I know many of you have been anxiously waiting for part 4 of this blog. I apologize for the delay, but my WordPress updates weren’t going as smoothly as they should have been. I promise 100% though that this blog was worth waiting for! It’s a trip down memory lane for some of you stripper history buffs.
First, years back there was a forum devoted to entertainers which I participated on. The site is now gone, but I managed to pull up a very useful PDF copy of an interview with former feature dancer Leanna Taylor conducted by my friend Abriana. Sadly Abriana & I lost touch years ago, & I believe she may now be retired. Be sure to turn off any pop-up blockers because the PDF will open in a new tab.
Second, I’ve been so excited to share with all of you an interview I conducted with Ruby AdultStar! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ruby, she was one of the feature teachers back in the 90′s. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to interview her! This interview is an hour long phone audio interview. I’ve taken the time to also transcribe the interview, so I suggest listening to it & reading along so you really understand all the great information that Ruby has to offer!
Recorded Transcript of Ruby AdultStar (RA)
Interviewed by Kylea Killeen (KK)
Sunday, May 20, 2012
KK: This is Kylea Killeen, I’m on the phone with Ruby the Adult Star. Ruby, what year did you begin house dancing?
RA: Ninety, 1990.
KK: Where were you house dancing before you started featuring?
RA: Akron, Ohio.
KK: How did you get into featuring? What made you decide you wanted to feature?
RA: I got ahold of a stripper magazine. A magazine, I don’t even know, I met the publisher. I figured out that I could create shows, get a title, & get paid. Getting paid for my own shows was a win-win!
KK: At that point you weren’t doing the video work, were you?
RA: No, I didn’t start that yet. That kind of came about because I was already swinging with my ex & I was enjoying the alternative lifestyle of even just being a stripper.
KK The next few questions are regarding the feature school itself when you were going through the feature school. What year was that?
RA: Now I have to remember… I’m horrible with years! Let’s see, I left in ‘91, the end of ‘91… so I’m going to say ‘92. 1992 & 1993 is when I was training.
KK: Back then was there a cost to go through the school? Or were you getting paid to go through the schooling?
RA: Well, Weasel would pay us, it was basically like $100 a day back then. We paid back some of that to go to the school. The school was like $200.
KK: Now was that for how long? Like for a week?
RA: Yeah, that was for the week. They wanted you to go for at least a week, so you knew the formula, you knew what was expected of you when you go out to a club. You were working through an agency.
KK: Who was your instructor?
RA: Suzanne The Dance Machine, one of the best entertainers I’ve ever seen!
Note to readers: Suzanne went by the username SuzanneTDM online for many years. An archive of her website can be viewed at: http://web.archive.org/web/20020401182903/http://www.suzannetdm.com/
KK: Now I know who Suzanne is, but for those who don’t know who she is, can you tell us a little bit about her?
RA: I’m struggling to remember what titles she had, I mean she had quite a few titles. She had a Miss Nude World, I think Master’s Division title. She was very good at training girls. She was very into gymnastics & was just a spitfire!
Note to readers: According to the archive of Suzanne’s website, her titles included:
Miss Exotic Personality of the Year ‘99
Entertainer of the Year ‘99
World’s Master Division Dancer
Miss Nude Petite USA
Miss Nude Petite USA Dance Champion
Miss Nude North America
Miss Nude Galaxy Show Stopper
KK: How many entertainers were generally in each class?
RA: Well the way it worked was, if it was during deer season, then we’d have 10 or maybe 14 to be there the whole deer season. Otherwise it was usually no more than 7 or 8 for that week though. We all did 20 minute shows, so you usually got on stage maybe 4 times before the club closed. The club didn’t open until 7 pm. The training was during the daytime, so you went in for an 1.5 hours during the daytime. We learned everything: show construction, fans, cape, chair, floor.
KK: So it was 1.5 hours each day, before work started?
RA: Mmmhmm, yes.
KK: Then once work started you did your shows for the rest of the night?
RA: Yes, that also helped them [the instructor] or me later to see how you handled yourself.
KK: What all did the curriculum cover? Did it cover different types of pyrotechnics? Different types of dancing? Insurance issues? Agency issues? Contracts?
RA: Basically it covered the formula of the show, the theme, getting the music right, make-up, wardrobe, the correct way to take a tip. How to get out of awkward situations, that was covered! Like what do you do if someone tells you this.
