Q&A: Ace of Hearts Seth Gamble Deals the Cards
LOS ANGELES — Suave and cocksure, Seth Gamble is the very definition of California heartthrob, with ironclad acting chops beneath the easy breezy demeanor.
When major studios and directors thumb through the talent deck, looking to hedge their bets for a high stakes production, they know Gamble is a sure thing.
Not because some backroom bookie or inside agency guaranteed a win, but because this ace of hearts has played to a full house every time.
See, Gamble is one of a kind in all his scenes, whether they’re a simple boy/girl pair, group sex with three of a kind or a fancy royal flush feature. He comes to the game like a flick-of-the-wrist flourish, giving it to dames straight, with that high hand slap down on the table. Bada-bang, bada-boom-boom.
Whatever suit he dons, whether he’s dealt cowboys or bullets, Gamble won’t bust and he certainly won’t surrender. Count them cards, son — with more than 400 titles up his sleeve, Gamble has a greatest hits list in spades… on a pile of diamonds… from the best clubs in the biz — chief among them, XBIZ.
In 2013, he won the Best Actor in a Parody Release XBIZ Award for his performance in “Star Wars XXX (Axel Braun Productions/Vivid). The following year, he nailed another tournament victory for his role in “Grease XXX: A Parody” (X-Play/Adam & Eve), adding a second Best Actor in a Parody Release trophy to the vault.
XBIZ doubled down with Seth Gamble to learn how he shuffles roles with such finesse in this highly competitive industry.
XBIZ: You first entered adult with Bang Bros back in 2006. Tell us about your early days. What drew you to performing?
SETH GAMBLE: Well, I was in Florida for three years, and then I moved out to L.A. for some companies that don’t exist anymore. I worked for Penthouse and Blue Bird films back then, a lot of Adam & Eve stuff… Wicked. I actually was brought into Bang Bros for a site called DancingBear.com and when I got to the office, they said I looked younger then they’d like. But, they were willing to try me out for another site, so I shot my first scene for “Big Tit Cream Pie” with Alexis Silver, directed by Dale Dabone. We finished a successful scene and Dale went to the head of Bang at the time. They offered me a contract and it's been on ever since!
XBIZ: Throughout your prolific career, spanning over 400 titles, what studios or directors have had the most profound impact on you personally and professionally?
GAMBLE: Axel Braun put me in the biggest movies, production-wise, and taught me to put the most detail into your performance. Basically, when he films a movie, he’s very specific on a lot of details, whereas there are lots of directors that don’t really do that. From details on how the sets are built to the costumes, he always tries to be very specific on all his roles.
Then, I would definitely have to say Jerry E. at Exquisite. We shot so many parodies of “Saturday Night Fever,” “Harry Potter” and more, during this two to three year period where I didn’t even know who I was half the time — I was playing so many characters! It really expanded my acting range a lot. Like, I played John Travolta’s character, Harry Potter, Patrick Swayze’s part from “Ghost.” Along with Venom Productions, it had a huge impact on my career shooting all those parodies back in 2011 to 2014.
Also, James Avalon has definitely taught me a lot throughout the years. Jonathan Morgan, Brad Armstrong and Stormy Daniels from Wicked, too — they've always professionally gotten the best out of me. I’ve been shooting for them since I moved here. There are so many other directors that have definitely had influence — they have all taught me a lot. I mean, my whole porn career just kind of “happened.” For a lot of people, it’s like a very self-directed journey, but for me, it just happened. I don’t know if you noticed, but throughout the years, once you start shooting for a studio like Wicked, then you’re practically a part of them. I’ve been shooting movies for all the Wicked directors since 2008, and while they do sometimes add new people, it’s usually always the same crew.
They took me in and they’ve helped me along professionally big time. I remember Brad teaching me when I was in acting school, which I attended while I was doing porn. And he said “if you do the best cake, you want to do the best cake every single time.” So, when they take the shot, it’s the same shot every time. He got me skilled at repeating my specific performance.
XBIZ: You describe yourself as a hip-hop artist on Twitter and are planning to release an album later this year. How do you balance adult work with creative endeavors?
GAMBLE: My hip-hop is very East Coast hip-hop. Basically, I have some stuff where it’s just a fun party vibe, but in other stuff, I’m talking about details from my life — both within porn and outside of porn. Artists like AZ, Black Sheep and Nas have influenced me. I’m weird, though — I try to like everything that people don’t like. I’m the ultimate nonconformist. I do have an album coming out at the end of the year. Once the product is all done and perfected, I’ll give everyone a heads up.
As far as balancing adult work, I definitely am a hard worker and I make sure to find time to do it. I do hip-hop in the studio and I have several producers. I buy my own beats and it goes from there. I’m doing it independently — I write all my own lyrics. They say “use your time wisely” and I definitely do that. And yes, trying to get the project done soon as I can, but adult work is at the top of my list.
XBIZ: Speaking of Twitter, you’ve cultivated a loyal following. What is your social media approach to keeping fans engaged?
