I first met Bill Russo, aka Retro Bill, at a movie premiere that spotlighted the impact family and school emotional abuse and bullying have on an entire town. The movie, White Rabbit, seemed to truly resonate with Retro Bill on more than a professional level. After reading and learning more about him, I realized that his background perhaps was similar to that of many, many people. So, without further adieu I share you my interview with actor, spokesperson, speaker and now my friend, Retro Bill!
Q1: Hi Bill – Been almost two years or so since we met via a mutual friend, tell me are you native to California?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Boy Scouts, a Tree Fort, Cornfield Mazes, Little League Games and then many trips to the BIG CITY – Chicago!
Q2: How would you describe your experience as a student? What were your challenges? What did you enjoy about learning or school?
In some respects, school was GREAT! In other respects…TRAMATIC.I seemed to get bullied a lot: “You’re TOO nice! You’re a WIMP! You’re too skinny! You have buck teeth! You have pimples that look like Volcanoes.” I did my best to let the put downs roll off my back (“Like Water on a Duck” my Grandma said). I always had a soft spot in my heart for the other Boys and Girls being bullied, and I would talk to them (Cheer ’em up) and or just let them know “You’re Special Just the Way You Are” (very Billy Joel) and “You’ve got a Friend in Me” (very Toy Story).
Q3: You are gaining quite a reputation for bringing educationally sound programs against bullying to schools and other organizations. Tell us more!
I have had the HONOR of being the International D.A.R.E. Program’s “Safety & Self-EsteemBuddy” for 20 years. This PRIVILEGE has given me the chance to work with Police Officers throughout North America. I have delivered my Motivational Good Character based/Anti-Bullying/Healthy Life Choices Presentations to Elementary, Middle and High School Students in all 50 States, and throughout all of the Provinces of Canada. Which has put me currently in a position of being one of the most in-demand. Motivational Speakers for Youth (K-12th Grade) in North America. And, my friend Leeza Gibbons has Publicly declared on national television that she feels, “Retro Bill is primed to be the 21st Century’s Mr. Rogers!” An HONOR to be sure!
It’s probably no surprise to many that (unfortunately) many States, Cities, Schools,
Law Enforcement Agencies, etc are hurting financially. I mention this because
over the last year (in particular) I have daily received emails or calls from
Law Enforcement Officers, Principals, PTA Presidents, Teachers, etc who say,
“RETRO BILL our Kids LOVE YOU! YOU are their FAVORITE Speaker! UNfortunately
we don’t have ANY funds to bring you back this year to speak to our Kids.”
EVERY SINGLE call or email stating this breaks my heart : ( So, I would
ask your Audience to consider helping me find an Angel Investor, Corporate
Sponsors, and (as previously mentioned) Hollywood Representation to help
me keep “RETRO BILL out there making a Retro-riffic Positive Impact!”
Here is Retro Bill’s “About Me” – How clever is this introduction! To meet and greet this amazing edu-tainer in person and even better to bring him to your organization – click here!
is revolutionizing children’s edutainment and motivational speaking for the restaurantlodgingand airline industries! has put fun into safety, self-esteem and character counts education for Kindergarten through 12th graders for the past 13 years, and he is also highly in-demand for his customer service/hospitality presentations for working adults. is on the road 300 days a year and is seen live by over 1 MILLION American and Canadian fans annually!
In closing, it would be my hope that Retro Bill gets to fulfill his dreams all while helping to keep your kids safe, organizations and school educated and continue to sprinkle #SocialGood wherever he goes!