Joan Jett used to sing that she “didn’t give a damn about her reputation”. Although she was a rock ‘n’ roll chick, a lot of people seem to think this is how they should live lives by—they’re wrong. Your reputation is the most important thing you have.
Reputation generally comes from perception. Perception is how people view you in the adult industry and in the “real world”—it’s detrimental to your career as a porn star, director, or whatever you do in the industry. It can be positive or negative. If you’re trying to figure out where you stand, ask yourself “what do people think of me”. Be honest. If you’re not sure, here are a few hints.
What People Are Saying on the Studio Boards About You
Your fans perception can be the most important, and so are people who comment on studios’ boards. If people are saying you’re hot, then studios will hire you. If they’re saying you’re not…well, you might not be working for them. The same goes for your performance. Studios, directors and producers are in the biz to give people what they want—in order to make money, they have to use the performers fans and customers want to see in their productions. Of course, we all have haters, but if the majority doesn’t think you’re cutting it, this definitely no bueno.
Check the studio boards and see what people are saying about you. If they complain about your appearance, take steps to change it. If fans think your performances suck, watch your videos and see what you can do better—football players watch their plays, and so can porn stars. And if you are perceived as a bitch, well it might be time to start being nice at conventions, on Twitter, via email or anywhere else you encounter fans.
What People in the Industry Think of You
If you’re known as a performer who’s difficult to work with, has an attitude, shows up late or not at all, or other negative behaviors aren’t good, you won’t be working, and if you are, it won’t be for long. However, if you’re easy to work with, show up on time and are professional and pleasant, that is what sticks in peoples’ minds. And next time they need to hire someone, they will think of you, they will go to that happy place in their minds and you could be hired. It definitely betters your chance.
Another place both industry and fans/the public get their perception about you is on social media. Are you on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or even your blog starting fights, being negative, talking about drugs, complaining about your agent, manager, publicist and/or the director you worked with yesterday, or being mean to your fans? Social media has heightened perceptions and lead further to the demise of people’s reputations. Daily, I see porn girls saying things on Twitter covering all these topics. The studios, directors and producers are all on Twitter and watching what you are saying—this might lead them to think you’re difficult, a troublemaker or a drug addict, if you’re saying things you shouldn’t be. It can even affect the talent you work with—you might end up on someone’s (or multiple people’s)“no list”. Social media is to promote yourself and a way for fans to get to know you, but there is such a thing as too much information and the wrong kind of information.
Interviews are your time to shine. Unfortunately, many girls don’t take them seriously enough—they blow them off and don’t do them (written and audio ones), say negative and/or troubling things or are rude to the person interviewing them. Even if you’re interviewing for what you think is a “little website” or “little Internet show”, you can’t take an attitude. You never know who is listening (fans, industry, etc.), and how big that site or show might become. This is why it’s a good idea to be nice to everyone. New sites hit me up all the time wanting to interview my clients, and I’m happy to chat with them and set things up. A good example of this would be Porn Life Magazine—other publicists and performers blew him off at first, but not me. And now, his site is blowing up and everyone wants an interview. Luckily, the editor is a forgiving sort and doesn’t hold grudges for past behavior, but other people will. Make it a point to be as nice/kind as you can to people whenever you deal with your fans or the industry because you just never know.
How You Can Fix This
I have worked with clients who came to me with bad reputations, and I’ve worked with clients who did the opposite of what I told them and made a bad rep for themselves. Our industry and the fans are actually quite forgiving and are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, if you show that you really want to change. Your agents, managers and publicists are working hard to make your career successful, but they can’t do it without you. To truly have a bad reputation, you have to seriously screw up and continue to do so. And changing your name won’t erase it, and people will find out what your former name was.
You have to want to change and really look at how people view you, and not how you think people perceive you. Ask someone you really trust like your publicist how people see you, and more than likely they’ll be honest with you, if they’re looking out for your career and you. When my clients are doing things to potentially damage their reputation, I let them know. After awhile, if they continue down this destructive path, I either quit saying something and/or potentially drop them. I can’t make anyone change; all I can do is advise. Agents and managers work the same way. We want our clients and/or talent to do well and are willing to work with them—we just need you to show us you’re trying to change and we’ll be there for you every step of the way.