Brent Corrigan :: The Popular Porn Star (and Biopic Subject) Strips Onstage
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The Nob Hill Theater continues its evolution into 21st-century erotica, with their premiere performance of one of the most prolific, hard-working, multi-talented, multi-tasking and scandalous studs in the history of pornography, Brent Corrigan. Yes, he has his own studio. Yes, he's looking for studs. And yes, the biopic King Cobra is about him. Whether you want to be in the audience, with him onstage, in front of the camera, behind the camera or doing a torrid 69 on top of the camera, check him out this weekend.
Cornelius Washington: I understand that your debut performances are highly anticipated. Are you aware of the theater's history?
Brent Corrigan: I've heard the theater mentioned in adult performer circles. This is my first time attending and performing in the space. I'm a bit intimidated, after looking into what an illustrious fixture it has been for queer men!
To what are you most looking forward, when you perform in that legendary venue?
It's always my prerogative to do my best every time. The live performance work is new to me, even though I've been a part of the adult industry, in some fashion, for 13 years. I truly want to bring a creative edge to my segments!
When did you begin performing live and why?
I did my first live performance on cam four or so years ago. I was seeking a way to lower the pressure and stakes for me when I was on set. I think my first performance at an event was about a year later. I'm a late bloomer in this regard!
<What's your favorite aspect of your live shows?
I truly am an exhibitionist at heart. I am most comfortable in my own skin. It's letting myself just be the best version of me that can be tough sometimes. I have great expectations of the performers who work for me when I direct. But I'm even harder on myself.
Describe your most memorable audience member encounter.
When I was performing in Beijing, one guy rushed the stage and leapt into my arms! I think I actually still have the video in an old iPhone. I was just dancing, thankfully.
You were born in Idaho, raised near Seattle. What was the latter like for you?
My mom was a ski instructor at a lodge in Sun Valley when I was conceived. A total mistake! When she met my stepfather, we became a family. My little brother and sister were born later. I'm the middle child of four.
When did you first begin to acknowledge and embrace your sexuality, and how did it manifest itself?
I was 16 when I moved to San Diego to live with my mother. The distance and separation from my siblings and father allowed me to work out who I was inside and who I wanted to be in the world. I came out to my mother as gay when I was 17. However, my mother found out about my infamous adult industry connection when she read an article in Rolling Stone magazine. It was an article about my first producer's murder and my connection with the man, while he was living.
It's my understanding that your first boyfriend was older than you, and that he introduced you to a pretty fast lifestyle. How did you escape it, and what's your advice to young men who currently are where you were?
"Jake" and I weren't meant for the long haul. I mean, what kid chooses his life partner successfully at 16? I escaped it by escaping him. It took months for me to sever ties with him, although, he was the catalyst in revealing my true age to the world. He became embittered, and couldn't accept that we all needed to move on.
Your experience with Cobra Video, and its tragedies, has been well-documented. Now that the case is concluded and all matters have been settled, what valuable lessons from that period of your life, about yourself and others, will you always keep with you?
In retrospect, it's difficult to determine what I learned from which experience. I view my background and experience in the adult industry as a solid chunk, not in chapters. Sadly, after Harlow Cuadra's trial was over and I was, in a sense, released from my moral duty to Bryan (the murder victim and owner of Cobra), I didn't take the much-needed time to reflect on it all. I believe that's why a lot of troubling behavior occurred a few years later.
Even the worst situations have some good memories. What are some positive memories about your early days in porn?
My fondest memories were on the sets for "Big Easy" and "Heat." They were my last few projects I directed for Prodigy Pictures. The casts and unique locations really helped build the atmosphere I wanted on set. Cast and crew are family, and I really felt that back then.
So far, who has been your favorite costar?
Lukas Hass, but I actually fell for JJ Knight on the set of "About Last Night," although I was wary of starting something serious with another adult performer.
Have you ever fallen for a co-star?
I have, a few times! As you get older, you manage your feelings better. It's almost always fleeting, though. JJ and I have since gotten very, very serious.
Who's your fantasy co-star, living or dead?
That's tough. Do they have to be porn stars? Djimon Honsou is gorgeous! Tim Krueger has always been a fixation of mine.
Describe your fantasy porn scenario, as a performer.
Hmm, I don't want to make people uncomfortable... or get the third degree from my partner, JJ Knight, so I decline to comment!
You've owned studios and websites for some time. When and why did you create them?
I launched my first site after the truth about my underage work began to circulate fairly heavily. It was intended to set the record straight and show the industry my intentions and support. I never wanted to hurt anyone or jeopardize the status quo of the adult industry. I'm relaunching TheNewBrentCorrigan.com Memorial Day Weekend, and officially announcing casting for a reality show I am developing called "Next Top Bottom."
What's it like to transition from model to director?
It's hard for me right now. I am pulling elements from my non-porn media background and employing them on feature-length projects for "Naked Sword." My first one was called UltraFan. It was a whirlwind of an experience. I directed myself in three of the four scenes, plus a bevy of intense suspense-related plot content. We shot that right after Halloween (I turned 30 on October 31).
