NL-I gave Tee crap about putting out a messed up press release (http://www.lukeisback.com/?p=17623) and he took it like a man, said he would do better and had a sense of humor about it. I like that! So we decided to do an interview. I asked him the easy questions first, than the ones that everyone wants to know about Tori Black. I actually didn’t think he would answer them, but he did! Tee seems like a pretty cool guy. And he was really hot in GhostbustersXXX… just sayin’
Tee- Pls answer the ones you want too. TYVM! xo, cindi
What made you decide to get into the talent mgmnt biz?:
To be honest I had been doing this already informally for some time. Girls have read about the other businesses that I have owned or managed and contacted me to give them advise on everything from how to prepare for a shoot to what percentage they should be charging for endorsement deals. My parents always said you should find something you’re good at and enjoy and then find a way to get paid from it. I’m a people person, and I’m good at making connections, I just didn’t know if I wanted to deal with the headaches that come along with running a management company. From flaky girls to shady companies there is a lot of behind the scenes work that you have to deal with. The balance of keeping both sides happy is challenging. I also wanted to go into the right partnership. Several people inside and outside the industry have asked me to help them start or join their companies. I started at Ideal as a consultant for the first month, just giving them advise on what talent they should sign, what partnerships they should make etc…Corey Carnes my partner in the company isn’t new to the industry, he has grown up around it, gone to school with some industry veterans and is an all around good business man. Having him as a business partner was the deciding factor in moving forward with the partnership.
What makes your agency different than the other agencies already doing well in LA?
I have been talent in the industry and have seen all the horror stories first hand. Agents that cash girls checks for them, agents that don’t tell them enough information about the shot before the scene, agents that charge more then 20% then over charge for travel, living, driving , fees even a food storage fee, it amazes me. I have even heard when scenes are slow some agents start pursuing a girl to do more or cheaper stuff or escort. I don’t want to run that type of Management Company. I sit down with the girls and have an open and honest conversation with the them, What do you want to do and how do you want to do it, Are you trying to be the next big name or are you just trying to pay for rent and buy a car? It is a partnership, my job is to make sure you are working for a good company for the right rate doing something you feel comfortable doing, your job is to come on time, keep healthy , have a good attitude and perform. You would think that would be an easy partnership.
If you look at most of the agencies that are in the business now, many of them started 6 years ago and use the same business model that doesn’t work today. The Adult Film industry , The Music Industry and the Video Game Industry are the only entertainment fields that are in constant change because consumer interest and changing technology. For example….6 years ago DVD was king, the economy was still strong there where 50 or so companies producing content. So lets say a girl wants to do everything but the agent says well lets start you out doing GG. Back then there where 10 companies that only shot GG, so an agent would take a girl to those companies, then she could start doing BJ then BG ect..they would slowly build a girls name and career. Well fast forward to today those companies don’t exist. The agent/manager and the talent have to work together to increase awareness and make the most money together. The days of just having a website with 30 girls on it and just waiting for the phone to ring or emails to come in are over.
There are some good managers and there are some good agents but I believe Ideal has the perfect balance, we understand the needs of both talent and production companies, we have the contacts and relationships inside and outside the adult industry to keep our talent working and safe and we don’t screw talent over with their money nor companies with their needs.
Are you licensed?
Once again Ideal Image Management is a MANAGEMENT COMPANY and by CA law we don’t have to be licensed and bonded. But just to settle ease with talent and other companies we are applying for it now and will be in the weeks to come. Other agencies have used that as a scare tactic to convince girls not to sign with us. “ Those guys aren’t licensed and bonded so they are going to be in trouble!” Which is inaccurate.
We aren’t doing anything illegal and we aren’t going to! What other agencies and managers don’t relies is that we have a legal team working with us that has helped us deal with this and has also to assisted in copywrite , trade mark and even helped deal with my partners in the FBI during the porn wiki leaks issue.
Who are some of the talent that has signed with you?
