My guest on this episode of the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is Mike Manning. Mike is an award-winning actor and Emmy-winning producer.


Mike Manning, Actor, Producer


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As an actor, Manning is most known for his roles in Disney’s snowboarding movie Cloud 9, and MTV’s Teen Wolf. Other TV credits include Hawaii Five-0, Major Crimes, The Bay, Crash & Bernstein, Operation Cupcake, and Days of Our Lives.

When not performing, Manning works as a producer, co-founding Chhibber Mann Productions in 2015. He’s been involved behind the camera on dozens of films including the Showtime documentary Kidnapped for Christ, Jinn, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, Folk Hero and Funny Guy, M.F.A., and Lost in America, featuring Halle Berry, Rosario Dawson, Jewel, and Tiffany Haddish.

We discuss how he started acting professionally, his training, how he broke into producing, the power of storytelling to change the world, the importance of nonprofit work, advice for young actors, and much more.

Listen all the way to the end for a brilliant piñata metaphor about acting-!

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

• “At one time I was taking Meisner, Groundlings, scene study, comedy, and another class.”
• “So much of this industry is just confidence.”
• “It wasn’t until I felt like I had earned my seat at the table that I was able to walk into a room and make bold choices.”
• “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Talent might give you a head start, but hard work keeps you in the race.’”
• “There’s something magical about being lost in a character on set that I absolutely love.”
• “I try to give myself as many tools in my ‘batman toolbelt’ as possible as an actor.”
• “The best thing about producing is going to the theatre on premiere day and watching the audience watch your film for the first time.”
• “You need to have something that has nothing to do with acting that will fulfill your soul and keep you sane.”
• “I’m a firm believer that if someone works hard enough, they will get their shot.”
• “The parents’ job, and the actor’s job is when that shot comes… to be ready for it.”
• “Hopefully somebody listening is somebody I’ll work with someday.”

Look for Mike in Days of Our Lives, and Spike Lee’s most recent film, Son of the South, out now.

Follow Mike Manning HERE:


Instagram: @MikeCManning

FaceBook: @MikeCManning

Personal website:

Chhibber Mann website:


Mike’s quote, “Talent might give you a head start, but hard work keeps you in the race.” is SO true for this industry (and probably life in general!). Talent is one important component, but if you don’t back it up with hard work and an understanding of HOW to navigate the industry, you are needlessly handicapping yourself. Ready to save some time and money on this journey? Book a consultation with me, and in just 60 or 90 minutes we can create a detailed action plan.

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