the best and worst part about this business is what happens when someone is successful. whereas you would expect most people to be happy for you. but instead in this business the more popular/successful you are, the more people backbite and snipe at your heels. you get used to it, but its still strange.
not to be a complete derek apologist, but the man singlehandedly changed the landscape of female and male performers. he pushed the lazy agents out of the business (jim south). he forced people to pay higher rates for performers and made them more money than before. when faced with challenges from new agencies potentially stealing his girls (exotic star, gold star, clear talent, etc.) he went from repping 90 girls to 120! the man simply outworks people. if joel lawrence, lisa ann, or september dawn were offered the chance to represent savannah gold they would jump on it in a second.
is he the nicest guy out there? no. is he sensitive and caring about the problems that sometime arise causing performers to miss shoots? no. is he flexible on his policies and procedures? no. but does he make you more money than anyone else and take care of you in a business sense? definitely yes.
Firstly, I’m pretty sure Natalie Heck/Savannah Gold is not a prior US Citizen (unlike, say, Renee Richards, who has an American father and maintains dual citizenship). Secondly, and more importantly, is the fact that there are a number of parties back in the UK that would like to catch up with Ms. Heck. As I understand it, she violated her exclusive contract with Bluebird, and there is legal action pending (I believe this may also have precipitated her name change…she had just won BGAFD’s ‘Performer of the Year’ award as Natalie Heck, so why ditch the momentum and name recognition she had already built?). I have also had a number of sources confirm to me that she allegedly attacked fellow UK porn starlet Antonia Stokes with a bottle, cutting her head open. I believe there are also criminal charges stemming from this incident. So you can see why it would make sense for her to go to America and stay there as long as possible, and if she can get US Citizenship (by hook or crook), then all the better.
Getting on to Derek/LADirect…I have no love for the man, (in fact, quite the opposite, as he is a Spurs fan ), but the simple fact of the matter is put up or shut up, bitches. His competitors need to look at their own agencies and see what they can do better. Maybe he is as much of an arsehole as people say, but that doesn’t stop people booking through him. I think, as Christian points out, it’s all about the way he does his business, because I don’t think LA Direct’s current roster is much to write home about (90% of the standout girls are already under contract of some sort), and a producer could quite easily get by just booking talent from the myriad other agencies out there…but the overwhelming fact is that by and large they don’t. Frankly, the UK ‘industry’ could do with a Derek Hay-type over here…
Derek Hayes says: “She is a former Bluebird contract girl, though out of contract now, but she is here with their blessing in any case.”
I have a number of problems with this post. First of all, the agent doesn’t go to jail for 2257 violations. The producer does. Second, no one knows what the requirements are or whether they were complied with. I don’t know immigration law, but I immagine that if you ask for a work visa for modeling they don’t ask if you will be sucking cock. Adult entertainment is. A legal business. Denying a work visa to an adult performer raises first amendment questions. But the big problem I have is suggesting that people in the industry be turned in. This is the second time this poster has accused someone of breaking the law with no proof.
pre-911 when i was in college i spent a summer as a paralegal at my friend’s dad’s immigration firm and i’m familiar enough with the ways to get a non-resident employment authorization to call bullshit. and this is based on pre-9/11 procedure. first-the ins is slow. second-there are really only a few foolproof ways to get one of the visas that allows you to work more than a handful of months and to get one you want to be one of the following OR their spouse of child:
-an employer saying you’re going to be working for them for the entire duration and they couldn’t find an american with the skills to do your job.
-to be enrolled as a post-secondary student with proof of it.
-you’re internationally a person of note in the sciences, academia, entertainment or athletics. we want you in america if you’ve got a nobel or you’re david beckham. -you’re a religious worker
-you’re a refugee from a recognized-area -you’re a longshoreman or certain kind of agricultural-worker. the other thing is the PREVAILING WAGE-the INS doesn’t want people hiring non-residents because they can pay them half of what they could find an american to do. so you need to figure out what the job title of the applicant is and make sure the salary is within x-percent of the wage-data for it. is there wage-data for pornstars?
listen, i’m sure there IS a way to get a visa for a pornstar. it wouldn’t be cheap though and it’d require a rather burdensome amount of work collecting the stuff to even apply. and the INS moved SLOW. we’d send an H1B to their notheast office in VT overnight then forget about it for over a month before they’d even raise questions about it.