A Notre Dame star rises in Hollywood

Two-thousand-one Notre Dame grad says his disciplined education in high school set him up for career success in Hollywood.


Frank Meli has been chasing his Hollywood dream since his high school years at Notre Dame Prep. He graduated from NDP in 2001 and while it isn’t that long ago, it’s quite a long period of time measured in Hollywood minutes. But whether you’re talking about Hollywood or Pontiac, Mich., minutes, by any measure, Meli’s success so far in film and television can be considered pretty extraordinary.

He’s been busy
Meli has had significant experience in a variety of positions in Hollywood, including casting director, producer, actor, writer, editor and director. His resume features more than 25 different film or television projects since the mid-2000s, including “Million Dollar Listing,” “Something Borrowed, Something New,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Misconceptions” and “Without a Trace.” But what he really wants to concentrate on is film.

“I’ve always had a passion for film,” he said. “When I moved to the Los Angeles area with a dream and a penny, I took any and every opportunity that was thrown at me. And yes, being in the entertainment industry is always the one thing I dreamed about, even while in school at Notre Dame Prep.”

After Meli’s move to LA, he studied communications and film at a college in Santa Monica. Soon after, he started as a production assistant on commercials, and then dabbled in editing pilots for television.

“Most of my work in the past six years has been in casting and producing reality shows,” he said, “and I have been working mostly with the NBC, ABC, Bravo, TLC and Fox networks. But his ultimate goal is film directing. “I have been working very hard building up my resume and experiences in film,” he said.

meli-tanzania300px-WSCannot forget Notre Dame
Even though Meli’s star seems to be swiftly rising in California, he can’t forget the grounding he received in Michigan and especially at Notre Dame.

“Notre Dame not only educated me, but also taught me discipline, which has served me well in this business,” he said. “The school also gave me the best material for writing scripts, characters and experiences!”

He said he really cherishes the memories he took with him from high school. “Some of my dearest friends today are the ones I met at Notre Dame. I'll forever be grateful for my education and experiences at ND Prep.”

And Meli, who now calls West Hollywood home, gives a special shoutout to the student rallies and events at NDP. “The pep rallies were some of the most memorable experiences for me,” he said. “I really enjoyed the spirit and collaborative energy of all the students and faculty coming together. Growing up, I had always watched high school events depicted on television and film, and pep rallies were timeless, common to every decade. I'll never forget the first time I walked into an NDP pep rally. It was everything I expected and more!”

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org.