Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tape (Part 1)

     Rocker Girls released to mixed reviews.  The consensus seemed to be that the sex was hot, but the music was frightening: I had chosen to go with using live hardcore punk, and not everyone was comfortable with that.  Adult Video News gave it four of five stars, a good showing which helped our sales.  In their words, "Inana Productions steps out on the edge by combining their usual sultry sex with live music video in this slice-of-life movie about a punk rock nightclub.  Tawny Smith stars as the club manager, with Becky Page playing her perpetually-horny barkeeper.  Ella Belle actually got a mohawk for her role as one of the club's regulars....  You may grit your teeth through the music, but Rocker Girls is fun, definitely worth the price of admission."

Tape (Part 2)

     On Tuesday I gave Donna a (clothed) screen test, to see how well she read scripts and if she paced herself correctly.  She passed with flying colors, so we moved on to a nude photo shoot, to get a gauge of her inhibitions, if any.  She was confident in front of the camera, smiled well, and wasn't shy with her body.  I got on the phone with the lab and got her listed on our blood test roster, sending her down that afternoon.  If she could hack a full shoot, she would become very valuable to Inana.

Tape (Part 3)

     I missed the serving of the search warrant by about ten minutes, according to Bekka.  Donner had caught a judge as he got out of bed, processed the paperwork, and headed straight over.

Tape (Part 4)

     Another day, another read-through of a new script.  Cast and crew gathered in the living room, cigarettes and sodas ready at hand.  Eddie was telling Rio and Elspeth why Jews make the best male porn stars.

Tape (Part 5)

     We spent the night at the Best Western in Encinitas.  Breakfast was bagels, coffee, and speed.  We hurried back to the mansion around 8:30, fearing what might have gone wrong in the night.  Squeak had stayed inside our penthouse instead of having his usual run of the mansion.  Paranoia was the rule of the day....

Tape (Part 6)

     I got back to the mansion and brought the food into the kitchen.  "Hooray, Christmas dinner!" exclaimed Eddie.
     "Huh?" said Jackie.
     Eddie explained while balancing a pair of chopsticks on his nose, "Chinese food is the traditional Christmas meal for American Jews.  The Chinese places are the only ones open that day, so that's what we eat."  I officially liked Eddie.  He was a clown and a ham, two things that worked well on the set of a porno movie.  He would be serious when he needed to be, too.  He was a welcome addition to my stable of male performers.  Him having a huge dick didn't hurt things, either.

Tape (Part 7)

     The address was in La Mesa.  We did a post-meal line of speed in the parking lot of the Seafarer, popped the Hickoids in the tape deck, and headed that direction.  I was stressed about this confrontation, to the point of carrying a second gun: a .380 revolver tucked in my boot.  It was a gift from the guy who'd shot me with it.

Tape (Part 8)

     Angel was none too happy with my report about how things had gone.  Ultimately, though, he understood our actions were dictated by others, and it wasn't just me being a loose cannon.  He invited me and Bekka up for dinner at the trattoria.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Stardom (Part 1)

     We were getting rich.  Bewitched, the sex-and-sorcery opus I'd produced, was breaking sales records both in the US and in Europe.  My capo Angel had given me a $10,000 bonus and a raise; I'd split the ten grand with my director Small Steve.  I'd also petitioned for, and received, bonuses for all who had worked on the project, including the performers.  With the way the video was selling, we could afford it.  Retailers couldn't keep it in stock, and our mail order business had shot through the roof.

Stardom (Part 2)

     One thing we'd never considered was fan mail.  We'd received it in the past, but only a few pieces at a time.  Now we were getting thirty letters a day, from new fans who wanted our performers to know just how awesome they were.  The tenor of the mail ranged from the grateful ("Thank you so much for making this movie") to the lewd, stuff that would have been rejected by the Penthouse Forum for being too over the top.  Picking up mail from our P.O. box was now a process, as there was always a note from the postmaster letting us know our box was full and we needed to go to the counter and pick up what didn't fit.

Stardom (Part 3)

     There had been about twenty-five picketers on Tuesday.  Wednesday there were twenty, and Thursday only saw fifteen.  They took the weekend off.  On Monday there were six, what appeared to be three retiree-aged couples.  They didn't even bother marching, simply standing on the sidewalk to one side of the driveway, talking and leaning on their signs.  The protest movement was petering out quickly.

