December 26, 2009 12:00am
The News Rack: Adult Modeling Alliance
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Steve Nelson
World Modeling's Adult Modeling Alliance
World Modeling isn't the first agency to house new girls while they break into the Adult industry, but they are the first to collaborate with other, supposedly rival, agencies across the nation.
Grooming new talent for success is the business these agents are in when new girls flock to fornicate in front of the carnal camera. And how to make a new girl into a starlet, and a leading lady into a legend? The place where these models live when away from home and filming in other cities is typically called a ''Model House.''
I was amazed to find it was more of a family setting in one of these Apprentice Houses where these girls learn the ropes. There are rooms for rookies to live in when they come from out of town to shoot porn, and these girls get rock solid advice that can mold them into a bright star in the future.
I decided to start investigating at the longest running talent agency in the business, World Modeling.
World Modeling, in Sherman Oaks, California, is now the oldest and most experienced Adult Industry talent agency in the world. They have been around for 34 years and the company is owned and operated by Jim South and his son, Jim South Jr.
World Modeling has represented a very long list of adult entertainment legends such as Shauna Grant, Ginger Lynn, Savannah, Amber Lynn, Ashlyn Gere, Jill Kelly, Kristara Barrington and Christy Canyon to name a very few, as well as the new talent that walks in off the streets today.
After talking at length with South Sr. I concluded that he has the best interest of the girls at heart, and will go to bat for them when needed. I've heard many stories over the years from girls about not getting paid for a shoot, and how South will go after the shooter and make them pay up, getting the girl her money before even collecting his own fee.
This wasn't the first time I had met South. I remember years ago bringing Tiffany Storm in to see him for her very first interview. What I remember him telling her back then is what he's still telling girls today. He gives them good advice, full disclosure, makes sure they know what they are getting into, and is careful that they aren't put into a situation that they are uncomfortable with.
At the Harlot House
The first of these Debutante Dorms I had a look at was owned by South Sr. here in the San Fernando Valley. South Jr. actually lives at this particular Rookie Roost and takes care of the day to day arrangements. When I arrived both South Sr. And South Jr. were there, one of the girls was on the computer in the dining room, and the other girls were due back from shooting at any moment.
This week there is a group of girls in from Florida, as well as a couple of local girls at the house. Brian Berke is driving the girls, who I'm told is another agent. Berke, owner of Giirlz Inc., has accompanied several girls in from Fort Lauderdale for a couple of weeks of bookings.
The house is recently renovated and has a warm feel to it. There is high speed internet and cable TV, a pool in the back and several bedrooms with additional sleeping room on pull-out couches if needed. Out on the covered patio there are a couple of couches where people can go to have a cigarette. ''The girls will always go outside to smoke,'' South Sr. says with a smile in his Texas drawl, ''but no one empties the ash trays.'' They have had as many as nine girls there at once with no problem.
The girl on the computer is Katrina Kelley and she has a striking resemblance to Chelsea Handler. She's blonde, 39 yrs old, and very sexy in a girl-next-door kind of way. Today Kelley did a scene with another girl named Kita Zen, who then took her out to dinner, and then drove her home. Kelley said about shooting here in L.A., ''It was a very positive experience, it's been great!'' She's going to work more in Florida when she gets home, and she says New York is next.
Kelley tells me that yesterday was her first girl/girl scene on film and the script bore an uncanny resemblance to her real life. Kelley was an environmental activist who helped with fundraising, volunteered her time for tree planting programs, and worked with organizations to pass environmentally friendly legislation. If your life seems like a script to a porn movie then this is the right place for you!
Kelley had just also worked for Urbano, a long-time shooter in the Industry who shot her with porn veteran Herschel Savage. She appears to really be enjoying herself in the hardcore pictures I saw from the shoot. I thank Urbano for the hardcore stills and paperwork he provided for this story. Urbano is a great all-around shooter and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a quality shooter, or if you are a girl who wants to get shot. Girls, I encourage you to send him your pictures if you want to get into the Biz.
After talking to Kelley I sat on one of the couches in the living room and talked to two of the other girls here, Haylee Heart and Tasia Banx.
