Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mob Wives Chicago: Pia Pizza is Focused Interview

Pia Rizza of Mob Wives Chicago by Zena Gibbs
It's no secret around here that I wasn't a huge fan of Mob Wives Chicago.  I think Jennifer Graziano had all the right ingredients for another hit.  I think the measurements  within the recipe were off, a little too much of this (pettiness) and not enough of that (real bonds & Leah).  It didn't help that some of her ingredients were combustible.  Each and everyone of the women were likable in their special ways.  Some were too judgmental and others seem to think flip flopping was an art.  They were all over the map.  It was hard for me to really get a feel for some of the Mob Wives Chicago.  Some of them read as if they were straight to DVD actresses.  Two of them read 100% authentic to me, Leah and Pia.  What you saw on TV is who you'd meet at the pizza parlor if you bumped into one of them.  So it was my pleasure to get to interview Pia Rizza once Mob Wives Chicago's season wrapped up and the dust had settled.

Pia Rizza was interviewed on September 23, 2012.

Pia, how have you been since Mob Wives Chicago ended?
It's been been a roller coaster ride.  I've had my ups & downs.  I've been busy.  There is always something for me to do.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed.  Bella keeps me going.  She's the love of my life.

Would you care to elaborate on the roller coaster part?
I have to be honest.  I really cared about some of the girls.  So it hurt me to hear some of the things they were saying & tweeting.  I was taken aback by some of their hurtful intentions towards me.

With that answer in mind, who were you close to before Mob Wives Chicago began production?
Christina, Nora & Leah.  I didn't hang around Leah all of the time.

Pia with Nora during filming.
So you were hurt by some of their choices & actions?
Yes, they were my friends.  So of course I was hurt.  I don't need to pretend I wasn't hurt in order to save face.  I'm moving forward.  My focus has to be my daughter, my life, my career and future.  I'm not going to focus on those who obviously had some sort of issue with me once production began.  I was hoping to share this wonderful opportunity with 3 people I cared about.  A 4th I was hoping to build a cordial relationship with if not a friendship.  However, the cameras were on & some decided to play it up for the cameras or reveal their true nature.  At the end of it all I'm good with who I am.

Fair enough, who is Pia?
A mother first, I try to do the best I can everyday.  Sometimes I fall short.  I am human.  I am strong.  I am also vulnerable.  I have trust issues.  There is always going to be a part of me that will be the girl who was abandoned by her daddy.

Let's address the stripping & lay it all out on the table.  How long have you been stripping?
Three years, I started at 37.  When I was 25 or 26, I worked for the club working the front door.  Then I left and began to bartend for a friend's restuarant.  No one really wanted me to dance, strip, pole dance whatever people choose to call it.  I needed money.  It's legal.  I provided food, shelter, clothes for my kid and others I may add when they needed it.  People want me to be ashamed that I worked in that type of environment.  I'm not.  I didn't rob or murder anyone.  I provided for my family without causing anyone any hurt.  And not asking anyone for anything.  I took people in.

Awwww so now I get the alleged 15 years plus of dancing.  You started late.
Hell yeah, I did!  I needed to make money.

I laugh.  I am not mad at you.  If I started at 37 people would boo me.  I have stretch marks, cellulite and no rhythm.  I'm about as sexy as Elsa from The Real Housewives of Miami.  What's your favorite moment from Mob Wives Chicago which aired?
My talks with Bella.

What's your favorite moment not involving Bella on Mob Wives Chicago?
Filming with my girlfriend Frankie, our friendship & the back story of our dad's history is amazing.

Let's give Mob Wives Chicago a break and talk a little more about Pia Rizza.  Since the cameras stop rolling what have you been up to?
Deanna has kept me very busy with photo shoots & Cold Steel.  I have a dear friend who lost his father so I spent time with him.  He was devastated.

Pia's mother, Andrew with baby Bella
Did you know his father well?
Yes, his father had Alzheimer's for the last 8 years.

Can you share a fond memory?
Oh yes, years & years ago.  I remember him lecturing Andy, "Andrew, yooooooou don't do noooooothing" Pia does a mean Chinese accent.  Andy is the one who took me to the hospital when I gave birth to Bella.  We are really close.

Why haven't you and Andy gotten together?
We are friends.  I like rough necks.

That's your damn problem.  We both laugh.  Why do you think you like rough necks?
I don't know.  She nervously chuckles.  I guess it's my upbringing. It's what I grew up with in the lifestyle.  I feel like they understand me.  They get me.

It's common knowledge your father abandoned you.  I consider your dad a rough neck.  Do you think your attraction to rough necks is a little girl looking for her father?
No.  I want someone to understand where I'm coming from.  Someone who empathizes with me.  I don't want someone who can't get me or doesn't understand where I coming from.

Men from a different lifestyle have an ability to empathize and understand you.  You just haven't met the right one yet.  Let's talk about your father.  What's your earliest memories of your father?
He would pick me up on Sundays in his orange Cadillac.  He'd take me to eat.  He'd take me shopping.  He loved Gucci.

What type of dad was he?
He was a flashy dad.  We didn't go to the park.  He was a party dad.  We'd go hang out with his friends.

So it seems to me he was all about him.
Yes that's why he did what he did.

How old were you when you last saw him?
10 he was in jail.

Pia wearing the Gucci's shoes Daddy promised.
Do you remember the conversation?
He told me he was going to buy me Gucci shoes & an Atari 2600.

Did he?
Yes he did.