KK: So were they teaching the pyrotechnics back then? Were they teaching much of the fan dancing?
RA: The pyrotechnics were more an individual girl thing. A girl would seek out someone to train her in that. We didn’t really cover that because it runs into a danger aspect. Like one of my friends, Naomi Knight, is a fire breather… but she won’t teach anyone. The one time she did the girl blew a fireball & someone turned on the smoke sensor (alarm?).
KK: I know Naomi, she’s nice. Now the school, they weren’t really in any sort of association with an agency then? They were independent?
RA: Oh yeah they were!
KK: Which agency were they tied to?
KK: Were there other feature schools at the time tied to other agencies?
RA: At the time, no. Weasel’s always worked with Frank, they just always had a good working relationship. I’m still in contact with Frank, he’s cool. It’s all agents you know? You have to call them & bug them. Quite frankly, if you aren’t fucking them, you have to call them & bug them.
KK: Now after feature school what kind of clubs did the girls get booked in back then? Did they send them on the Texas Tour?
RA: Yeah! That was one of the of them. If you could handle the Texas Tour then you could handle being a feature. The Maximus clubs were really pretty nice too for the area. I did it like three times. I’ve heard girls go in & their scared of it, but I had a fine time. I didn’t get in too much trouble!
KK: That’s good! It’s good to stay out of trouble. How were you treated as a feature compared to the girls who didn’t go through feature school? Did you feel that you had an upper hand with the agencies by going through the feature school?
RA: No, no… not at all. I mean I’m into learning my art. It’s still my art, it’s what makes my soul sing. I like to be on stage, & I love everything that burlesque is. I’m more of a modern burlesque, rather than if you look at Dita [Von Teese] & everyone like that… they do a more traditional. I’m not traditional. So I did more of a mixture of old burlesque & modern, & a lot of gymnastics too. I had to fight for every booking I got though, I had to call & say “Hey, I need to be booked this week!”, just like everyone else.
KK: Now after feature school, how many years were you on the road as a feature?
RA: Four years I want to say.
KK: That’s quite a while for a feature.
RA: I did a lot of bars. I did the kindergarten circuit, that’s what we used to call it was the kindergarten circus.
KK: Which agencies did you book through during your time?
RA: Mostly Continental. I had one agent, I don’t even remember her name, she was really crappy. I booked a couple independent. If you can do that, that’s cool! The days where anyone is making $24k for one [club booking] date is gone. Amber Lynn used to, Amber Lynn pulled that back in the day when porn stars started touring. They got lots & lots of money, that’s why it was so attractive for us to do movies.
KK: Yeah, they [porn stars] do generally get paid higher.
RA: Other features do too though. Like the big bust features, which I love, they’re around longer… they have a longevity that porn girls do not have. The average time in that contract is about 8 months for a girl. A lot of them get in it & go “Oh, I don’t like this anymore”.
KK: Or they don’t like being on the road that much.
RA: Yeah, there’s a lot of girls that do movies that don’t want to feature. They don’t want to haul things around. I house dance right now. I like it because I wear what I’m comfortable in, because sometimes I don’t want to, & then I don’t have to do a whole show. If you’re a girl going to college that’s [house dancing] is probably better for you. It’s declined, the clubs you know, the girls don’t get paid as much anymore – I actually got paid.
KK: What was the booking rate back then on average?
RA: My first booking at the Backlot I made fifty bucks a show to sixty dollars a show.
KK: Then once you started doing porn, what was the difference in pay?
RA: You know, it was more the difference not necessarily in pay scale, but clubs. At that point you had a whole different echelon of clubs that opened up to you that weren’t going to book a newbie. I got up to (before I did porn) $125 per show. I was reliable, not fucked up, did a good show, etc. After porn it was $225 per show.
KK: Yep, & those are still reasonable numbers even today. That’s still what a lot of the girls are making.
RA: Well, yeah, & if I would have not been competitive I would have sat my ass at home, but it [porn] was starting to get big.
KK: Now in your opinion, & I have my own opinion about this, what to you feel is the job or responsibilities of the agencies? How to you feel they live up to it?
