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.
Her email signature says “Accounting Dept,” but that’s only the half of it. On any given day, London native Francine Amidor may be giving a young starlet career advice, offering relationship counseling or trying to resolve a variety of issues that are not necessarily related to payables and receivables at L.A. Direct Models.
I have been lucky enough to work within the entertainment industry my entire working life.
She’s “part bulldog, part oracle” in addition to a mediator and a friend. And it’s all in a day’s work for Fran, the all-knowing sage of one of the busiest talent agencies in porn.
XBIZ: Where are your originally from?
AMIDOR: London, the big smoke. I came to Los Angeles seeking fame and fortune and to mingle with the rich and famous.
What was your professional background prior to adult?
I have been lucky enough to work within the entertainment industry my entire working life. When I first came to live in Los Angeles in the early ’80s, I worked at a rehearsal studio in Burbank. I had no idea what I was getting myself into other than during my interview I saw the words Rod Stewart on the calendar and knew I had scored the jackpot. Glam rock, hair bands, it was a wonderful time and a fantastic introduction into the Los Angeles lifestyle. During the punk era I was a teenager working on Oxford Street for a record etailer/wholesaler/distributor. I’ve always been a hard grafter and am outgoing and personable so I have reaped the benefits by having an extraordinary working life.
What inspired you to work in the adult industry?
Nothing other than the fact I needed work and it fell in my lap and it wasn’t a banking institute, an insurance office or any other mundane, boring industry that I wouldn’t last five minutes in. When you start a career in adult and are introduced to a cast of characters such as we are, I for one realized I had indeed found my niche.
What does your job entail at L.A. Direct Models?
Primarily my function is to make sure talent who work get paid and in turn pay me. I deal with talent, producers and directors and am a strong believer in if you do a job you deserve a pay check; it’s an argument I have found myself in many times. My underlying job here at L.A. Direct is on a more personal level with the models, I am always here to listen, share, guide and hopefully bestow some of life’s wisdom upon them. I’m a bit of an allknowing spiritual advisor — part bulldog, part oracle.
Describe a typical day in the office….
8 a.m. at my desk with a cup of tea, scanning emails and waiting for the early morning phone calls of why a person can’t possibly go to work (the range of which can be due to bubonic plague or an alien sighting), looking for replacements, jobs being added onto our schedule as other talent agencies’ models are a noshow. By about 9 a.m. the rest of our magnificent team has arrived and I take a back step to these issues and wait for my calls to start with talent looking for checks to pick up. I get regular visits from talent on a daily basis, sometimes just two or three and sometimes up to 15 or 20 a day. Each one is wanting to spend five minutes with the money guru out back who can both amuse and intimidate depending on my mood of the day. The day usually ends around 7 p.m. where we gather in a group hug and exchange pleasantries.
What is your biggest challenge with being a woman in the adult business?
Dealing with men, same as anywhere else.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I would like to say something deep and meaningful at this point but the words escape me. Suffice to say it’s rewarding seeing talent we have nurtured from the get-go achieve success in a way they could not have dreamed of.
How do you maintain balance in your life?
Having a normal home to go back to at the end of the day, friends who are real who call me on my shit; realizing this is porn were in, it’s entertainment. No one’s curing cancer. It’s not brain surgery. It’s just a bit of old fashioned slap and tickle for the masses to get off on.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
My sexual escapades with hair bands in the ’80s, my stint as Oprah’s stand in and my Oscar nomination for “All About Fran.”