Did you love him?
There is a long uncomfortable silence on the phone.  I've hit a nerve.  A nerve that runs through every inch of who Pia is today.  I hear her crying.  I loved him.  Then he disappeared.  I don't know what I did with those feelings.  I can't tell you how I feel now.  He abandoned me.  I don't know how else to describe what he did to me.  He left me to fend for myself.  My mother I love her.  Yet, she worked and Saturdays she took off.  She left me with my great-grandmother in her eighties to care for me.  I'd be riding my bike all over creation.  I'm lucky I wasn't kidnapped.  I really wasn't raised.  People didn't seem to care about me or take interest in me.  Whether it's true or not I don't know.  I'm telling you how I felt then & now about my upbringing.  My mother sent me off to a boarding school and then summer camps.  I've had a painful childhood.  I've done my very best to make sure Bella knows I love her & I am interested in who she is.

If you're father is still alive and you had an opportunity to talk to him what would you say?
Why did you run?  How could you leave me?  Why did you destroy everyone's lives?  Why did you do this to Frankie and I?

Our readers may not know of Frankie, tell them about Frankie?
Frankie is the daughter of the man my father testified against.  She is my dear friend.

Boy oh boy that's a Lifetime movie right there.  Renee Graziano's ex-husband wore a wire.  Once the news spread she mentioned friends stopped talking to her.  How did you two become friends after your father betrayed her father?
We met before the show.  I knew who she was; she didn't know who I was.  She was talking to Bella.  Shortly after Bella was born my uncle came into my life.  He was neither my mother's brother or father's brother.  He was a close family friend.  He became a father figure to me.  He taught me to always do what's right even when it's hard.  With that in mind I saw Frankie being so kind to my daughter and I thought, "She should know who we are."  I told her I need to talk to her about something.  We went off to the side and I told her who my father was.  Frankie's response was, "You were a kid and had nothing to do with it."  She held no animosity towards me.  The friendship began.

Frankie seems like a smart cookie.
She is with a big heart!

Mob Wives Chicago viewers are biting at the bit to hear word about whether or not there will be a season 2.  Would you do season 2?
Yes definitely.  I can't say it was easy season 1 for me.  However, Jennifer Graziano and the production team were really class acts.  I would love to have an opportunity to work with them again & share more of my journey as a mother, former dancer & evolving business woman.  I also would love for the viewers to learn more about my experience within the context of the lifestyle as a child of a rat.  How it effected me and still effects me today.  I'd love for the friendship Frankie and I to be shared with the viewers.

How do you like your Cold Steele?
I love it in a Bloody Mary.  It's a really smooth vodka.  It's delicious!

Jennifer Graziano, Pia Rizza & Deanna Morales
Besides Cold Steel Vodka, what other irons are in the fire for you?
Deanna and I have a lot of projects on the table.  We haven't confirmed anything yet.  I'm leaving for Minnesota this week to do an expo with Cold Steel.  I'm excited about to meet the people from Minnesota.  I've never been.  I have plans in the works to open up a salon.  Contrary to what some Mob Wives would have you to believe; I do have my cosmetology license in Illinois.  It's valid.  I don't get why some are so focused on what I have or what's going on in my life.  The bottom line is I know who I am good & bad.  I've been a single mother from the beginning.  I've taken care of my daughter on my own.  I've gotten out there and worked for what I have & our survival.  I did it on my own, no one else.  I've stood on my own for a very long time.  I haven't had the luxuries that some others have had.  I do not begrudge them.  I'm happy for them.  I'm not happy about some of the negativity, betrayal & lies.  My life goes on.  I'm going to continue living it how I see fit.  I wish all of the women of Mob Wives Chicago the very best.

Okie Dokie, that says a lot about you and your character.  To be honest all of the Mob Wives Chicago women were likable and/or entertaining to some degree.  Some just went haywire with their online activities, casting themselves in a negative light.  I have to ask a question: is there a mob wife you would love filming with again?  If so who would it be and why?
Leah, less drama and she remains true to who she is.  She's funny.

Is there any chance of you mending your friendships with Nora or Christina?
Nope.  I know things happen in anger.  I'm sure they have their reasons.  However, I felt like a target.  It was like some were intent on destroying me with lies.  I was hurt.  I'm okay now.  I really wish them the best.

Some people felt you really wanted to be friends with Renee Fecarrotta.
Who doesn't want to get along with friends of mutual friends?  Who doesn't want to get along with their co-workers?  I had no issues with Renee before filming started.  Once filming started there was an obvious issue which I didn't understand.  I don't judge people.  None of us are nuns on the show if you know what I mean.  All of us have a past & present.  So someone taking issue with me because of my job, I don't get.  So yes there was tension.  Yes, I wanted to get along with her.  I was also going to stand up for myself.  She did apologize.  We seemed to move forward.  It is what it is.  I don't have any malice towards Renee.  We aren't friends today.  Not everyone is meant to be friends, life goes on.

Well thank you for a wonderful interview.  I hope to see you as a mob wife in Mob Wives Chicago season 2 if it happens.  And if not, I am hoping to see you in another project.  Good luck with getting the salon up and running!
Thank you M.M.!

When I requested the interview with Pia, she wanted it to focus on what she's doing today.  She had zero interest in rehashing the events of season 1 of Mob Wives Chicago.  Pia equally had zero interest in bashing her fellow cast mates.  I still like me some Pia Rizza.  I have to be honest here: I do NOT think any of the Mob Wives are classy per se.  However, Pia definitely has class within her.  She survived the filming & airing of Mob Wives Chicago and still takes the high road.  I can't type I'd do the same.  I wish Pia & her daughter the very brightest futures.  Let's all hope there's a season 2 in the works.  I'd really like to see more of this lady!

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Chiara Soprano said...

Excellent interview! One of the best ones on the blog. I knew I liked Pia, she is genuine and sincere and it comes through in her answers. I hope there is a season two of Mob Wives Chicago, but if not I am going to be following her career and keeping her fans updated either way!

Mob Mistress said...

Thanks Chiara, Pia is really a neat & very down to Earth individual.