Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Danyelle Mastarone Interview
Photos 1-3: Hot Shotz Photography
Photos 4-5: NPC News Online/J.M. Manion
In May, Danyelle Mastarone took sixth place at the NPC Pittsburgh Championships. Just a few months later she brought a much better and more conditioned package to the stage in taking second place at the Shawn Ray Classic. She is just days out from North Americans and in my mind, has to be considered a threat to win her class.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I have always been involved in some type of fitness my whole life. About five or six years ago I was teaching group fitness classes and a fellow instructor decided she was gonna compete in a figure competition. I didn't know what it was, I just knew that she went from looking good to looking amazing. She told me I should do it. I said "absolutely not, I am not giving up my french fries." Once I watched her transformation and a couple other friends decided to do it I said "I am gonna do this and do it better than everyone else." I won first in novice in my first show and kept going.
Q: Without seeing their transformations, do you think you would have ever had the desire to do it yourself?
A: I don't know if I would have known what it was. Even though I am from Pittsburgh, the home of bodybuilding, I didn't know really know much about the sport. I thought bodybuilding was all there was. I didn't know about figure, I watched fitness as a kid but I couldn't do tumbling so I didn't see that as an option. Without them making the introduction, I never would have known about it.
Q: Were you nervous the first time?
A: I was shaking like a leaf, I am not afraid to admit. I was proud of the journey. You go from A to Z, not matter how you end up, it is such a transformation. You truly reshape your body. I was shaking. I hear from the audience you couldn't tell, so I guess it all worked out.
Q: A lot of people I interview say that after the first show it becomes like an addiction, was that the case with you?
A: Yes and no. I feel like when people say addiction, it carries a negative connotation. What drove me to continue was the sense of accomplishment and knowing there was more to achieve. That I could take the knowledge that I have and do better the next time. I really love being on stage, there is nothing like it to me. Showing off your hard work, the suit, the glitz, the glam, the suit, the makeup. I don't like the word addiction but it did spark a desire in me to continue the journey and see where it took me.
Q: In may you took sixth at the Pittsburgh Championships and then just recently took second at the Shawn Ray. In a short time, your conditioning was so much better, was that something you made a point to improve?
A: Absolutely, thank you for noticing. For the Pittsburgh show I brought a softer package, which is what I thought was the direction figure was going. Once I had a better grasp of what they were going for in figure, I changed my training. I worked so hard, I trained more intense, every step I took was more intense. My goal was like you said, to bring my conditioning to a whole new level. So yes and thank you.
Q: It is only a couple months, so was there any fear you wouldn't be able to get the conditioning where you wanted it?
A: Absolutely! Your body responds different every prep. Even if you do the exact same thing, you never know exactly how your body will respond. I didn't have a ton of time. I took a small off-season, kind of a mental break from the super intense training, but I worked harder than I ever ever worked to get to that level. I didn't know until the week of or even the morning of, how it would turn out.
Q: You also looked much more confident, were you that confident?
A: Thank you again. I have never felt that confident on stage. I knew it was the best me by far. I look at pictures from Pittsburgh and even a year ago at North Americans and I can see all the changes and felt confident. That was real real me.
Q: Obviously you are happy with second place, but is there part of you that wonders what you had to do to get first?
A: Yes, I am not afraid to admit it. I went there to get first place. I evaluated the competition even though you are not supposed to compare yourself to others, it is you versus you. I did think I had a chance, they put me in dead center for call-outs. I was expecting better than second but am truly happy with that. In the game of you versus you, I crushed Danyelle from the Pittsburgh. I achieved so much in those couple months that I couldn't be anything but happy.
Q: When are you competing next?
A: In three days at North Americans.
Q: Not much time from the last one, but is there somewhere the goal was to get better for this one?
A: The goal was to get my glutes a little tighter and keep the conditioning going and bring a tighter package. I wanted to do the Shawn Ray as a warm-up to North Americans, to see how it came out going through the peak week stage. The feedback from judges was tighten up the glutes. I really focused on that and maintaining my muscularity.
Q: Is the pro card something that is important to you?
A: When I first started, the only thing I thought about was wanting to be a pro. I would love to be an IFBB pro and it is a goal, but I think it takes time and I wanna earn it a hundred percent and feel I earned it and give the best package again. As much as I want that pro card Saturday, I am over the moon with the changes I made in one year. I compared my pictures from North Americans last year where I placed eleventh to the Shawn Ray and showed them to my trainer who has been with me this entire year, he asked if the first pictures were from my first show because the changes were astounding. Changes he thought would take years to make were made in a year. I am proud of that and I know I got here with hard work and nothing more.
Q: Would you ever consider physique?
A: I don't think my body is suited for physique. I like the figure shape. That being said, I wish figure could do a posing routine because I love to show off my stuff, love the creativity that goes into that. I think figure is best suited for me and my height. I am 4'9" and the muscle I have is a good balance of muscularity and femininity on my frame.
Q: When you are at the gym do you get the stares and attention from people?
A: Sometimes I do. The gym I go to, I go in the morning and we are like a big family. Everyone knows I am a competitor. The attention I get is all positive, people ask about shows and comment on changes in my physique. When I do stuff outside of my comfort zone or in a social setting I get stares or "that girl's got some guns."
Q: In public are you a cover up and avoid attention or show it off?
A: In the middle. I am pretty modest but I am certainly not gonna cover up my arms or my back. I love the physique I have created so I am very proud to show it in a conservative or modest way.
Q: If you could spend a day training with someone you have never trained with who would it be?
A: I would love to spend a day training with Kai Greene.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My coach and trainer Bill for believing in me, seeing me as someone who could transform her body and do well. My family and friends and my girls, they know who they are, and my husband, the most amazing and supportive husband on the planet. I couldn't do it without him. He helps with food, the love he gives me and how proud he is, without his support I could not be the person I am.