RA: I remember when Pure Talent opened up their stripper school, & a couple of times I had taught there. That school was pretty expensive to go to though. Had I been a newbie going to that one… well I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford to go! I tried to book through her [Ann Marie] but it was just bad timing. I sent my promo. I was a harder sell honestly, I was a harder sell than a [porn] contract girl. The more publicity you have… [the better]. Even though I accumulated all the credits, popularity & everything it was so hard to get the agents to book me because they remembered me from being the hard-to-book, no boob-job feature. They remembered Ruby Peach, who called them every monday & said “I need a booking”. It was kind of different compared to going in as a Jenna [Jameson] or a Vivid girl. They already have all of their promo, all their publicity is set up, they usually even have a publicist working for them. So a small independent feature, or a girl who didn’t have any contracts because I wanted to be able to turn down work at leisure. I didn’t turn down much, but it’s important to have that option to say “No, I’m sorry, that’s not my thing”.
[KK repeats the question get a clarified answer]
RA: They’ve done their job. They all have clubs they’ve been working with for a very long time. Some of them are quite territorial about their girls. The ones [girls] who are easier to book they are a little more territorial about. The ones that are hard to book get away with booking through more than one agency. They [the agencies] all have their own tours so to speak, they all book their own clubs, so you have to be able to work with them if you want to do certain clubs. You can book independently, but that will only get you so far. As long as you show them [the agencies] that you are a draw, it boils down to numbers.
KK: Part of my question on this, & we’ve all seen this happen – anyone who has been on the road either traveling with one of the agencies or as a feature with one of the agencies, has had a time where something happened with the contract. Either they [the entertainer/feature] got fired from the club, the club didn’t want them there, or the club didn’t live up to what they said that they were going to do. Where do you feel like the agencies should come into that? Or do you feel that they even should?
RA: You know, it depends. Most of them honestly don’t like to get their hands dirty. I only ever had that happen twice. I only was ever fired once, & honestly I think it’s because the guy [club owner] didn’t want to pay me ***. It was the first booking I took through a certain other agency, who didn’t do anything for me. I luckily had a friend who was right there, so I just jumped over to her hotel. As far as backing you up they [agents] can only do so much. They know that if the bar is willing to screw the girl, they are willing to screw the agent.
[*** Note to readers: I’ve known numerous features who have been “fired” with either no reason given or some horrible excuse, as a way for the club to get shows for free & then refuse to pay the entertainer. Again, this is why everyone should check their references!]
RA: They [agents] have their own check-and-balance system where they say “okay, this is a club that has a great reputation, doesn’t fire girls” & then something happens…. well those contracts are semi-enforceable because they’re usually faxed versus signed in person. You’re better off taking the loss, remembering the club, & not going back there. An agent is just that, they are there to book you in the clubs that they know.
KK: Yeah, I think the girls who aren’t familiar with this, they need to think of them [agents] as headhunters. They connect one & one, but after that they keep their hands out of it.
RA: Right! You’ve got to be able to handle yourself. This can be a rough business. If you are a good entertainer then you’ll maintain your booking status. I’m in AVN hall of fame, & if I called up Frank [from Continental] tomorrow & said “I need a booking”, he would somehow try to pull it out of his ass. Which would be incredibly hard, because it doesn’t matter if I’m in the AVN hall of fame… because people haven’t heard my name in a long time. I have a certain amount of a draw, but it’s a smaller one. It’s a money draw though. Ron Jeremy is a better bet than me though if you want to pack the house, & he doesn’t even have shit [referring to boobs/butt or formal feature shows]. Sorry Uncle Ron… I love you!
KK: He’s something else, I know, I’ve met him a number of times. Which agency did you like the best? I know you talk about Continental the most. Do you think that they were your favourite?
RA: They were there for me when I started, so you know, I consider Frank [Continental] a friend. Lee Network, I got along great with Tony, I got along great with Dave [Michaels - now of A List]. Dave’s woman [Nakita Ka$h], I remember when she started. All these people are kind of like family. I may not see you everyday, I may not talk to you everyday… but I still consider you family. Weasel, my heart was broken for him when Weasel’s burnt down. If they called me & said “We’re re-opening Weasel’s & we need you”, my husband has given me permission to drop everything & go. There’s three other girls: Suze [Suzanne The Dance Machine], Mona, [& myself] where it would just take one phone call.
KK: I feel bad for the girls who have good memories from there, but my experience was not good.
RA: Well that sucks. It went downhill. Weasel & Continental had a thing. Then there was no backing agency through Weasel’s, so Weasel was doing with what he could do… & things were not the same. It was in that little window of time. I’m sorry though that that happened! [Referring to Kylea’s experience at Weasel’s]
KK: No, no, it’s okay… live & learn! So now Rita Atlanta [burlesque dancer who started Continental, before handing it down to her son Frank] wasn’t around though when you started booking?
