By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Veronica Hart I was in about 22 of Chuck Vincent's films. When I made films, I did not go into it for a career. I liked to have sex and to act and to get paid. It was great. Back when films were made in New York, it was wonderful people trying to make movies. Back then, we used film. The lighting had to be right, the right film. You had to know what you were doing. People were practicing to go on to other things. Now, any guy can turn out a movie. I don't think it's filmmaking.
Baker Chuck worked on a very, very tight schedule. I've seen people who would work as a bit player, and be the lead in the next. No coffee allowed on the set, no scripts on the set one would pop up in the corner of a shot. He would take you and nurture you. You would really, really learn about making movies from Chuck. He was a major employer for a lot of us. He was a good guy. His nickname to everybody was Uncle Chuck.
Gloria Leonard Chuck made some of the finest films in the business. In the days when porn was being made on the East Coast, it was a rather small family. When there was a new face on the scene, word spread quickly. We had a large contingent of actors that worked in the mainstream. We actually had scripts. Now, there's little or no plot. It was a different time. We felt like we were putting on a show that just happened to have sex in it. There was a certain porn chic in the air. Now, it's porn cheap. The women had certain styles. I find the current crop interchangeable. There were no condoms. AIDS was not even a word.
Sharon Mitchell I made 175-250 films between 1976 and 1984 in a warehouse in Corona. It was like making any other feature film. There was rehearsal, and it was shown in lots of theaters. Now, any asshole with a hard-on and a camera can make a movie. That warehouse was musty and smelly. It smelled like mold. At one point, there were Roman columns. The next minute it would be set up like a jail cell. For one performance, I played Marie Antoinette in Hell. I think I had sex with Jack Wrangler. For another scene, I gave a blow job through a chain link fence to an actor who looked a lot like me. He could have been my brother. I was a wild child. I wanted to rebel against everything. On Friday nights, I performed a choreographed dance routine at Plato's Retreat. We did a striptease and had sex. When I started, I was working as a runway model in the garment district, doing some commercial game-show stuff.
Stevens I can't remember a single porn actor who didn't think they were going to break into the legit side. They were going to go from porn to soaps, from Humping Miss Daisy to Driving Miss Daisy. Unfortunately, the truth is the other way around. We were young and stupid and had overactive hormones.
Mitchell I guess I was a pretty successful actress. I never had to sling hash. I blacked out a lot of my career. I was addicted to heroin for 16 years. I was real lonely inside. I don't attribute my addiction to the porn business. I had my own issues. But the adult industry probably enabled me to continue my addiction because I had so much money.
The '80s: California, Ho
Bill Margold The very first day I met Ron Jeremy was in the spring of '79. It was during the making of Olympic Fever. Anyway, we wake up and it's snowing. In LA. That afternoon, Ronnie comes up on a motor bike. He gets off the bike and he's absolutely blue, frozen. He has icicles literally hanging off him. He looks like something out of a Dickens nightmare. I asked one of the fine ladies to take this man to the shower and warm him up. He comes out of the shower all pink and furry. I said this man looks like a baby hedgehog. This is how he got his nickname. He's proud of it. He tells the story to everyone. The next morning he's going down on himself, putting on a show for Seka.
Leonard The business had made a rather large exodus to the West Coast. It was the promise of great weather, palm trees, a lot cheaper rent and outdoor sets.
Goldmarx Production studios had to pay rent and it's just very, very hard in New York. Real estate values just kind of drove the business out, so they had to look for a place that was cheap. The San Fernando Valley one or two people tried it out and they liked it so they told other people, "Why don't you move out here?" The weather is nicer and the real estate is reasonable.
The '90s: Meanwhile, Back On LI...
Mark Pulver I grew up on Long Island and I still live here. It's pretty tough to be in the business. I get a lot e-mails from guys on Long Island saying it's really cool that there's a guy like you on Long Island. I was discovered in a bar in the city, the Lure. It took a while to get my foot in the door. I get paid about $1,500 a scene. A scene takes nine to 10 hours. It's not all fun, believe me.