BILLY PAPPAS was born in New York City and grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore. He studied visual art, graduating in 1990 from Maryland Institute College of Art. By the early 1990s, several of Billy's drawings had been selected for exhibit by the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles as well as in various solo exhibits in and around Baltimore. But it was at this time that Billy decided to change his focus from illustration to fine art and began the project depicted in the film. Billy is single and lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

COOKIE PAPPAS is Billy's ebullient mother and perhaps his biggest fan and most ardent cheerleader. She comes by her nickname honestly, and it is a poppyseed cake - her "favorite cake to make, not to eat" - that she sends as a goodwill gesture to Hockney in the film.


LARRY LINK aka 'Dr. Lifestyle', is an architect who serendipitously met Billy Pappas when Billy waited on his table in a restaurant. Subsequently, Larry 'dares' Billy to use his art to reinvent realism and acts as Billy's mentor and impresario throughout the process.


DR. GARY VIKAN is the Director of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Gary provides his feedback and support to Billy throughout the creation of the portrait and, as a member of 'Team Billy' actively attempts to contact David Hockney and others on Billy's behalf.


BROTHER RENE STERNER was Billy's high school principal at Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore. As Billy says, like "a lot of powerful people sitting behind the desks of high schools," Brother Rene plays an integral part of 'Team Billy', acting as the 'Administrator'.


LAWRENCE WESCHLER is the Director of the Department of Humanities at NYU and a long-time contributor to the New Yorker magazine. He is also, as Billy says, a "close friend, champion and collaborator with David Hockney" and therefore, an object of pursuit by 'Team Billy'.


CHARLIE SCHIEPS served as David Hockney's assistant for many years. In the film he offers surprising observations about both the anticipation of and reaction to Billy's portrait as well as ruminations about Billy's place in the art world.


JEFF GRUTKOWSKI is a long time friend of Billy who describes Billy as having "gone into hiding" during the long process of having created the portrait, which he says makes him "break out into a sweat" when Billy first unveils it.


JIM PAPPAS, Billy's father, was the proprietor of the family's pizza business. More skeptical than his wife Cookie about Billy's endeavor, he'd prefer his son be a "lawyer or a doctor or something where he would make a good living, contribute to mankind."


STEPHANIE LINK is the wife of Larry Link. In her capacity as a member of 'Team Billy', she has the responsibility of acting as the archivist for Billy's endeavors, a function which she describes as "basically to take notes and to take photographs."


A Film by Julie Checkoway. A Littlest Birds Films Production.