Vanessa Blue: My Blue Heaven Part 1
In spite of all that, there are some ladies that have aspirations that go beyond performing in front of the camera. This is where Vanessa Blue comes in. After becoming fed up with the misogyny of the industry, she took matters into her own hands and began directing movies and building websites, namely her exclusive homepage, www.vanessablue.com.
Ms. Blue sat down with DX to talk about her grandparents influence on her career, why she discourages girls from getting into the game and how the industry isnt as safe as many may think.
HipHopDX: Tell me a little about life before the industry.
Vanessa Blue: Life before the industry, wow. There was none. [Laughs] Life before the industry I was a regular girl. I was a dancer and I went to school to be an emergency medical technician. From dancing, I met a girl named Persephone who became a very famous dominatrix and glamor model and she introduced me to fetish modeling. From there, I met another girl in the same club by the name of Kitten and she and I became very close. She creatively suggested that I try porn.
DX: What was your reaction at first?
VB: No. My reaction was no. I like doing fetish work, I was never really looking to do anything more than that. But one girl-girl scene I figured wouldnt hurt anything and then came [director and producer] Ed Powers. Ed Powers was offering us a crazy amount of money. I did my research and I was like, Alright, hes never put a sista on the box cover in sixty series. Hes never put one.
VB: So I hoped [that] hes racist enough that he wont put us on the cover I was wrong. So we did the scene and he put us on the cover. After that, I figured I might as well finish what I started.
DX: How many movies followed?
VB: After that I did about 16 scenes. I didnt like the way things were going, I didnt like the way people were talking to me, I didnt like the business and I quit. I moved away to Nebraska for a few years. I danced at the only nudie bar in the whole state and I was the only black girl, so I did well. I stayed there for a few years and my grandparents kept talking to talking to me about it like, What are you going to do with your life, youre not really gonna sit here while people make money off your naked ass are you? Youre not gonna strip, this isnt the end, dont stop here.
My grandparents are big into watching porn. My grandfathers always talking about how much it made and what products sell and [he said] if you know so much, youre a nerd already, you love computers, why dont you go back and see what else you can do. Doesnt mean you have to fuck but just go back and see what you can do. I came back and was roommates with Kitten for a while and I got back into the business again. I did maybe 50 scenes and I quit, again and I moved away to Las Vegas
When I dont like a situation, I get out of it. I dont wait for shit to get better, I go. So I came here and danced for a while at Cheetahs until 9/11. Right after 9/11, there was no work. Literally, there was no work, nothing was happening. So I said, Okay, I have a little bit of money saved up, just a little, and Im gonna buy all the books I want cause I know I want a website, I know Im a nerd. Theres books on anything I want to know, Im going to buy all the books I think I need. Im going to lock myself in the house and Im going to do nothing until I figure out how to build a website." I locked myself in the house for about three weeks, I didnt eat, I didnt sleep, I was really wild but I figured it out.
DX: Going back a minute, you mentioned before that there were things happening on the set that you didnt like, what was going on?
VB: I didnt like the way the owners of the company would talk to you. Everybody in California believes theres a certain body image that a woman needs to display in order to be viable or be on a box cover. We know now with all of todays niches, thats not true. Back then every thing was about being skinny, being lighter, not being so dark, not being so ghetto. Being a black girl, if you dont have the immediate connections when you walk in, youll be relegated to ghetto product. Youll never get out of it because you wont know how to get out of it. Youll get half your rate, youll get crappy work, youll get crappy sets. No one will care about anything. Literally, its a situation where theres a mattress in the corner. The director comes in, tells the camera guy what to shoot, how many positions, and the director leaves the room. He goes out and smokes a blunt or talks on the phone or whatever hes doing and the camera man is left to run the scene. How on earth can anybody care?
I didnt like it. I said, Okay, a monkey could direct better than half the people I see and theyre making more than me and Im the one giving up my body.
DX: Doing all the work
VB: Right. If I get sick and catch HIV, theres nothing on the back end for me, nobody here is going to take care of me. So with that, I quit [laughs] and I said Im not coming back unless its the way I want it.
During that time, I was dating [Lexington Steele] and he was trying to get his company off the ground and I came back and we worked together for Playboy TV on his show Lex in the City. We did that for two years and I wouldnt move back, I just drove back and forth like twice a week
DX: From Vegas?
VB: Yeah. I refused to move back. There was no way I was going to come back and be hanging on the tits of this fucked up business. He gets work with no problem, what am I gonna do, sit here and starve? So I stayed here where at least I could go strip and make ends meet with no problem.
