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Jamie Mann '21 walks through day-to-day life as teenager on set of Netflix show By Chloe murray '22

(L-R) Jess Phelps, Griffin McIntyre, Pyper Braun, Jamie Mann, Shiloh Verrico, Ricardo Hurtado and Erin Salmon. Jess Phelps and Erin Salmon, the “Country Comfort” studio teachers, sit with the cast of the show airing on March 19.

The daily life of Jamie Mann '22 pre-February 2020 consisted of waking up, going to school, going to Players, doing homework, applying to college and going to bed. However, when he got the call that he was casted in the upcoming Netflix show, “Country Comfort”, filming in Los Angeles, California, all of that would change.

Relationships on Set: Mann explains that all of the cast members truly loved each other and enjoyed one another's company.

"It was always a weekly schedule that happened," Mann said. "On the Monday we would have a read-through of the script, so they would give us the script that we were going to be filming [...] we would have a read through, and then maybe some rehearsal after that".

Following the read-through came blocking, which is working out the details of an actor's moves in relation to the camera.

Cast members: Katherine McPhee, Eddie Cibrian, Ricardo Hurtado, Jamie Mann, Griffin McIntyre, Shiloh Verrico and Pyper Braun co-star in upcoming show.

"On Tuesday we probably finished blocking all of the scenes, and then at the end of the work day we would have a run through for the producers of the show," Mann said.

Though this daily schedule might seem rather formulaic, in reality it is filled with unpredictability. Every night, the cast got a new script with changes the writers deemed necessary after the read-throughs.

"[Wednesday] was another kind of blocking day that would compensate for all of the changes that occurred," Mann said. "We would have a network run through which included the writers of the show, and also some of the higher-ups from Netflix who were producing the show, and costumes and hair, just so they were all on board."

Safety Precautions: the show complied with all CDC guidelines and exersized great caution, both on set and off.

Finally, on Thursdays they would film scenes that were not on the main set, and then on Friday they had a live audience.

"We would maybe do a scene four times so they could get all the shots they needed, and the audience was reacting live to all of the shots that we were doing. So that was really, really fun and really cool, it was like a party [...] we felt like we were on Ellen."

Even more unpredictability arrived with the pandemic that hit in the middle of filming. According to Mann, four episodes of "Country Comfort" were filmed before COVID-19 hit in mid-march. Six more episodes were filmed after Covid hit with immense safety precautions. When shooting during the pandemic, all filming took place on both Thursdays and Fridays as live audiences were no longer safe.

While balancing this hectic work schedule, Mann had to continue schooling. Yet he managed to look at the situation as an opportunity as opposed to an inconvenience.

Child Actors: Tutors on set helped the three minors who required schooling with their education.

On top of this completely unconventional day-to-day schedule, Mann had to continue schooling. Yet he managed to look at the situation as an opportunity as opposed to an inconvenience.

"I was still enrolled at Staples, which was really really nice that they let me do that," Mann said. "I followed along on Schoology, I kept in contact with my teachers all the time so if I ever had questions, all my teachers were so helpful and I could talk to them.”

As Mann was not the only young actor on the show, tutors were made available to students while on set.

“We also had two studio teachers who are both very very incredible, and very well-rounded, so they could help with all of my different subjects that I had and they also managed to help the other three kids who were doing schooling at the same time,” Mann said.

Mann was able to balance an unconventional high school schedule, while making amazing memories. His hard work and dedication will be showcased on March 19 with the airing of his show.

Credits:

Contributed by Jamie Mann '21