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.