Thursday, April 10, 2008

Billy B highlight

Billy b has been busy lately! If you've been keeping track you know, among many other things, he produced a series of looks for Bravo's "Make Me A SuperModel" (including Holly's winning look - which was on fire).

He'd also been working on a pilot for Bravo, which sadly didn't get picked up. Focused more on his efforts to help his town in Aberdeen, MS save their history, it highlights Billy's town facelift project. Following is an excerpt from Shannon Nelson's interview with Billy last year and clip from the pilot:

To be honest, I was not looking for a show, but it was this show came to me.

billy b:I am from Aberdeen Mississippi, which is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. It is struggling like most small towns in America. At one time in the late 1800’s it was rich with cotton etc., which produced tons of gorgeous Victorian and Antebellum houses there. There are more than 250 structures on the National Register of Historic places in this town of 4000. Now there is no industry there and farmers are struggling and these houses were being lost due to neglect and no one having the money to keep them up. There is little opportunity for young people and these houses, which had once been passed down generation after generation, were being left behind, torn down or falling down. I began buying the houses to save them and a writer (Isabel Gonzales) was on a job with me and we chatted about what I was doing there. To make a long story short, she pitched it to The New York Times and my story was featured on the cover of the Home and Garden section. The television producers started calling and I signed a development deal with World Of Wonder productions, and Bravo loved the idea.

The show is about my life juggling doing makeup within New York and Hollywood for magazines, music videos and celebrities on the Red Carpet, but contrasted with my other life of saving these houses with my down home crew helping. It is just me, my 74 year old (pistol toting mom), my ex-con, good ole boy contractor Cecil and trust me the hilarity begins. Who knows if the show will even make it to television, but I am excited about how it might help my little hometown. I am excited about the possibility!

Shannon: Rebuilding your hometown is something you are passionate about, at what point did you decide that this was something you wanted to do and were you worried about how you would get it done?

billy b: I am SO passionate about it and it began a long time ago, actually. I had been living in NYC for years and would go home and see this place where I grew up dying. It made me sad. The houses are so beautiful and so incredibly inexpensive, so I just started buying them. I didn’t have a plan and still don’t LOL! I just do what I need to do as its needed and I worry about the rest later. I have saved about 20 houses and have 17 at the moment. It is a huge struggle, but a struggle I enjoy. It is another creative outlet for me other than doing makeup. Like the name of the show, “The Beauty Foundation,” there are a lot of similarities. I love the art of transformation and making something the best it can be. Whether it is a face or a house, I live for it.

Beautifully, he's saving real estate and helping people at the same time. He's Oprah on a smaller scale!

billy b

1 comment:

Shannon Nelson said...

I don't know anyone who doesn't love Billy. Down to earth, charasmatic, charming (indeed!) and enormously talented. Oh I forgot good looking ;-)

Really he is amazing.

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