A Moment with Actress Avery Konrad

Connor Duszynski

May 11, 2022

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Brendan Meadows

STYLING: Peter Sumeracru

MAKEUP: Min-Jee Mowat

HAIR: Erin Klassen

Avery Konrad exists in multitudes. Her impressive work in film and television, coupled with her background and love of dance certifies Avery as one to watch amongst the ever-shifting and changing Hollywood landscape. Avery most recently appeared in the science fiction-horror television series FROM, which premiered on Epix in February of 2022. Portraying the role of Sara Myers, Avery transformed herself into a complicated, multifaceted, and haunted character. Connor Duszynski sat down with the Vancouver-based actress and dancer to discuss her rising star power, her thoughts on the success of FROM, her roots, and upcoming projects to keep an eye out for. 

CD: Good afternoon, Avery! Thank you so much for joining us. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, and how you got started in acting.

AK: Thank you for having me. I grew up in a small town outside Vancouver, BC. I was always drawn to storytelling from a young age. Growing up, I was very close with my neighbors who I considered to be my sisters in many ways. I was the youngest of all of us and I wanted to do everything that they did. I expressed that I was interested in acting when I was fairly young, probably twelve or thirteen years old. My mom found a class for me to try, and this was the first time I found something that I understood. I just got it, and I wanted to act from then on. This was important for me at that age because, growing up dyslexic, I didn’t always feel smart in class. Having my brain wired differently, it was important that I felt appreciated and understood. Acting did that for me. It was a total gamechanger. That feeling of acceptance and expression is what got me through times where I felt like “this isn’t for me.” 

CD: That’s so important to be able to express yourself creatively and artistically without fear. I’m sure a lot of our readers will be able to relate to that struggle. With that being said, what three words would you choose to describe yourself?

AK: The first three words that come to mind are resilient, loyal, and goofy. There’s definitely that side to me. It’s so important to laugh and share that side with other people.

CD: I couldn’t agree more. In your work in acting, you’ve shared so many sides and facets on your personality and the personalities of your characters with your viewers. Can you tell us a little bit about the current projects you’re working on? Is there anything you can tease with our readers about projects coming up that we should keep an eye out for?

AK: I just wrapped filming a comedy in February that I’m so excited for everyone to see! After shooting From, which was much darker and heavy, I think this will be a nice shift. It was nice to breathe and bring out that goofier side to me that I haven’t shown much in my past work. I love that it’s coming out after From, so viewers can see the contrast between the shows and my roles. It’s called Honor Society and it’s coming out on Paramount+ later this year, starring Angourie Rice. It’s a coming-of-age story, and I play Angourie’s best friend who’s a little aloof, colorful, and goofy as well. 

CD: That sounds so exciting! I can’t wait to watch it. Touching upon the difference in these roles, can you expand upon how you prepared to play Sara in From? What did that look like for you physically, mentally, and emotionally?

AK: There’s so many layers to Sara. That’s a testament to John Griffin who created the show and all the multidimensional characters. There’s so much depth to each character. For Sara, when I got the breakdown, I felt like I understood her. I wanted to have her internal struggle present. At her core, she’s very caring and endearing…perhaps a bit naive. However, she’s fighting this thing, these voices that tell her to do awful things. This was something I had to sit with. I had to make sure I was very, very grounded in the circumstances. I read the scenes over and over, trying to understand what she would act like, how she would feel, and understand the headspace she’s coming from. She clearly has a history of some mental health complications. Because this is something that is so present in her life, I wanted to make sure I portrayed that as realistically and respectfully as possible. The days before my scenes, I would take time to sink into that feeling and get into that headspace so I arrived on set ready to go. 

CD: Can you expand upon this process a little bit more? While I’m not an actor, I know method actors typically go about their days a bit differently, listening to music, isolating themselves from others, and other methods to get into the right headspace. What did this process look like for you and how did it make you feel?

AK: The days before shooting I definitely isolated myself a bit more, just so that I could really understand Sara. As we went along and as I learned more about Sara, it became easier for me to turn it on and off. In terms of music, I found that for Sara, I need to listen to a lot of instrumentals. I didn’t listen to a lot other than that. 

CD: What are your thoughts on playing a character this complex? While Sara clearly battles a lot with her internal and mental struggles, there is a sense of duality to her. The viewers can also see that she’s very compassionate in her ways. What can viewers take away from your portrayal of her?

AK: When I initially read the breakdown for her character, I knew Sara had to be complex. She’s human. She isn’t just this or that, she isn’t one dimensional. I had to find the humanity in her and bring that to life. While she may do things that are disturbing to the viewers throughout the show, there’s still more to her than just that. It was important for me to portray her in a way that was truthful and real; I needed to show her humanity. She truly believed that everything she did was for the greater good of her family. I think in this way, viewers can connect to her struggle. Her brother is really her driving force throughout this series, as they’re trapped in this town together. It’s also important for the viewers to understand that the weight of the place Sara and her brother are trapped in is so heavy, it can do things that you obviously wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. I actually had difficulty in the scenes where she wasn’t battling this internal struggle more than anything because I didn’t see her in this light very many times. 

