I’ve known Mark Davis since I started in adult films. He and I have seen many, many bodies come through and have weathered the changes that have occurred in the industry itself, good and bad. While most new faces don’t even know the history of the people that came before them and pretty much think the world revolves around them, there are many more who remember what the industry was and reflect, somewhat romantically, on our experiences and how we see things today.
As part of my ongoing series of interviews, he gave me the opportunity to sit down with him and speak openly about his beginnings in adult films and his career through 21 years. When we started together, there were no smartphones and the internet was a military protocol system yet to be offered for civilian use. Porn was on tape, two cable channels and print magazines. No one knew our birth names and the personal lives of the performers were kept private.
According to Mark, our sit down was the most comprehensive interview he had ever done. Since I come from the performance side of adult, I felt I had more qualifications in my approach and asking the questions beyond the usual questions civilian interviewers ask. I honestly think we could have gone on for a couple more hours but we each had time commitments and frankly, speaking about our lives in adult is exhausting emotionally.
Recently retired and starting a new chapter in his life, I hope you see the individual behind the face that has been in over 2500 scenes. Thanks Mark!
Marcus London. Handsome, buff, professional and a gentleman who is quick to laugh. He’s one of the few guys left in the industry that could be considered a member of the “old guard”. I’ve known him through the years and he’s always been the guy who shows up prepared and ready to work hard.
As part of my on-going interview series with performers in the industry, I took the time to sit down with him while he had a break on set and find out a little bit more about him. As always, he speaks intelligently and is not someone to shy away from expressing himself. Not only is he an actor/performer but he, along with Tommy Gunn and Tony DeSergio (and distributed through Wicked Pictures), put together a movie entitled “Spartacus MMXII”; which given the fact that budgets for high end adult features have plummeted throughout the years, was a pretty impressive attempt to deliver a quality movie to audiences.
As it happens with many mainstream media outlets, he was approached to be the subject of a piece that ended up making him look like the typical “roast beef” someone might expect a male adult performer to be like. (Roast beef is what the French lovingly refer to the English, because they just love each other sooooo much. English call the French “frogs”. Not my problem)
I won’t link to the article but suffice to say if this had happened to me, I’d be fuming. I wanted to give him an opportunity to talk about it, along with other questions I came up with from my pea-sized brain.
Because of the length of the interview, I had to split it into two parts. Here they are below.
(Don’t expect Entertainment Tonight style here folks; I do this alone because I want to and I’m NO Charlie Rose either.)
Spartacus MMXII trailer is here below. Buy it!
In light of the recent events this past week, I have to confess something. I think I’ve made a terrible mistake.
You see, last year I was quite outspoken in my defense of the industry in regards to AHF’s Measure B ballot initiative. I argued that we, as an industry, have and can police ourselves responsibly when it comes to talent’s health in front of the camera. I went on record saying that in my time in the industry, I had only caught one infection, which was true. I argued that this was because of the testing in place and the fact that myself and others took our roles seriously and approached our work with professionalism and honor. I believed that myself and others stuck to a code; honesty and common sense.
But there was always something in the back of my mind that didn’t make sense. We were so concerned with HIV testing but never really addressed the testing of Hep C. Both are diseases that will kill you. Fortunately, the other risks can be managed and treated with medicine. It sucks when it happens; heavy is the crown we bear for doing what we do.
It confounded me that Hep C wasn’t given the same weight and concern. To me, it made sense that we should include it in our standard testing procedure as a requirement and an additional precaution to protect the talent pool; all part of managing and lowering the risks.
I appealed to the common sense, rational and professionalism of others in the industry. I thought that would be enough. Never did I think that because someone is willing to make themselves an object, that would they operate with an acute sense of entitlement. I was wrong. There are many who do just that.
I’ve had three lives in the business. I’ve been fortunate, while others not. I approached work with responsibility (sometimes barely) and professionalism (mostly). I tried to bring something to the table; some value. There are many who do the same. And there are still more who do nothing but take. They bring nothing to the table. They live a life of entitlement. There is no responsibility to anyone but their wallets or egos. Their actions do not require explanations, especially when others are put at risk and/or harmed. It’s all about them. They roll in, take what they want and leave. Then, when they return, they wonder why no one feels compelled to hire them. Memories are short in this business, most newbies don’t even know it’s history. I have two words for you-Marc Wallice.
Whether or not this incident was intentional or an oversight or nipped at the right time, that will be dealt with (hopefully) and those with knowledge of this shamed. But we’ve hit a threshold.
Once again we are scrambling to react instead of having been proactive. We were fighting for our right to police ourselves and we left the back door open to be made an example of by people who really don’t have our interests at heart. We allow people who don’t respect the code of honesty to work amongst us. And what’s our first thought when an incident happens? “What about me?”
We have the privilege to earn money in this industry but we certainly don’t have the right to knowingly endanger ourselves and co-workers (either medically or financially) for the
almighty weak paper dollar.
We’ve hit a turning point. There is already dissension in the business on many other matters. We failed, again, to own up to the truth.
