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_POSTEDON 2003-04-24 19:55:04 by jimmyd

The Porn Bard jimmyd _writes "Alexander the Poet (aka ATP, aka The Porn Bard), posting on The Jizz Bizz Message Board writes: “The following is in response to some people in the porn industry who lately seem to start claiming that people wind up in porn because they can't succeed in mainstream.

I took offense to that.

The following essay is my thoughts on the matter.

Do People Get Into Porn Because They Fail At Getting Into Mainstream?


To say that porn is an industry that people resort to if they can't make it in mainstream is a ridiculous ASSumption to make.

People get into porn for many reasons.

The first and perhaps most obvious reason is guys think they can get laid easily and fuck hot looking women, so they enter the porn industry.”

There’s much more to ATP’s post, and if you want to read it and some of the replies that have been posted why don’t you hop on over to The Jizz Bizz Message Board and take a look.

Since today’s a slow day in Porn City (I noticed many of the porn news and gossip sites did not update), I thought I’d write something in response to the Porn Bard’s post.

First off, ATP, I don’t know who these people are who are claiming people wind up in porn because they can’t make it in mainstream. In fact, I don’t even know who in porn ever took a shot at mainstream. I’m sure there’s some. And I’m one of them.

Did I wind up in porn because I couldn’t make it in mainstream? Well, maybe… sorta… indirectly and eventually… maybe yes.

Did I intentionally come into the jizz bizz because I failed to make it in mainstream? Definitely not.

Did I intentionally and by design come into the jizz bizz? Not exactly.

I didn’t set out to be a pornographer. In fact, before entering this business, I don’t think I ever once thought about entering this business—not for any other reason than I was never much of a porn fan and I didn’t have a clue how one comes into the business of making porn.

Did I fail to make it in mainstream? I’m here, aren’t I? I certainly didn’t trade an exciting and rewarding career in Hollywood for an exciting and rewarding career in Chatsworth.

The truth is, I gave Hollywood a shot and failed to hit the right target. And let me tell you, I gave it a BIG shot. I shirked responsibilities, compromised relationships, and worked my ass off to make it Tinseltown. I lived and breathed trying to reach for that Hollywood brass ring. But alas, it was not meant to be.

And it’s not that I didn’t have some successes.

My former writing partner (and still good friend) and I wrote and created a sitcom concept that was purchased by Filmways who then produced it for NBC. It was called “Whacked Out!” and it starred an unknown comic name of Dana Carvey, and with a cast that included Desi Arnaz Jr. I remember the pilot taping well. I was seated next to Lucille Ball who was there to watch her son, Little Ricky, try to become a big comedy star like Mom and Dad were. And let me tell you, Lucy was fucking funny—way funnier than the show, and certainly way funnier than Desi Jr. Listening to the great Lucille Ball's commentary, sometimes whispered playfully in my ear as the show was taped, was a fantastic, memorable experience.

After the taping, I was backstage with my writing partner and my agent, noshing on foo-foo food and drinking wine with the cast and crew, when NBC’s VP of Comedy Development (the guy who “green-lighted” the show) came up. This NBC ‘suit’ patted me on the back and excitedly proclaimed, “The show’s so bad it’ll be a huge hit at eight o’clock!” By the way, the suit wasn’t using the word “bad” like it’s sometimes used today-- he wasn’t saying it was “bad” meaning it was good-- he was saying it sucked. But he was also predicting a "huge hit!"

I almost came in my pants.

But sometime later, NBC honcho Fred Silverman must have agreed with his VP that the show sucked. Unfortunately, he didn’t agree with the part about it being a “huge hit,” and so Fred didn’t order up more episodes.

Fred cost me a lot of money with that decision. Our contract called for us to write three of the first eleven episodes if the show went to series. NBC was also contractually obligated to hire us as Executive Story Consultants with a hefty salary attached. If that show had gone to series --even it was quickly cancelled-- our play-or-pay contract would have made us about $175,000 each the first season. That’s $175,000 in late 70’s early 80’s dollars! And if that VP of Comedy Development was right and it was a huge hit at 8:00 we would have made a shit load more.

Life sucks sometimes.

Later, my partner and I wrote a comedy screenplay that was picked up by a feature producer. It was called “Panty Raid,” and it was your basic “Animal House/Meatballs” kind of script. The producer put together production funding with this investment group made up of a bunch of rich Iranians. Suddenly, we’re in this hot-shot, Beverly Hills entertainment attorney’s office signing contracts which included me directing the film! Fuck! I thought I’d finally made it! We even got some up-front money to start scouting locations and other stuff.

Then the Shah of Iran was ousted and the Ayatollah had his minions storm the American Embassy and take everyone hostage and Jimmy Carter froze all Iranian assets in this country and you can imagine what that meant for our production funding.

Like I said, life sucks sometimes.

I have some other Hollywood heartbreak stories, but I'm suddenly too emotionally frail to recount them. So after kicking around Hollywood a while longer, selling some writing, working on some crews, working as a photographer shooting actors’ head shots and portfolios, and even directing a few low-end commercials, I suddenly found myself in the corporate film business and spent the next ten years or so producing and directing marketing films and videos for a Fortune 200 aerospace company. Sometime later a Fortune 100 company bought out the Fortune 200 company in a leveraged buy-out and guess who eventually ended up getting laid off from his exciting job of making films about avionics, flight controls, and weapons systems?

I then made the very sensible decision to try my hand at stand-up comedy. I figured my Hollywood life was a series of cruel, bad jokes, and since people love to laugh at a loser, why not? Right?

Well, three years later and still a loser (at least in terms of making it in Hollywood) I was about at the end of my creative rope when I had some performing gig at some nightclub and I met another stand-up who worked at a company called Sin City as an editor. I told her I had tons of editing experience, I was broke and willing to give up the exciting world of stand-up comedy and the next thing I knew I was working nights at Sin City cutting Buck Adams movies.

So that's the abbreviated, Reader Digest condensed version of my failure(s) in Hollywood.

Am I a pornographer today because I didn’t or couldn’t make it in Hollywood? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. You tell me.

Should I leave this business because I’m here-- as you write later in your post--for the wrong reasons? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. You tell me.

Am I bitter? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. You tell me.

Would I leave this exciting life in porn if I suddenly had another chance in mainstream—I mean a REAL GOOD chance?

You betcha!

If you'd like to comment on this story, here's a good place to do so.


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