I met porn actors Michael Vegas, Logan Pierce (ha!) and Ryan Driller (ha ha!) at the AVN booth at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas last week. Michael Vegas has been doing adult films for eight years. That’s 304 films, including How I Fucked Your Mother, Big Wet Butts, and family favorite The Voyeur.
Logan Pierce has been doing porn for six years (172 films, including Teacher Fucks Teens). Ryan Driller has been performing in XXX for 10 years, racking up 230 film credits for his work in such critically-acclaimed hits as Cinderella’s Hot Night.
If you don’t recognize their names or faces, it’s because male porn stars rarely show their faces on camera. Ryan Driller said that out of the last 20 XXX scenes he’s shot, his face has appeared in only five of them.
But Ryan Driller says that’s an advantage. Male adult stars keep their freedom because they don’t get recognized everywhere they go. And Logan Pierce says anonymity gives male porn stars longevity that most female porn stars don’t have.
Logan Pierce is also a writer. He recently published his first novel, Between the Sheets: Rise of a Working Stiff, which is about the porn industry. I’m going to do a separate review of it, but so far it’s a good read. Logan is a graduate of Temple University with a major in film. He got into porn right out of college.
All three guys agree that porn is an enjoyable occupation for a guy and a great way to make money. They have no intention of getting out of it soon.
I asked all of them how a guy today who wanted to become a porn star should go about breaking into the business.
Michael Vegas—From Fire Academy to Best Comedic Actor
What were you doing before porn?
I went to the Fire Academy and finally scored a job with the Orange County Fire Department. Then I crashed my motorcycle, and that required a lifestyle change. So I went to nursing school. Meanwhile, I got married and divorced twice.
I started making adult films and realized I don’t have to have a job. I can make movies and I only have to show up.
If a guy wants to become a porn star and he has no connections and knows very little about the industry, how would you advise him to go about realizing his dream?
Get an agent. Or, start shooting your own stuff with someone you know that you can get to appear on camera with you. There are clip stores that’ll put up your porn if you start producing your own stuff.
If you’re trying to get into mainstream porn, then be a star. Be charming. Learn how to make friends and get to places you want to be. Your success will depend on your wit and character and however you present yourself. If you did really well in high school, this is thirteenth grade.
So, how did you personally get into porn?
I was trying to heal from a traumatic injury and a failed relationship—things like that—and I scoped out who the agents were in porn. I started calling them up and learned what their screening process is and I figured out the names of the people who worked there. I started calling them up and asking for them by name and I told them I had an appointment to meet with them. Finally, one of them met with me and they decided I could be the new male talent. You really have to get an agent.
Stormy Daniels had an effect on my early career. She got me shooting with Wicked. I do well in speaking roles. My acting’s on point, apparently. I won an award for Best Comedic Actor. They like to put me in films where I get to do more than just have sex on camera.
Did you see Boogie Nights?
Where do think your life will go after porn?
I never put much thought to it. I’ve always been able to achieve what I need when I need it. Because I’ve always been able to put my thoughts to what I want and make it a reality.
Ryan Driller—The Shy Guy Who Answered an Ad
What were you doing before porn?
Everything. Cell phone salesman, bartender, camp counselor, boat captain, promotions coordinator for a radio station. I kept trying college but I didn’t know if I wanted to be a psychologist, psychiatrist, veterinarian, biologist, teacher, or publicist. I went to the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, City University of Denver, Metro College of Denver, a couple community colleges. I did a lot of freshman years.
How did you get into porn?
I sought it out. I looked for it. Ten years ago I retired as a boat captain and decided to enjoy life, scout out everything. Then I got a job on Fuck Team Five for Bang Brothers. Three girls and I in a limo, driving around the Valley. They pick me up on the street to take advantage of me. Life was rough.
Did you like it right away?
I knew I always liked it. But I didn’t really know if I could compete. I’m a shy guy. I’m quiet. I didn’t know if I’d actually be able to perform or if producers and directors would like me and want me to come back. But they did. I kept telling myself I’d get a second job that I could fall back on. But I just haven’t had time.
So, I’ll keep going with it if they keep calling me.
How did you make your first connection in porn?
I answered an ad on Craigslist. There have been a lot of changes in the industry since I got in. When I got started, they had to talk to the girls and talk them into coming in and shooting scenes and performing. It was a bigger taboo then.
At the same time, you had Jenna Jameson and Jesse Jane and big name porn performers doing mainstream work. It was becoming okay and less taboo. It was becoming an aspiration.
What kind of advice do you give guys who are trying to get into porn films?
It’s kind of like the nuclear codes—the combination changes every single day. I got in through Craigslist, but Craigslist took down their adult gigs ads and now they really screen them.
Don’t ask a male actor who’s already in porn films to help you get in. Nobody’s going to listen to us. Don’t ask the girls because they don’t have any more to say about it than we do and they can’t get you in. Don’t send dick pics to anyone because nobody cares what your dick looks like. There are thousands of guys walking into agencies and it’s not easy to find someone who’s willing to take a chance on a new guy who may or may not be able to perform on camera. The reality is you really have to be in the right place at the right time and be willing to do nothing for three years.
Logan Pierce—The Writer with a Unique Perspective
How did you get into porn, Logan?
I emailed a lot of people. In 2012, I sent out a bunch of emails to performers and agencies after doing research on the fact that performers are represented by agencies. Most of my emails went unanswered. They probably get a hundred emails a day, but one actually got back to me and said “We like your look. If you’re coming to L.A., we can find you work. If it happens to go well, then we can find you more.”
So I did that and one gig turned into two and two turned into four. The next thing I know I’m working full time and pretty soon I had a year in the business. Time just melted. The work picked up and I’ve kind of just been riding a wave. I’ve been able to carve a little niche for myself and hold onto it and do the job to the best of my ability.
You’re also a writer.
Yes, I wrote a couple screenplays and shot a few short films. I always wrote short stories as a kid but it wasn’t until getting into porn that I started journaling. Through the journal entries, I realized that I have a unique perspective on a business that a lot of people don’t know much about. The public perception of porn has always been vastly different from the reality of it. So I took it upon myself to articulate the realities of porn, to humanize it, to show people that we’re not all damaged. We’re not doing this against our will. It isn’t the free-for-all that some people assume it to be.
It’s a job, like any other job. You have to be professional. You have to be respectful. You have to show up on time and you have to do the job well, with integrity. Alexander Pope said, “Act well your part, there all the honor lies.” I try to take that to heart, no matter what I’m doing, whether it be porn or writing. I just want to make sure I’m doing it to the best of my ability.
I’m proud of what I do and I think that shows in my work. It’s gotten me more work, I will say that.
Where do you see your life going after porn?
If I maintain my body, with a good clear mind, I can do this job theoretically forever, or at least until I’m an old man. But I wouldn’t want to take it that far. Right now, I’m riding a wave. I have no intention of leaving any time soon.
But with my book, I’m at least opening the door to other possibilities. I hope to continue writing until that grows and snowballs and supercedes my persona in porn. I have another book coming out that’s a book of poetry.
I just want to expand my portfolio, keep diversifying, keep growing and be the best me I can be.
[You may also be interested in So You Wanna Be a Port Star, Part 2.]
(All photos by Hew Burney.)