|A Different Light events coordinator Stephen Quinones, Mike Donner and ADL clerk Jonny Mercado. Photo by RInk.
No, this isnât a how-to by Sister Dana; itâs more of an interview/ review of award-winning adult video director Mike Donner and his wickedly funny and wildly informative book, How to Be a Gay Porn Star, including helpful advice from industry pros Rod Barry, Dean Phoenix, and Justin Wells. The book, currently for sale at A Different Light bookstore in the Castro (where I interviewed Donner), will appeal to wannabes in the flesh flick biz; neophytes in the wondrous world of sex on screen; and just plain curious folks with a sense of humor and a sense of adventure. I mean, you wouldnât be reading THIS far, were you not a tad titillated by the idea. Who amongst us HASNâT had a fantasy about playing in a porno?! No? Then move along, cuz thatâs what this is all about: PORN!!!
Donner told me he presently lives in Oregon with his partner on 22 acres and decided to become a writer of screenplays, novels, and other books, when it occurred to him to write what he REALLY knew: PORN!!! âItâs kind of odd (living in Oregon), because we both grew up in big cities â I in Chicago and he in San Diego â and we decided to try the country life with dogs and cats and 9,000 blueberry bushes,â he said. Donner got into porn by accident, pursuing an acting career in Chi-town 20 years ago, and getting a real job at the notorious porn palace, the Bijou theatre, as an associate publicist. They wanted him to write and direct a porno, but he didnât want to, because back then the scripts were all about being a straight guy as Godâs gift to gays, âlettingâ them suck their dicks. But the producers let him write a tender love story between two loving men who had hot not-straight sex. âIt all escalated in my career,â he said, âand itâs been a lot of fun.â The bonus for him was getting to really know the men who do the movies, âbecause I could never do it, being very Irish Catholic in background.â He said, âI have the greatest respect for them.â His movies are always heavy in dialogue, which I personally prefer. âThe actors got a big kick out of playing a character instead of themselves and saying lines,â he said. âIâve done everything from the Church and religion to politics to HIV to gay domestic violence to love and loss.â He elaborated, âIâve always tried to put sort of a moral in the stories, and also something that truly embraces gay life â why we have sex with each other is more intriguing than the wham-bam, thank you, man. Sex is better with emotion.â
If you are interested in the over 200 gay and bi videos he has written and directed, check out his website at DonnerInc.com. His master(bate)pieces have been nominated for 58 awards, and he received 22. He has been labeled âgay adult cinemaâs most controversial director and writer, and he has been called the Frank Capra of gay porn.
What I love about his book is the thread of humor running rampant, even though weâre not supposed to laugh about sex. Donner gives insider tips such as: âTell the director if you are close to cumming. Itâs called a money shot for a reason. Blow it, and youâve just blown a couple thousand dollars of the producerâs investment.â Regarding talking dirty, âOnly do it if you know more than three phrases and sound butch. A queeny âThatâs fierceâ wonât work.â Are you in a scene with someone you arenât attracted to? âClose your eyes and they look just like Brad Pitt.â His advice concerning agents and the casting couch: âDonât do anything you wouldnât do in a job interview.â Well, not quite. âShow yourself in your naked glory and verify the length of your âresume,â but thatâs it!â In doing bi movies, âIf a vagina scares you, stay away. Your erection deficiency will hurt the scene and your paycheck.â Dean Phoenix warns of shaving too much: âIâve seen pubes that look like Hitler moustaches!â
Not only is the written word funny, but thanks to photographer Steve Jerome, the pictures generously displayed throughout show the lighthearted side of the biz with handsome hunks mugging it up â sometimes to the point of adorable dorkyness. You will definitely enjoy this how-to, while actually learning the [pun ahead] ins and outs of the industry.