by Rich Moreland, 2013
There are three locations where the business of filmed pornography flourishes: L. A., which includes Las Vegas, San Francisco, and South Florida. (New York was retired from the adult map some time ago.) Of course, filming takes place anywhere nowadays, and quite frankly does. Just check out the amateurs, like the Jasons and Ashleys on any street in any American town, who are armed with a camcorder. They inundate the internet.
The Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas provides an annual opportunity for the professional markets to gather in one convenient spot. In truth, it’s the big names associated with Porn Valley in Southern California that draw public interest. Crowds jam into narrow aisles at the convention’s host, the Hard Rock Hotel. Fans elbow for space to take snapshots of their favorite performers and hope for a minute of chat and a signed one sheet or mini-poster.
At this year’s affair, I gave that battle an early go only to experience the usual frustrations. I want more than thirty seconds; I’m after information, a story. Here’s an example. Getting Joanna Angel was virtually impossible. I did speak with her briefly and she wanted to talk at length but had no time. Later that day, I lunched with a film editor, Sonny Malone, who works for Joanna’s company, Burning Angel. She was sympathetic to my dilemma, but emphasized that Joanna was so busy that an interview would not likely be scheduled this time around.
There were other A-listers on the floor who also said they’d be happy to sit down for a few minutes but couldn’t say when. I spoke with an emerging star (gave her my business card, talked about my column with Adult Industry News—the usual stuff) who promised me some time before she left for the day. When I returned to her signing area, she was hurrying to leave, smiled and politely excused herself. A studio owner for whom she has signed in the past mentioned to me later that her skills in dealing with the public need to be polished. I nodded, acknowledging that he was trying to soothe my annoyance.
Tracking down performers based on where they are scheduled to sign is also highly futile. Names and signing hours are rarely posted; anything listed in the event’s official program is notoriously inaccurate and subject to change. The AEE is catch as catch can, very chaotic, and stresses out performers and other industry personnel. Even models I personally know often cannot give me more than a quick “good to see you again.” Sometimes luck comes my way, but this year’s Expo was not overly productive in that regard.
However, that’s with the top players in the biz.
In the convention backwater, modeling agencies maintain booths where lesser known talent often sit around like girls on slow nights at strip clubs. Crowds are refreshingly thin in this little traveled area. But the eagerness to be a star always pervades the atmosphere and the girls are most accommodating, as I might add, are the talent agents—at least the licensed ones, but that’s a story for another day.
Shifting gears to this part of the Expo, my next post will be on a new girl whose bubbly personality is most endearing.
Before I get to that, a brief story is appropriate.
I was hanging around waiting to speak with an agent when a newbie was checking in for her floor time. Maybe nineteen at best guess and thin as a street waif, the girl was a bit of a laggard apparently (her seat had been empty). She appeared tired, weary is a better descriptor. Her agent approached her gingerly and inquired about where she had been. Putting a can of caffeinated high energy drink on the small around table she used for signing, the hazy eyed brunette glared at him. She was out until five a.m., she snapped, but reminded him that she was responsible enough to show up at her assigned time. I admired her gumption and sense of responsibility for someone so young in a tough business.
Girls are on tight, debilitating schedules for four days assuming they stay the whole week. The Expo is more that just putting in floor time and being pleasant with fans. There are after hours parties, time reserved for industry affiliates involved in distribution and marketing, and, of course, shooting scenes when a few available hours can be found. Hotel room time is rarely in short supply.
Everything is money in adult film, you see, and everyone needs to make another buck. In this case, what happens in Vegas gets distributed.
Wanting clarification of grapevine info I occasionally pick up, I asked a performer I know fairly well if she could verify that girls were relying on “chemical assistance” to survive the week. She was honest, as I trusted her to be.
Look for a story on a new girl coming soon. It’s from behind the lines where ever they are.