What do you now know about filming that you wish you'd known when you created your companies?
How to keep a viable product in mind, at all times. If it doesn't help to encourage the viewers to buy it when they consume it, then it's ineffectual. It's tough these days. We have to get consumers to really want to root for us, so they choose to buy instead of steal.
How did the industry react to your company's first projects?
I swept at The GayVN and Grabby Awards, two years in a row. I've been voted Best Bottom an unprecedented three times. (Grabbys, GayVN2009 and GayVN Fan-Favorite; Best Bottom, 2010). I was given the Best Pro-Am Award at GayVN in 2009. I look forward to proving that my experience in non-porn media will not only bring porn back into a higher production value era, but work to cement our place as artists in erotic-themed media for the new era.
What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of operating your own studio and websites?
The fear of slowing down, missing a beat, or not always maintaining quality or improving a little with each new project is scary. However, I love planning and executing media-oriented projects. I live life cinematically, and hope to one day show that in everything I do.
In your opinion, who's the most important person behind the camera, and why?
The director of photography. In adult media, that person is often the director and camera operator. They choose what we see and how we see it as viewers.
Describe your studio's ideal model.
Personable, affable, charming, built tight, but not inaccessible in their physical prowess. Guys should be toned, but they don't need every rung of their six-pack brazenly visible; kind eyes. Bigger than average cock (whether that's in girth or length!). All ages and races are welcome!
How does your studio's treatment of its models differ from that of other studios?
We like to get a true feel of the sexual interests of the models. It's hard to make everyone happy, all the time. But if the boys work for me, I always try to get them who and what they want. The extra planning and pre-production effort is always worth the payoff, in the end.
What's your advice for other models who want to produce?
Pick up cameras of all kinds. Watch what's being produced now and try to identify what is special about it and, dare I say it, what can be improved upon. Pay attention to the crew on set. Watch how they work as a team. And when they aren't too busy, see if they can tell you a bit about it all.
Describe your ideal fantasy porn scenario, as a director/producer.
I want to start shooting three to five-minute-long guerilla scenes. There's an amazing new low light camera out there that I need to start saving for. It's $3,000, but, totally worth it. Can you imagine what we could do without setting studio lights?! Fantasy porn?! I'm so into themes from antiquity; 20-minute scenes on period sets, with guys in costumes. Casting would be in line with what was deemed attractive for the era.
If you could hire any porn stars, living or dead, to film for your studio, who would they be?
Oh, no. Um, you don't have enough space here for that. I just love a hard-working, enthusiastic performer who sees the beauty in hard work, and the method to my madness. That could be anyone.
Your studio's very pro-safe sex, in an industry that's becoming more bareback by the second. Please detail your position on the subject, and have you received any industry pushback because of it?
I am frustrated that the healthiest men are having the riskiest sex in porn. If we must bareback, serosorting works. However, people don't really know what it means to be negative, "unsure" or undetectable. I no longer stand by condoms in any and all environments. I believe in educating about safer sex practices. Let's be real. Condoms won't always be used. So to act like they are the only safe mode of sex (on and off set) is antiquated.
What inspired your jump from porn to mainstream gay-themed films?
A need to show my many other talents. It's a drive to prove I'm more than just a great lay. But really, I always wanted to blend creative cinematic themes with the stark, unapologetic nature of porn. I just wish the buying consumers were more or present. I would not let them down! I'd sweat, bleed, cry and bruise to deliver the best stuff, if people would start buying again.
Please contrast the experiences of filming mainstream and adult films.
Nuance versus overt exposition. I love Chi Chi [LaRue], but, I was on "Earthbound" and was asked to be bigger and bigger, more than once, with the few lines I had. It makes us look like we don't know that life, energy and the things we say in our scenes have a sliding, varying level of intensity. Never forget, viewers; sometimes when you see a scene acted a certain way, it's not always our prerogative. We, as performers, are there to deliver the needs and vision of the director.
Describe your fantasy mainstream project, musical and non-singing roles.
I wrote a film called "Disgraceland," about an underage club scene on the outskirts of LA. It was very queer, a lot like "Across The Universe." I had Katya Smirnoff-Sky coming down from a ceiling, with a crystal chandelier in her hair, singing opera upside-down. There was a bonfire hippie scene. It was about what happens to LGBT youth when they are kicked out of their homes. It's a million-dollar movie. We don't spend that kind of capital on LGBT films, though.
What aspects of filming mainstream films did you bring with you when you returned to adult films?
Pre-production planning, the need to tell a story through showing and not telling (little dialogue), and an insistence to address affirmative action in model/performer hiring. I don't care what they say. Gay men come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages, and you can find a sexy one in just about all of those. Unfortunately, it's a constant struggle right now with my parent producer to let me find the guys that embody that. Casting is personal with a filmmaker. When the boss insists on approval, it complicates an already treacherous endeavor.