Heart who has been shooting for only two weeks as of this meeting, came in through her friend Banx, who has only been in six weeks herself. Banx told Heart it was a great way to earn money and get out of her parent's house. Heart agreed and says it's been a good experience so far. She says she was nervous at first but have worked with nice, professional people.
I asked them what they've learned here so far.
Heart: ''It's safer in porn, because of testing, than in a bar [picking up guys for sex], I learn something new every day about people and how to stay safe.''
Banx: ''I answered an ad in the LA Weekly and went to World Modeling, it's like your an actress, it builds confidence.''
AINews: ''Have you walked a red carpet yet?''
Banx: ''Not yet, I will learn from [South] Junior about the red carpet when the time comes.''
AINews: ''What have these guys taught you?
Heart: ''Just be ourselves, don't be nervous, and don't take shit from anyone when they are mean. Stick up for yourself -- but everyone's been really nice so far, we've really enjoyed it and everyone's laid back. These guys won't hook you up with any of the wrong people... everybody's been really cool, everyone's real professional... we never give out our numbers, we always refer them to Jim, we don't want stalkers or anything.''
You never know who people are when you first start out, and until they do it's good to see the girls are getting the advice they need to not get taken advantage of. Not giving your number to a fast talking stranger at a club or a shoot prevents random guys -- or even directors and producers who might try and circumvent their agents -- from contacting the girls directly and could put them in a position to do things they might not want to do or be ready for.
Banx and Heart are excited about flying to Florida soon.
To each other: ''We shoot on Thursday, four solos and a boy/girl...
''But [four solo scenes is] 40 minutes of masturbation!'' (Sounding bored by the prospect)
''...Yeah, but it's $900!''
Next I talk to Maya Bazin who has been shooting for three weeks. She is Nepalese, world traveled, speaks four languages, and is remarkably business savvy. Bazin had been a bartender, then tended bar in a strip club but didn't strip. She says, after careful contemplation, ''If I'm going to do it at all, I'll go all the way [by having sex in front of the camera]. It's really safe.''
I asked her how she got in:
''I got in to pay for tuition through a recruiter named Marc Anthony in Florida. Marc was selling a car when I met him. I already knew what I wanted and was looking to get into this. I got into it to take care of a few things... I'm not aspiring to be the next Jenna Jameson. I got in to take care of my situation so I can better do what I want to do.''
AINews: ''How long do you plan to stay?''
Bazin: ''To be honest with you, I just might be out after this trip. I'm going home and pay back some tuition, I'm in school. I get my degree at the end of the year in advertising and I'm probably going to apply for a job in Dubai and leave the states.''
AINews: ''That's a little different than this environment...''
Bazin: ''I wasn't born here, so it isn't my environment to begin with.''
Bazin is in it for the short haul -- a means to an end. She already has an associates degree in business.
I found out a week later that Bazin is now out of the business and is going to get married. She got in the business to pay her tuition, and in 10-15 days out here earned enough to do so while her future husband was back there waiting to meet her. It's their tradition to have her parents arranged a marriage. She's now back in college. It appears she jumped out of school for two weeks, came out here, made enough to pay her tuition, goes back and is meeting her future husband.
Bazin had just completed a shoot for Kick Ass Pictures where it's apparent she's a natural at fucking in front of the camera. Kick Ass makes a quality product and you can't go wrong watching anything they put out. Bazin's scene was a typical hardcore boy/girl scene. You can see more of the same at KickAss.com, or in Kick Ass movies distributed everywhere. I thank Kick Ass for the hardcore stills and paperwork they provided for this story.
Berke informs me there are actually three agencies cooperating with each other and each has a Rookie Ranch for the girls to room in at each of the cities. Called ''The Adult Modeling Alliance,'' these three agencies are a group of professionals in California, New York, and Florida who are grooming the girls, booking their jobs, providing housing and transportation, along with professional advice, guidance and support in web design and photography, all under one roof. They include everything that these girls need to succeed as aspiring porn starlets.
Between the staff of World Modeling in Los Angeles, GiirlzInc in South Florida, and Blue Max Models in New York, the Adult Modeling Alliance (AMA-Worldwide.com) has over 40 years of combined experience in the Adult Industry, and have represented over 10,000 models over the years.
