Personality Test: Singer-pianist Nina Sainato

New Castle native Nina Sainato was the piano-playing version of Jackie Evancho when she was growing up. Starting at the age of 6, the classically trained pianist was a regular performer on stages throughout Western Pennsylvania, won several state and regional competitions sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs, and was accepted into the Governor’s School of Excellence for the Performing Arts.

But Sainato’s heart always yearned for rock ‘n’ roll, notably Aerosmith. After studying music at new York University and Duquesne, the 24-year-old started performing at area clubs and venues with bands and artists including Ronda Zegarelli. Sainato has worked at WDVE and auditioned for “American Idol” earlier this year. her first release, “Holly & Ivory,” is a collection of Christmas and holiday songs. Sainato expects to release an album of original material in 2012. More info: www.ninasainato.com.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Hmm, I’m gonna say Megan Fox. We’d have to teach her to play the piano, but other than that … dark hair, light eyes, tattoos, attitude!

Childhood hero and why:

Steven Tyler (born Steven Tallarico) of Aerosmith. We value the same three things: Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. KIDDING! Music, family and being Italian.

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

Teddy Ruxpin! He was ahead of his time, I’d prefer him over Siri.

The superpower I wish I had in real life and why:

You know when you mess something up on the computer and you press “Ctrl-Z” to undo it? That one.

I can’t live without my: iPod, cell phone, DVR or laptop?

My iPhone — which is all of the above!

My favorite reality show:

“Lost!” Shoot, that wasn’t real? Ummm … “Real Housewives of new Jersey.” It’s so new Castle.

Favorite guilty pleasure:

Best mistake I’ve ever made:

Moving to new York City when I was 17.

Something I would do over if I could and why:

I would have learned to play the piano by ear at a young age, or taken jazz in college.

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Troy Polamalu. Google “Troy Is not a Lady” (a song she performs with Vanessa Campagna) right now.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

My friend Amy and I used to go to Zenith on the South side for grape leaves, hummus, Gouda cheese and apple slices. Omg.

Top thing on my ‘Bucket List’ to do before I’m gone:

In five years, I’d like to:

Be able to play blues harmonica, front a band, live in the Bahamas.

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

Lots of diverse, ethnic, fabulous food!

Three people I’d love to have dinner with:

My mom, my dad and my brother.

My quirkiest inherited trait:

I snort when I laugh?

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

Primanti’s Roast Beef — just the way it comes!

One word my mother would use to describe me:

Capatosta (hard-headed).

Celebrity crush:

Harrison Ford (like 30 years ago).

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

Taylor Hanson’s girlfriend.

I’m deathly afraid of:

Heights … well edges, specifically.

If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:

This summer, it was Aerosmith’s “Cryin” — but that didn’t work out. if I could do it again it would be “Hooked On a Feeling.”

TV marathon I could watch all day and why:

Indiana Jones, because “he chose … poorly” never gets old.

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:

I love history, so it will have to be Chatham Village on Mt. Washington!

Saturday mornings, you’ll find me:

Eating Honey Bunches of Oats, drinking decaffeinated coffee and watching “The Soup” from the night before

Best new gadget I’ve tried recently:

The person I’m most often mistaken for:

Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) from “House.”

The worst advice I ever received:

“Don’t quit your day job.”

In high school, I was:

A great painter — I’ve gotten away from it.

The most famous person I ever became friends with:

Donnie Iris! We have a duet together on my recent Christmas release, “Holly & Ivory.”

The movie that always makes me cry:

“Edward Scissorhands.”

My most treasured fashion accessory is:

Always changing, but I have a leopard print scarf that I’m into right now.

What you’ll always find in my glove compartment:

Tire pressure gauge, AAA card, papers, gloves, a headband. Grandpa would be proud.

My most embarrassing junk food:

There is no such thing! Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate chocolate.

If I wasn’t a musician, I’d be:

A meteorologist, or a freelance web designer.

The last book I read:

“Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell.

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:

The newest addition to PNC Park … Augustine’s Pizza! it hails from new Castle, just like me.

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

My favorite Web site:

www.clientsfromhell.net.

My most memorable fashion mistake:

Oh, JNCO jeans. What I wouldn’t do for those junior-high skater boys.

If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:

Anyone that was lucky enough to be in attendance of the filming of “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” in 1968.

My childhood nickname was:

My first job:

Scooping ice cream at Brusters

My worst job:

Scooping ice cream at Brusters

My favorite cable channel:

Life would be better without:

January, February and March

If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, and Aerosmith

I never travel without my:

People would be surprised to know that I:

Can crow like Peter Pan

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Personality Test: Singer-pianist Nina Sainato


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