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Exclusive! Meet DAYS Newcomer Jamie Martin Mann

Jamie Martin Mann, who made his DAYS debut on October 9, was immediately drawn to the role of Tate Black when he read the breakdowns for Brady and Theresa’s complicated and suddenly grown-up son. “I thought the character was fascinating,” says Mann. “I feel his archetype is Jess from GILMORE GIRLS. He comes into town, and he’s a little bit of a troublemaker. He’s got a chip on his shoulder. He’s dealing with a lot of internal struggle. He’s had a crazy life with parents, who have had issues of their own. He hasn’t had a really strong relationship with his father, having been away in California for so long. At heart he’s a really wonderful kid, who cares about his family and his friends. It’s just that he’s built up so many walls throughout his life, because he doesn’t know who he can trust.”

Upon learning about the role from his manager and agent, Martin submitted a tape of his work. “We had two rounds of callbacks over Zoom,” he recounts. “I got to run [scenes] with Marnie Saitta, who’s the casting director. The final round was running it with a couple of the other candidates for Holly, the role I was reading opposite. It was a mix and match situation.”

However, that mix and match didn’t include Ashley Puzemis, who was ultimately cast in the part. “Marnie scheduled a Zoom so all three of us could chat, because Ashley and I were going to be starting around the same time,” notes Mann. “That was really great. We had the opportunity to talk a little bit and run through the scenes before we got on set, which was really great.” Mann felt an instant connection to Puzemis. “She’s a fantastic actress,” he raves. “So we very quickly picked up on what the script was giving us. It felt very natural and fluid. It felt great from the beginning, so I was very excited to get on set and start working with her.”

Mann’s also developed a strong rapport with his TV parents, Emily O’Brien (Theresa) and Eric Martsolf (Brady). “They have been so wonderful to work with and are such talented actors,” praises Mann. “Coming onto the set, I was really nervous about the pace of soaps, because it’s so fast. There’s so much content that you have to try and feel comfortable with. There are so many scenes that you have to bring to life per day. Having the opportunity to work with the two of them and seeing their sense of comfort and capability definitely inspired me. They’re both so good at bringing these scripts to life, taking it off the page and really finding the genuine connection. That has been such an invaluable learning experience for me as an actor.”

The pair has offered the daytime newcomer a few words of wisdom, too. “Their biggest advice was honestly to kind of relax into it, and reminding me that I was capable of doing it,” says Mann. “That I was there for a reason. It has a lot to do with practice and concentration. The biggest thing for me is that I would get very anxious before scenes. Eric and Emily were great about reminding me that it’s okay, and even though it’s fast-paced, you can take your time. And they had my back, which is amazing. I got to take that and translate it into my scenes with Ashley. It was the situation where we were both kind of in the same boat. We’d never done soap operas before. Just knowing that we have the same amount of experience was kind of a comfort onto itself.”

Prior to delving into daytime, Mann was a regular on the Netflix series COUNTRY COMFORT starring Katharine McPhee and Eddie Cibrian (ex-Matt, Y&R et al). “It was my first gig out here in California, and it brought me the most recognition of anything I’ve ever done,” recounts Mann. “It was a sitcom and centered around a family, so immediately we developed a really strong family bond and dynamic. There was a whole lot of heart in that show that translated off set. I still talk to the actors that I worked with, because we were all so close. I miss that cast a lot and have only fond memories of being on that set. Eddie played my dad, and Katherine is just a superstar. She is so talented and has got one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. Doing table reads was like a concert. It was amazing.”

And now, Mann is excited about joining the world of soaps. “I was really pumped to get into the medium,” he insists. “There was a lot of potential to learn, especially because it’s so fast-paced. And I’m great under pressure, since I come from theater. I remember somebody said, ‘Soap operas are like theater without rehearsal.’ I think Eric told me that. You have no time to panic, and that was great. The added time pressure component ironically took a layer of stress away, because I didn’t have time to freak out.”

So far, it’s all made for an experience Mann is enjoying. “I’ve really loved it,” stresses Mann. “What’s so amazing about the DAYS environment is that everyone on set is so committed to the main goal — getting everything done in as fast a time span as necessary. It’s a really supportive group of people, and everybody really cares about each other. I have only had beautiful experiences with my castmates. Everybody has been very cordial and welcoming. Even getting to know the hair and makeup staff and the crew… Everyone on the set is committed to the goal of making the environment at DAYS as wonderful and respectful as possible. That has been my favorite thing.”