The girls who are relatively unknown in the Industry need to be schooled in PR, set etiquette, how to walk the red carpet and a myriad of things one wouldn't even think of, so that they will be ready for the public eye, stay safe, and to do well with a career in the Adult Industry.
Berke's specialty is in the newcomer. He also hosts the girls from New York and here in California when they go to Florida to shoot. In fact, Haylee and Banx are flying out in a few days. They are booked with Bang Bros. on Tuesday.
Previously Berke was a mainstream manager for ten years. GiirlzInc has been open six years. He specializes in new girls to the tune of about 100 per year. Sometimes he doesn't book them on a hardcore shoot at first. He will see who is good, and if they are at ease with the situation first.
I said to Berke: ''So, you walk them through?''
Berke: ''Very much so, when a girl comes into adult, especially 99% of the girls, they are nervous, they really don't know what to expect, we provide a family environment for these new girls who have never experienced this sort of business before. It's great for everyone, it's a win-win -- nothing crazy is going to happen, it's very much like a family atmosphere.''
In his house in Florida Berke has his assistant living there full time with her daughter.
Berke: ''In Florida we know there are certain companies we take the girls to that we know are going to be cool with them. If there is something that's uncomfortable to them -- Reality Kings is a perfect example -- they will stop, will talk to them, and make sure they are comfortable.''
AINews: ''So you hook them up with Reality Kings first?''
Berke: ''Almost always Realty Kings first. And only because the people there treat them with respect and they take care of the girls. With them I don't have to worry about every producer trying to hook up, its very much a professional atmosphere there.''
AINews: ''How many girls have you helped get started in Florida?
Berke: ''We've started 500 to 700 girls in that area. We started Maya Hills, Dakota Brooks, some of our newer girls like Kitty Bella, Tanner Mayes -- they all started with us. Tanner Mayes was with me from day one. She came to my house the first day and she's always been wonderful to me.''
AINews: ''What else do you show the girls? How about red carpet events? Do you have them in Florida?''
Berke: ''Not really, we go to the AVNs [AVN's Adult Entertainment Expo] every year with our girls, some of my top girls go the the AVNs.''
AINews: ''Do you have a booth there?''
Berke: ''No, we had a booth at Exxxotica this year in NY, Joe Max who owns Blue Max, my sister company in NY, he and I had a booth and we promoted all three companies, his, Jim's, and mine -- we had a lot of fun, it was a really cool event.''
AINews: ''Does Joe Max have a Talent Tenement in NY?''
Berke: ''Yes, a very nice house right on the Montauk River, it's really nice. I guess it's out by Jones Beach in that area... The people who own the house have a beautiful boat and the girls go out in the summer and lay out on the boat, it's very nice. So there's housing in each of the cities... we are the only agency -- World Modeling, GiirlzInc and Blue Max -- that have the three cities covered.''
''Joe found the Love Twins who were Vivid contract girls, they've been with us from day one. Joe has been in business probably about four years now. GiirlzInc has been the longest running management company in Florida, Blue Max has the longest running company in New York, and of course, nobody even comes Close to being around longer than Jim South and World Modeling. For a girl interested in being in the Adult Industry there is no better scenario.''
AINews: ''Do you instruct the girls on how to handle reporters and photographers?''
Berke: ''We talk to the girls, it's hard, we do our best to train them. For example, sometimes a director is going to try to pick up a girl. And every director is going to try to make that girl feel special. I can't tell you how many times girls come in and say 'Oh my God! He really liked me! He gave me his number!' I've probably lost more girls [from my agency] to directors in porn than any other reason I've lost girls.''
''I've always felt the successful girls are the ones who look at it as a business. It's not about 'who I can fuck, how often I can fuck, I had a really cool good looking male talent, I'm gonna try to fuck him every day...'''
AINews: ''Can you see right away who will be successful?''
Berke: ''No. You can see girls who are pretty and have the potential to be successful, but inevitably you don't know. Jim maybe can answer that a little better. Sometimes you'll get a girl who's very business savvy -- they want to start their website, whey want to do their clips store, they want a webcam...
AINews: ''Those are the other things you offer?''
