Manny Rivera: Funny Guy With a Serious Side

By Adriana Gonzalez • Dec 20th, 2010 • Category: People

By Adriana Gonzalez

With his black sunglasses, jeans, Nike sneakers and signature smile, Manny Rivera, 30, is hard to miss among “the suits” at The Burgiss Group, a private equity firm on River Street in Hoboken. 

 There are two sides to Manny – breadwinner and soon-to-be dad with the imposing title “document management analyst.” Then there’s Manny, the performer, the guy who was voted “class clown” for two years running in high school and who, when a long day of money-making and management starts to drag around the office is the go-to guy for comic relief. 

 Ask any of his co-workers and they will gladly provide stories of Manny mimicking co-workers or drawing their caricatures on post-its.

In his booming voice, Manny will tell you that he’s the guy who bought the book on procrastination – and never finished it, or that he has always been funny because he has a joke “in my jeans – literally.”

Ask him what super-hero power he would choose to have, and he says, “Being funny.  I would make you laugh till you’re on your knees and then take you out.” 

But it’s not all laughs. Manny says he struggles with fitting a big personality within the walls of a serious money-making operation. People don’t seem to realize is that he has a serious side as well, he says.

 “When you’re the funny guy, sometimes that’s all people will see,” he says, “and when I try to be serious, people find that funny because of how I usually am.”

What haunts that serious side is a chronic fear of failure. 

Having been raised by a single, full-time working mom, he wants to be a good husband and father even as he pursues his passion to perform.

He and his wife, Nicole Rivera, 28, are focused on their baby, so they appreciate his $43,000-a-year salary–not a huge paycheck but a steady one.

His performer side also makes a contribution. He is a DJ part time with gigs every couple of weekends, even flying down to Miami to DJ for Puma, or driving to Providence to DJ there.

His eclectic taste in music is evident in his favorite house music mix, which he calls “Deknology Sessionz.” It’s an hour-long journey that shifts from some serious, four-on-the-floor bangers like “The System” by Keri Chandler to the soul-soothing “Change” by Tortured Soul. 

Manny loves seeing the excitement on people’s faces when he DJs.  “Music is key to everything”, he says, “If you have the element of music you could be in a desert and have a good time.”

Looking forward, within the next five years he wants to get into commercial voice-over acting full-time. He has already had some success in the field having done some voice-overs for a World Wrestling Entertainment commercial a few years back.

 “I don’t want to be one of those people who missed the boat,” he says.

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