RA: I met Rita. I went down there [to Florida] & met Rita. She was quite old at that time, & Frank had really taken over the majority of everything.
KK: That’s what I wanted to know, was if you felt like there was a difference between when she was booking & when Frank was booking?
RA: I don’t think so. I think that it was fairly appropriate [for Frank to take over] because her generation was really when burlesque was, & then when the transition to more of the go-go/stripclub happened then Frank gradually taking over was probably a good thing.
KK: Did you ever run into any major problems with the agencies? You don’t necessarily have to name names, but just give girls an idea of what they might need to be aware of.
RA: Be aware. Most real agents already have their own woman. I imagine some young up-start agents are still trying to fuck all the girls. Its a “wits about you” kind of business. If you want to get booked you have to bug them. You have to be the cricket in their ear.
KK: [giggling] That’s true!
RA: There’s so much competition out there! After the internet, everybody was a porn star, everybody has a video camera, everybody has a website. So what sets you apart from the pack? It’s like the old Gypsy [Rose Lee saying] “You gotta get a gimmick”!
KK: Now how did you end up teaching the feature school classes?
RA: I had just been up there. It was just nice to work with Continental because a lot of times if you needed to work & they couldn’t get you booked, they could always book you at Weasel’s. I got booked a lot, but I also didn’t get booked a lot… it depended on what was happening. If they didn’t have a trainer up there, it was their three most reliable girls. The ones who had been through the school, & knew it. So I got to train for a little while, it was quite fun. I enjoyed it, I still would like to do that. It’s still my dream to have a club that I could have a stripper school at.
KK: Yes, & Wisconsin is such a great place for that too really. What years were you teaching up there?
RA: I was still on the road in ‘93, so I want to say ‘94. Or around ‘94.
KK: You think around ‘94?
RA: Yeah, I think around there.
KK: At the time that you were teaching, how much did the training cost the students?
RA: The same, it was $200.
KK: Were they still being paid out at the time [by Weasel for a booking fee]?
KK: So they were getting $100/day, & then they paid back $200 [per week] for the training?
RA: Yeah, well I want to say it was $500 per week, so it was a good paycheck.
KK: Right, & I know that amount had gone down.
RA: Well, once they figured out that they [Weasel & other club owners] could make money off of lap dancing then it was all over!
KK: [giggles about the pure truth behind RA’s statement] So you were doing the training then at Weasel’s, inside the club?
RA: Uh huh. I’ve trained girls outside that club though. I mean I’ve always been available. I advertised myself when I was in Los Angeles. Anybody who asked me about featuring I would let them know that I trained.
KK: Who else was teaching up there at the same time that you were an instructor?
RA: I think my friend Mona Lisa did. I’m thinking it was primarily Suzanne because it was Aura before her, who was a former feature, & Suzanne took over for her. Then I filled in when needed, & Mona did too.
Note to readers: Suzanne TDM returned to teaching at Weasel’s around 1999 for a period of time. The school produced many top feature entertainers including Continental’s current feature instructor – Nakita Ka$h.
KK How many entertainers were in the class at that point?
RA: Usually about 5.
KK: Okay, yeah, which sounds about like how many they [Weasel’s] were running a couple of years ago.
RA: On season it was about 7 or 8. Most of the classes were about 5 girls.
KK: Now during deer hunting season it sounds like it was about the same [as what it currently is], about 10 days?
KK: They worked the same days as they trained as house dancers slash features, since they would actually put on shows?
RA: We weren’t anywhere near house dancers back then. I went to Weasel’s & saw what happened! ***
Note to readers: When Ruby says “what happened”, she’s referring to the lack of training, full shows, etc. Essentially house dancers were told to wear costumes & put on 4 song shows. With lack of training the shows became pitiful in comparison & the costumes were nothing special most of the time. Some weren’t even the the quality of Leg Avenue or Dream Girl costumes.
KK: [giggles] You know what I’m referring to then?
RA: Yes, I know exactly what you are referring to! It was so much more of a showclub back then. We had a ‘57 Chevy that the lights turned on, we had a DJ named Trent that just boomed everything. We had huge shows going on. It wasn’t just “Oh you know, I have a rug, I can pull it out & roll around on it”. It was the formula: the Vickie Renee (sp?). I still have my Vickie Renee’s… I’ll never get rid of them. It was champagne glass bathtubs, paint shows. We made so much off of just polaroids. There wasn’t any lap dancing back then. All we did was sell $10 polaroids, magazines, & anything else. Back then I couldn’t even sell my videos or DVDs there… Weasel wouldn’t let me.
