Soap Hub Insiders mark your calendar for Friday, November 20 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. That’s when Days of Our Lives newcomer Mike Manning, who plays Titan intern Charlie Dale, will be joining us for a Soap Hub Insider Fireside chat!
Meet Mike Manning
For Soap Hub readers who do not have a subscription to the Insider, you can sign up for the 14-day FREE trial. Once you sign up, you’re automatically invited to the event. In the meantime, you can learn a bit about Manning courtesy of the following Q&A.
Do you prefer Mike or Michael?
Mike Manning: I prefer Mike — just because [hearing] “Michael” reminds me of growing up when I’d be in trouble. My dad is a Mike, too.
Is DAYS your first soap?
Yes. I’ve actually tested for the other soaps, as well. I’ve always wanted to be on a soap. They’re the closest thing to live theater. I come from a theater background. The idea of doing one or two takes and trusting the other actors appeals to me.
I started reading for soaps about eight years ago. Marnie [Saitta, DAYS’ casting director] brought me in. She was so kind and supportive. And she’d continue to bring me in. After I booked Charlie, she said she was so happy for me because I’d given it my heart and my all in the auditions. It was really nice of her. It was a case of the right role at the right time.
You started out on the Real World in 2009. Did you find any pushback from theatrical casting directors?
No. I think there are three reasons why I wasn’t put in the “Reality TV” box after I did the Real World. First, I did The Real World DC and I was portrayed as a positive activist – so it wasn’t like I was a drunken mess…the persona they gave me was for all the right reasons.
Also, for my first few years in Hollywood, I didn’t tell people I’d done the Real World. I didn’t have it on my resume. Things are changing now, but back then, certainly, there was a stigma. Third, I’d done acting since I was little. I didn’t just wake up and say “Oh, I want to be an actor” after having done The Real World. I had familiarity with acting.
How did you come to be cast on The Real World?
It was a strange journey. I had never watched the show. I followed my best friend to help him get on the show and they ended up casting me. It was a random thing where I went from being an average guy in Colorado to shooting this reality show and everybody knew my business. Six months later, I moved to Los Angeles.
I’ve heard stories like this. How does that work exactly — someone goes with a pal and he or she ends up getting the gig. Do producers come out to the waiting room and say, “Hey, you!”
(Chuckles) For this one, my buddy was a good sport about it and he did visit me while I was filming the show so technically, I did help him get on the show. Maybe if you’re not the person who wants the role, then you don’t have anything to lose and you’re more comfortable? Acting is about being truthful. You’re able to be truthful only when you’re comfortable.
That makes a lot of sense. It’s not that you don’t want it, you just don’t “have” to have it.
Don’t miss the Soap Hub Fireside Chat with Mike Manning on Friday, November 20 at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT.