In my quest to highlight talented, positive young people, I happened upon a lovely young actress named Avery Konrad. She has been featured in the new SyFy Network series Van Helsing, and I was quite eager to get to know her better. Thankfully, she was just as enthusiastic to share her story with me. Thus, she recently answered a few questions about her work within the industry so far and how she keeps that optimistic outlook of hers.
RH: What inspired you to become an actress? What kind of training have you had?
AK: I think subconsciously I always knew I wanted to act. I remember when I was very young, I used to memorize comedy skits and make my neighbours sit down and watch me re-create them. I’ll always remember the movie that made me want to start acting. It was called Aquamarine, with Emma Roberts. There was a girl who plays a mermaid in the movie and I was mesmerized by it (keep in mind, I was about twelve or thirteen years old). I have trained with many different coaches in Vancouver for film and TV.
What was your first professional job in the entertainment industry? Tell us a little about that experience.
I believe it was a modeling job…a back-to-school flyer for Walmart when I was fifteen. I shot the photos in Toronto at a school. I was so excited to see them when they showed up! My photos would also pop up on the screen at Walmart while you were shopping. Haha!
You got to be on an episode of Falling Skies. Tell us a little about that experience.
It was a very fast day! It was a flashback episode. I played Hal Mason’s (Drew Roy) girlfriend, Rita. It was just one scene, so I was in and out pretty quickly. Everyone was very nice!
This really wasn’t my first recurring role. I am physically in the last episode of season four, but the other two episodes are just photos of me. I play the sister to Kyle Stansbury. The detectives are investigating the murder of his family, so when the season starts, my character is already dead. Haha!
You got to work with some amazing actors on 12 Rounds Reloaded 3. Tell us a little about how you got that role and the on-set filming atmosphere.
I remember thinking I wasn’t going to get the part because I looked too young, but I ended up booking it. It was a fun experience! I got to ride around in a cool car and meet Jonathan Good, AKA, Dean Ambrose. The scene kinda went viral. I didn’t expect that to happen, so that’s pretty awesome!
You are now on Van Helsing. What first attracted you to this role/series? Please tell us a little about your role.
I auditioned for the role in the middle of pilot season last year. I only went in once, meaning they didn’t hold callbacks for my role. Everyone was in the room..producers, writers, casting etc. There must have been at least seven people sitting at the table. It was all kind of a blur, but I do remember talking to show runner, Neil LaBute! I play Cynthia, who is part of a group of survivors who enters Axel’s lair (the hospital) in the first episode. Cynthia is definitely the most fragile of the group. She does what she has to do to stay alive. She’s struggling a bit more emotionally than everyone else and is the weaker one out of the group that way. This was my first recurring role on a series. It was so exciting to be part of a project from the start. All of the cast became close very quickly and even though the tone of the show is darker, we spent a lot of time laughing off-camera!
It’s very in-your-face and is pretty gory at times, but between all the fight scenes and vampire blood, there are very real, truthful, beautiful moments. I think people will really love and root for these characters. The characters have such interesting backstories. Everyone should tune in to see where they are all going and how they got there.
Any other upcoming works you can mention?
Not at the moment!
As a young person in the industry, how do you keep yourself grounded and away from negative influences?
I think I’m just very aware of who I am and what I don’t like. I thank my parents for that. “Always know your worth” is something I remind myself of and to “treat people how you want to be treated”.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Dance, dance, dance!! I love to dance and spend eighty percent of my free time doing that. I also like scrapbooking. In this day and age, everything is on a screen. I love photographs and having them all in a book to look back on is so nice….and they’re really fun to make!
Every time I “discover” a young person with a sunny disposition, a strong work ethic, and a healthy respect for life and the way it should be lived, I am ecstatic. And that is how I feel about Avery. She has chosen a difficult profession to pursue, but she is willing to invest the time and resources necessary to reap the rewards of fulfilling her dreams and ambitions. Unlike a myriad of adolescents, she has opted to take the “high road,” thus avoiding the pitfalls her peers may experience as they make wrong choices and participate in risky ventures. Avery has unquestioned talent and overwhelming support that has aided her on her artistic journey within the entertainment universe. If you have not had the opportunity to check out Van Helsing on the SyFy network on Friday nights, I invite you to do so (I still need to get caught up myself). I would also request that everyone check out Avery at the links below and follow her on the road “less traveled by,” for I believe that will make “all the difference” to her promising future.
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