You wont like what the truth is. You will cry about the extra cost (minimal compared to the cost of Hep medicine) and most of you still will not have health insurance.
Would you point a loaded gun in the face of your best friend/son/daughter and pull the trigger? I know many have difficult relationships with their friends and family because of the industry. Some have decent relations with their family and friends. Can you look them straight in the eye and tell them “Don’t worry, I’m safe as can be”?
I should have said something before. I should have brought it up but no one would have taken me seriously. If there wasn’t an issue at that time, then no one would care. It’s only when there is a problem, we then try to deal with it.
So, I will go on record and say that I believe we should include mandatory Hep C testing as part of the standard work/can’t work protocol.
It seems that there are others who will dirty our water just to make a buck. They don’t give a fuck about you. So, there’s the door, lets show them out.
I will leave you with a quote from A Few Good Men, (italics mine)
Lt. Kendrick: Private Santiago is dead, and that is a tragedy. But he is dead because he had no code. He is dead because he had no honor, and God was watching.
May 6th, 2013
To All Performers and Crew,
As you know, there is a group of people who want to force condoms and other barrier methods upon the adult industry. They propose to speak for performers, yet they haven’t actually spoken to active performers. In fact, they compare us to animals in mainstream movies and thoroughly degrade us by ignoring our voice and ignoring our choice.
We came out as the majority in favor of performer choice during last year’s Measure B campaign, but now they are pushing a statewide bill called AB332. We have to take this opportunity to prove we are not the victims they paint us to be. We have to band together and make our voices heard.
Inspired by last year’s efforts, and with the help of the Free Speech Coalition, we are organizing the Adult Performers Coalition for Choice (APC4C). We will get together and do a number of things, but for now all that is required is your joining by filling out the form field at the below link and signing on to our performer statement so that we can make sure your voice is heard. We will send updates informing you about what’s going on and how you can contribute. Yours is the most important voice in this cause. Let’s stand together so we can send a message loud and clear. AB332 does NOT speak for me.
To sign up for Adult Performers Coalition for Choice, please visit APC4C.com or follow this link to go to the sign-up form: http://apc4c.com/.
For more information about how you can help defeat mandatory barrier protection legislation, please email AdultPerformersforChoice@gmail.com.
Steven St. Croix
I have to say that I’m humbled by all the accolades this year for my performance in “Torn”. To some, winning these awards may seem trivial and downright comical. Some even laugh at the idea of awards for adult entertainment.
But the fact is that I’ve always tried to do my best. As with anyone with years of experience in this industry, you develop a love/hate relationship with the Machine. Above all else, I found my way into the industry because I wanted to have a connection with others and sex was one way to do that. Acting was just in my DNA. Some tell me I should have pursued mainstream. As one long time Hollywood actor friend of mine said, “You made a right when you should have made a left.” So be it. I’m here where I am.
What makes this sweet for me is that it was a difficult thing to play the humanity in a character we probably have all read about, known or experienced. It would have been easier to play him one dimensional-the bad guy. But this guy is more like us than we care to realize. The guy, at a cross roads in life and feeling unfulfilled, finds a connection with someone after committing to another. Who hasn’t had a moment where we say to ourselves, “I want something better!”. It’s an easy brush off to say, ” Midlife crisis, dude” and shake your head in dismay.
But I think that when one reflects on their life, and all of you will at some point, you find that there are genuine pieces of individuals you still love- traits, imperfections, dreams and illusions-that stay with you and become part of you forever. You still love that person but something has changed. You realize you have lost the one thing that drew you together in the first place-joy and wonder. Your expectations for that individual were unfounded and really a projection of one’s self.
But you feel stuck. It makes moving ahead difficult because we beat ourselves up internally. We realize how imperfect we are and how far we are from who we’d like to be. We realize the mistakes that tear us up inside will always haunt us. We realize that we are our biggest critics. And society says, “You’re not happy? Fuck you, suck it up. Neither are we.” No one gave us a rulebook and we inevitably find ourselves stumbling our way through life on this rock.
Fuck it, go with your heart. Damn the naysayers, it’s you alone who can make you happy. No one else will.
The sweetness of this is also amplified because I met another soul who aspired to give their best but was also stuck like me. Jacky St. James wrote this story and had trouble finishing the script because she couldn’t find a performer who could pull this off the way she envisioned it in her head. This is where I came in. After experiencing a soul crushing/ gun to the head breakup and the collapse of my dream life, I was in need of a role where I could express these feelings. I used my pain to portray another’s.
In the end, even though it is another adult film in a slew of hundreds shot over the years, everyone conspired to do our best work. We didn’t follow trends or worry about whether this was ‘sexy’ enough; we just did what we could do at the moment. We told a story most everyone is familiar with. With no rehearsal or a budget that studio films get, I think we did a damn good job. We may never have that moment again but it is that moment that will stay with me to the end.
