Stepping Up: Industry Vets Eye Next Big Star
Porn performers tend to come and go fast in an industry that is always hungry for the next fresh face.
But every year some possess certain qualities that set them apart, inspiring repeat bookings and creating a demand for their performances on their way to bona fide stardom.
In an era of decreasing opportunities due to shrinking budgets and lighter production schedules, it’s arguably more challenging now for talent to make an impact in a short amount of time than it was for previous generations.
And that’s what separates the serious contenders from the rest of the field. So on the occasion of our second annual special report on “The State of Porn,” we asked some of adult’s most prolific professionals who, if anyone, is holding their attention in 2015 and why.
“Abella Danger,” director Jules Jordan told XBIZ. “She’s a real enthusiastic new performer who’s eager and willing to really make a name in the industry. She’s an all-natural, young girl.
“Marley Brinx kind of fits in the same category. She just has a real natural young beauty about her. They are two girls that I’m really excited to shoot. Both of them do anal and have a broad body of work.”
Jordan added, “Megan Rain is another one that’s really making noise. She does everything, too. All these girls are all natural. They are the ones that really come to mind in my world.”
It turns out others feel the same way as Jordan about at least a couple of his rising starlets. Greg Lansky, director for Blacked.com and Tushy.com, also pointed to Danger as someone unique.
“Abella Danger is definitely killing it,” Lansky told XBIZ. “She is incredible. She’s at a level of performance that very few girls get to.”
Of the newer crop, Lansky also singled out Karla Kush.
“She is just fantastic performance-wise and energy-wise. She’s a beautiful, natural girl.”
Porno Dan Leal, one of the busiest shooters in porn with his live shows at Immoral Productions, told XBIZ overall the current pool is lacking in terms of depth compared with past incoming classes. But the girl who has resonated the most with his audience is without a doubt Megan Rain.
“She’s outsells everybody,” Leal said. “She’s definitely our top-selling new girl and no one is even close to her. We shoot everybody. We’ve probably shot a solid 400 girls in the last year — all the new girls.”
Leal added, “Hands down, she’s got the personality. She’s cute and bubbly and that carries over well. She has that ‘it’ factor and she could actually become a star.”
Pat Myne, a go-to director for Elegant Angel who has shot more than 260 movies since 2001 and performer in well over 1,000, also said Danger is coming on strong.
“She’s got a natural body, curves in all the right places,” Myne told XBIZ. “Abella is really mature for her age. The first time I shot her it was like shooting Alexis Texas seven years ago. You don’t have to say a word. They naturally just have it!
“The way she controls all that booty is amazing. And her sex scenes are off the charts. She truly loves sex.”
Bree Mills, the creative director and head of production at Gamma Entertainment which powers the Girlsway network, told XBIZ a couple of girls she’s recently shot are on their way to big things.
“Two new starlets who have really stuck out to me in the last year are Jenna Sativa and Tara Morgan,” Mills said. “Both are all natural, girl/girl-only performers who bring that triple threat of beauty, acting, and mad sex skills.
“Jenna was our May Girl of the Month and we’ve probably shot her a dozen times for Girlsway.com. She is that perfect combination of cute and sexy and it’s really fun to challenge her with new roles. She is also one of the most requested girls by other models, so we’re not alone in having a big crush on her!”
Mills continued, “Tara has also quickly become one of our favorites, particularly for our ‘Mommy’s Girl’ series. She’s a fantastic actress, super adorable, and really dives into her roles. One of the first scenes we ever shot of her, the religious-themed ‘A Show of Faith,’ remains one of our all-time, most viewed updates.
“She has also has been cast in the next big Girlsway feature filming this July. For a producer like me, these are the starlets I want to book — because they can bring the look, the character, and the sex.”
Brazzers contract stud Keiran Lee, who recently surpassed 1,000 sex scenes on the network and has performed with dozens of porn newbies, said one of Brazzers’ own contract babes appears poised to reach the next level.
“For me the top new girl that is coming through would be Peta Jensen,” Lee told XBIZ. “Brazzers shot her a few times and saw so much potential that they put her on an exclusive contract straight away. I think not only does she do really dirty and sexy scenes, but she also has that kind of old-school porn look that isn’t around as much these days.”
Holly Randall, who shoots still photos for her namesake site, Twistys and Playboy Plus as well as directs for Adult Empire, highlighted a mix of newcomers and a few more experienced girls.
“I think some of the newest rising starlets are Rahyndee James, Ariana Marie, Jenna Sativa, Samantha Rone, and Aidra Fox,” Randall told XBIZ. “They’re all natural, they’re professional, and they love their job.
“These are girls who are enthusiastic about their job, prepared for work, and serious about their career. This is the new kind of porn star — the girl who sees it as a viable career path and recognizes that in the digital age, they’ve got more control over their image today than any girls ever did in the past.”