KK: Oh, wow! [Shocked that RA wasn’t allowed to sell her videos at the club. Times have changed!]
RA: It was all about magazine models & that kind of thing. You’d freak out, because I went up there & brought my husband up there, to show him what happened. [Refering to the drastic decline of shows at Weasel’s].
KK: Yeah, so you know exactly what I was referring to. I was nervous, I was really really nervous the first time I got up there. Then I got on my costumes & was like wow… I had nothing to be worried about!
RA: Yeah. See, I was nervous when I got there too, but I got to watch Suzanne do standing back handsprings in heels!
KK: See, I would have been more nervous if I’d seen that!
RA: I was like ohhh, okay. If this woman is going to tell me to “strut, strut, spin”… I’m leaving. Then I saw that [Suzanne’s back spring] & I thought “Okay… I’m going to learn something”! It wasn’t like that though when I went back up there, I’m trying to describe how it used to be.
KK. It’s definitely changed! When you were teaching, had the curriculum changed overall from what you learned?
RA: I adjusted it to my experience on the road.
KK: Was there anything that was added in or taken out?
RA: Not really, it was a basic kind of curriculum that we did to keep everyone safe… to keep the bars happy, & the girls happy.
KK: After the feature school, were the girls still getting booked in the same type of clubs that you’d originally been booked in when you first started?
RA: Usually, yeah, usually I’d tell them about the kindergarten circuit. This was the way that is was. That was a good experience to do when you’re young & you’re just starting out. You learn to understand how merchandising works, you learn that because you’re not getting a huge base pay how to sell more & how to make more on stage.You want to work to the higher pay rate, but a lot of times those bookings are few & far between. Who would ever get like 40 weeks at a $225 rate [per show]?
KK: Yeah, that would be almost of heard of I would suspect.
RA: Okay, yeah, & there were some girls who couldn’t afford to leave their houses for any less than so & so. I needed to make money. There’s a little negotiation there that happens.
KK: At that point did you feel like there was any difference between how the girls who were going through the feature school were being treated by the agencies versus the girls who weren’t going through the feature school?
RA: They look at the newbies pragmatically, because very few are going to stay around. It was like “Well, let’s see what kind of metal she has”. That was about the only difference I would say.
KK: What about the pay rates for the new features at that point? This is still a few years later from when you had started. Do you feel like the pay rates had changed that much for new features?
RA: No, they really didn’t, because those bars were fairly standard on what they made & what they could afford.
KK: I don’t know how much you know about the current feature schools, but based on what you do know, how do you feel they compare to the previous feature schools?
RA: I’m not all that impressed. I think they’re over-priced, & I think that I haven’t seen a show that turned my head in quite sometime. I’ve heard that there’s one or two out there [head turning shows], but there used to be a lot more! I trained them, there used to be a lot more. I think the mistake was not utilizing the girls that were thinking of retiring, & getting older. The fact that they couldn’t make it affordable for girls just starting out, & I’m talking affordable wardrobe-wise, just realistic.
KK: Oh yeah, I’m mean just starting out you could easily throw in ten thousand [dollars]!
RA: There’s no quality out there, because if your diamond in the rough can’t afford to go to your school, then you’ll never make money off of her. I thought that their agency was less about booking girls in clubs, but more about making money off a school.
KK: Sadly that is the case! I know a girl that went through one of the feature schools, & this was through one of the agencies, & to this day she still has not been booked by the agency.
RA: I believe it, they’re [agents] selling the schools. A lot of them have very few clubs, especially the little agents that popped up.
KK: For a girl who wants to learn now, do feel there is any feature school or any instructor that you suggest she consider taking her training through?
RA: I don’t know who’s actively training. I train independently, & there are several ways to get ahold of me. I don’t necessarily need a club to train in. I haven’t heard of any quality instructors in a long time. I could be wrong, because I haven’t been active in the feature community in awhile. Although I am going to expo this year.
KK: I heard about that! I know there are quite a few people coming. By the way, is Suzanne coming?
RA: Oh, no, no. I might be able to get Mona [Lisa] to show up… maybe! It’s kind of funny that they’re trying to get all the older entertainers to show up!
