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Director’s Chair: Jax of All Trades

Erik Jay
Jax (yup, that’s his name) could be a poster boy for the U.S. Army’s “Be All You Can Be” campaign. Well, except for the fact he’s a porn director, and he’s beyond enlistment age, and you can’t have a soul patch in the Army, and — okay, forget the Army poster.

Jax is both like and unlike other porn directors. Like many others, he is a DIY kind of guy, and has camera, computer, writing, design and other skills in his professional toolkit. Unlike some others, he has neither burned bridges nor erected barriers between or among his various creative pursuits. He has directed mainstream music videos for Endeverafter, Bubba Sparxxx and Ray-J, done a raft of viral web videos and worked for some of the biggest names in the adult industry. He has kept it all in balance, and has never let up on the throttle. His credits run to over 60 movies and hundreds of scenes.

Through all of it, going on six years now, Jax has given “199 percent.” He has a penchant for working smarter as well as harder, while leaving a trail of smiles and kudos behind him as he travels his own road to happy destiny. He’s won an Urban Spice Award for “Baby Got Back #44” (Best Big Booty), Best All-Girl Series for “Sister” and has received 10 or 11 nominations from the major award shows for best director, among others.

In a brief visit to a Metro set XBIZ got a glimpse of this happy warrior in action. By mid-April, it was time to learn a little more, so we caught up with Jax in the designated smoking area (out in the alley) where he was directing yet another movie.

XBIZ: You know we’re calling you a “happy warrior,” right?
JAX: Well, I am a happy warrior and by that I mean I love to work. Even in my Pasadena punk rock partying days, I still loved working, and I always worked. I’ve done a lot of different things, doing odd jobs, being a window washer, a bank teller, a whole bunch of stuff.

XBIZ: What was your route into the porn business?
JAX: In 1984 or ‘85 I got into the music business and was a full-fledged A&R exec by 1988 or so. I worked for Columbia and Elektra, got four or five bands signed, traveled the world, had a beautiful time. I actually started going to porn parties back then.

XBIZ: So how did you get back into porn again?
JAX: Naturally, I’d met a bunch of people when I was at Vivid, and one night I’m at this hockey game and I see Christian Mann of Video Team. He asked what I was doing and I said, “I’m waiting for you to hire me.” He told me to call him the next day, and that was that.

XBIZ: Incredibly, you got even busier, right?
JAX: “Busy” is my normal state of being. Everything that I learned on other directors’ sets I took with me, that knowledge and craft, to make my first movie.

XBIZ: So it’s 2004, 2005, and you’re feeling ready for anything. What now?
JAX: I started shopping myself and Oren Cohen hired me. He totally believed in me and gave me a shot. A month into that, Video Team needed a new director for the “Baby Got Back” series. I said, “Yes, sir,” and shot that. It must have turned out okay, since I’m still shooting it.

XBIZ: You do get around, don’t you?
JAX: In adult, as well as mainstream music videos, I am an all-around hustler.

XBIZ: What’s your take on the state of the business today?
JAX: In any business, you have to weed out the stuff that doesn’t work and let the good grass grow. You have to appreciate what you do, be the best that you can be. Whatever I do, behind the scenes or directing, I take pride in it.

XBIZ: Any final thoughts? What have you got coming out in the near future?
JAX: Bottom line, I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for Oren. I did about 20 movies for him. He believed in me and I’ll never forget it. And talking to XBIZ is something I really appreciate from the bottom of my heart because I don’t really promote myself so much. I just try to let the work speak for itself and take me forward. I do have the Acidrain/Grindhouse Porn movie, “Jersey Shore XXX: A Black Parody” coming out, and for Metro I just wrapped “My Baby Got Back #47.” Hey, I guess I am learning to promote myself a bit, eh?

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