Berke: ''I've always said my objective is to try to get the girl to be able to do everything [related to making a living] where she's not relying on scenes. She can do her website, she can do clips, she can do webcam, all where she's making enough money so the stress isn't on. I don't want calls like, 'Oh my God! I have to do three scenes a week or I can't survive,' because inevitably the scenes are going to slow down and the girls are going to need everything else to keep working.''
''It's always been my objective with my girls, to set them up where the scenes aren't as important. If you can make $8000 a month with scenes, and make $4000 doing other things, then your career is going to go further and further. It's the girls who want to do 20 scenes in one month and all of a sudden by the second or third month they are doing stuff that they would normally never do in their personal life. We try to put them on the right track.''
AINews: ''Do the girls you tell this to pick up on it right away?''
Berke: ''Some of them will, some of them won't, it depends on how they perceive this as a business. You'll get some girls say, 'You know what, OK I want to do it,' and you'll put it together for them and it works, but most of the girls really don't pay much attention and two months later they're calling you up and saying, 'Oh my God! I need work! I need work!' and I tell them, 'This is why I had that conversation with you, so let's try to slow things down'.''
''The biggest problem I run into is, most of the girls are working for a guy. As soon as they get their money it goes to their boyfriend. They come in and make seven or eight thousand on a trip but by the time they leave they have $200 left. You get very few girls, like Maya, who works for herself. She comes out, she does the work, she leaves with the money. Most of the time the girl does her shoot and at seven o'clock we're scurrying to find a Western Union so she can send the boyfriend her money. Only one out of 50 girls will save any of it.''
Berke continues on how everybody and his brother are ''agents'' now. The deals vary from the girl being the guy's sex slave, to her giving him all her money -- or both! Berke stresses that usually these guys have no management experience and they really don't know what they are getting into.
AINews: ''Are there any differences between how you and Jim run things?''
Berke: ''They [World Modeling] have girls who come into the office who have been in the business for a while, so you sort of know their personality, you know what their reputation is, and so on. When you start girls fresh, you have no clue. The girl gets off the plane, you know nothing about her and it's a lot more risky. A lot of them are bipolar, and it makes for some very strange occurrences.''
(Watch for my next column when I tell a few stories to illustrate how completely crazy some of these girls can be!)
Berke comes out to the L.A. area two weeks a month, the girls work in Florida first, then the other two cities.
Berke: ''Florida is much better to teach new girls. In L.A. a girl has to know what she's doing. Since Florida gets more new girls they have adapted. In Florida they learn the positions, the camera angles, and how to act on set. They learn how to pose for pictures, or the 'pretty girls' as they are called. It's much easier for a girl to learn that way, then they come to the big leagues which is L.A.''
''Also a lot of these girls aren't used to being with guys with ten inch cocks. They get out here to L.A. and BOOM! If you don't take care of these girls, first scene and the girl isn't walking right.''
I also learned from Berke that South Sr. Will book the girls when they are out here for a few days in a row and then give them a couple of days off to rest. South Sr. books the girls out here ''the proper way'' according to Berke, meaning he doesn't put them in dangerous situations, give them jobs they aren't ready for or ''four anal scenes in a row for an 18 year old girl who never has done it before,'' as he puts it.
If someone has never done anal in their personal life they don't want to start them on camera. If they have some experience with anal off camera they will book new girls with smaller guys to see how they handle it. They are also instructed to go practice with their husband or boyfriend.
The girls will pay rent of $200 per week while living in the house, are in the house for about two weeks at a time, and the only obligation they have when they leave is to settle up on rent.
This was quite an education for me. It appears these guys groom a pretty girl to be a sexual star, helping her avoid the pitfalls of a rough business with day-to-day mentoring. The girls are left with the ultimate choices of what they want to do, what they are comfortable doing, and the direction they want to take their own careers.
I've yet to talk to Joe Max in New York, but perhaps that will be in another column. Here is the contact information for the three agencies in The Adult Modeling Alliance:
California | World Modeling Talent Agency : Jim South Sr. & Jim South Jr.
4523 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403-5724
Florida | GiirlzInc Adult Industry Model Management: Brian Berke
Miami | Fort Lauderdale | Hollywood | Palm Beach | Tampa
New York | BlueMAX Models: Joe Max
New York, New York