As a society we certainly are fascinated with the many incarnations of the Devil. Monikers such as Lucifer, Satan, the Prince of Darkness have been used to describe the one believed to be the root of all evil. Poets, play writes and filmmakers alike have constructed entire stories around this one entity; from the famous poem Dante’s Inferno to legendary film The Omen, we are drawn to retelling of man vs. the devil. We are equally fascinated with the different visual constructs of Satan, be it the enormous red beast from the movie Legend or the subtle evil of Al Pacino’s character in the Devils Advocate. The haunt, horror and fantasy communities are filled with people putting their own spin on the devil which now brings us to our interview with one such person. Mid West Horror Movie host Billy Zebubba aka Bill Turner, has been portraying his version of the devil for over a decade. He is going to share a bit of his background and important tips on makeup for those who may wish to try their hand at playing the devil.
In the beginning:
Like many of us, Bill grew up watching old B monster movies on Saturdays hosted by a local TV host dressed as some sort of ghoul. This spiked his interest in the horror movie genre and in his teen years lead to his working at local Haunted houses sponsored by groups like the Jay Cees. Bill had always thought it would be fun to host a monster film show and while attending a Horror Convention in September of 2001 “Cinema Wasteland” in Strongsville Ohio, the doors were opened for just such a dream. Sadly this was the same week of 9-11 and many people were unable to attend the convention due to airports being on lock down. The small attendance allowed Bill the opportunity to visit one on one with some of the big name horror hosts and also celebrities in the horror film industry.
Words of encouragement:
Bill was amazed at how friendly all of the hosts and celebrities were and when he shared his dreams of hosting similar programs they rallied around him sharing tips and ideas to boost his enthusiasm. As Bill looked at the assortment of characters surrounding him; Mad Doctors, Werewolves assorted ghouls and more vampires than you could shake a stake at, he knew his character needed to be different. One character that was absent from the list of movie hosts was a devil, “that settles it” thought Bill, “the devil it is!”
The new character:
Being a fun loving person and also a singer in a band, Bill knew the key to success for him was to make his character an extension of himself. So the evil overlord was not the ticket for his persona but one reflecting his sense of humor and interaction with the audience. His slogan; “Yes I’m evil…but it’s the fun kind of evil!” The name came easy as most close friends call him Billy, he took the moniker Beelzebub and tuned it into a name Billy Zebubba. After his visit to the convention in September, Bill debut his character October 2001 at a couple of Halloween parties with good reviews from friends and guests.
Creating the face:
Already having knowledge of proper makeup application form his years working in haunted houses, Bill just had to find the look that worked for him. Never wanting to be super scary but more approachable, Bill went for the simple red face and horns. Early on he used contacts to change his eye color and long fake nails but the nails quickly proved to be cumbersome and mostly got in the way so they were quickly canned. He now sports finger-less leather gloves and black nails. He uses no makeup on his hands due to the fact at some of his gigs he has to run film and sound equipment and it’s best not to have makeup smeared on expensive gear. One of his female friends suggested losing the contacts too as one of his best features she said was his blue eyes. So his character quickly evolved into “The Blue Eyed Devil.”
Taking the stage:
Bill continued to hone his character and refine his look over the coming months and was able to take his talents to some local theaters who on certain nights showed the old classic monster movies, the idea of a live host was a welcomed change. Within the first year he got a job at a local night club hosting a monster movie night which lasted for a couple of years.
The show grew:
Over the years Bill has helped host fundraisers, worked on and appeared in small film projects and has moved into the Horror convention circuit himself. One convention, Horror Hound, actually has specific events for horror movie hosts like Bill. He also is an ordained minister and has presided over weddings as his character Billy Zebubba.
Bill has refined his makeup to go on quickly but last for hours as he can be in character for more than 10 hours at a time. Here is the list of products and some tips for apply the makeup.
* After cleaning your face, treat skin with No Sweat which helps the makeup from running.
* Apply horns using spirit gum. (Bill uses a rubber colored horn.)
*Blend edge of horns with liquid latex.
* Apply red foundation evenly pat the makeup into skin with fingers tips to help give a smooth texture. Red cream makeup will cover latex as well.
* Dust face with setting powder and brush away residue.
* Bill likes to use black mascara to color his beard but also suggests any of the black face paints would work.
* Finally use the Barrier spray to set the makeup to help prevent smudging.
Although this venture has not turned into a full time gig, nor does it for many of the horror hosts, Bill truly enjoys portraying Billy Zebubba. Being a featured guest at many horror functions, Bill finds it funny that guests and even celebrities now come to get their picture taken with him instead of the other way around.
Having been shown so much kindness and support from icons in the industry, Bill in turn encourages folks to peruse their dreams even if some say they are too far fetched. He adds, my path has brought great friends and fun adventures.
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