I will talk about my experiences in this crazy biz, and when something new happens, I’ll share it with you. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a lot to say anymore…up til today, I’ve seen — and blogged — it all. So when things happen over and over, I don’t want to sound like a broken record…so I don’t blog. But today was a first.
In a nutshell, Porno Princess walked off my set.
For the blog, here’s the story: my studio isn’t in Beverly Hills. Shit, this ain’t even Van Nuys…or Chatsworth. It’s East LA, and it’s a rough part of town, and to top it all off, my studio opens up to a very rough alley…an alley you might score some crack, or dump a dead body, or shoot someone…or do all three! In fact, all those things have happened in my alley, but I’ve never seen a dead body. My neighbors have, though.
I like my neighborhood, and I like my neighbors. They all know what I do, and no one has any sort of problem with it. My neighborhood has personality — along with a fairly well-known street gang. Big whoop.
Some of the agents have been to my studio, and all the agents know about my alley. The girls do, too, and no one’s ever said anything more than, “wow! Interesting alley. I bet I could score some crack here if I wanted it. Or dump a dead body in that dumpster. Or shoot someone, and then dump the body.”
No one’s ever not taken a gig cause of it.
Wait a sec. That’s a double-negative. I’m an ex-school teacher. I should know better than that. Let’s revise: No one’s ever refused to work due to the “environment” here. I put quotes around that word, cause Porno Princess today used it. She also didn’t feel comfortable working in a place where people where sweats, either. And finally, either the content I shoot, or this place, or both, were “beneath” her.
And she walked.
Here’s how it goes on my porno set: girl comes in, and if it’s her first time, I comment about the alley, then I show her into the space, and I go over where drinks are (this is when I point to the 5 gallon water cooler and the dorm-room fridge, where all the Arizona Ice Tea products are (I’m not a fan of soda)), and the rules with the bathroom (no flushing tampons or lotsa baby wipes, cause my drain is sensitive); then I introduce Porno Princess to Maggie (the wonder dog who’s seen more live sex acts committed than any other dog on the planet), The Minion (my trusty helper), and my make-up artist, who sits Porno Princess down and asks her girly questions about make-up and shit.
That’s when I usually break and go do my thang, which on this very day included lunch (super good BBQ ribs that were leftovers from my make-up artist’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations) and then I showered and changed out of my sweats to some real clothes (underpants, shorts, and a Licorice Pizza tee I scored at a flea market yesterday). Which is about the time I walked downstairs and didn’t see the girl. My make-up artist said, “she just left to go use the phone.”
I knew this wasn’t a good thing, but I had no idea she was down on me, or my staff, or my place. I walked outside, waved her back in, and then answered my phone, cause it started ringing…and it was her agent. “Billy, she’s really freaking out right now. She doesn’t want to work.”
My jaw dropped.
My jaw dropped the way it usually does when something dumb happens that I’ve never seen before. In a flash, all sorts of things were running through my head as to why: it didn’t even cross my mind that The Minion might have offended her, cause he doesn’t roll that way; nor does my make-up artist upset anyone, so when she walked in, I said to her agent, “I don’t believe in secret conversations. I’m putting you on speaker phone, and please repeat what you just told me.”
“She doesn’t feel comfortable there. She doesn’t like the environment. She also said someone is there in sweats, and she doesn’t think that’s appropriate for a workplace. She just thinks it’s all beneath her.”
All of us stood there, looking at the phone sitting in the palm of my hand: Make-up Artist, The Minion, Maggie the Wonderdog, Porno Princess, and me.
Maggie looked up at me, rolled her eyes, and said, “what a cunt. Of course she waited to bail after her make-up was done!”
I don’t know if I told you this, but only I could hear Maggie when she talks. She’s got a very attractive voice, too…kinda like the lady who talks to you on your GPS. Then Maggie followed up with, “don’t get angry. Don’t yell. Remember your practice. Just be nice to her and move on.”
Which is what I did.
And after everyone was gone, I called The Agent back and asked what the real reason was. “I don’t know. It’s really weird. I mean she likes sex. Shit, she went to a party last weekend and ended up banging like 5 dudes. But she’s been on a lot of drugs, lately. Maybe she got paranoid. Coke will do that to you.”
Yes, it will.
I’m fucking around with a Fuji “Instax Mini”. It’s a small handheld that spits out pics like the old SX-70′s used to. Since I had the white backdrop thingy already in place, I just ask the models to stand in front of it. This is after I show them my little arty-farty project so they get an idea of what I’m talking about when I ask, “hey! Would you pose for my arty-farty triptych project?” So far, only one girl has turned me down.