Within the last few weeks 9 girls from other agencies have called text or emailed me asking what they need to do to come on board. Neither Corey or my self are trying to pick apart other agencies but if your doing your talent wrong they are going to look somewhere else for help. All of the girls on our site have had some call/email interest for confirmed work within the last 2 weeks. I am happy to see things are going well for the talent we represent. We recently signed Khole Kush this fresh face 19 year old stands 5’0 and 110lbs but performs like a champ she even took on Mandingo last week ( don’t ask me how! Lol) Tessa Lane is a beautiful fresh faced brunette from NY who is definitely a rising star, her amazing personality, natural 36DD, has made her in high demand with companies such as Brazzers, Naughty America, and Reality Kings. We have amazing talent and it increases every week.
Why should someone in porn come to your agency?
Ideal Image Management is a good company for talent. Corey and I are real stand up business guys, we don’t play games, we don’t play favorites, we know the expectations of talent and companies. We have the resources and connections to get people working in and outside the adult industry. We don’t over promise nor under deliver. We are approachable, honest and can give the advice needed to have a good career in this business.
Why did you and Tori Black break up?
So this is the part of the interview that turns personal…lol I’ve never really admitted in the press that Tori and I where in a relationship not because I was ashamed or wanted to deny her I’m just a private person when it comes to my relationships. I like to protect them. I’ve given a lot of thought on how to address my pass relationship in the press so what I can say is this…relationship are hard work. She and I were together for 3 years and in those years she went from being another girl on the agency site to 2 time performer of the year. The demands of our work and our personal goals made it difficult to sustain our relationship.
I know there are rumors out there that I am violent ,a suitcase pimp and rode Tori’s skirttails to success…To set the record straight, none of that is true.. I don’t smoke , drink or rely on other people for my success. I have a film degree from Columbia Chicago ,worked on some main stream films and was successful in this business for 6 years before I met Tori. When we did meet there was a connection and chemistry. I saw someone that needed my help in every aspect. I had the resources, knowledge, tools and most importantly I cared about her and wanted to see her succeed… I still do.
How did you feel about her publicly going against the movie that she starred in for you? (http://www.lukeisback.com/?p=15912)
Honestly I was surprised…and it saddened me. To give a little back story a few years back when I wrote the script for the film the industry was burning me out. I wanted to get back into mainstream production which is what I enjoyed and I was becoming more committed in my relationship. I felt like my performing was becoming a barrier to our relationship moving forward so I put effort into working at a films sales company and learning what I needed to re-launch my mainstream company. I wrote the film , picked 2 co-producers and started casting. If you watch my movie ‘ Half Moon” you will see its not a typical horror movie its an actors film – you have to be able to act and Tori is a good actress she auditioned and won the part not because we were dating but because she gave the best performance ( one of the girls that auditioned is now on a major tv series) My co-producers were against giving the lead role to a ‘Pornstar ’ but I moved forward. When producers backed out and miss managed the production funds, the investment that she made to help complete the film was very small in regards to what she was making in porn and compared to the total budget. The film was independently made but got international distribution and national buzz. Unfortunately our relationship was on the decline..I believe that she was upset with me about things in the relationship and she was receiving bad advise from new people in her circle.
When you are hot or have a buzz in the industry you have a very small window to move on those opportunities. When she turned her back on the film it was unsettling ..I’m sure she knew how important the movie was to me and my new company Sunrayz International Films. But career wise it did more damage to her which is really sad. My publicist at Onyx PR received countless invitations and request for auditions that where huge major deals that her and her team just ignored. They where really positioning her to be bigger then Sasha Grey. It’s sad to watch a movie or tv show and say to myself damn they offered that role to Tori and she either wasn’t told about it or ignored it because of what happened with Half Moon.
Are you two friendly now?
I still consider her a friend. I have no ill feelings towards her. I wish her all the best in her life. My movie Half Moon is still doing well, my production company will be shooting in the fall our next movie. I’ve revamped T-Real Ent. on the adult side and will be doing releases through AEBN, and now Im co-partner at Ideal Image Management.
Thank you for the interview…