Alyssa Mann - California Days of Our Lives "Nurse Shelley" Interviewed by Zoe D’Angelo Photography by Joanna DeGeneres and Alyssa Mann Issue 20 Inspiring Teens Magazine
How did you become interested in acting? When did you start? On a whim freshman year of high school, I auditioned for the school play ‘The Miracle Worker”, got cast, and fell in love. It was game over from then on.
What has been your favorite production you have been a part of? Why was this your favorite? What was your role? They are all my favorite! Each character I am lucky enough to play are different and interesting in their own way. I currently play a character on Days of Our Lives, Nurse Shelley, who is super fun to embody, despite the fact she isn’t always the nicest.
What are some ways you prepare for filming? Specificity is always the goal. I work both solo and with my scene partner(s) and director to get super clear on my character’s wants, needs and actions. Then on set I try to breathe, focus and really listen to what my partner is saying.
Image by Joanna DeGeneres
What is one thing most people do not know about acting? I think a lot of people think acting is just memorizing lines. Memorizing the lines is the easy part, it’s all the other stuff that is hard. Emotionally connecting with a character means really knowing yourself and being honest and vulnerable. That is scary, and exciting, and very challenging.
Do you remember any lines you were given that have been your favorite to say? If so, why? The first line I ever said on stage was “They said you’re going where the sun is fierce” and that one still holds a special place.
Have you always lived in LA or did you move there to pursue your acting career? I moved to LA 6 years ago when I started getting into more film and TV. Before that I lived in NYC. I went to Tisch at NYU and stayed after I graduated for many years doing theatre. Theatre is amazing training and I believe anyone who wants to be an actor should do theatre for at least a little while.
What was the hardest part about adapting to the lifestyle of LA? How did you get through it? Being away from family and friends. I still miss them all the time, but I’m lucky to have an awesome husband and group of friends in LA that keep me grounded, and I try to fly back east at least once a year to visit.
Walk me through a typical day, from when you first wake up, to when you fall asleep. Each day is pretty different when you are an actor because you could be on a show, auditioning, rehearsing, or just hustling to try to get an audition. No matter what, I get up and one of the first things I do is exercise. It keeps me sane.
What is one thing you found most surprising on set? The mayhem. Honestly, it’s a miracle anything gets finished. The people who work behind the camera are so amazing and so hard working and brilliant, from the Producers to the PAs. It really does take a village and I am in awe of it always. It’s magic.
What would be your advice to someone who wants to be where you are today? Don't wait for permission to pursue what you want. If you want to act, act. Even if it means getting friends together and reading a play out loud in your living room or shooting something on your iPhone. It still counts, and it's the only way to move forward in this insane career. Also, surround yourself with hardworking, positive people. They will lift you up when it gets hard and you can do the same for them. And BE GRATEFUL. If you are lucky enough to be doing what you love on any level, you have won at the game of life.
Alyssa will be featured in issue 20 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!