A few years ago, a tattoo shop was giving $50 tats as a one-day special, with all proceeds benefiting a local children’s hospital. In the spur of the moment, I was inked with “Live Dangerously, Live Outrageously!” on my bicep. A mantra of mine, I hoped to always look at the tattoo and think that the money I spent would help save the life of a child so they could grow up to live dangerously and outrageously just like me, always taking risks and daring to try new things.
Since recently losing my job managing a dive bar, which has prevented me from being able to go back and finish my last semester of college online, I started to lose the motivation I usually maintain, preach, and even have inked on my skin! Wearing the same pair of sweatpants for a week straight while catching up on my Netflix queue began to take priority over living dangerously or outrageously.
That is, however, until I was watching the Disney Channel, and I recognized someone I knew getting interviewed for his new movie about snowboarders. Watching clips of Mike C. Manning livin’ it up in the snow gave me an adrenaline rush and made me get off my lazy behind and learn how to snowboard. Before taking a private lesson at Montage Mountain Ski Resort, I called up Manning for some snowboarding tips and the inside scoop on his new movie.
THE WEEKENDER: You’re in the new Disney Channel Original Movie called “Cloud 9.” What is the movie about?
MIKE C. MANNING: It’s about the world of competitive snowboarding. In the movie, a girl is kicked off her snowboarding team and she forms a team of misfits to challenge her old team. It’s unlike any Disney Channel Original Movie you have ever seen. It’s so action-packed. I did some of my snowboarding, but we had stunt people that I am convinced are just robots. It was incredible to watch some of the stunts they did.
W: You’re the only person I’ve met who I can honestly say is probably nicer than Elmo. In this movie, however, you’re the bad guy.
MM: This is the first time I’ve ever played a bad guy. I play Nick Swift, the best snowboarder on the mountain.
W: I know snowboarding is nothing new to you, having grown up in Colorado. What tips do you have for people like me who are going to want to learn the sport after watching you in this movie?
MM: Give yourself at least three days. It’s hard at first. Naturally, as humans, we aren’t strapped to a board. You’re using mechanisms your body isn’t comfortable with at first, so don’t give up if it’s hard at first. Your body will get used to that. Also, look in the direction you want to go. Your body will follow.
W: Other than snowboarding, what puts you on “cloud nine?”
MM: Reading your column every week. That, and being a part of projects that really affect people. Art, in general, whether it’s TV, movies, photography… has the ability to inspire. That’s why I got into this industry, and why I’m insanely proud of this movie. It has a great message that nothing is impossible.
Watch Manning in “Cloud 9,” premiering Friday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. on the Disney Channel. But first, watch me live dangerously and outrageously by learning how to snowboard at Montage Mountain Ski Resort, exclusively at theweekender.com.