WIA Profile: Karen Stagliano
Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
How did you make the transition from performer to behind the scenes player? What did you do while you were a performer to prepare you for this?
While I was a performer, I hung around a lot with the crew people, because they tend to be more low-key and level-headed than the average performer. While working with Elegant Angel, I helped liaison with their box-cover artists and with the video editors. I think that learning editing was the single most important thing for me with regards to production.
Once I switched completely to behind the camera, I tried not to forget what it's like being a performer. When I'm on production, I try to be understanding to the cast and their needs, but I expect them to give the project 100 percent of their effort.
What are your responsibilities at Evil Angel?
My primary responsibility is PR and marketing. I help monitor the content on our websites, and am in charge of our newest site, a blog called InsideEvilAngel.com. My favorite responsibility is being in charge of the Evil Angel booth at conventions because I get to interact with the girls and with the fans and media in-person.
How do you balance working in porn and being a parent? Does working with your husband cause you problems?
My daughter is too young to know about what porn is, so for now she just knows that her dad and I work at a company that makes movies for grownups. She doesn't know what makes those movies inappropriate for kids. It's sometimes difficult that I have to be discreet about what I do when I'm at my daughter's activities. I wouldn't just openly start talking about porn at one of her after-school activities, but it's natural for parents to ask each other what they do. That's a difficult one for me. I usually just try to be vague and say that I'm in production or marketing. When I used to say production, a lot of times the mom's eyes would light up, probably wondering if I did children's casting or something.
Working for John has a unique set of good points and problems. Because it's my husband's company, I care a lot about my work, and if I work long hours, I never mind. On the flip side, if I have to take a few days personal vacation, he understands that I'm not going to let my work suffer. However, there's times when it's frustrating to work for him because we're both type-A personalities and we butt heads. Ultimately, I have to remind myself that although we're equals at home, at work he's the boss and although I can have debates with him, everything is his decision.
Luckily, I usually think he's fairly brilliant, so we don't have too many disagreements at work that we can't compromise on.
How do the political leanings of the directors of Evil Angel affect their product?
John Stagliano is the most politically-driven of the Evil Angel directors. He's been an active libertarian for over 30 years, and he wants to make a non-porn politically-charged movie someday.
You came back to performing after a long hiatus. Did it require any serious preparation or was it easy to jump back in, like riding a bicycle?
Sex is the same for me or better than when I was in my performing days. I matured a lot, became more confident sexually and found out a lot more about what I like. I was nervous though. When we first started the still pictures, I felt like I had forgotten how to pose. I relaxed pretty quickly, though.
Did the obscenity indictments change anything in the company's attitude or business dealings?
John and the rest of us looked at how we're doing things, what image the company has and what type of movies we make and distribute. We didn't think that the directors or the company were doing anything hurtful or wrong, so we haven't tamed down the type of content.
I feel like we're stronger since the indictment. When you have to go through that level of introspection, and come away from it with confidence, it helps you continue to evaluate the big picture while moving forward. The amount of emotional support that we've received from colleagues and other companies has also boosted our confidence.