Industry News

The Bill Margold Experience by Jeremy Steele

OP/ED by Jeremy Steele

The Bill Margold Experience
(Read this with someone you hate)
(Not Starring Sasha Grey, but someone much more important… to himself, at least):
From P.A.W.’s website: “Our Mission:
Provide an umbrella of mental, physical, spiritual and emotional
support to any and all who seek our assistance…”
Late Winter/Early Spring, 1996:

I was still pretty new to the industry, learning the “who’s who”, and “what’s what”, when I asked my
agent, the one and only (at the time) Jim South, who the guy talking non-stop in the next room was. Jim informed me, in his courteous, Southern drawl, that he was   “Counseler to the stars, Mr. William Margold.”
Out of curiosity, some days later, I paid the man a visit.
In preparation, I made sure to pay careful consideration to the attire which I wore, in due respect to both his status in the industry, as  well as to his own formal dress code.
To his belly-bulged hawaiian shirt and unshaven face I wore an old AC/DC shirt.
Upon entering his foundation (the room upstairs, opposite corner of  World Modeling, my first impressions included a lot of little  stuffed teddy bears strewn about the one room office, and a pungeant, unpleasant smell which seemed to be embedded in the walls, and which made me want to grab one of those teddy bears quick, shove into my face  and breathe into it!
I caught Bill in mid-monologue and in fine form:
  “The best thing Savannah ever did was DIE!”
He said this most disturbed and disturbing statement to his virtually empty audience as if rehearsed. Yet as I listened I was completely fascinated by his strange words. It wasn’t what he said which struck me so much as the way he said it,  with such superfluous self-importance. It just seemed so self-evidently silly, actually… and almost amusing.
As he continued, I thought to myself, “Who WAS this porn diva, Adolph Hitler?”
“… It was her death which lead to the formation of P.A.W.  (protecting Adult Welfare”), he continued.
And as he still continued on and on, I wondered:
  “I wonder what she did that she would deserve to die. What about her  loved ones? Did they deserve to suffer, as well? What is wrong  with this guy?”
I thought my thoughts silently. Then, following his moving  speech I introduced myself as new cummer male performer, going by the name “Jeremy Steele”.
Quickly, he slinged a derisive remark my way. Mine is a  “terrible” name, he insited. First of all, “’Jeremy’ is not
a masculine name”, he claimed.
“WTF?”, I thought to myself. “That happens to be my real first name!”- a nice insult to both me and the mom who bore and named me…”
“…And Steele, that name is way too overused”, he concluded.
Let it be noted for the record that this opinion  preceeded the arrival or Sydnee or Lexington, as well as  a fat batch of other ‘Steeles’ which came and went (no pun intended) after I left the business for a year and a half duration (between early -mid 1997 and most of 1999).
Changing the subject, to one much more important, Bill went on to brag  about how he created and runs a “non-profit” counseling organization  for the industry.
“That’s great”, I sarcastically and remittently thought to myself.  “Now I have someone to talk to about the self-esteem  issues he’s just created for me. This guy must be a genius!” 
The fact that this guy liked to talk as much as a heroin addict likes  to shoot up was self-evident. Unfortunately, I was not quite having the  the same high listening as he was talking.
Still, I had to admit, it was, at times, in it’s own way, entertaining,  even mesmerizing, at times, in it’s absurdity and weightiness.
He asked me what I was doing in the porn industry. I told him I was fed up with all the bullshit of Hollywood and the shitty telemarkeing job I had (even though I was doing well enough at it).
He then informed me that there are ONLY THREE reasons to get into the porn industry; either: a. Money. b. Sex or c. Fame.
AND, there is ONLY ONE reason anyone should get into this porn and  that is reason c. : Fame.
I thought to myself “Wow. This guy is something…”.And as the moron babbled on more (you can’t expect to get a word in), I thought to myself:
“What if a person chooses to do porn for THEIR OWN reasons? Is ‘Fame’ REALLY a reason to do anything? Should not one perform or act
for the love of acting and cathartic self-expression, not just a narcissistic urge to be famous and contemptously act superior to others?
“Further, isn’t the search for ‘Fame’ in and of itself, potentially alienating and destructive? Haven’t Savannah and some others proven  that? How about doing porn as a rebellion against society? Or for the fuck of it, the fantasy or just the thrill and the experience of it?
“Are we not, more or less, all whores anyway,  within a slave society, and if so, what’s the shame with a little sex on camera? Or am I fooling myself?”
Even in my, at times, crazy mind, it became quickly evident, that as far as Bill Margold was concerned, there was ONLY ONE correct point of view: HIS. End of story. This hardly seemed at all to me, however, to be the kind of mindset needed of a sympathetic, sensitive and  supportive counselor for whores in need.
I quickly began to take pretty much The Bill Margold Experience in  reverse proportion to how ultra-seriously he took it himself. All the
while, however, I was always civil and respectful to him as the edler  statesman he is, in spite of his arrogance and constant necessary,  quick-quip put-downs.
Overall, I simply took him as a questionably informative, occassionally entertaining joke,  occassionally interesting, even as he is still always full of himself.
Bill Margold likes to address us “porn stars” as his “children”. I take issue with this. Although he may talk to us like we’re children, we are NOT
children (well some of us,at least). And we certainly are not HIS children. He’s not my dad, and for that I’m glad.  In fact, if I was so unfortunate to have been his child  I’m sure I would’ve run away from his house/foundation a long time ago.
He also refers to the industry as the “Family of X”. If ours is a  “family”, you can say it’s quite incestuous as well as dysfunctional, at times, to say the least.  There’s also a lot of family members coming, going and disappearing, so theoretically, Bill ought to be  quite busy.
And certainly, a good family will always help it’s own, and some  good counseling could never hurt.  Not around here, I’d say. And thus, this is where Bill Margold and P.A.W. comes in, right?
One day, I (too soon, actually) got to put Bill’s role as “Papa Bear” (as he refers to himself) of the “Family of X” to the test…
Several months into the business, I was going through some personal,  emotional issues: I had met a nice non-industry girl who I ended up
telling, in utter brutal honesty, that I was a porn performer/actor/model/star.
Almost as soon as I told her this stunning information she disconnected her phone number (the same night, even), and I never saw or heard from
her again!
So, as you might imagine, I was feeling a bit down, questioning who I  was, including what the hell I was doing in pornoland; wondering if I
should keep it “up”; if I should be keeping certain things to myself;  wondering if it was possible to have a “normal” relationship, or it I
even should, while being a professional and legalized “whore” (as Annie Sprinkle put it), etc.
But as I expressed these issues to Bill I would get no answers;not even an attempt or a consolation for my woes.
Instead, and to my surprise, after I told him my problems he proceeded to talk entirely about himself, including his claim that his penis was large!
Now, what this had to do with my problems and how these claims of his could help me I had absolutely no idea. But one thing I knew for sure
was that would be the first and last time I would ever call the P.A.W.Hotline!
End of Part 1.

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