CD: Is there anything you can share with our readers that happened on set and behind-the-scenes during the filming of From

AK: The scene in Episode 5 with Ethan, Nathan, and the goats is something I’ll never forget! We had a goat walk not only in the frame but directly up to the camera and I was wondering how we were going to get that scene shot. It was too cute! But truthfully, the entire experience was something I’ll never forget. I often think about admiring the set in between scenes, in the diner and with the crew. It was wonderful. I’ll definitely look back at this project for the rest of my career as a complete game-changer both personally and professionally. 

CD: I hope there are bloopers of the goats somewhere out there. I’d be amazed if you were able to keep a straight face. In addition to all the wonderful acting projects you’ve been involved with and filmed, you also keep very busy with Legacy Dance Productions in your hometown. How do you manage work-life balance? Also, is it a struggle to keep your personal life private?

AK: I’m definitely learning how to juggle both. Even though I’ve been acting and dancing for much of my life, I’m still learning to fly. It’s a learning curve. At the same time, I’m so grateful to be able to do both and be as busy as I have been. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s been a whirlwind. As far as my personal life goes, I’m not yet at the place where people are interested in my day-to-day life. With that being said, I learn something new every day in terms of growing and managing the opportunities that are presented to me. I’ve been guilty of pushing myself too far at times. But it’s important to make mistakes in order to grow. I tell this to the kids I teach all the time. 

CD: What are some of the aspects that make you a great mentor to these kids, in addition to being a phenomenal coach?

AK: When my sisters…I mean my neighbors! When my neighbors opened the dance studio, I knew I wanted to be involved because we danced together growing up. It’s something we’re all passionate about. I’m grateful that they allowed me to be a part of their studio. I watched them teach. What’s great about us as a team is that we hold the kids to a standard regardless of their age. We want to teach them a great work ethic, showing up on-time and ready to encourage one another, as well as the importance of being good and kind. It’s important for our kids to show the same love to other teams as they show to each other. Especially now that COVID’s over, some of our kids are competing in-person for the first time. It’s a new experience for many of them. It’s amazing to be there with them for experiences and memories like this. 

CD: Would you say that mentoring these dancers is the most fulfilling work that you do?

AK: Absolutely! When I’ve been away filming, I still make myself available to help coach and watch the kids dance via Zoom. There have been times where I’ve been on-set four hours ahead of the kids’ classes and I carved out time to watch them and be present for them. I missed them so much when I was gone and couldn’t wait to get back to them. Getting love from them is priceless. I love being a part of these kids’ lives.

CD: What would you consider to be your favorite style of dance and why?

AK: I grew up loving very technical dance like ballet. However, the older I got, the more I started to love hip-hop. It’s interesting because in so many ways, they’re completely opposite styles. Nowadays, I would definitely say hip-hop and street jazz are my favorites, in large part due to the music. I love how upbeat it is. 

CD: Would you also say that hip-hop is your favorite genre of music?

AK: I’m an R&B girl through and through! Even from a young age when I danced ballet, I loved R&B. I love the way it makes me feel.

CD: Do you have a favorite artist by chance?

AK: There’s so many, it’s hard to pick a single favorite artist. I really resonate with Summer Walker’s music, and SZA’s and Kehlani’s. I also play Frank Ocean daily. 

CD: They’re all amazing picks! I love all their music. Share with our readers the three songs you have on repeat at the moment.

AK: I’ve been playing Lucky Daye’s new album Candydrip since it came out. Honestly I’ve had the entire album on repeat for a few weeks now.

CD: What’s your favorite love song and best breakup song you can share with us?

AK: The best breakup song is “Potential Breakup Song” by Aly&AJ, handsdown! It’s a banger. There’s so many love songs to choose from, but I’d probably have to say “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole. 

CD: Would you personally ever consider singing in your future? You’re so multi-talented, I’m sure you could do it!

AK: Well, I grew up in a very musical household. My mom was a singer and my brother’s an artist. It’s always been a prominent part of my life and I’d love to do a musical one day. To be able to sing, dance, and act in a project would be a dream. I don’t know if I’d ever make a career of it, but it’s definitely something I want to dip my toe into.

CD: And do you have a favorite karaoke song or song in general you like to sing a lot?

AK: Honestly, “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid is my jam. 

CD: I love it! That song reminds me of my childhood. Is there any album or song that you know like the back of your hand?

AK: Well, “Male Fantasy” by Billie Eilish is a great one! I love that entire album, but especially that song. I saw her in concert just last week and she was amazing. That song’s been playing in my head ever since. 

CD: Another amazing choice. I can’t get enough of Billie. Well Avery, thank you so much for joining me today to discuss your recent and upcoming projects. I’m sure our readers will keep a lookout for Honor Society on Paramount+ later this year, and will love checking out your music recommendations. It was a pleasure speaking with you!

AK: Thanks for having me!

To keep up with the lovely Avery Konrad follow her on Instagram @aveskonrad. Be sure to watch Avery in her latest work FROM Epix and keep an eye for Honor Society on Paramount+ coming soon!