by Rich Moreland, February 2020
Photos by Kevin Sayers
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By virtue of her eight years in the business, Casey Calvert is a respected adult film veteran. I’ve known her for some time and she is always an informative interview because she carries that remarkable trait that separates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, in porn. With a university degree adorned in honors, Casey is no dummy.
We had an extensive interview that covered a handful of topics, but the part recorded here is on the changes that porn as an industry is experiencing as we move into the next decade.
As a result, this discussion is placed within the sequence of articles on the show that examines the evolution of the modern adult product.
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Offering a thumbnail sketch of her career, Casey reminds us she began and as a bondage model shooting for Lew Rubens. That was over nine years ago.
“The first time I did that on camera was for Sex Art in November of 2012,” she says. Surprising to me, incidentally, because I thought it was for Kink.com where Casey’s early career was nurtured.
In fact, one of the films nommed for this year’s AVN Movie of the Year was Derelict, a Kink production starring Casey and Charlotte Sartre.
If you could go back in time and have a talk with yourself about the business, what would you say?
“I would tell myself to be patient and to not expect overnight success in the way people were telling me it was going to happen. And I would also warn myself that the business is changing.”
The native Floridian insists that every performer should understand today’s business environment. Getting into porn in 2020 is different from 2012.
Where the Money Is
If she were starting today, Casey would do things quite differently. “I would have never moved to LA. I would have never signed with an agency. I would have never shot mainstream porn. I tell people these days that you don’t need to do that. That’s not where the money is anymore,” she declares.
“The money is in owning your own content and being your own content creator and shooting the kind of porn you want to shoot with the kind of people that you want to have sex with. But in 2012, that was not what the business was. So, I would warn myself to be prepared, rather than trying to play catch up.”
What potential conflicts would you warn yourself about?
“I would tell myself that MindGeek is coming [which] translates into all of these companies that you work for now and idolize are going to change in some way. I would also warn myself more generally that all of these big companies now that you’re so excited working for, they’re going be gone in ten years.
“I would warn myself that these things that you think you want right now, may not actually be what you want in six months. Things change so quickly, just be prepared for rapid change . . . . rapid like institutional change.”
Referencing the “Rolling Your Own” seminar that appears on this blog, I ask Casey about the problems that arise when girls engage in content trade.
She brings up two issues: paperwork and negotiating what is to be traded.
“Paperwork is the number one thing,” she says. “I did a contract trade [recently] with a bunch of independent content creators. When I brought up that we needed to do 2257s in releases, [their response was] ‘We don’t do paperwork.’”
(FYI. 2257 is the government regulation that guards against child porn. Among other things, it makes sure all performers are eighteen years of age or older.)
In response to their naivete, Casey decided to take care of it herself. She got the IDs and went from there.
“Just because it’s a content trade doesn’t mean we not do paperwork. I was the mother hen,” she comments, “and swept them all up.”
“Another big problem is not negotiating beforehand where the content is going to go,” Casey points out.
“If you shoot a content trade scene with someone and they put it up on Pornhub for free. Now you can’t sell it. Sometimes people shoot content trade because they want to have sex with someone. [In that case] put it up on PornHub, do whatever you want. [But] get paperwork because you’re making a film. Follow the law,” she emphasizes.
“But, if you’re shooting content trade with the intention of having a product to sell, you have to communicate with your content trade partner. Put in writing a release plan [with a] schedule and rules.”
Casey explains many content traders don’t do that because they’re just using their phones to shoot the sex.
Does that make every amateur a professional?
“Technically yes,” she replies. “If [you’re] doing something [for money] that makes you a professional, it makes every amateur a professional.”
Casey Calvert sums it up.
“You can do it. You don’t have to move to LA. you don’t have to find an agent. You don’t have to go and work for any of those companies where they tell you who you’re going to have sex with, what you’re going do that day, do your makeup and all of those other things.
“You just do your own thing because you almost certainly have a cell phone that connects you to the internet.”
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Casey shooting for Lew Rubens as a bondage model before she entered hardcore porn.