By Victor Hoff
Last Sunday, I had the rare opportunity to do something I had always wanted to do: take a role in a gay porn movie. I mean, it seemed strange that after writing about the gay adult entertainment industry for eight years on Men of Color Blog, I had never pursued, let alone asked, to take a small, non-sexual role.
But about a year and half ago, I met Alex Roman at a Helix Studios spank party downtown and after talking to this impossibly charming young man, we talked about having me play a role one day in an upcoming feature.
So when Alex texted me a few weeks ago and invited me to join him and his crew for an upcoming production, I didn’t blink.
The film is called Helix Academy and I play the cruel Father Glenn opposite six young men who most, if not all of you reading this, are familiar with: Anderson Lovell, Casey Tanner, Jessie Montgomery, Evan Parker, Luke Allen, and Chase Young.
On this particular day, we were filming the classroom scenes and when I arrived at the studio, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Casey, Alex’s better half and production equal, greeted me and I was lead into the studio where Anderson (who I kept calling Alexander much to his probable annoyance), a shy, lovely young man from Spain was already seated. Anderson who, despite being the one who laughed least at my antics, seemed in many ways the most mature. He didn’t appear goofy or mercurial, as many of the other actors did – and I mean that in a good way – but, rather, reserved and kind, always observing his surroundings rather than remarking on them.
Moments later, a buzz of energy could be heard and the rest of the cast showed up and with it a bubble of electricity that never waned throughout what I would learn is a very long day shooting gay porn. I eventually grouped the six guys in order of the voltage of their personalities. Luke, an easy, hail-fellow-well-met sort of personality and Anderson laid low throughout much of the day. Jessie, a beautiful blonde boy with an easy, infectious laugh from Nebraska whose publicity pictures, I’m afraid to say, don’t do him nearly the justice he warrants, and Evan, a sweet, guy-next-door type from Ohio played a much larger role in the day’s tomfoolery. And then there were Chase and Casey. Chase, from Alabama, could have been straight out of central casting for a Leave It To Beaver-type show. He is self-assured, talkative, and very friendly. And then there is Casey Tanner. A buck thirty worth of personality that voraciously overpowers the room in which he is in. He is absolutely full of himself (a façade, I’m guessing) but also absolutely one of the most entertaining people to be around. He’s very, very clever and has a sense of irony rarely found among someone so young (or in his generation, for that matter).
I won’t lie. The day was long and by the end of it, my Prima Donna side was starting to seep through – Imagine! – but what kept me endlessly fascinated and sustained me even when, at about 5:30P, Alex and Casey announced they we still had about four more hours to go, was watching Alex work.
I, on the other hand, had a blast. A ready and willing audience appreciative of my snarky humor? Six beautiful actors? A beautiful sound man named Kurt Summers? All under the direction of Alex Roman? I may have played the part of cruel priestly schoolmaster but it sure did seem like I died and went to heaven.