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February 03, 2016 06:02pm
The Hedge Against Exploitation
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland

The Hedge Against Exploitation AVN Empowerment Seminar - The Hedge Against Exploitation, an article by Rich Moreland

In today's highly competitive adult market, branding a performer's image using a variety of delivery platforms is part of long-term survival in the biz. In that regard, a seminar during this year's AEE offered some practical applications.

"Empowering the Performer" included industry heavyweights Casey Calvert, Lexington Steele, Sunny Lane, and Vicky Vette. Additional voices on the panel included Take Down Piracy's Nate Glass, ModelCentro's Natalie Pannon, and Sexyjobs.com's Sean Phillips.

Hosted by Colin Rowntree of Wasteland.com, the discussion focused on longevity in porn. Image branding, tube sites, and APAC's efforts to educate new models about the business were the main topics.

Ownership of websites and domain names affects every performer. Vicky Vette set the tone with a simple statement, "I own everything I shot," she said.

The truth of the matter? Everyone in adult is on their own and personally responsible for their success.

"We're all independent contractors," Lexington Steel said. A career is solely up to the performer. Lexington developed a plan to move from on-screen to director as his career progressed.

Understanding the media, Sunny Lane noted, is important because a girl must know how to present herself. Part of that is selecting the right projects. "I wanted to pick and choose what I did," she said.

Casey Calvert brought up a dire issue: The overabundance of performers. The secret is "establishing your brand," she said, because "The market is saturated with excessive talent." Don't limit yourself, Casey insisted. The fans will "get behind you as a person" when you work hard to establish your porn identity and build a following.

Vicky Vette reinforced Casey's words by reminding everyone that models tend to blend together looks wise so establishing an image is more important than might be apparent.

In fact, branding has changed over the last ten years, Lexington added. The "responsibility is on the performer, not the studio" as may have been the case with contract players of yesterday. "Create and plan and a brand," he said.

Nate Glass suggested that performers be smart. Creating a website is easy and performers may love twitter a little too much. "Don't retweet everything," he declared, because a model does not want to tell her followers where to get her scenes for free.

The panel agreed that tube sites are hitting the studios harder than talent who have several platforms to make money. Lexington Steel picked up that point by emphasizing self-determination. Don't just rely on the studios to put money in your pocket, use all the technology at your disposal.

When the panel was asked to summarize what is important for all talent, Sean Phillips and Nate Glass stressed that your image is your property and unique to you. Casey warned about relying on one source of income and Vicky reminded everyone to "buy your website and copyright everything."

As the time wound down, final thoughts concerned APAC and supporting performers.

Host Colin Rowntree recalled the old Porn 101 training film sponsored by AIM years ago. APAC has a similar video prompting Casey Calvert to comment that companies don't want newbies to see it because it lets them know when to say "no." Colin offered that agents should insist fresh faces be required to watch it which prompted Sunny Lane to mention that the industry should get serious about a cut-off age of twenty-one for new models.

Sean Phillips raised a red flag when he pointed out that tube sites open up performers to be exploited. But talent can control their own destiny.

"The internet has lots of ways to make money," he said, and being smart about it requires knowledge.

"Educate yourself because the hedge against exploitation is education."

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