by Rich Moreland, December 2011
It’s an old cliché, but small acts of kindness do matter.
Last year I took my research assistant to the Adult Video News (AVN) convention in Las Vegas. It was Brandy’s first visit to the Nevada playground though the trip was a working assignment, not a vacation. She did “Girl Friday” things when she wasn’t pointing me in the right direction. Brandy is top notch in getting through the rush of airports. She knows exactly where to go and keeps track of everything, which includes reminding me to have my business cards and digital recorder handy.
She was the best assistant I’ve had. I use the past tense because she has relocated to the southwest to finish her degree.
Brandy harbored no reservations about my research and is unfazed by the adult industry, always a plus when doing this type of work. She was invaluable when we studied film, offering interpretations and observations. Needless to say, the word “exceptional” can’t begin to describe her.
And, I might add, she is irreplaceable.
I really do miss working with her and for that reason I want to tell you a story that otherwise would be lost in the glitz and glam of Vegas. If you believe adult film performers are all bimbos with overcooked oatmeal for brains, your preconceived thoughts will be challenged.
A note. Part of this account is, as they say on TV, Brandy in her own words.
Settling into Vegas . . .
Brandy enjoys meeting adult industry people and we were fortunate to network with some of the ones I know from my research work.
Among them was Tara Lynn Foxx.
Tara is a rising star in film pornography. She’s had “rough patches,” as she puts it, in her short career and has grown up too quickly by her own admission. TLF, as she is affectionately known in the business, jumped into adult film a couple of years ago at age eighteen, younger than most, and paid an early emotional price.
She’s one of the sweetest girls in the business I have met and cares about her fans, a characteristic not every adult film performer possesses. I first met her in San Francisco and if you check out her blog (the link is at the top) you’ll find three parts of an ongoing series I doing on her. Writing about TLF remains a pleasure.
Now for our story . . .
The AVN awards show, the Oscars of Adult Film, is held on the Saturday night that concludes a week of busy floor time and self-indulgent parties that mark the adult convention.
On Saturday morning Brandy and I faced a rushed schedule that included interviews, seminars, and floor cruising to do some last minute networking. Over a late breakfast conversation with industry personnel, Brandy unexpectedly secured the promise of a ticket to a post-awards show party where she could mingle with the questionably famous, not so well-known, and hangers-on.
She was excited!
As the day moved into the afternoon, Brandy finally meets Tara and a friendship was born.
We set up a quick interview with Tara during an unanticipated break from her signing. Finding a quiet spot to block out the cacophony of the floor was not on the table, so Brandy and I joined TLF outside the entrance to the hall. The move was by necessity. Tara had neglected to wear “foundation garments,” as slight as they are in the industry, and it was suggested that she had to find some quick. Her mini dress was fairly snug, as is typical on the floor, and I could understand her reluctance to have “lines.” But rules apparently are rules.
Frankly, I was amused by the whole episode. Thongs, with no other covering are everywhere, and jeans, for those who prefer them, are cut way below the mowed lawn if you get my drift, leaving a girl’s torso more than a little revealing.
And need I mention the pole dancers scattered all over the place?
Tara’s break was short. A guy from her support network showed up promptly with the goodies and she excused herself. We agreed to continue with the interview after her signing hours.
A shopping trip was in order to get Brandy the hottest “look” possible within our conservative east coast backwater culture . . . and our budget. Her passion for dressing up focused on a corset she wanted from a floor vendor. Armed with the credit card she disappeared while I talked about obscenity issues with an attorney for the Free Speech Coalition, the industry’s political wing.
By nightfall we finished our time with TLF, moving the second interview to her make-up artist’s penthouse suite in the Palazzo Hotel—very chic and very Hollywood in its environs.
The evening scooted by and around midnight Brandy headed out to the party. She maintained text contact with her ticket source and arrangements to meet were made.
The saga of her adventure, its disappointments and pleasure, would became known to me around four in the morning.
The adventure begins . . .
When Brandy left our hotel for the Pearl Theater the cab driver was a bit of a problem, or should I say a nuisance. He kept trying to get to “know” her in a non-professional sort of way. Brandy’s a tough babe and his efforts were for naught. As you might have suspected he failed to get her to the theater on time. Her contact had disappeared; this is the adult industry after all and nothing is certain. So Brandy was, to use a tired and worn phrase, all dressed up with nowhere to go, or in this case corseted without a ticket.
Here’s Brandy . . . .
“The cab driver was horrible! Not only was he attempting to flirt, pick me up, or however you want to phrase it, his driving was horrendous. I mean, most cab drivers in Vegas are bad, but this guy took the cake. When we got to the hotel where I was supposed to meet up with my contacts, the driveway was crowded with people and cars everywhere. I wanted out so bad that I let him drop me off in the middle of the street in front of the hotel. People were yelling and screaming at him. I couldn’t get away fast enough. It was awful! When I got inside, my contacts were nowhere to be found. I later found out they left way earlier.
