OP/ED By Cindi Loftus
Kiara Mia’s Dimples are just one of many gorgeous things about her! Photo Courtesy of XXXFastPass.com
My most recent interview went perfectly. Thanks to the help of my long time friend Nina Mercedez. Working with Mercedez on anything is such a pleasure… And the interview I did? That was with someone I had never talked to before, but hope to talk to many times again, the charming Kiara Mia. ( KiaraMia.com )
So I just call up a pornstar, ask her some random questions about sex, write it up and Wah-LAH, an interview! Well not quite. Actually there is A LOT more too it than that. When I got to thinking about it, I realized that if you aren’t a person who does interviews for a living, you probably don’t have any idea what it entails. So I thought I’d tell you….
I have done interviews & stories for adult magazines like Genesis, Penthouse, X-biz, AVN and more. But mostly I do tons of interviews for Xcitement Mag (xcitement.com) and have done them now for almost twenty years. For Xcitement I do the main 4-6 page interview/story for each of their two magazines per month. The girl who I interview, also gets the cover of the magazine. The mags come out in print and online and are read by about 100,000 people a month. So it is kind of a big deal. After this many years, if I include also all the email interviews and shorter interviews for stories, my total is over a thousand interviews. So I would say that by now I am an expert on interviewing…
And I don’t take the job lightly. Say a girl wants to be the featured interview and have a cover, First I have to get a set of the right type and size and style of pictures and get them approved by the Publisher. Than I set up the phone interview. Just getting the pics and setting up the interview at times takes a committee. I can deal with photographers, PR people, agents, managers, boyfriends, webmasters, movie companies. Depending on circumstances, getting pics & scheduling an interview can take two days if I’m very lucky ( but this doesn’t usually happen), to an average time of a week, or a long time of a month or two. I always have several set-ups going at the same time and have to keep track of what I have from whom.
Once the preliminaries are done, I confirm my interview and then I spend about three hours researching my subject. Reading her blog, her twitter, press releases about her, her movie reviews and checking out her paysite(s) if I can obtain a password. With all this information I start writing questions, usually between 25-35. I also go on twitter and ask her fans what I should ask her. This gives me fresh input and ideas. Often if I don’t know a lot about a porn star, her fans tip me off to other projects she’s involved in that I should also research. By the time the questions are written, I’ve spent five hours.
Before the interview I set up my recording equipment and test it. I have a special landline phone and a commercial recording device that hooks right into the phone. So I’m actually recording what we are saying right through the phone. Sometimes my recording is clearer than our actual conversation was! I have only had a problem recoding an interview once, and it was my faullt, not the machine’s. I forgot to hit record! Luckily it was for a short interview about a movie where I was speaking with 8 stars and the director. I only screwed up the recording on the director. So I remembered enough to quote her without the machine.
At the appointed time, I make the call. 90% of the time the interview goes off without a hitch. I ask my questions we have a nice chat and 30 minutes later we are done. With many interviews that become conversations, we end up talking about things that are more for "between friends" than for the actual interview. in that case, we end up on the phone for an hour, but the private stuff we talk about remains private and doesn’t go in the interview.
Then there is the other 10% of the time when there is a problem… Sometimes the girl flakes on me, by not answering her phone at the scheduled time. That’s when I get pissed off. An email or tweet canceling is all it takes and we can reschedule, but having me schedule my whole day (or night) and that of my family ( I do work at home after all) around being available and having the house quiet at a certain time, and than having the interviewee just decide she doesn’t feel like answering her phone and smoke comes out of my ears! That 10% also contains misunderstandings and emergencies and reschedules which I can totally understand.
I have a really good track record myself of ALMOST perfect when it comes to doing my job, as scheduled on time. I can tho, remember two different times when the fuck up was my fault. Once, I was out of town on vacation (yes i always bring my phone, recording stuff and laptop, and I always work, even on vacation), and the girl wanted to call me to do the interview rather than the other way around. I gave her agent the wrong phone number to have her call. So that was totally my fault. We did however get it together a couple hours later that day. The other time the blame was on me, even thought technically it was Mother Nature’s fault, was when the power went out during a bad storm where I was staying. Even though the plug-in land line phone I brought worked, my recorder wouldn’t without electricity. So I had to cancel the interview and reschedule.
As far as memorable interviews, my worst dealings were with Chasey Lane, oye vay was she a head case to deal with. After many attempts to get her on the phone, she finally was ready to talk. She gave me one word answers to my questions and if I asked her anything remotely about sex (which is a important part of the story!) she’d say I can’t answer that my little boy is right here.
I also remember a fun interview with Cassidy that was going really well and got cut off. I couldn’t get her back and she didn’t call me. We did get back in touch a couple days later though and she was in a hotel room with Raylene. Cassidey was telling me how wasted she was and she was smoking a bong while we finished the interview.
There are also many times when stars come through way over and above what anyone could expect of them. I remember there being a mix up and although the cover and layout were ready to go, I still had not gotten to interview Savanna Samson. And now she was out of the country on vacation in some tropical island. I got her on email and told her the problem. Being the professional she is, she scheduled the interview during her vacation and I called her in Aruba, I think it was, and she was just as kind with her time as she always is, even though I was interrupting her family in the middle of their vacation.
A similar situation happened recently with Jynx Maze. She took a last minute trip to Europe the week I needed to interview her. But Derek from LA Direct came through (as he always does) and so did Jynx. Not only did we do the interview, but Jynx also told me all about her sightseeing on her vacation!
So after the interview is done, I spend about 5 or 6 hours listening to the recording of it and typing it up. Then another hour or two putting it in the correct format and editing, spell-checking, writing the intro, checking the links, etc… When it’s ready, I send it off to the art department at Xcitement. They design the layout, drop in the text and if time permits, send it back to me along with the cover to proof-read. I make my final corrections and send it back. A week later it’s out as a magazine in the clubs, stores and adult businesses in South Florida, and up on line at Xcitement.com. It also comes out in Georgia, as an Atlanta Xcitement edition a week of so later.
Overall, my interviewing job is a pretty interesting gig, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other job. Unless of course, Playboy is hiring, lol.
If you have any questions about this, or think I left anything out that you are interested in, please leave it/them in comments and I’ll do my best to answer.