Autumn Reeser is an American actress born in Southern California to Kim and Tom Reeser. She and her younger sister, Melissa, were raised in Carlsbad and Oceanside in a home that valued and respected the arts. Melissa became a prolific writer/poet and Autumn performed in numerous musicals with the Carlsbad Youth Theater from the ages of six to seventeen. She credits seeing a child portray a mouse in a local performance of Cinderella as the moment that interested her in acting. As a child, Autumn was an avid reader, and won an award from her local library for Most Books Read in One Summer. Her favorite books included the Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, and Linda Craig detective series. She was a good student, involved in the Gifted and Talented Program, and was a recipient of a Scholastic award for her part as a preteen reporter in a documentary on the local homeless. She attended Carlsbad High School, where she participated in French club, cheerleading, and school plays, and worked at the clothing shop Wet Seal on the weekends. She was on Homecoming Court and voted Most Beautiful in her graduating year. At the age of seventeen, Autumn moved to Los Angeles to study at UCLA and pursue an acting career. To support herself she waitressed in the evenings at Jerrys Famous Deli, the Gypsy Cafe, and Cafe 50s in Westwood. Eventually she began interning at a casting directors office, where she learned the ins and outs of the film and television business.