GAMBLE: I always try to give a professional outlook as much as possible, and a little bit about my personal life — give them the reality of my life, so fans can feel like they’re able to engage with me. I’ll retweet some fan stuff or reply to them sometimes. I’ll go on Periscope and if they talk to me, I’ll talk to them. I try to do it as much as I can. It’s a little weird having fans, even after 10 years. I’m like “thanks?” That’s pretty much it. Tell them what stuff’s coming out and what’s going on. I’m mostly on Twitter, although I do use Instagram and Snapchat. As far as music, I already have all the music — but I’ve looked into the music business and if you just release it, then it gets buried. You have to have an opening marketing game, to get people on it and wanting to hear it. There needs to be bigger marketing.
XBIZ: Your performances have shifted in focus over the years from gonzo to parodies and more. What genres do you enjoy the most?
GAMBLE: I truly like it all. I've definitely been more into hardcore gonzo and BDSM the last year, but I always loved doing feature movies and erotic movies. I love being versatile with performing. It keeps it fun. I feel like when I was newer in the business, porn didn’t have much variety. There were like “feature guys” and there were “gonzo guys,” and once in a while we crossed paths, but that was a different time. There were guys who worked for Anabolic and Red Light, and then guys who work for Adam & Eve. Now, I feel because of the internet, there’s opportunities for me to do reality-based porn, Kink, parodies, a feature film, you name it. I have to engage with every kind of sex now, to keep truly active.
I want to be versatile in the way I perform, you know? I feel like a lot of the feature guys in porn got the reputation that they act good, but not necessarily that they’re a good sex performer. So, they do mostly features and acting. And then, there are the guys who do just gonzo. I do both! I’m doing Kink scenes, full BDSM, but then I can go romance a girl — I feel like that’s what the word “performer” truly means — rather than someone who says “I don’t know how to act” or “I don’t know how to be a dom in a BDSM” scene. Got to be well-rounded.
XBIZ: With a decade of adult film work under your belt, do you have any advice for aspiring male stars?
GAMBLE: Come in with a good, humble attitude, and love the women you work with. I get like 100 tweets from people about “hey, can I get in the business?” Usually I’m not responsive, because I don’t whether to take them seriously or not. I feel like way back when, male talent wasn’t as visible — we had names, but I mean, I don’t know. Now, with a social network, you have more reach. There’s more reach, even if you’re not doing porn, you can have a voice and things go viral. If you’re male or female, if you know how to promote yourself, you can build a fan base through promoting yourself. I feel like there’s just more opportunity for people in general, to be popular. Back in the day, it was like “we’re the dudes, we get to fuck hot chicks.” There was no real outlet to engage with fans at the time.
XBIZ: Tell us about your plans for an official website. What’s in the works as far as content and unique features?
GAMBLE: I do have plans for a website. I'm looking at doing very reality-based content and will give an update on that as soon as I get it up. I’m looking at everything everybody else is doing, then I’m going left and upward, rather than what they’re doing. I want to think outside of the box. It’s predominantly going to be me, but I’ll have a few other people involved — obviously you want to get the best people involved. I’ll have more news about it probably within a year.
XBIZ: You’ve won several XBIZ awards for your acting performances. How did you acquire your acting chops?
GAMBLE: I went to acting school for two years and also, from years of being on camera, you build a natural feeling for what works. I went to a Meisner acting school. Basically, Meisner is a “void” act. There are two different kinds of acting there’s — method and Meisner. In method, you have to turn into the character inside. With Meisner, you don’t turn into the character — it’s more about reacting to what everyone else is saying, on the outside.
XBIZ: Are you interested in exploring behind-the-scenes opportunities like directing, producing or writing?
GAMBLE: I definitely am interested. I have a lot of experience in front of the camera and sponge all the best directors when I'm on set. I’ve done some POV work, I’ve written some scripts and stuff like that. You know, I’ve been fortunate enough to be friends with a lot of directors from day one. I’ve accumulated a lot of relationships with them. I mean, every time you’re around your friends, you pick up on what they’re doing, so it’s similar with directors. But, I did shoot POV for a while — I’ve done cameras before, so it’s definitely something I’d like to explore. I also know you have to have a certain kind of mindset to avoid being a flash in the pan. So, I definitely have the “perverted eye.”
I think that’s what separates pornographers from other people. Just, the way really good porn is shot. Like, if I was going to watch really good gonzo porn, Mike John was really good at shooting that. There’s something about the way they’re moving the camera, they have the right angles for the movie. Like, when you watch a movie where there’s an action sequence, you see a camera style that goes with it and think “wow, that looks really cool.” I feel like porn has that same effect — that’s why there’s good and bad porn. Every kind of entertainment has its good and its bad.
XBIZ: What are your short-term and long-term goals?
GAMBLE: Short-term goals are to continue to do as many great scenes as I can, grab any opportunity to succeed and make music to express myself in different ways. Long-term goals are definitely to maintain balance and happiness. Just in general, for me that’s my most important life goal. Everything else comes after. You maintain balance and positive energy, keep your priorities in line, and then things will go the way you want them to go. One day, I’ll walk into a music studio, start freestyling and someone will say “hey, I like that.” That’s how my life has gone. On a personal note, I grew up not having anything. I didn’t grow up very financially stable, like with my family, so I’ve been a survivor my whole life and I had to learn what to do. So, a long-term goal is to have security. And, to have a nice nest egg when I'm done with performing. My big long-term goal is to have a closet full of XBIZ Awards! Haha.