This is my 2003 interview with adult film star Aria Giovanni.
The Adult Entertainment industry is a thriving, multi-billion dollar business. Obviously aided by the Internet, erotica and pornography are now in more homes than ever. And not just hidden under the mattress. A number of the guests at DragonCon 2003 are involved in the business of sex. In addition to a number of Webcam Girls, the DragonCon 2003 guest list included two successful stars of the adult entertainment industry. Melissa Wolf is a long time veteran in the world of magazine modeling, circuit dancing and adult film. Aria Giovanni is a relative newcomer when compared to Ms. Wolf, yet she has made her mark by appearing in the films of erotica master Andrew Blake. Both ladies sat down with me to shed some light on what it takes to survive and thrive in a very tough industry.
Aria Giovanni is a brunette beauty who has done magazine layouts and videos for Penthouse magazine. She has also appeared in four films by the current auteur of erotica Andrew Blake. Mr. Blake’s films transcend 99.9% of the films produced in the adult film industry. In addition to her erotic adult films, Ms. Giovanni appeared in Marilyn Manson’s experimental film "Doppelherz," the R-rated "Survivor" spoof "Survivors Exposed" and Fred Olen Ray’s "13 Erotic Ghosts."
Rusty White: I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that Andrew Blake is really a well-known Hollywood director. His sense of cinema and camera artistry is amazing.
Aria Giovanni: I have people ask me if he is really Steven Speilberg. No, he’s a real person. Not a director using a fake name.
RW: You’ve been successful in a tough industry. Any words of advice for others thinking about entering the adult industry?
AG: I think the most important thing to know is what you don’t want to do. Where you draw the line in the sand. A lot of people go into the industry not knowing where that line is. I was one of them. I crossed it. You can’t take it back. It’s going to be thrown in your face constantly. If you know what you don’t want to do, more than what you do want to do, that is the most important thing. Because you never want to look back and regret what you’ve done. Because it doesn’t go away.
And it’s a lot of hard work. You have to be ready to work at it, and to work on your own. To be your own boss, make your own decisions. Go after your own jobs, be on time, make sure that you’re groomed properly. It doesn’t seem like a lot of things, but you really have to work hard at it because people are not chasing you down. Especially in the beginning where you have to chase people down. You have to put your name out there. You can’t depend on other people to do it for you.
RW: You have worked with who a lot of people believe is the best erotic director around, Andrew Blake. How is he to work with?
AG: Definitely, he’s an artist. I love working for him. Not only because the end product is good, but we are taken care of. It’s not like two people rubbing each other in the wrong direction. Ever thing falls into place. It’s an easy day. It’s not grueling. You have a lot of fun. The girls get along on the set. I have a lot of fun shoot for Andrew. And then, you see the end product, it’s amazing! What he does with the camera. You say, "I remember shooting that, but I don’t remember it looking that way. Wow!"
RW: Do you feel stigmatized working in the adult industry.
AG: I really haven’t had anyone come up and say I’m going to Hell. But I don’t put myself in a position where I will offend anyone. I don’t do this in church, or promote my work at schools (laughs). I do it in the proper environment with a respect for the people who are around you. I really haven’t had any problems with people being affected with what I’ve done. I try to portray my work as responsibly, as beautifully and artistically as I can and yet being nude at the same time. We are born naked. I don’t have a problem with nudity. I don’t think its wrong. This is more than a job. It’s a business. I’m incorporated. I run my own website.
RW: That was my next question. Are you your own boss?
AG: I am my own boss. I decide who I shoot for, when I shoot, when I travel, when I stay home, when I take a vacation, when I do nothing and when I do everything. Not a lot of people can say that. When business is bad I have myself to blame. When business is good, the same thing. I have to motivate myself to find new things to bring in new revenue.
RW: Was this a long process, becoming your own boss?
AG: Of course. You don’t walk in and incorporate with out proving yourself. I incorporated right before I launched my website. After that you’re out there pushing your brand name. In any field possible. I’m not just talking about nudity. Whenever I get the chance to attach my name to something else…I’ve done a cover of "Heavy Metal." I have attachments to comic books. It happens that way in many different things. Is it something that is reputable, something I am interested in, then I do it. If it’s a good decision from a business standpoint.
RW: Tell me about your website.
AG: I’ve had my website for almost two years.I update five times a week, which is unusual for a single model site, because most update two ties a month. I have glamour, candids, fetish, amateur, artistic nudes in one section. All different types of photos. I also have a weekly diary. I have an appearance page. My net buddy section. A links page, a message board. There’s a lot on my site.
RW: Do you have a webmaster, or are you like Asia Carrera who does her own site.
AG: No, that’s not possible for me because I travel so much. I set up my own photo shoots, I make up the photo galleries, I control the content and my webmaster uploads it to the server. I own my site outright. That’s another thing that is different. Most folks have a rent share site. They only get a percentage of their site. I pay my webmaster by the hour. I have total control.
RW: Thanks for your time.
AG: My pleasure.