Without question the power of social media can help a girl build her own brand in quick fashion. But as the veteran director Ivan notes, it can also be detrimental to an up-and-comer’s attitude.
“It’s interesting how times have changed in the industry,” said Ivan, the head of production for the PUBA network of porn star sites. “From small ‘no’ lists to small ‘yes’ lists when it comes to shooting, to so many girls feeling entitled because they are ‘porn stars’ within months of being in porn.
“It’s hard to tell who will make it because so many act as if they are already legends. Social media has killed working hard or paying your dues to grow your brand name. A fan or two tell you that you are beautiful on Twitter and you feel that you can now show up to set late or cancel shoots last minute. The stories I hear and have experienced are unreal now when comes to people being entitled. But there is a handful of girls who seem to understand the power of work ethic, professionalism and integrity.”
Ivan said the ones who treat porn like a business have the best chance of success.
“A lot of girls tell me they love Christy Mack, but they love her for the wrong reasons. They love her ass, or boobs or tattoos. But rarely do they say, ‘Fuck I love her business mind in branding herself.’ They are blinded by the lifestyle of being a ‘porn star,’ not being a businesswoman.”
Ivan continued, “To have longevity you need to work on your looks and mind and body and being a great performer. Asa Akira was all that and became a true porn star. Christy took it to a new level in branding with amazing success almost two years removed from performing.
“When I think of future ‘porn superstars,’ Abigail Mac and Romi Rain come to mind. These girls treat this business as a business, not a lifestyle. First hand I get to see them in action from their daily gym regimens to how they dedicate themselves to their shoots — from makeup to wardrobe to amazing scenes even on long, tough days.
“Every week they bombard me with ideas for shoots when it comes to their websites. Their dedication goes a long way and people who understand what it takes see that in them. Hence why they are quickly building their individual brands that will help them break away from the rest and extend their careers.”
Veteran gunslinger Steven St. Croix echoed the sentiment, saying girls can take control of their careers if they can demonstrate discipline and self-control.
“There are a few girls that I see having great potential,” St. Croix said. “And in order for them to achieve that, I believe they can do several things: eliminate problem relationships they may show an affinity for being involved in; keep drug use to a minimum; don’t chase after more ‘exposure’ or cramming social media with tons of posts and tweets; ignore haters and trolls; keep your opinions close to your chest; and don’t believe that if you don’t take all the work offered to you now that you will be ignored in the future.”
St. Croix, one of a small group of male stars who has engineered a 22-year career that is still going strong, added, “Longevity means taking work to pay your bills and save money and live comfortably and taking time off for your own personal sanity. A person can do well working three or four days a week and having the other days off.
“And nothing makes you look more foolish than showing off your $1,000 heels on social media and then asking your agent for a loan.”
Porno Dan Leal pulled no punches in theorizing why fewer stars are being born in today’s porn biz.
“There are very, very few that are going to make it these days,” Leal said. “The real reason why you’re not getting quality girls coming into the industry is production is down. Production is at an all-time low in the American market. Realistically, porn is never going to be a full-time job for anybody. They better be webcam models. They better be dancing or going to school. There’s not enough work to go around.
“That being the case, a model coming in doesn’t have the opportunities she had going back seven or eight years ago, even three or four years ago.”
Leal added, “They do two or three tours of Los Angeles and quickly find out they’re shot out. Then they blame it on their agents, but in reality it’s just the industry. This is the new reality of the industry. There are not enough consumers that pay for porn.”
Those that make the most of those first few tours of Porn Valley are the ones with the staying power. Pat Myne said there was two girls in particular who started a couple years ago that have maintained their upward trajectory.
“Aidra Fox. She is just amazing. To me she reminds of a Jenna Haze/Tori Black,” Myne said. “She comes off cute and kind of innocent but extremely sexy. She has total control of her body and she can melt you with her eyes and smile. She’s on par with Jenna and Tori for sure.”
Meanwhile, Myne said that Keisha Grey was “my new favorite girl to shoot.”
“This girl has superstar potential,” Myne raved. “Totally reminds of Belladonna at her age. Her body is amazing. … Love her smile. Everything she does is just sexy. It’s crazy how she moves her body. I could shoot her in a tease for hours.”
He added, “When you’re just next to her you can feel her sexual energy. Most girls just don’t have that. I think she has the biggest star power of them all.”
Jules Jordan said in general he was happy with the new talent on the block.
“For more versatile girls it’s a good crop,” Jordan concluded. “A lot of these new young girls are doing anal. If you’re shooting those types of movies it’s definitely beneficial. It’s kind of refreshing to have some of these young girls out there doing everything.”