Thank you Jacky, Remy, India, Tom, Raylene and Eddie. Thanks to all who watched and loved the movie. Thanks to all the reviewers and XRCO, AVN and XBIZ people. Thanks to the few who care about what they do. Performers, directors, crew- anyone who doesn’t just show up, cruise through and collect a check. John Leslie once told me when we were shooting Dogwalker, “You will look back at this and be proud. Nothing will have the same value as this will.” He was right. I watched it months ago and saw the same guy I see today (albeit younger); me attempting my best. These are the crumbs we leave on the planet that will soon blow away. Make them the best you can.
This is the best I can offer at the moment. And I am proud of my work.
I had an epiphany last night. I realized that the industry has been putting our energy in the wrong direction in the fight against Measure B. Instead of fighting the California State Ass-embly and their high minded but low thinking process of reasoning, we should actually embrace them, give them a hug and tell them that it’s not their fault. You see, they don’t know any better.
I believe this law is the opportunity for the industry to evolve to the next level. In life, you either evolve or die. And since it’s been 25 years since the filming of porn in California became legal, now the time has come to evolve and move on. You see, it’s not that we are no longer welcome in Los Angeles anymore (or statewide if they have their way). This law is a result of reactionary, extreme leftist liberal bullshit that has left many, if not all, incapable of reason and logic. This is the perfect opportunity to take ahold of our destiny and evolve to the next level!
BTW, would it make sense to you if the NFL sanctioned that every player wear two helmets as a result of a couple of players getting concussions from big hits or wearing twice as much padding because someone was injured from an illegal hit? No. But some people think that adding more is always safer. While a majority of the professional performers in the industry follow common sense and engage in sex as safely as possible at work and in private, there are always going to be some tainted twats and dirty dicks that don’t abide by the common sense we use as professionals and they will inevitably bring something back from their wild meanderings thru life. Most of the time we catch it in time; others not in time. The point is the system works IF EVERYONE USES COMMON SENSE AND STICKS TO THE PROGRAM! If you have sex other than on set, make sure you know the status of that individual. If they or you have multiple partners, take the necessary precautions. Know who they are fucking. If your boyfriend or girlfriend cheats on you, drop them. They don’t respect you or themselves. Break up and get back together? Go get tested again.
The thinking that by making condoms mandatory, this going to protect the majority of professional performers is the wrong choice. We just need to tighten up with who we allow into the business.
But I digress. Back to the regularly scheduled programming.
So, I say fuck California! Las Vegas here we come! We should move to Nevada!
I’ve complied a list of why we should give the finger to California politicians and evolve!
1. A return to roots- I don’t think any girl should be allowed into porn without at least 4 years experience working in shitty strip clubs. There are plenty in Clark County, NV. This will give them an appreciation of how good they have it and make the boring girls wake up during sex on camera. For the guys, four years of construction work. That way you won’t bitch when you aren’t done by 2 pm and home playing Warcraft with your roommate. And it’s the birthplace of the world famous Jenna Jameson. How bad could it be?
2. No state income tax!-This is huge people! That is 15 % savings off your income! For girls, that translates to more money for shoes….and weed!
3. Way cheaper housing!- Instead of paying $2300 for a closet downtown, you can have a large house for $900. That’s way more square footage to leave your clothes on the floor while your dog pees and shits everywhere.
4. Pot dealers will rejoice!- After years of losing money to medical marijuana clinics in Cali, I believe there will be a spike in the sales of Mexican shit weed. Hurray!
5. LV airport- Much easier to fly in and out of when heading off to NY to…uh…..”consult clients”.
6. LV has the world famous Strip!- Perfect for the porn business! Camarillo suggests camel toe…just not sexy.
7. Way less traffic- No more 3 hours drives from Santa Monica to Chatsworth.
8. We can finally return to filming outside orgy scenes!- We wil be able to shoot outdoors without fear of the neighbors…because they’re all at the casinos or working for Chinese subsidiaries in town.
9. Five words, all you can eat buffets!- ‘Nuff said
10. Cheap drinks.
11. Escorting is hugely ignored.
12. It’s ideal for corporations- No corporate tax! Did you know that Apple has a subsidiary company in Nevada that allows them only to pay a $200 annual business license fee and only $1,100 in payroll taxes for every 100k salary paid to 10 or fewer employees? Yup. So move there, incorporate yourself and enjoy huge tax benefits.
12. Really great entertainers are available to see all week, like Carrot Top and Roseanne Barr.
13. You don’t have to dress up- Affliction clothing and UGGS are now accepted as casual AND dressy for all of your social event plans.
14. Nevada gives you a free six month supply of Hotpockets, the official food of cab drivers!
15. Zero risk of Jenna Jameson smashing you in the face with a brass knuckled iPhone.
16. More golf outings with porn legend Randy West.
17. Less Dave Navarro sightings at porn events.
18. Conceal carry permits.
19. Population of 589 k residents in LV- Now you can engage in your twitter fights while at the casino pool while guzzling 5 Mojitos!
20. More opportunities to build lasting relationships!- Spearmint Rhino, Sapphire, Crazy Horse, and Golden Corral!