We did Playboy for two years and then after that he got his company open. He opened his company and we made a deal so I moved back to help him build Mercenary. And then after that, I left.
DX: Retirement or
VB: Breakup. After we broke up I went to Hustler and I directed for them for a little while. After them, because I got tired of Hustler too, but Hustler is a great company, I will say that. I love big companies when they let you do what you want to do. After Hustler I went back to Mercenary 'cause thats what women do. Then from Mercenary to Adam and Eve, thats where I am now.
DX: What made you want to get into directing movies?
VB: I always wanted to, from the first movie I ever saw. There was so much lacking and I love sex but if somebodys literally counting down minutes when you screw to make you change positions, thats not sex, its all mechanical.
I grew up watching porn. My favorite older actress is Georgina Spelvin. Everybodys like Vanessa Del Rio, Im like unh uh. This crazy white woman who looks like shes channeling the devil when she fucks and the only woman by comparison to this day who works, fucks and is as hot and brings as much passion is Monique. An unsung hero shero, who never gets the praise she deserves. But when you watch her perform it looks like shes channeling the devil.
DX: It looks more realistic.
VB: Yeah. Shes really into whats happening and I know that, you feel it. And you dont feel that in todays porn.
DX: Why do you think that is?
VB: How do I say this nicely? Most of the guys behind the camera dont like women.
DX: Really? As in homosexuals or misogynist or
VB: Both, all of the above. Theres a very famous porn star who does all big booty product now and probably out of 100 girls, 80 of us have a story about him attacking us behind closed doors. Physically, like ripping our clothes off. So no, when you have personalities like that, how on earth can it be good?
DX: How do these guys stay working with everything going on off camera?
VB: What do you mean?
DX: As far as attitudes and attacking actresses?
VB: The girls deal with it. Its very unfortunate, but the girls they deal with it. Theyre just adjusted to being run over. The industry has expanded and grown into something so toxic. Whenever a girl tells me she wants to do porn, I will spend hours trying to talk her out of it.
VB: Because its not what you think it is. Everybody comes in thinking Jenna [Jameson]. Jennas not who you think she is. Its like, how do you say you love Magic Johnson when youve never met him? You love an image. All you love is an image. He could be the greatest jerk you ever met in your life. And I guess once I got to California it was so many stars I looked up to, so many black celebrities and I met those cats at the club and they were like [in mock man voice] Whats up biiiiitch? You trying to fuck? You wanna fuck me and my boys? Im like, Oh my God I used to love you! The girls get very disillusioned once they get here. But once you get here you cant say no to the money, so youll take the abuse for the check.
DX: What if a girl wanted to work for you, would you still discourage her from the industry? What would you tell her?
VB: It depends on what she looks like. Ill be very frank. If the girl is not very attractive, I will try to talk her out of it and make other suggestions. Cause honestly, this is a business about your looks, and if you dont look good, how far are you gonna go?
DX: Theres a market for everything.
VB: But there isnt a market for ugly girls yet. I mean, theyre being put out there but theres no true market. Consumers are not buying that. If you pick up a tape and 10 of the girls in it are ugly, youre not going to pick up that line anymore, Im not going to waste my money, them bitches are ugly.
If the girl is attractive, depending on her level of experience. If shes already an escort, fuck it, go ahead and do it. If shes a dancer, think about it long and hard. The money youre going to make on set to risk your health dont mean shit. If you catch something, God forbid, that little $800 to $1,000 [per scene] youre going to give back to a doctor. Itd be better to just be an escort. You can wear a condom and when you say its over, its over.
DX: Are there a lot of health risks in the industry, I know its once every 30 days as far as HIV testing goes?
VB: Now theyre doing it every two weeks. The girls who work less do it monthly. Some girls only do it when theyre called for work. The testing is so expensive now; some people aint on it like they used to be
DX: Now are there risks for other diseases?
VB: Oh my, yes! There was just a case of syphilis going around. When was the last time you heard of that shit?
DX: Even with the testing going on?
VB: Even with the testing. What we have in this industry right now are tons and tons of under cover mutha fuckas. Some of them are under cover and some of them have box covers. Some of them are gay contract stars and theyre doing straight product. No offense to the gay guys, but Ive shot gay porn. Ive shot gay porn for several companies and I never once saw anybody swap a test. Never. Youll see condoms but you dont see a test. Im not saying that one is better than the other and its ok because of the product, not at all. A lot of male talent, theyre dicks dont work with condoms, so theyll rip the condom during the scene and you the viewer dont see that
To be continued