TEHACHAPI - Tehachapi is about to get a taste of reality, reality TV that is. A new reality show pilot is getting ready to tape there called "Nick the Painter." It's all about a former actor turned painter and his crew trying to give back to their community.
Nick Benedict moved to Tehachapi 15 years ago with his horse and started painting homes. He says the town has treated him like a gem, now it's time for him to give it the star treatment.
On a short concept reel on YouTube.com, Nick Benedict or Nick the Painter, gives audiences a taste of Tehachapi in his reality show.
"I think it's a wonderful town with wonderful people and I think they are ready," said Benedict.
Twenty-five years ago, Benedict was a soap star, the second husband of Erica Kane on "All My Children," but his character was killed off. And, his other characters met the same fate in two other soaps.
"I got killed off of three different soap operas for, I was on them for 14 years. And, I just thought I liked painting houses. I don't know why," said Benedict.
After more than a decade painting houses, Benedict noticed wear on many homes in Tehachapi and came up with the show. His crew, which is also his band mates, Nick and the Painters, help the distressed owners, painting their homes for free, leaving something better than it was.
"The reaction kind of get is, "Well, I don't want my house painted." I said no, no, no, we're a show and we're going to paint your house for free. "Well come on in," Benedict laughingly says is the reaction.
"If we are doing a house, we might find that the daughter needs braces and so we are going to solicit our sponsors to see if we might help her out," explained Gregory King, the show's producer and director.
Benedict's crew already fixed up one man's home across from the Tehachapi Museum. And, for the pilot, Benedict, a Navy and Vietnam veteran, and his crew want to give the Tehachapi V.F.W. a free facelift.
"Our goal is to bring that production here, to hire the local businesses, stay in the local hotels, to use locations like the restaurants we feature in the mini pilot, and to turn Tehachapi into a little bit of a movie star," said King.
"You know the economy is so tough and everybody is money, money, money, money, and that's what really the whole point of the show is, to inspire other people to help out their neighbor," said Benedict.
They plan to shoot the pilot late August or September. And, they are still collecting money to make that happen. To help or learn more about the show by watching the concept video, click on the web address below.