James Rizzo Biography
(born 1979- )
Born on November 14, 1979 and raised in Wilmington Delaware. I am an only child, which caused me to feel very alone as I knew I would never be able to share my life experiences with any siblings. My parents, therefore, became my best friends. I acquired my strong family values and morals from my parents who have always embraced their Italian heritage and the Catholic Faith. My parents sent me to the best schools and insisted my education be done in a private setting. I am very proud of my parents and loyalty to them is expressed with the love and respect we share. I feel I had a different childhood then most other children my age because of my strict upbringing. I was very shy and was teased a lot because of my appearance of being tall and lanky with glasses. I quickly became very defensive and couldn’t rely on others because of my lack of trust so I needed to stand on my own. Over time, I came to know myself and what I needed to do to develop the confidence I yearned for. I took up exercise as a hobby at first; only to build my body as a means to construct self-confidence and respect from others. It later became my passion which drives me to excel today. I dedicated my extracurricular activities to perfecting my internal and external image, ultimately sculpting my body into the form it is today. During my tenure in high school education, competition became my primary goal. In an effort to stay competitive and well rounded, I also participated in various sports like football, basketball, and baseball. I was motivated by the rigorous activities that I had undertaken and endured by the results I was able to achieve. I developed a strong core, both physically and emotionally, and realized I controlled my own sense of self. Through physical fitness, I also quickly became noticed, thereby also earning the respect I sought. I realized my calling was to help others achieve their potential as bodybuilding had enabled me to do.
My grandfather was my life coach and mentor. He taught me the courage to think and act for myself as a leader. He spoke of reputation as being the most important quality I have and that it’s crucial who I choose to associate with. Over time, I have developed a reputation for being self-confident, extremely positive, loyal, and outgoing. Throughout my life, I have had the ability to relate well with others and making friends became easy. I had appealing presence and my sense of humor was appreciated by all. My family has always been there for me and their love taught me to follow my heart in any decision I must make.
Following College graduation in 2002, the economy had begun the unnerving downward spiral we are still facing today. As the rest of my classmates headed for corporate America – I quickly realized there was a different plan for me. Once again, I chose my own path. I wanted to draw upon my experiences and personal development, using them to my advantage. I also wanted to follow my heart. This led me to an interest in modeling and acting. I received a referral from a close friend about a well known agent in New York, whom when I met with told me I was too fat. Determined to follow my dream I returned to New York a month and a half later, 35 pounds lighter. Utterly impressed with my dedication and willpower, he said ‘I could attain anything’ and I gained representation immediately. I traveled back and forth between Delaware and New York City around my work schedule as a regional salesman/assistant manager in the Delaware/Pennsylvania area, but soon realized the traveling was too costly and very time consuming. One day, I realized that my time in Delaware was done and that a new opportunity awaited me in New York City. It was not easy, I faced numerous challenges and was taken advantage of by would be friends; I truly faced setback after setback. I found work as a personal trainer in Manhattan and lived in New Jersey at the time. But then, overnight my life disintegrated. It turned out that my friend, roommate, was using our rent money for personal needs and neglected to pay rent – for almost an entire year! I came home from work late one evening to find the locks had been changed; I had been evicted. I rapidly lost my sense of focus. I was homeless and was forced to ask an acquaintance If I could stay with him after only knowing him through brief conversations. For two months I slept on his floor. My life seemed like it was in utter ruins. BUT instead of quitting, giving up, and heading back to Delaware, I reached deep within myself and found strength from my life’s lessons and the words of my grandfather- ‘Do what’s right, not what’s easy’ to persevere. I worked 10 hour days, saved as much money as possible and was finally able to rent a place of my own. I continued to audition and build my clientele. As a result, I can honestly say I have never been stronger than I am today. I have lived in New York City for just over 9 years now and my greatest achievements to date are purchasing my own condo, being published in two national magazines, appearing on talk shows, acting in various commercials, and just recently obtained my New York real estate salesperson license. My long term goals are to specialize in high end Manhattan sales and to write an inspirational book using my biography as an example for others who feel they are losing focus or have adversity to overcome.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. WE ARE TRULY IN CHARGE OF OUR ATTITUDES AND OUR ULTIMATE DESTINY