KK: I know, I think that’s neat, I’m kind of a history buff – so I think that’s neat! Is there anything you feel is really important for new features to know?
RA: A lot of them fly now instead of drive, but some of them still drive. Basically safety, & don’t be afraid to walk out of a club if need be. As long as you love being on stage, & you love doing a show & you get good at merchandising, you’ll make money. I never was handed anything, never ever did they [clubs/agents/etc] ever hand me anything. I went out got everything I ever got… & fought for it. I wasn’t the a huge popular girl, I had to fight for it – & you do [have to fight for it] especially now if you want a name for yourself.
KK: If you were a new feature now, would you try doing your own bookings, or do you think there is an agency that you still think is good enough to warrant paying a commission to?
RA: I’d still pay Continental.
KK: Would you?
KK: Have you worked with Pure Talent? Or with Lee?
RA: If Ann Marie had gotten me bookings, & I was a priority, things may have been different. She tried to book me, I just think that I was a little harder to book than she thought. If you can find an agent who’s not taking a huge wallop out of your pay & their willing to book you, & you’re willing to work for them, then keep going. There’s a couple of new agencies out there that are trying to kind of sign girls like the movies & stuff like that. It depends on what entry level you come in at. If you’re already a [movie] contract girl, then the agency is up to you! If you’re not, & you’re just starting out & don’t have that much… then you want Continental! You want the kindergarten circuit, because that’s work, that’s enough work for you to get a wardrobe, to go to LA if that’s your thing, or to get a big boob job if you want to be a big busty feature. You could go into the fetish world as well. There’s all different kinds ways to make a living in the sex industry as a whole. I do include burlesque in that as well, a lot of people would be mortified but to me its a sex living because it deals with voyerism & exhibitionism. I remember dancing at half time in the Little Red Barn, which was a porno theater. $800 I got paid for that week, not including tips & polaroids. As long as you make sure to ask about different laws, pay attention & ask about the club. Some clubs are loose enough to do dildo shows at, & you need to know that is what they do at that club, before you go ask questions. That’s my advice right there – ask questions, always ask questions!
KK: Now the agency commissions, do you think that those have changed a lot over the years? I don’t know what they were when you were dancing.
RA: There was like 10%, then they were like 12%, then they were 15%. Have they hit 20% yet?
KK: Yeah, they’ve hit 20%, yeah.
RA: Hmm, that doesn’t surprise me.
KK: I know you have the background in adult videos, but also in legal prostitution. Its common knowledge that some of the features choose to see clients privately for illegal prostitution as well, while traveling for feature bookings. A few of the previous features have gone so far as to say that the booking fees paid to current features no longer make just dancing [without prostitution while traveling] an option. Basically they [some features] are using that fee [travel paid by the club] just to get there to see clients.
RA: I hate to blow the lid off this, but that’s always gone on. That’s not something new. Honestly, not all girls do it.
KK: Right, not all girls do it.
RA: I didn’t do it when I first started. I did more swinging when I first started.
KK: Do you feel it is viable to say that – yes, you can make money just dancing while on the road, without doing that [prostitution]?
RA: Well yeah, you don’t have to do that. You know though that lap dances have gotten a lot more steamy…. but you don’t have to do that [prostitution]. That’s not a requirement. I didn’t start out like that, but I did what I was comfortable with at the time. You will accumulate your regulars, your fans, & your money men. Over the course of a career, you can’t really say what might happen. I think it’s hilarious because hookers think we’re crazy for doing something for a couple of bucks!
KK: Yeah, yeah, I know they do!
RA: You know what I mean? Then the girls that fuck for money the strippers think “Oh my god, how could you do that?”, but then the hookers are like “Oh my god, how could you do that?” You know what I mean? So they’re on two opposite sides of the spectrum. I saw the kind of difference because of the exposure. I had a wonderful time in both of the [brothel] houses that I worked at, & spent some of the best times of my life [at the brothels]. Although it’s different. If that’s not what you wanted… then its definitely not for you. You can still make money off it, or off of doing anything. I would say its essential, hello – slave!
KK: Yeah, they [slaves] are willing to spend money!
RA: Yeah, I had my first sub at like 19.
KK: You’ve also worked in the legal brothels in Nevada. I’ve had a couple of friends who have worked in them as well, & felt like the money had gone down significantly unless you were someone who was a big name. In other words they felt like financially it was better to be involved in illegal prostitution, because the legal prostitution the earnings have just gone down. What’s your opinion of that?
