It's hard to know how things will play out as the season unrolls on "Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club," airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on MTV, but for now on this reality show about the hosts at the actress-entrepreneur’s Mykonos hot spot, the adult in the room happens to be the Long Islander.
"You don't want anyone to push you to a certain spot and getting into a fight so that you end up going home," says Billy Estevez, 28, who grew up in the Mill Brook section of Valley Stream and currently lives in Sherman Oaks, California, outside Los Angeles. "I didn't want to screw up an amazing opportunity by letting someone get the best of me."
That wasn't easy, says the son of Dominican immigrants, particularly since he and the eight other nightclub hosts and bartenders imported from the United States not only work at Lohan’s club but also live together nearby. "They're not just your co-workers but your housemates," Estevez says. "The work would come home with us. You're around these people nonstop — you couldn't get away."
That presented a challenge, he says. "In New York we have a mind-our-own-business mentality — get our stuff done, move on to the next thing." But in the pressure-cooker of the cameras, "As you start to see things that are challenging or not right, you feel the need to step in. Eventually you have to speak up."
The fit and handsome Estevez developed his levelheadedness from not always being fit and handsome. "I was a super late bloomer," says the Valley Stream South High School grad, as social-media photos of his childhood and teenage year attest. The scrawny lad "wasn't invited to parties, didn't get the girls." In classic Charles Atlas fashion, "Someone made fun of me being skinny, and it shocked my insecurity to the core. I went to the gym, gained my confidence. I still have kids from high school asking if I took growth hormones. Absolutely not."
So what is it like working with Lohan? “Intimidating at first," Estevez says. "Lohan Mykonos Beach House is her baby, her pride and joy. You want to make sure you’re always on your A-game because you know there’s always someone waiting to replace you. As if working for a celebrity wasn’t tough enough, the cameras following your every move certainly didn’t help. But I’m a New Yorker, and a Long Islander, and that’s where she and I connected, and she knew I was there to work.”
Born in Queens, Estevez moved with his family to Valley Stream as a young teen. His mother Denise is a homemaker and his father Norberto works for a hair-product distributorship in New Hyde Park. He has a sister, Ileana, two years younger.
After high school he worked for Optimum / Cablevision, doing commercial sales in Jericho. A breakup with a girlfriend coincided with his desire to move to Los Angeles "for the weather. I was tired of the cold, shoveling snow from my car. I wanted to feel like I was waking up on vacation every day."
Aiming to be a personal trainer, he floated into bartending — initially at a catering company, which "doesn't require that much mixology or craft cocktailing." He was working at the upscale Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills hotel when he auditioned for and was cast in the Lohan show, leaving for it in late July and returning to the United States in early September. Estevez currently bartends at the Glendale, California, bar Mr Furley's.