Stardom (Part 4)

     The next morning, bright and early, everyone gathered at the Diver's Club down off Morena.  The owner was there to meet us and give me a key.
     "I'm probably crazy for agreeing to this," he said, "but you're making it worth my while.  Where's your cameras?"
     "No cameras today," said Small Steve.  "Today and tomorrow are devoted to blocking and read-through.  We film next Monday through Wednesday.  The bands play Monday and Tuesday.  Those are our crucial film days."

Stardom (Part 5)

     The shooting in the club was as stressful as I imagined, and came out great.

Stardom (Part 6)

     We went national.  First with ABC, then CBS.  NBC (based in New York) wrote it off as a statewide story and left it up to the affiliates.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Visits (Part 1)

     This time the scream awoke me at 4:30.  Even if the sound hadn't rousted me, Bekka's thrashing around would have.  It was the fourth time in ten days she'd had the nightmare.
     I did what I learned to do after the first night, which was to wrap my arms around her and call her name until she woke up.  When she came to she had terror in her eyes, something you never like to see on the face of a loved one.  She threw her arms around me and squeezed.  I could feel the tears running down my chest, but she didn't make a sound.  She refused to.  It was a sign of weakness to her, even in front of her husband.

Visits (Part 2)

     "Guess who I talked to today," Bekka greeted me as I walked through the door.
     "No clue," I said.
     "Ivanka," she told me.  "Her and her girlfriend are coming to San Diego on a vacation in a couple weeks.  Ivanka owns a car now.  We were a bad influence on her: she bought a 1967 Mercury Cougar."
     "Sweet.  Stock, or is it rodded?"
     "She didn't say.  I told her they could stay with us."

Visits (Part 3)

     The girls pulled into Angel and Angela's driveway in Bekka's Sport Fury, right on time.  Angela was in the driveway smoking a cigarette.  She smiled and came around the side of the Plymouth to get her hug while Ivanka and Ginny climbed out.  Introductions were made.