RA: You know, I don’t think the earnings have necessarily gone down. I think the economy has affected what people can spend. I think maybe what has gone down is the willingness to negotiate. A lot of girls, if they don’t know how to adequately negotiate the party, can’t fill their time. I’m not going to block somebody who I can maybe like bump up a little bit. I quickly learned that if you price yourself at $3,000 you’re not going to be booked all that much. You have to negotiate because the normal everyday person cannot afford that… you have to give them something they can afford. So I think that maybe that’s it. Maybe a lot of girls got in it because they thought “Oh, these girls are making $3K a pop” when that’s not the reality of it. What you do have is the safety [in brothels]. The safety its worth more than making a lot of money a night when you could end up in jail. Quite frankly I’ve done both. I’ve never ended up in jail, but I’ve done it both ways.
KK: Right & I’ve seen your discussion online too of doing porn versus doing legal prostitution, which I mean I think that anyone who hasn’t really looked into that issue should look into it. Both of them try to protect their entertainers, but you’ve said before that at least they do physical checks weekly in the legal brothels.
RA: Yes, I mean you’re protected. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned a trick [at a legal brothel], & then had breakfast with a cop… & you felt safe.
KK: Do you feel like for you, that you liked working in the legal brothels better than porn?
RA: Not better but different. I liked the activity, I have the sex drive for it. It was different in the way that being with a male performer is different than being with a normal man. I like normal guys! I like normal everyday Joes… that’s me. I mean don’t get me wrong, all my male performers were wonderful… most of them. They did their job wonderfully. It is different, its more intimate at the [brothel] houses.
KK: Exactly, & it’s becoming more intimate too [in porn]. Obviously you’ve got X-Art coming out &… What’s the other one? Oh, there’s another one that my friend was just telling me about! You’ve got a lot more sensual porn coming out where they’re not stopping the actors every few minutes & saying “let’s adjust this” or “let’s adjust that”.
RA: I think that all the inexperienced quantity of directors that came out of the internet had an effect. I think that the dilution of the talent pool because of the internet had an effect, because you had less choice over your [fellow] performer. I knew that if I went into an company & they told me that they weren’t a dating service, that I didn’t want to work for them. I was more interested in companies that wanted you to work with people you wanted to work with.
KK: Right, & I think I might know one of the agencies that you are referring to too.
RA: Yeah, you can be a dick like that… & you’re going to get shit King. That’s what you’re going to get, because your performers will have no intimacy. You can’t fake that, I don’t give a fuck how good you are… you can not fake that. That’s why the porn in the 90’s was different than the porn that comes out now. I rarely see something hot… I rarely see something hot.
KK: Yeah, I mean that’s exactly the difference. A lot people that date entertainers are like “Well, I don’t understand how you do this with this other person”. It’s like it’s never going to be the same, no matter how good of an actress you are, it’s never going to be the same.
RA: Yeah, nobody does it the same… nobody fucks the same. There was a time when I first got into the business, & it was a smaller talent pool & more intimate. There’re so many facets of the business that even if you come in as a newbie & you don’t know where you belong yet… you’ll figure it out. Just don’t be stupid. Know what you’re doing when you’re doing it. A lot of times in order for them not to stop the action I’d talk to the director: “What do you need? What do you need from the scene? Tell me now, ‘cause I won’t be able to stop” Then you’d have girls that would get in the business & not know what the hell they were doing tomorrow. They’d be shooting with friggin’ Max Hardcore… & not know! I mean at that point if you allow yourself to be abused when you could have found out, & the information was there for you to find out what you were doing, then it’s kind of “shame on you at that point”. You know what I mean?
KK: If you don’t listen to advice too, it’s the same thing. If someone gives you a piece of advice… [you need to really think about the advice before going ahead with what you are doing].
RA: Okay, yes, that’s another reason I don’t train many girls… because many girls don’t think they have crap to learn. I mean honestly, I’ve seen some horrible shows! They’re just not interested in being trained. I find very seldom do I get someone [who asks or says] “I need you to help me out with this”, & wanting to learn.
KK: I get frustrated with the girls asking for advice & then either not taking it at all … & watching them fail. Or else they take it & run with it… but there’s no “thank you” – it’s like they don’t appreciate it.
RA: Oh yeah, it’s a thank-less job… just like Mother Hen!
