In the Adult Film Business, Keisha is known the world over.
She's starred in dozens of movies and tours the country with her
one of a kind stage show.
Keisha even has her own Fan Club! (Keisha, c/o D.O.M. Corp., Box 9786,
Marina Del Rey, CA 90295.)
We asked Keisha about her life both on and offstage.
Q. Keisha, why would any woman choose a career in Adult Films? Is it the
money? Is it the fame? Is it the idea that adult films will lead to starring
roles in major motion pictures?
A. Well, I can only speak for myself. I did not know that I was going
to have a career in Adult Films. I started doing movies and magazines
because I was extremely sexual and it seemed like a fun thing to do. I was
thrilled that I could make good money doing something so fun. When I started
out, I did not know that I would have such a long career in this business.
It just turned out that way, which is great. I didn't think that doing Adult
Films would lead to any roles in major motion pictures, much less any starring
roles. They are two totally separate industries. When I started making
movies, no one that I knew of had crossed over to mainstream acting from
the Adult business. Now there are a few actresses that are making the crossover.
So, it's possible, but not easy.
Q. How does appearing in these films, utilize your acting talent? Aren't
you being exploited for your body?
A. Having acting talent in the Adult business is a plus, but it certainly
isn't emphasized. The purpose of Adult movies is to sexually entertain the
viewers. So, the emphasis is on sex. The acting is secondary. If a performer
can act, they say, "Oh, great. She can act too." I do not feel
that I am being exploited for my body. I am a willing sexual performer.
I am not doing anything that I don't want to do. It is only the perceptions
of some people that would label my line of work exploitation. This business
provides me with a comfortable living style and I provide sexual entertainment
to those who want to watch. I am certainly not a victim.
Q. You're 28, soon to be 29. Realistically speaking, how long do
you have in Adult Films? Aren't you going to be pushed aside by the younger
women just starting out in the business? Where then, does that leave you?
A. It's not like there are only a certain number of slots open in this
business and if you're a certain age, you have to move on. I look and feel
better now than when I was 19. I love my age. I love becoming more mature.
Certainly I will not be in this business forever, but the factor that causes
me to leave will most likely not be my age. As long as you look good, keep
you body in shape, and your name sells movies, they'll hire you. Victoria
Paris, Ashlyn Gere, Amber Lynn, Christy Canyon and Nina Hartley, are all
older than me, but they keep working because their fans still want to see
them. This business is not like football where the rookie quarterback pushes
out the current starting quarterback when he starts getting too old. Girls
come and go in this business. Directors like to hire me because they know
that I'm professional. I show up and I'm on time. I always give a good
performance and I have a name.
Q. Was it a natural transition for you to go from film to stage? How did
you know you could dance?
And, how did you know people would turn out to see you dance?
A. Almost a year after I started making movies, I did my first dance appearance.
I was making a movie in San Francisco, and Lois Ayres told me that a club
there was interested in having me appear. Until that time, I had never danced
in a club on stage, but I had done several bachelor parties. When I got
to the club, I told the managers that I was so excited about performing
on stage and that this would be my first time. They were worried, but I
wasn't. I got up on stage and I took to it like a fish to water. I loved
it and so did the audience. The managers were happy too. I never wondered
whether people would come and see. I just showed up and they showed up.
When I first started dancing, I was always surprised at how many people
knew who I was.
Q. Is the money better in films or in dancing? What kind of a dancer are
you, topless? Bottomless? Should I call you a stripper?
A. Whatever term you're comfortable with is fine with me. Any feature
entertainer will tell you that dancing on the road is good money. However,
if I did not do movies and have a well-known name from the movies, I would
not make as much money on the road. Magazine layouts don't pay a lot of
money, but, they're great publicity. For me, all the different aspects of
Adult entertainment work together for me. They all feed each other.
Q. How many weeks a year are you on the road?
A. I used to travel more, but now I do about one week a month.
Q. How is your stage show different from all of the other dancers who
are out there?
A. When I work at a club, I usually do about three or four shows a day.
I have several different sexy sequin costumes. I usually dance to about
four songs. Three more upbeat songs and a slower, more sensual song. I am
fortunate because I am naturally just a good dancer. I love to dance. Plus,
my gymnastic background is very helpful. My fans who watch me tell me that
they are very impressed with my show. One of the things that they say that
they like about it is that it looks as though I'm enjoying myself up there,
which makes them enjoy it more. Also, one of the most impressive things
is the fact that I am so flexible. This surprises most people because I
am a voluptuous woman. One wouldn't expect that a woman built like I am
would be able to do some of the things I do, like put both of my legs behind
my head, which is even more fun when I'm totally nude. And, I can do some
gymnastic moves like splits and dive cartwheels and back walkovers. I like
to make eye contact with the audience, not just get up there and be looked
at. I love it when I'm dancing for somebody and the look on their face tells
me that they are having a good time watching me. That's what I want. I want
to entertain them. Bring some excitement into their lives even if it's just
for a little while. Some of the clubs allow the customers to put a tip in
their mouth and I take it out with my breast. That is always a crowd pleaser.
Different stages and different regulations allow me to do different things
at different clubs. But, my show is always a sexy, sensual, upbeat, come
on take a break from your day and get excited kind of show.
Q. You sell custom videos, audio tapes, and clothes
through your Fan Club. I noticed the custom videos sell from $200
to $1,000. How many people spend that kind of money?
A. All of the items I sell through my Fan Club, I sell because that's
what my fans have requested. When I started my Fan Club, I had no idea of
what to offer. So, I asked my Fan Club members what they would like me to
offer and that is how I compiled the list of items that I sell. So, everything
on the mail order list sells pretty well. I had been wanting to offer custom
videos for a long time. I had many requests for them, but up until recently,
I was not equipped to offer them. The first week after I sent out my flyers,
I immediately got five custom video offers that surprised even me.
Q. In one of your newsletters, you stated that you were tested for AIDS
and you were found not to be infected with the virus. Then, one of your
friends did mention to you that the AIDS virus can have up to a 10 year
incubation period. If you found out that you did have AIDS would you be
so enthusiastic and supportive of the Adult Film industry?
A. There are many professions that carry with it a risk to one's life.
Does that mean that the profession's bad or one shouldn't do it? For example,
stunt people risk their lives everyday to bring us excitement in our entertainment.
The Adult Business provides a valuable service to those who enjoy it. And
yes, for those of us who choose to be this type of performer, there is a
risk to our lives. However, we take all the precautions we can. If I contracted
AIDS as a result of being a performer in this business, I would focus my
energies on educating the performers in this business and campaign
for all producers to require safer sex practices in movies, which would
include condoms in all scenes.
Q. When you've been on a set all day or night can you just go home and
put whatever you've been doing out of your mind? Doing what you do for a
living, can you turn it on and off?
A. I never really thought about it in that way, but yes, I suppose I can
just turn it on and off. But, it doesn't take any effort to do that. It
just comes natural to me. I guess that's why this business works for me.
I'm a very internally stable person. I don't drink or do drugs. At
home I cook and clean and watch t.v. and play with my kitty cat. I'm very
domestic. I love being at home. Last week I worked a couple of days on a
movie called "Russian Roulette" and the next day I sat home and
watched the Star Wars Trilogy. All three movies. It was great!
© Gary James All Rights Reserved