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Riso was discovered while cutting a news reporter's hair. She says that the client complemented her on her overall look and shortly after meeting his agent she was signed.
Riso, a self diagnosed workaholic, has been on the cover of Performance Auto & Sound, Low-rider Magazine and Import Tuner, among others.
She's appeared in several music videos including one for rapper Xzibit. She is currently taking acting lessons while living in Los Angeles, one of the reasons she moved from San Diego, and has landed several commercial gigs. Says in her bio that a goal of hers is to appear in a James Bond film in an action role. (Melissariso.com)
The tattoo that spans from her waistline to just below her sternum, which is somewhat of a trademark for Riso, is to cover a scar. When she was a freshman in high school, she was in a car accident and sustained internal bleeding. In order for the doctors to save her life they had to perform surgery and the scar from it never went away. She told Bestdamnmodels.com that she would still get the scar removed from her belly if given the opportunity.
Riso says that she feels blessed to have the beauty that she does. "Modeling has always came natural to me and is fun!" she told elitedaiy.com, "My main priority now is acting and branding myself even more. I have been making a lot of connections here in LA, and my goal is to have my own reality show since my life is very crazy and interesting." (Elitedaily.com)
She believes that there's nothing wrong with showing off what "god has blessed you with" and that using it to pay the bills is all the better. She does, however, warn against becoming too self-obsessed. "There is nothing vain about it unless you choose to be vain."(Elitedaily.com)
Boxing is one of Riso favorite activities; she briefly became a bouncer earlier this year at one of Southern California's hottest nightclubs. She says that in five years she hopes to have been on the cover of Fitness Health Magazine and to have her own workout DVD series. (Modelbee.com)
She will be appearing on the TV show Millionaire Match Maker, which she says she is doing purely for the experience. Riso regularly updates the blog hosted on her website, MelissaRiso.com with entries like season's greetings to her next nightclub appearances. The one-time stylist has also recently started another webpage, BeautybyMel.com, where she promotes her hair talents for those in the Los Angeles area.