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Personality Test: Opera singer Danielle Pastin

| Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012

Opera singer Danielle Pastin lives on the North Side and loves being a transplanted Pittsburgher. She was born in Virginia Beach and traveled a lot as a child because her father is a Navy musician. But both parents are Pittsburghers, and the family would come back for holidays. Pastin, 27, reconnected with her family roots while a Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera in 2008-09. She starred at the opera's "Auld Lang Syne" New Year's Eve gala concert this season. The soprano travels frequently to perform, but is glad she's put her roots down here. After all, she says, "I was born and raised a Steeler fan."

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

Sandra Bullock -- I just think that she's really down to earth, and I relate to many of her characters.

Childhood hero and why:

I wanted to be Cyd Charisse when I was a kid. I was raised on old MGM musicals, and I thought that there was nothing better than watching her dance.

Pick one:

A. Go-Gos

B. Goo-Goo Dolls

C. Lady Gaga

D. Yo Gabba Gabba

C. Lady Gaga all the way ! She's an amazing performer, and I completely admire her vision and the way she drives her career.

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

The carnival gown that I tortured my parents about until they bought it for me. I lived in it for about three years.

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

I wish I could fly so that I wouldn't have to spend so much time in my car driving. I hate driving.

I can't live without my: iPod, cellphone, DVR or laptop?

Laptop! I think that I would deal with not having my iPod and phone if I had my laptop.

My favorite reality show:

"Jersey Shore," and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I just can't stop watching it.

App I wish I could invent:

Auto-refueling app that will refill your gas tank for you at the push of a button.

Favorite brunch food:

My favorite early meal is soup. I make big pots of soup and normally eat it for breakfast.

Favorite guilty pleasure:

Dark chocolate

Best mistake I've ever made:

When I was auditioning for the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist program I missed my callback audition, because I wrote down the wrong day. I had since returned to Maryland where I was living at the time and when they called to ask me where I was, I ran out of the furniture store that I was working in, locked the doors early, which resulted in the store getting a fine, and drove back to N.Y. I made it to Jazz at Lincoln Center in record time and burst into the audition room to sing for them. I ended up being the only resident artist accepted that season.

Something I would do over if I could:

I'm not sure that there is anything that I would do over again; I think that life happens the way it's supposed to.

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports

C. Steelers!!! My parents were born and raised in McKees Rocks, and I was raised a Steelers fan.

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Troy Polamalu. He's a rock-star athlete, and I'm 100% jealous of his hair.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

Penn Avenue Fish Company in the Strip District. I have truly never had a meal there that wasn't unbelievably delicious.

Top thing on my Bucket List:

Cage dive with sharks

In five years, I'd like to:

Have a family and be singing

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

The people; so supportive and no matter what it is that they are supporting, they are die-hard fans.

Star I'd like to dance with on "Dancing with the Stars":

Antonio Banderas; something tells me the man can move.

Two people I'd love to have dinner with:

Elizabeth Taylor -- I find her fascinating; and Francis Ford Coppola -- I'm a big fan of "The Godfather" and he can provide the wine.

My quirkiest inherited trait:

I have a talent for slipping and tripping over absolutely nothing, I get this from my mother although when she goes down she'll take you with her.

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

Isley's chipped ham on Mancini's Bread with spicy mustard, lettuce, tomatoes and a pickle

One word my mother would use to describe me:


Celebrity crush:

Johnny Depp

The oldest thing in my refrigerator is:

A brick of aged cheddar cheese

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

"A Star" -- I've always wanted to be a performer, and I would tell people that I was going to be a star when I grew up.

Exercise I hate most:


I'm deathly afraid of:

Birds -- I'm not "deathly afraid" of them, but they make me very nervous.

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

"So in Love" by Cole Porter, although I'd have to figure out how to belt it; that seems to be the only way to win.

The first band I saw in concert (when and where):

Debbie Gibson at Nissan Pavilion in Virginia when I was in fifth grade with my sister

The best concert I've ever seen:

If we count recitals, then it would have to be Olga Borodina's recital that I attended in Austria in 2003 when I was there for a music program.

TV marathon I could watch all day and why:

I know it's cliche, but I could watch "Sex and the City" anytime, over and over again

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark.

Phipps Conservatory. It's beautiful in there.

Saturday mornings, you'll find me:

Having coffee in bed. As soon as I pour my first cup of coffee, I return to bed to enjoy it.

Best new gadget I've tried recently.

The Yonanas machine, which basically emulsifies frozen bananas to the consistency of ice cream; a healthy substitute for my favorite dessert: ice cream

In high school, I was:

In the band; I played alto saxophone

The most famous person I ever became friends with:

I wouldn't say that we are "friends," but I have spent some time with Barbara Mandrell. My cousin was in her band for many years.

The movie that always makes me cry:

I'm not really a crier, but I'll say that "Steel Magnolias" gets me almost everytime.

My most treasured fashion accessory is:

My shoes. I have quite a few pairs.

What you'll always find in my glove compartment:


My most embarrassing junk food:

Vienna sausages. I know, it's gross, but for some reason I love them.

If I wasn't a musician, I'd:

Probably own a restaurant/wine bar. I love good wines and pairing food with wines.

The last book I read:

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

"Anchorman" -- I love it.

My favorite Web site:

I guess I have to say Facebook. It's a nice way to keep in touch with people when I'm on the road.

My most memorable fashion mistake:

I recently wore an audition dress inside out for two auditions and didn't realize until my pianist in the third audition broke the news to me.

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

Why would I want to live my life as someone else?

My childhood nickname was:

The Tidewater Terror: We lived in a community called Tidewater in Virginia Beach until I was about 3, and I was headstrong and stubborn even at a young age.

My first job:

I was a barista at Gloria Jeans coffee shop in Annapolis Mall

My favorite cable channel:

The channel that shows "America's Funniest Home Videos." I love that show.

The song that always gets me out on the dance floor and why:

"Candela" from "Buena Vista Social Club." Salsa dancing is one of my favorite things to do.

Life would be better without:

Many things -- my ex-boyfriend (I couldn't resist), having to pay for your luggage when flying, and processed food

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

Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga

I never travel without my:


People would be surprised to know that I:

Own an apartment building in Pittsburgh that I landlord, and that I have a talent for the ridiculous

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