     "Angela, these are our friends Ivanka and Ginny.  They're down here from San Francisco on vacation."
     Ivanka shook hands first.  "I am in-indebted to Lenny and Bekka.  They rescue me from Santa Barbara, and Lenny save my life twice."
     "Remember us telling you about when Lenny got shot stopping a rape?" said Bekka.  "This is the girl."
     "And he also save us from the robber in the diner," said Ivanka.
     "Yeah, that too.  And this is Ginny."
     Ginny stepped forward and shook hands.  "Lenny hasn't saved my life yet, but it seems to be a trend.  Hopefully nothing will happen on our vacation."
     Angela laughed and said, "You never know.  Lenny and Bekka are people who things seem to happen to.  Bekka, is it all right if we use your car today?  There's five of us, and yours will be roomier than taking one of the Volvos."
     "No problem," said Bekka.  "We still need to pick up Chrissy?"
     "Yes.  Vinny got a new shipment in, and it's absolute rocket fuel, wonderful stuff.  Shall we?"
     Everyone piled back in the Plymouth and drove the six blocks to Vinny and Chrissy's house.  On the way over, Ginny asked Angela, "Are you carrying a gun?"
     "Why yes I am.  Why do you ask?"
     Ginny said, "I was just wondering.  I know Bekka is, and so does Lenny, and they said it's common around the people they know."
     Angela smiled.  "Darling, I'm carrying three of them right now.  I have one in my purse, one on my calf, and one on my waist.  Does this bother you?"
     "I'm trying to adjust to the idea," Ginny shrugged.  "I'm only used to seeing cops have them."
     "The police cannot be counted upon," said Angela.  "The woman we are going to pick up right now started wearing one fairly recently, after she was the victim of a kidnapping.  Things may have turned out differently if she had been wearing a pistol when it happened."  She paused.  "I can demonstrate my Beretta to you  when we arrive at Chrissy's house, if you wish."
     "Did Vinny get his range put in the basement at last?" Bekka asked.
     "Yes, and it's marvelous.  Three lanes, and well soundproofed.  Because of the size of the house it's limited to fifteen yards, but that's good for standard practice.  If we want to go for a longer distance we just have to go to the range down in Van Nuys.  They put in a coffee bar at that one, you know."
     "Too sweet.  Make a day of it."
     They arrived at Chrissy's and were greeted at the door by Vinny.  "Come on in, ladies!  Chrissy is still getting ready.  Care for a toot?"
     Angela said, "In a little bit.  Actually, I was wondering if we could use your range briefly?  These two girls are unfamiliar with guns, and I thought I would give a small demonstration."
     "Sure, sure, come on down.  You want to use your own iron, or would  you like to borrow my 92?"
     "That would be most kind, Vinny.  Your Beretta doesn't have the same kick as mine, even if it is heavier, and will help them get used to the feel."
     Vinny led them out to the garage and down a stairwell.  Sure enough, there were three lanes set up, complete with spools for the targets, a padded table for loading, and a few cases of ammunition sitting in the corner.  Vinny clipped a target up and ran it out to the opposite wall.
     "I figured we'd give them a try with my Colt, too," said Bekka.
     "A good idea," said Angela.
     Vinny said, "I've got plenty of practice ammo, so you're not having to use up your hollow-point.  Bekka, is your Colt a 9mm or a .38?"
     "It's a nine."
     "Perfect.  Swap out ammo before using yours."
     Ivanka and Ginny watched with fascination as Bekka thumbed the bullets out of the spare clip in her purse and reloaded it with the practice ammo.  Angela loaded an empty clip and put it in Vinny's Beretta 92.  She gestured to the two novices.
     "Rule one: always treat any gun like it's loaded.  Rule two: always keep the gun pointed downrange or at the floor.  Rule three: keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you're ready to fire.  Rule four: put in your hearing protection before firing.  There's a jar of ear plugs over there."
     Everyone put in ear plugs and Angela stepped up to the firing line with Vinny's Beretta.  Ivanka and Ginny followed, stopping on each side of her.  Angela shooed Ginny over to her left side, explaining, "Unless you want to get hit by hot shell casings, that's  a bad place to be."
     Angela fired five times, then drew in the target.  "Not bad," she said, "considering this is not a gun I'm used to.  It's heavier than mine, but doesn't kick as much.  So who's next?"
     Ivanka and Ginny looked at each other.  "I guess I'll try," said Ginny.  She took the gun from Angela, stepped up to the line, aimed....  And squeezed her eyes shut and turned her head as she pulled the trigger.  The shot went into the wall.
     "You'll, uh, you'll do better if you look at what you're doing," said Angela.
     "Fire wild like that on a public range and they'll throw you out," added Bekka.
     "Try again, and keep your head up and your eyes open," suggested Angela.
     Ginny raised the gun and did as she was instructed.  She hit the target this time.  "Three more shots," Angela said.
     Ginny pulled the trigger three more times, keeping the shots on the paper if nothing else.  Then it was Ivanka's turn.
     Ivanka took the gun from Ginny and stepped up to the line.  She assumed the same stance that Angela had used, sighted, and fired.  She got an eight.
     "Four more shots, darling," said Angela.  Ivanka blazed away and kept them all in the target area.  The target was drawn in and Ivanka smiled.
     "This is fun!" she exclaimed.  "Now I am not afraid of the pistol.  Ginny, when we get home we must get one of our own.  There must be a place to shoot somewhere near us."
     "I dunno," said Ginny.  "I'm still nervous."
     Bekka offered, "Here, try my Colt.  It's smaller and lighter, although it jerks a bit more.  You have to bring the tip down between shots until you're used to it.  Still, it's a fun one to shoot."
