he told me that he needed someone to write it in less than a week. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I churned out a first draft of the teleplay in five days. Thankfully, James gave me a lot to go off of in the outline he sent me, and my mind was ignited by the possibilities that I could explore in bringing the world and the people who inhabited it to life, which is why I think I could do it so quickly. When I wrote it, it was like watching the movie in my imagination, putting what I saw into words, and then refining it all from there.
What character do you play in “Mother May I Sleep With Danger”?
My character’s name is Sonté, I am one of four bloodthirsty “Nightwalkers” in the all female vampire pack.
Who is your favorite actor/actress?
There are so many that inspire me, but my present day favorites are Kate Winslet and Michael Fassbender.
Best advice ever given?
One of my first acting teachers (Zane) always advised me and my fellow students to focus on the process rather than the end goal, both in art and in living. While I constantly am looking for the possibilities in everything, it is vital to me both as an artist and as a person to remember to immerse myself in the present, because it’s the only reality, the only place where life truly exists.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
What are the most useful tips you could give to someone who’s just starting in the entertainment world?
Be patient but unrelenting! Any empire, especially creative ones, are never built in a day.
What’s one of the funniest things that has happened to you on set?
Thankfully there hasn’t been anything funny enough (yet) to slow down production because of a giggle fit, but on one of our shoot days during a long set-up of a scene, my cast-mates and I had a chunk of time to relax, and one of us opened up snapchat to do some documenting. Not before long we got on a kick with the face swap filter and started to take photos in pairs with our faces switched. For some reason it was absolutely hilarious to us, and we were crying-laughing over how bizarre (and sometimes deranged) we looked with our faces interchanged!
What’s your favorite show on T.V. right now?
I’m perpetually catching up on TV because there are so many amazing shows out there right now, but my favorites have been Girls, American Horror Story, Transparent, Broad City, and I’ve seen a bit of The Knick which is awesome too!
What do you do when you have some time off?
I always try to watch films, TV, and read when I’m not on set or working on a script, so that I remain inspired by other creative forces. I’m big-time into exploration, so whether that means hopping on a plane, going on a hike, or finding a new art museum, I make it a point to adventure somewhere new whenever I get the chance. I also love going on long walks, so sometimes I disappear with my music and headphones for an hour or two.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
I’d wake up, meditate for a bit, then make myself a nice breakfast and a coffee. I’d consume those things while journaling out my thoughts, setting out my intentions for the day or the coming week. Then, I’d go on a run, stretch, shower, and sit down to write or do acting work. I’d be productive through lunch, so that I’d be able to meet up with a friend or a group of friends, to go somewhere awesome or see a film.
Do you support any charity?
I support any charity that exists to alleviate the pain and circumstantial hardship of those who have suffered abuse in any form. I have no specific ties yet but I look forward to aligning myself with organizations whose causes I feel strongly about in the near future.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Constantly creating, somewhere beyond what my imagination can conceive!
How important is Social Media for you?
Social Media is amazing in that it enables me to connect with people in my life that I don’t get to physically see very often, and it also allows me to share my adventures and what I’m up to creatively with everyone who is interested! I think it’s a great outlet, but I don’t take the superficial aspects of it too seriously. On the flipside, it can be very useful in perpetuating meaningful information, spreading substantial content, or creating awareness.
Where we can follow you?
Amber Coney fan page on Facebook
Favorite Quote: ‘Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.’ -Mary Oliver
Favorite Book: Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke
Favorite Food: Japanese, Thai, Indian… so many kinds to love!
Favorite Restaurant: Rahel’s Ethiopian in LA and Meet in Vancouver
Favorite Movie: My answer to this question varies but I always love to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Taxi Driver, or American Beauty.
Favorite Song: When We’re Fire (Cello Version) by Lo-Fang
Favorite TV Show: The ones I listed above 🙂
Favorite Holiday Destination: San Francisco or NYC