Four days of the 2017 AVN + Adult Entertainment Expo kicked off Wednesday at The Hard Rock Hotel ahead of Saturday’s 34th Annual AVN Awards, the “Oscars of Porn,” with more than 120 categories.
A heavy security detail ringed the venue’s convention center jam-packed with video-cam girls, legendary XXX stars, film distributors, next-to-nothing clothes manufacturers and adult toy fabricators.
Wednesday and today belong to the commerce side of this $97 billion-a-year industry. One Japanese company sent four of its porn princesses from Tokyo. Friday is fan day when visitors by the thousands stream in to stand in line for autographs and photos with their screen favorites.
Veterans Nina Hartley, Julia Ann and Ron Jeremy, hot favorites Jessica Drake, Jesse Jane and Anikka Albrite, tattooed temptresses Joanna Angel and Anna Bell Peaks, virtual-reality developer Ela Darling and awards hosts Riley Reid and Aspen Rae were all working exhibition booths for an eight-hour sales frenzy.
I talked with Anikka, Julia Ann and Kayden Kross (WARNING: Adult content). Between the sex seminars, bondage fantasy rooms, launching of pleasure products and parody movies, photographer Hew Burney captured Day 1. Our “X Burlesque” at The Flamingo and “X Rocks” at The Rio dancers performed for convention attendees.
AVN starlet Abigail Mac is nominated for five AVN Awards this year, including Best Actress, Best Sex Scene and Favorite Female Performer. During AVN, she appears at the Vixen, Blacked and Tushy booth daily and proudly displays photographs of her dad, Joe, and her boyfriend, Zac. The shapely 5’2” brunette, 28, was involved in theater, cheerleading and choir in high school.
Abigail, in the fifth, sixth and seventh photographs, worked as a restaurant hostess and started out in the adult-entertainment industry as a web-cam girl. She directed her first hardcore film in 2015. Never judge a book by its cover because with her all-natural looks of the girl next door, you’d never guess that she was a XXX actress in demand by no less than 12 movie companies.
She sat down with Dominic from The Emm Report to answer my questions for an insight into the adult world:
Your journey has gone from a choir to onscreen XXX starlet and now a director. And you’ve already been an AVN winner?
I’ve been an independent person pretty much my entire life. I think that’s one reason I eventually ended up in the adult-entertainment industry. My journey here wasn’t an overnight process by any means. I was born in Columbia, Maryland. Looking back now, growing up in a middle-class neighborhood I think in a strange way prepared me for being able to thrive in this industry.
Most people have this perception that adult entertainers are all wealthy and live these wild and crazy lives. The reality is we have a lot in common with middle-class workers. In this industry, work is scarce, we are underpaid, our days are very long, there is no such thing as overtime, and there are no royalties for most of the productions.
My parents worked very hard, long hours to provide for us. Anything we had was from their desire to give us the opportunity to have more choices than they had. By the time I went out on my own, I understood what it took to succeed in whatever I decided to do in my life.
I was in Oregon where I began web-camming and modeling. I was always working multiple jobs, doing research on the adult industry and constantly preparing for entering this industry. That drive to succeed comes from watching my father day in and day out come home late, working weekends and understanding that this is what it took to succeed.
Being a cheerleader, doing theater and participating in choir also prepared me for dealing with the pressures of being in the public eye. Cheerleading taught me discipline, learning routines taught me structure, and wearing my outfit taught me the importance of staying in shape. High school can be brutal on a girl’s self-confidence.
Theater, in a strange way, is similar to being an adult entertainer. You step onstage and present yourself to the world. The biggest difference is you are literally exposing all of yourself in adult. Both as I would learn later require a very thick skin to thrive.
Directing to me is an extension of everything else I do in my career. From performing on camera, I know what that part of the job requires. From social media and making personal appearances, I get feedback from what my fans as to what they want. For me it can become a balancing act of sorts.
What would I like to see versus what do I think would sell. I’ve also always made a conscious effort to try and space out the types of scenes I would do on camera. That’s helped me with the longevity of my career.
How do you prepare for AVN?
Getting ready for AVN is definitely a process. With each show, I try and not so much top the previous show, but I have certain expectations I have for myself and I think my fans expect from me. I understand that fans arrive from all over the world for this show. We’ve spent the year communicating through various social media platforms.
Unless I was in their town on a feature dance tour or a personal appearance, this is their time to meet me. Nothing beats meeting someone face-to-face, and the best part of my job is putting a smile on their face. It’s important to me to respect that, so I always want to bring my A game mentally and emotionally.
Fitness is my No. 1 priority, so hitting the gym every day and being consistent on my diet is crucial, especially in the days and weeks leading up to AEE. This isn’t much different than my everyday life. I just tweak it a little to look my best.
That means amping up my normal routine, which includes tanning, facial, nail appointment, teeth whitening and so forth. For my daily appearances and the red carpet, I have a specific designer that I usually get my dresses from, and I only go to one specific woman to alter them.
What do you want to achieve this year at AVN?
This will sound like a cliche, but it’s the truth. The most important reason for coming to Las Vegas is to meet my fans. They keep me booked on the feature dance circuit, and thanks to social media we have a pretty solid relationship, a level of respect. Their support helps me stay relevant and popular. Without that, I would not be getting the work I do. I am most grateful for them.
How do you describe AVN and your time in Las Vegas?
AVN is total madness! I learned years ago to not try and plan to do much outside my signing schedule. My schedule really is wake up, get into hair and makeup, go sign all day, do interviews/photos, back in makeup, then dinners, parties, etc. Repeat for four days. There is little time for much else, but I am in Las Vegas during the year to shoot films and dance at Sapphire.