A little about Mike!

Hello!!! My name is Michael Manfredo and I’m a 31 year old transfer student here at Rutgers. I know I’m a little older than your average student, but I’m excited to be back at it. I’ve spent the last decade travelling and enjoying as much of my early years as I could. I’ve lived in 12 states, had a variety of different jobs and loved every minute of my somewhat nomadic lifestyle.

A few of the more exciting things I’ve done:

  1. Aviation Electrician in the United States Navy.
  2. Production Assistant on the show Criminal Minds.
  3. Hiked a large chunk of the Appalachian Trail.
One of the many planes I spent my days with!

One of the many planes I spent my days with!

Having been in bootcamp on Sept. 11th 2001, my life took an incredible turn and presented me with an opportunity to do things for my country I’d never thought possible. As a crew member of VFA-151, I spent countless hours on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Constellation making repairs to F-18 C+D Night Attack Fighter Jets. To some, this might sound exciting, and indeed it often was, however, 20+ hour days in 100 degree heat, off the coast of a foreign country takes it’s toll, and I decided against reenlistment. Being a mere months after 9/11, I was not afforded a lot of the opportunities that people recieve in the military now. The travel was limited, the enjoyable aspects rarely existed, and the stress was at a maximum. I’m appreciative of everything the military did for me, but I’m grateful to have moved on with my life.

On a whim, in 2008, I packed up all my belongings and set out for Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television. After spending a few weeks in my car, I found a place to live and found my way onto the set of Criminal Minds. It was an opportunity that few are afforded and one that I will always cherish. I met so many amazing people, famous and otherwise.

I have many interests and hobbies that I have picked up over the years. I consider myself a writer, a director and an editor. My original goals were to write and direct my own films, but I have since found that I enjoy the writing process as much if not more than the directrial aspects and have since decided to pursue this. I’m half way through my first novel and a quarter of the way through a book of short stories that are loosely based on past experiences of mine. While I’ve written over a hundred short stories and recieved a decent amount of praise for my “talent”, I lack the appreciation for my own work that others seem to have. It’s something I’ve been working on though and I plan to push for publication of some of my work in the coming year.

I decided to take this class because blogging has always been an interest of mine. However, I tend to get a little overwhelmed when it comes to actually getting started and picking an overall theme to model a blog after. I hope to gain some sense of direction and understanding from this class so I can find another creative outlet to express the many views and thoughts I’ve built up in my years of travel and excitement.

One of my favorite quotes, unfortunately from a film, but powerful none-the-less. From Midnight in Paris:

“I believe that love that is true and real, creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing. And then the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face, like some rhino-hunters I know or Belmonte, who is truly brave… It is because they make love with sufficient passion, to push death out of their minds… until it returns, as it does, to all men… and then you must make really good love again.”



Photo By: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jose Lopez Jr.


  1. Wow, you have led a very interesting life so far. Criminal Minds is one of my favorite shows. Did you meet all the cast members? That must have been so cool. Best of luck in all your endeavors!!

  2. Mike,
    You have definitely lived an intriguing life thus far! I am very jealous that you were on the set of criminal minds considering that is one of my all time favorite shows! I love Shemar Moore so if you happen to make your way onto the set again please let me know!

  3. I’m envious of the experiences you had in your life because mine have not been remotely near yours. It is really cool that you got to work on the set of Criminal Minds. I enjoy watching that TV show.

  4. Seriously! You have had so many experiences and opportunities. I have to catch up, and definitely travel more. I’m really missing out. It feels like you probably have great stories to tell with all the material you’ve gathered up.

    1. You’re not missing out yet! You still have tons of time to gain experiences. I have put myself out there a little more than most, but that’s all it really takes; the guts to take chances will give you all the experiences you can handle!

  5. Hi Mike,

    First off, let me say thank you for your service (my mom was Navy Chief, and I have a huge respect for the military). You sound like you’ve had quite the ride so far. Going from the Navy to production assistant is amazing! Keep up the awesome work!

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