You display a lot of courage and risk-taking when tackling professional projects and personal situations, with more than a few successes. What propels you to take on these challenges?
I honestly have no idea any more. I have PTSD from living in a state of heightened fear and anxiety during Bryan's murder investigation and Harlow's trial. It has severely affected my ability to deal with social situations. But, somehow, I excel as a producer. I plan like crazy. I'm detail-oriented. I fixate, and I expect perfection or something as close to it. We never get everything we want or need in production, but aiming for the best is a great start.
During GOP administrations, the porn industry surges in popularity, in reaction to repression. How will you take advantage of the opportunity presented by Trump's?
Really? I didn't know that. I guess it's time to stop worrying about where the market might be, and start moving forward with faith.
Please describe your love of horses. Have you ever competed?
Yes! I'm an equestrian. I'm a jumper. Some call it "show jumping," but that's sort of a term used by non-equestrians. I haven't been able to show or work at my equitation for a few years. I just can't afford it anymore.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I love to cook. I'm a big nudist. I love taking pictures naked outdoors. Sometimes, they are just done with my iPhone, placed on a fence post with the timer on.
Describe your love of graphic novels and comics.
I'm a huge champion for queer art. I love the ones that incorporate erotic elements. At the moment, House of JBG is my favorite. I wish I was a great sketch artist or painter.
Are you in a relationship? If so, how did you meet and how long have you been together?
Yes! JJ Knight and I met in Beijing, initially. It was a casual connection, about three years ago. Then, randomly, years later, we were on a Falcon shoot together. He's been working well with me as an associate producer on "Next Top Bottom." He's a fast learner! But our love connection is very new. I have never felt this way about anyone in my life.
What did you first notice about each other?
He is the best kisser I've ever encountered. I noticed his height. I bet he noticed my butt.
When did you realize that he was "boyfriend material?"
I'm not sure. In the beginning, I told him that I needed friends and that I was not able to commit. However, as we got to know one another, his generosity, sensitivity and emotional intelligence told me to start taking it more seriously.
What's the most romantic thing you've ever done for each other?
He is learning to take care of horses and ride, because he knows it's so very important to me. I went home to visit his family for Christmas, right after he told them (at Thanksgiving) that he is gay and doing porn. But the most romantic thing we've done is work together to make our home a warm and relaxing place, where our love can grow.
What item of clothing do you wear that gets your boyfriend going, whenever you wear it?
He loves me in a great pair of jeans and cowboy boots. I've gotten him into a little bit of leather. He didn't understand what leather was about before I came along. I like to think that I'm helping him understand a lot of queer culture that might be easily judged or misunderstood. I told him they aren't 'ass-less chaps,' Just chaps. All chaps are ass-less!
What's your most important aspects of being in a relationship (deal-breakers, etc.)?
Respect, consideration and the way we speak to one another in times of stress or frustration. Also, realizing that we love one another for who we are as individuals, but, we both come to the relationship willing to evolve and adjust small parts of ourselves, so we can be a better partnership in life.
You've bulked up quite a bit recently. When and why did you begin your transformation?
I started lifting at 19. If you watch my work from my early 20s, you can see my muscle definition and separation, when I am in motion. It wasn't until I was about 28 that I started growing the physique of a man.
Please describe your fitness and nutrition regimens.
When I'm preparing for work, I lift four to five days a week. Sometimes, life gets crazy and I only get there three days a week. I avoid fast food when I can, but carbs are fair game. I drink too much beer.
What's your favorite aspect of your transformation?
My back, legs, and having people treat me with a bit more respect on the street.
With a new body usually comes new clothes. What's your favorite thing to wear now?
I have my "skinny clothes" and "big boy clothes." I hate that when I'm bigger, I only fit in Levi's 514s. I will always be a Levi's man. I love colored short-sleeve button-ups (Ted Baker) and Fred Perry polos.
What apps do you rock?
Twitter. PhotoToaster. Eat24. HotelTonight.
You've had one hulluva ride, and you're only 30! What's next for you?
"Next Top Bottom!" It's the biggest thing I've ever embarked upon. We are currently casting for that. I hope to direct more for Naked Sword, but I'm used to moving and shaking faster than Falcon Group is. I am ready to shoot and direct for just about anyone who likes the kind of thing I did in UltraFan.
Of all of the things you've learned, what's the most important, that you want to share with your friends, fans and the LGBTQ community, at large?
Support your tribe. You love porn? Buy a bit of it from time to time. Always be humble and kind. Above all else, even when it feels like you're being pulled a million different directions or you can't figure out who the world thinks you should be, just live your life the way the universe intended! Be the best version of you that you can be.
Brent Corrigan performs at The Nob Hill Theatre, May 19 & 20, in two sex shows a night with JJ Knight. $25. 8pm & 10pm. 729 Bush St. at Powell. 397-6758. www.thenobhilltheatre.com
Follow Brent Corrigan at twitter.com/brentcorrigan
To see Cornelius Washington's erotic photography, visit www.cuirphoto.com