ICYMI: Kate Mansi Interview

Taking Direction

Kate Mansi (Abigail, DAYS) went behind the camera for an episode of “Chad & Abby in Paris” on the DOOL App

While filming the second installment of the DOOL App series, “Chad & Abby in Paris”, Kate Mansi had the opportunity to direct. “It was really important for me to have a female mentor when I was looking into directing,” she begins. “Sonia [Blangiardo-Goins, DAYS director] was a perfect fit. We’re both Italian, we work really quickly. I’ve worked with Sonia from the beginning when she first came back to DAYS OF OUR LIVES. I have always appreciated her direct style and the way that she understands actors.”

A lot of prep went into Mansi learning the craft. “We worked together for about three months,” she relays. “When Sonia was in New York on hiatus we Skyped every week and she gave me homework assignments. I would watch episodes of DAYS and as practice, I would write out a shot list for each of them and then we would go over it together, so that was really cool. It changed the way that I see film and the way that I see the role of the director. I think it’s made me a better actor and it’s certainly given me a new passion and a tremendous amount of admiration for people in that field. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to experience it with Sonia.”

Mansi found a few surprises behind the camera. “I know that we work so quickly on DAYS as the actors, and I think I was a little ignorant to think that there was a possibility that I could go any [quicker] than we already do,” she admits. “But being in the booth was a piece that I just wasn’t prepared for. I just didn’t know. It’s elevated at an even greater level. But once you catch the rhythm and the momentum, it all just clicked in. That was the thing that I think was the most of an adjustment for me ’cause you’re multitasking so many things at once.”

Despite all of the work she put in beforehand, “I definitely was nervous. I mean, I’ve been there as an actor for so long and I have so much respect for my co-stars and the people in the booth, but it gave me such a greater appreciation for every single department. I wanted to do everything right and I didn’t want to waste any possible part of the experience. I really tried to absorb as much as I could. When I let go of trying to get it perfect every time and just let myself enjoy it and learn, that organic rhythm took over and I wasn’t nervous once the day came. The lead-up was more nerve-wracking, I think.”

But when it was over, Mansi was ready to tackle more challenges. “I wanted to do it again,” she recalls. “It was exciting and I felt really confident. I took chances more than I thought I would. I was proud of myself and grateful and excited to do it again. It’s changed the way that I watch any sort of TV or film now because I always see it through that lens. It’s given me this sort of jigsaw puzzle to filter my viewing experience through, which is really exciting.”

Ultimately, she was thrilled to have the opportunity to test the waters at the soap she calls home. “It was really an honor,” Mansi sums up. “I was so happy that they had enough trust and faith in me to let me do that. I remember when Ali Sweeney [ex-Sami] first directed. She was kind of like a big sister to me when we were on DAYS together and watching her go through that and watching her just fall in love with it … We have a very similar work ethic and style, I would say, so that was really inspiring. I felt extremely honored and grateful that they trusted me enough to give me the opportunity to learn and grow on this show that has known me for so many years.”