     With her nervous face on, Ginny took the Colt Defender and walked into position.  She got in a stance and fired, forcing herself to keep her eyes open and head up.  Again, she stayed on the paper and that was about all.  She handed off to Ivanka, saying, "I'm still nervous."
     Ivanka tossed her pony tail, sighted, and blew holes in the center of the target, shooting slowly but steadily.  Angela brought the target forward and said, "Girl, you have a gift for this!  Are you going to continue to shoot back home?"
     She smiled and said, "I hope to, this is fun.  But I am not a citizen yet, so I may not be able to purchase a gun of my own."
     "You're not a citizen," said Bekka, "but Ginny is.  Ginny does the purchase, and the two of you go out and shoot together.  Real simple."
     "Wait, I have to go buy a gun?" asked Ginny.  "I'm not comfortable being around them, much less firing them."
     Angela said, "We're trying to get you used to them.  Simply think of them as tools that are rather noisy to use, and that you hope to not need.   Here, let me show you my favorite...."
     She reached to her waist and pulled out her tiny Beretta.  "I like this one because it's a nine, you can hide it anywhere, and it has great accuracy."  She popped out the clip.  "Here, swap out ammo and try it.  Keep in mind it kicks a bit."
     With guidance, Ginny thumbed the hollow-point bullets out of the clip and fed in practice ammo.  She inserted the clip into the tiny gun and walked up to the line.  "This is lighter," she said.  She pulled the trigger once, hitting in the target area.  A few more shots and she was comfortable.  She squeezed off the last two rounds and smiled at everyone.
     "The best part of that piece is it has nearly the stopping power of a 92," said Angela.  "Go ahead, try another clip."
     "What do you mean, stopping power?" asked Ginny.
     "I mean it will put a person down if you need it to.  Obviously having quality ammunition makes a difference, but the construct of the gun is also key.  Here, put in this clip."
     "You are getting the feel for using a gun?" asked Ivanka.  "I knew you would."  She stepped into the next lane with Bekka's Colt and opened fire, again staying in the target area.
     Angela ran out a fresh target for Ginny and Ginny let loose.  This time she was able to keep within the target area.  She smiled nervously and said, "That's enough for now."  She handed the gun back to Angela, who reinserted her "real" ammunition and put the gun back on her waist.
     Vinny came back down the stairs, announcing, "Hey girls, I've got refreshments lined up on the coffee table when you're ready.  New shipment."
     They followed Vinny back upstairs and into the living room, where large lines of cocaine were sitting on the glass of the coffee table.  Vinny pulled a metal straw out of his pocket, held it up, and said, "Who's first?"
     "Allow our guests to try it first," said Angela.  "Is this the same as you dropped off with Angel a couple days ago?"
     "Sure is.  Here you go, honey," Vinny said, handing the straw to Ginny.
     "Jeez, I'm gonna need to get a running start to do that," Ginny said, kneeling on the floor.  She switched nostrils halfway through the line, then sat back with a beaming smile growing on her face.  "Wow.  I don't think I've ever had coke like that before.  Here you go," she said, handing the straw to Ivanka.
     Ivanka knelt down next to Ginny and said, "I have never done cocaine before.  How much of a surprise is it?"
     Angela laughed and said, "You will find it a pleasant surprise, darling."
     Ivanka did up her own line.  Her face conveyed surprise and interest.  She said, "Excuse me," then leaned over and kissed Ginny on the mouth.  Ginny responded.  Within seconds there were two young women lying on the floor of the living room making out, with only a brief pause for Ivanka to put the straw back up on the table.  Bekka commented to Vinny and Angela, "If you haven't guessed, they're a couple.  With me doing a girl/girl scene next week, I feel like I should be taking notes."
     Bekka and Angela had finished snorting their lines when Chrissy came into the room.  "I see our guests are here!" she cried.
     "They like your coke," commented Bekka.  She coaxed the two of them off the floor.  "You can do that in the car on our way to the restaurant."
     "You promise?" smiled Ginny.
     Introductions were made, and the subject of which restaurant to go to came up.  Vinny's bistro was decided upon, and after Chrissy did up her line, the five of them went out and got in the Fury, Angela taking the shotgun seat.
     Ginny said, "I've gotta ask.  How do you get a hold of coke like that?"
     "You buy in bulk," Chrissy replied.  "We have a commercial interest in it, so we're getting it pretty much straight off the boat."
     "So you guys really are in the mafia?"
     Angela giggled from the front seat.  "Our husbands are.  We simply benefit from the association.  Me and Chrissy's husbands move cocaine, so that is what we have around.  Due to his connections, Bekka's husband has access to high quality Ecstasy, a new venture for the family.  With a bit of perseverance, we will control all Ecstasy distribution in California within a couple years, as we do coke.  It is strictly business, and we have access to the raw product."
     "So Lenny really is a member of the mafia," said Ginny.
     "He's an associate, a soldier," said Chrissy.  "He saved my life some months back."
     "Lenny and Bekka said something about rescuing a woman from kidnappers.  That was you?"
     "That was me.  The kidnappers forced me to pose for bondage pictures and held me for ransom.  Bekka and Lenny figured out where I was being held and got me out.  I was drugged at the time, but they managed to get me in their car and drive away.  The kidnappers chased them, and Bekka killed the driver.  The family is in Bekka's debt for that: she helped save me, and she protected the life of an associate."
     Bekka muttered from behind the wheel, "I consider that debt to be paid.  We got ten grand and a week off out of the deal."
     "Nonetheless, you went above and beyond.  I've always meant to ask....  Did you really go without sleep for five days?"
