opinion

Zen And The Art of Porn Stardom

Kelly Shibari

With the holidays upon us, I just want to take a minute and discuss your soul, your heart, and its health. This month’s article may be more appropriate for performers, but I hope marketers can take some of this to heart as well.

If you’re going to be in this industry, you have got to keep a clear mind. You can’t take things personally — things just won’t work that way.

If you’re going to be in this industry, you have got to keep a clear mind. You can’t take things personally — things just won’t work that way.

Trust me — there are people who love all sorts of different kinds of performers. Young, old, fat, thin, tall, short — in fact, even if you’re really unattractive and look like a creature, there probably is a segment of the population that would be interested in seeing you. It’s the nature of human curiosity, and especially with the advent of reality TV, it’s become fairly obvious that people will pay to be entertained, no matter what the content — especially if that content is unique or hard to find.

The thing that is most important at all times is to be a duck. What I mean by that is that things must roll off of your back. When you’re told that you’re too young, too old, too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, or just not what they’re looking for — you have to let it go. Let it go. It’s not you — it’s just that they don’t have a product that they are trying to sell that you would fit into. That’s totally ok. You’re eventually going to produce your own content and produce your own DVDs anyway. If they aren’t interested, then there is going to be a buyer somewhere that is going to want to see you doing your thing. Move on.

Dwelling in it comes with its own pitfalls. You can become depressed (bad for acting), decide to take drugs or alcohol to feel better (bad for acting), become angry (bad for acting), become really really bitchy (really bad for acting)…you get my point. It is always going to be better for your career if you present yourself as someone who is able to roll with the punches. Because if you’re in this industry (or any other ego-driven industry for that matter), you’re going to get punched from time to time. Hopefully that’s figuratively and not literally ....

You are going to get bad comments from time to time. Someone’s not going to like the way your scene was shot, or think that you’re not that good an adult talent. Some people are such that they go out of their way to seek talent that they wouldn’t find appealing just to heckle them. The difference between a successful career and one that spirals downward is how you react to it. Blogging about how they can “kiss your lily-white ass” is not going to garner any sympathy or support. Stay strong, be polite, be friendly, and be accomodating. Walk away if you have to, but don’t confront. Understand that it’s the other person’s insecurities and jealousies that are probably causing them to try to cut you down, but reacting strongly to it is only going to confirm their assumptions that you are someone they can use to make themselves feel better. Don’t let them win. Understand that sometimes it just is the nature of some people to try to take jabs at you in an attempt to rectify their own insecurities and stresses. Understand that it rarely has nothing to do with you. Feel badly that they are in such a position, and be happy that you are not.

Now, it is true that from time to time the negative commentary might come from someone with some credibility, in the form of either a website review or a DVD review. When that happens, the best possible thing that you can do is absorb the information. See if you can contact the reviewer and see if there is anything that they can advise you on to make either your site or your content any better. Don’t take it as a personal attack — if the person reviewing you is a respected authority, then more than likely they are going to welcome your questions. The only outcome that can come out of a collaborative process like that is a better product. It’s free marketing advice — take it and run with it. In the best-case scenario, a continued business relationship with reviewers can lead to added exposure for you and your site. And what is better than contemplating good/bad press? Free press. Savor it — some people have to pay out the nose for their publicity.

Remember, laughter is not only a great lubricant (seriously, it is) for all of the rough patches in life and business, but it is also contagious. When someone tries to mess with you, tries to cut you down, tries to tell you that you’re not worth something — laugh it off. It is important to remember that. You can always go and take out your aggressions elsewhere, like at a gym. But as far as your public persona is concerned, you must be your own PR representative. Don’t let it get to you.

Laugh at angry/rude/harmful people. It disarms them because they don’t know what you’re thinking, and worse, it’ll bother them that they couldn’t break you down. Be better than them. If that doesn’t work, take a break. Go and watch a movie, TV, a book —anything that is funny. Surround yourself with people that do indeed have your back. But remember — smart people are sexy, and smart people don’t care what other people think, unless it helps them get better. Deal with tangible things, not emotions, and you’ll be a step closer to not only being successful but happy to boot.

To quote Bill Cosby’s paraphrased version of Abraham Lincoln: “You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not please all of the people all of the time.”

Have a safe and happy holiday season, and hope to see many of you in January at the XBIZ show!

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