KK: Exactly! I feel like that’s why people charge for this. That’s why you pay someone to teach you this… because otherwise it’s like you get [or receive] no “thanks”.
RA: You don’t. I’m lucky to have got what I’ve gotten. I give props to the people I learned from & everything. This business is definitely not for the weak willed or the weak mind.
KK: Right, & you know I still do that, I still give out tons of advice for free. I still get girls that write to me all the time that I give them advice. I had that coming into the industry, not necessarily right away, but within a couple months of in the industry. I had some very good mentors, so I try to give that Karma back… but it’s like it only goes so far.
Now here is my other question for you. For new dancers who are excited to meet you, since you mentioned that you are going to the Gentlemen’s Club Convention this year, what is the best way for them to get ahold of you?
RA: Honestly, tweet me, at Twitter.com/RubyAdultStar! Tweet me, or friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/Ruby.AdultStar (like it’s a last name). Yeah, ‘cause I handle – let’s see, I have two Twitters & three Facebooks. So I try to keep track of all that, so I’m on everyday generally.
KK: Have you thought about maybe teaching an annual feature school session at convention?
RA: I haven’t been asked yet, but I haven’t even e-mailed Don [Waitt, owner/publisher of ED Publications] yet. I’m sure he’s heard I’m going… but I need to e-mail Don. I would if I was asked. If they wanted me to lecture, I would lecture!
KK: Yeah, I think that they really should do something like that! It seems like so much of that convention is set-up for the owners, & the managers, & the DJs. I mean there are a lot of us that are entertainers that go, & we’re looking for training & instruction as well.
RA: True, true, you know but it’s a business & the ones that are paying the most for that convention to happen are the club owners. I do think that they need to utilize some of the entertainers that have been around a long time in order to improve their younger talent pool, & improve the shows & the draws that will happen. They kind of got dependant I think on the adult star scene, after “everyone’s a porn star” exploded. You had your busty features become a little more rare… so they were consistently booked. Then you had “Oh, I can book this porn star for cheap” but you still had basically the same draw [among the clubs]. So no one was really drawing because they had a good show too. I mean you can increase your draw simply by putting on a hell of a show your first night, & people going out & talking about it.
KK: That’s very, very true! I think that is becoming an even bigger issue now that we are seeing more women in the clubs as well [who often look more at the dancing ability].
RA: That can be a double-edged sword. Women can be just as bad as men, if not worse on occasion. I like a mixed crowd… but I’ve seen some stuff!
KK: Yeah, they need to get back to the dancing though. I totally agree with that!
RA: I was at a little house club, & I was like the only one who would get up on stage. The guys don’t tip on stage anymore, because the girls don’t do any shows anymore. It’s a vicious circle… if you don’t do a good show nobody’s going to tip you. Then they [customers] get used to not tipping.
KK: Right, exactly. The other thing is that people are starting to save their money for dances… especially in the recession. Which is why putting on a good show & having better sales skills becomes even more important!
Is there anything else that you would want to share with readers right now?
RA: Yeah, I’m going to be at Nudes-A-Poppin’! I’m doing Miss Nude North America. My 40 year old ass is going to do that again. I might even compete for Entertainer [of the Year], just for shits & giggles.
KK: That’s fabulous! I’m sure you’re going to have a great time.
RA: My body is coming back, my tummy isn’t exactly where it should be. I’m seven pounds away from my target weight right now.
KK: Good luck with it!
RA: Yeah, I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire I’ve been working on.
KK: What else do you have going on?
RA: I’ve been putting together a little website that’s a streaming service for adult, but it’s something a little different than what they’ve got.It’s a work in progress… I’ve been working on it for awhile.
KK: Something really big you can’t fully tell us yet?
RA: Yeah, believe me, you’ll be the first to know. I’m getting closer to incorporating. Hopefully I’ll have my incorporation in less than a month.
KK: Well, thank you so much for doing the interview!
Based upon this for part blog I hoped to express to new entertainers, & those considering entering the feature circuit, is that things are not how they used to be. The agencies have changed a lot, the work has changed, & the training is generally not what it used to be. If you want really good training you need to take responsibility for finding yourself a qualified instructor, & not just go with the mainstream options simply due to their accessibility.
If anyone has questions please leave a comment below & I will try to get it answered, even if it requires another blog.
Thanks again to Ruby for the wonderful interview! If you have time please stop by & send her a personal thank you via her Facebook or Twitter to let her know you appreciated the information she shared.