With no options other than bag the evening, Brandy pondered her next move. She was not ready to come back. Our plane was to leave in the morning and she wanted to at least socialize with somebody!
Brandy decides to linger . . .
“I did not want to pay for another cab ride right back to our hotel without doing anything! So I sat at a table in the lobby to see if anyone I knew walked by. I happened to be right outside the Pearl Theater entrance where the talent enters and leaves. It was the lobby where I was supposed to get my ticket.
That’s when I saw Tara. I walked up to her, (she hadn’t seen me yet) and we said ‘hi.’”
You’ve guessed the rest of the story if you have figured out that Tara was not yet twenty-one.
Brandy lets us in on what happened next . . .
“I asked Tara what she was doing, and she said she was going back to her hotel to chill. I asked if I could go with her and told her how my contacts were not there and I was unable to go to the after party. She couldn’t go either because of her age. She said that she was just going to hang out, and not do anything special. And if I didn’t mind then I could feel free to come along.
I just want to say that while Tara was dressed elegantly, as were some other people at the awards (lots of suits and ties), others wore the most outlandish outfits, at least for me. One group looked like they belonged on the convention floor. High heels (stilettos, four inches or more), brightly colored tights, short puffy skirts and tight, low cut, brightly colored shirts (if there was enough there to call it a shirt!) I was amazed.
Tara had brought her car from home and her roommate, the guy who brought her panties that day when she was on the floor, met us out front. There was some drama, something about a girlfriend (and I use the term loosely) who had borrowed her car and then when she returned it, left the car keys with the car. Tara was not happy, as you can understand.”
Later Tara told me she questioned her girlfriend’s common sense. She had placed the keys on the front tire where they were a sitting invitation for theft.
At any rate, it’s off to the room. The girls just had to work around the boyfriend who was sleeping, a little on the “I’d rather be home in my own bed” side.
Brandy is impressed . . .
“When we got to the hotel, we went up to Tara’s room. The first thing I noticed was that the room looked like a teenager lived in it and I mean that in a good way. Shoes piled everywhere, clothes scattered around. When you walked in you didn’t feel like the room belonged to someone above you. Like sitting down and kicking off your shoes was the next logical thing to do. It was very homey, a really relaxed feeling.
Her boyfriend was lying in bed, he said he had been sick and was not feeling well. Tara then changed clothes, from her extravagant dress to more comfortable clothes.”
A look inside the room of a porn chick who perfects her ability to land anywhere on the Southern California continuum of glamorous to slutty was a treat for Brandy who looked pretty good herself, corseted in black.
Brandy continues . . .
“I was awed by the piles of shoes, jewelry, and stuff Tara had for when she had to look her best. She had one suitcase just for all the shoes she carried, from high stilettos to comfortable neon green chucks. Really cool.
We sat in her hotel room and just hung out. Watched a little TV, talked with her boyfriend. Her roommate had left to go hang out with some girl and Tara was not happy about that.
What do you talk about with someone who is a rising porn star, has lots of so-called friends, and is super beautiful? Well, the answer is easy . . . and pretty boring. We chatted about regular stuff, like my daughter, her job, how long her boyfriend had been sick, and the weather.
Not very exciting, I know, but it was nice to have someone to hang out with who seemed so down to earth, especially after spending so much time on the convention floor where so many of the girls seem so much larger than life.
What made it more interesting for me was that I had seen some of her professional work from Kink.com and then I got to just sit and chat with her. It almost seemed like a conflict that she could be that ‘wild child’ that I saw on Kink and then also be that sweet home girl that I was sitting with in a room. And then every once in a while, she would say something random that would remind me that she was more than just that girl next door. She had experiences that I couldn’t even fathom.
Over all it was a great experience, even though I did not end up where I thought I would that night. I enjoyed the opportunity to just sit and get to know Tara a little more as just another person (which she is) instead of just being an actor or performer.
After a while she walked me to the front of the hotel so I could get cab.”
Tara told me some months later that when she got to the room that night she was “not on anymore,” that she didn’t “keep her face on.” Brandy saw Tara’s human side, not the porn girl caricature that the public so often sees at trade shows and TV reality programs.
It reinforced something Brandy and I talked about often; porn performers are everyday people in a most remarkable business.
They’re not drugged out hookers trapped in a wasted life without interests, family, or relationships because they are addicted to sex. As a matter of fact, they know and value the difference between “work sex” and “private sex,” with the latter the most cherished.
Adult film performers are average people, quite like you and me, with the same feelings of elation, sadness, anger, and compassion we experience.
I know some people don’t like to hear that and won’t believe it anyway because putting others down comes easier. But it’s the truth.
There is a lesson in this tale. Goodness shows up when least expected. Tara Lynn Foxx never imagined how extending her friendship to someone she hardly knew meant so much to a single mom working to get an education and move forward with her life.
Take a moment to visit Tara’s blog for a closer look at one of the authentic “good guys” in a sometime suspect business.