     "Yeah.  We just never had time to rest."
     "You  were using Lenny's crank."
     "Some coke, too, but yeah, mostly speed.  It came in handy.  Getting you back was our responsibility, and there was no time to lose.  Don Ventimiglia had given us seventy-two hours to get you back or we would have been in deep trouble.  We had to keep moving, with little rest.  Heh, I guess we freaked out the don when we saw him after we got you back.  We must have looked like hell."
     Chrissy laughed.  "Yes, he told people you both looked like vampires when you showed up at his house!  All gaunt-faced and hollow-eyed."
     "No big surprise."
     Bekka pulled into the valet lane in front of Vinny's bistro and they piled out.  Chrissy was recognized by the maitre'd and they received immediate seating, well ahead of those already waiting.  After placing their drink orders, Ginny said, "So what's it like?"
     "What's what like, darling?" asked Angela.
     "Being connected to the mob."
     "It is comfortable, with moments of severe stress.  We all worry about our husbands, much more so than most any other wife.  It has its risks, which is why we are all armed.  I carry three guns.  Chrissy, you have your Ruger with you?"
     "Yes I do."
     Bekka said, "I've got my Colt Defender on my waist, plus the small Beretta you gave me in my  purse."
     Angela continued, "There you have it.  Six guns between the three of us.  All of us have been in dangerous situations, and consider carrying guns to be a necessity, not a luxury.  I am sorry the guns upset you, but they are necessary to how we live our lives.  The family has enemies, so we are always cautious."
     "Damn," said Ginny.
     "The positive side is that we lead lives of luxury.  I know Bekka and Lenny are both still working their regular jobs, but Lenny is still a low-level soldier, and they're going to build a house on the beach, so income is important to them.  That's why Bekka still performs.  Chrissy and I are both ex-performers, we quit at the insistence of our new husbands.  I don't know....  Hey Bekka, do you want to leave the business?"
     Bekka sipped her beer and said, "Not yet.  We need the money, I'm getting too successful, and I'm still having fun.  I'm looking forward to this newest feature."
     "Oh yeah.  The witch thing."
     Chrissy said, "I read the script Lenny faxed up.  How's it going?"
     Bekka replied, "Real smooth so far.  We're done with rehearsal and blocking, and we start shooting my speaking scenes on Tuesday."
     "Think it'll be another winner?"
     "Oh yeah.  As long as the special effects work out, this could be our best yet."
     Ivanka asked, "You need special effects for a porn video?"
     "In this one we do.  There's supposed to be a lot of witchcraft going on, so we need stuff like lightning bolts and fireballs going across the screen.  Get this, in my final fuck scene, there'll be electric arcs shooting off of me and the two guys!"
     "I'm amazed," said Ginny.  "I never knew people rehearsed porn."
     Bekka said, "See, the thing is that we try to make good porn.  If you want you can watch a couple of our earlier features, and you can see what we've accomplished so far.  'Bad Babysitter' was good drama, it had some suspense thrown in too."
     "Loan us the tapes, we'll watch them at home.  Any good girl-on-girl stuff?"
     "Well, I think they came out good...."
     "Do you enjoy doing those scenes?"
     Bekka shrugged.  "As much as I enjoy doing scenes with boys."
     Ginny pouted and asked, "You don't prefer one over the other?"
     "Performance is performance.  Look, you'll have to watch it being done, and you'll see."
     Chrissy threw in, "Performance is more than getting your clothes off and screwing the other person, or people.  You don't get very involved with it.  It's fun, but it's not fun the way people think it is."
     The waitress came over and took their orders.  After she left, Bekka said to Ginny, "You and Ivanka are going to do something which very few people ever get to, which is watch porn actually being made.  I'm assuming you want to watch my scene with Rio --- we're shooting the whole thing at once, which is rare for us --- but you can watch a straight scene, and I'll explain what's going on as they work.  It really is work, too.  You'll see when we shoot it, I need to look at the shoot schedule to see when me and Rio are working together."
     Ginny asked, "Is that the girl who was throwing you on the floor yesterday?  I want to see her naked."  This earned her a punch in the arm from Ivanka.
     "Don't worry," said Bekka, "you'll get to see us both naked.  When we get back tonight I'll check the shoot schedule so you guys aren't at the zoo or whatever that day."
     "I'm going to make the dudes I work with sick with jealousy when I tell them how I spent my vacation.  Most of 'em are single, so they're probably already familiar with your movies."
     Ivanka said, "Since Bekka and Lenny are giving us tapes, we should throw a viewing party some night.  It would make things more interesting."
     "I'll give you 'Bad Babysitter' and 'Wedding Party.'  Those are a couple of our best ones right now.  And we'll mail you up a copy of 'Bewitched' when it's completed.  You'll have it before it's released.  Ha, that's the nice thing about being married to the producer: promo copies are free."
     "So what shall we do after lunch?" asked Angela.  "Besides more coke, that is."
     "Why don't we go shopping?" suggested Bekka.
     Ivanka said, "I wish to take Ginny shopping.  She only owns jeans, t-shirts, and bicycle shorts.  I cannot take her to the Top Of The Mark dressed like that."
     Ginny looked annoyed.  "You want me to dress up all girly-girl.  That's not me, and you know it."
     "You need a few nice clothes, for when we go someplace nice."
     Bekka said, "Why don't we go down Melrose Avenue instead of up on Rodeo?  I'm sure we can find you  a couple outfits that you'll like.  Later we can take you into Beverly Hills and get you a makeover.  How does that sound, Ginny?"
     "You're kidding me."
     "Only partially."


Visits (Part 4)

     "I still can't believe I own makeup now," said Ginny over breakfast on Thursday.  "Good stuff, too, judging by the price of the crap."
     "It is sports makeup," said Ivanka.  "You can wear it at work if you wish."
     I asked, "So, you two ready to see porn being made?  We're shooting Bekka and Rio's scene today."
     Ginny said, "So how come there's only one scene with two girls in it in this movie?  Why don't you make stuff us dykes can enjoy?"

Visits (Part 5)

     The following Wednesday found me in my office with Bekka.  We were trying to figure out a discrepancy of eight hundred tapes that one of our distributors hadn't paid for.  I'd already spent the morning yelling at our warehouse manager, and was gearing up to spend some time yelling at the distributor's warehouse.  Eight hundred tapes of hardcore porn seemed to have disappeared, and I wasn't happy with the answers I was getting from people.
     The doorbell rang.  This puzzled me, as damn few people bothered with it.  Anybody who knew the place would walk straight in and head for my office.  Ivanka and Ginny were up in Anaheim, visiting Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm for a couple days.  We didn't expect them back until the next day, and they knew they could just walk right in.  Curious, I went to the door.

Visits (Part 6)

     "So did you guys have fun?" I asked as Ivanka and Ginny came into the office.  I'd found my "missing" eight hundred tapes and was celebrating with a sandwich.
     Ivanka said, "Disneyland was nice, but they became angry at us for holding hands while waiting in line.  I do not wish to return, unless it is with my family."
     "Bunch of damn Nazis," swore Ginny.  "Knott's has better rides anyway."

Visits (Part 7)

     On a Wednesday three months later the phone rang.  It was Angel, and I couldn't tell by his voice whether he was excited or pissed off.
     "Lenny, have you picked up mail today?" he asked.
     "I was about to go do that, while I grabbed some lunch.  Why, what's up?"
     "The new Adult Video News is out.  I want to read something to you.