Conversations with Eric John; On the Zen of Kramer 4/16/2009

I’m having a chat with Eric John and can’t keep a straight face. I’ve seen glamour stills of John in action and ordinarily he wears his hair in this slicked back Nick Manning way. But not today.

John is playing the Kramer character in New Sensations’ Seinfeld porn parody and looks like he got zapped by a cattle prod. John, whose hair is this bouquet of electric current [at least for the time being] has been in the business since January, 2004. Those first two years, he plied his trade as a still photographer, www.erotiqueentertainment.com then became a porn performer.

John’s an MIT graduate with an aero-astro degree and a music minor. Which sounds like you’re qualified to build a space ship and outfit it with a stereo system, but I’m sure there’s a lot more to it than that.

“I worked for Hughes Space Communications then Boeing,” John explains.

“I was an amateur photographer for many years, and I shot some people in the adult business. Then I met Misty Rain- most people who know her, love her, and we really hit it off. We developed an interesting friendship to where her and Chad Thomas invited me to go to Vegas at AVN in 2004.”

“Ironically enough, Misty was signing for New Sensations. I had such a great time that weekend and distinctly remember the feeling that I was more at home with these people than I was in the real world. I thought, wow, you can make a lot of money, and it’s fun, artistic and it’s sexual. Fundamentally, everyone was cool. In corporate America, I was proud of everything I did with the accomplishments I had.”

Among those accomplishments, John worked on the DirectTV satellite and the satellite that brought tele-communications to the Middle East.

“I went to all the world’s launch sites and did a bunch of stuff,” he remembers.

“But there’s a lot of corporate politics and a lot of boardroom in-fighting. And by the end of it having gone through some mergers and acquisitions, transitions and layoffs, and all that stuff, the timing was pretty good to go do a completely new thing.”

With the still photography, John began performing and went full time in the adult business by March, 2006.

I asked John what the people at New Sensations might have seen in him that spelled Kramer.

“It wasn’t automatic,” he ponders.

“Lisa Ann’s talent agency has my representation so [Wicked Sister] over at New Sensations must have been looking at what must be close to a lookalike and she must have had several people in mind.”

“I went in and did an initial reading. But I didn’t know what I was reading for, because it was very hush-hush about what the thing was until the last minute. I got the script, read it a few times then walked in and did the reading. I knew Kramer slid into doors – he’s very physical and very over-the-top. But I did not alter my voice in the first reading.”

“I did the reading cold just imagining in my memory what the character was. I was doing the reading in the New Sensations office and to be very over-the-top and projecting, it felt very awkward.”

According to John, they liked what he did but weren’t 100% sure he was the right guy because he hadn’t brought the full character to the table.

“They were like go away for an hour watch some YouTube, alter your voice, come back and do the whole nine yards. Of course I don’t live anywhere close. So I had nowhere to go. I called Dan Miller at AVN, said, hey can I come by the office and look at YouTube. He’s like we shut down YouTube because everyone was watching it all the time in the office and you can’t come here.”

“So I’m going through this phone book of my close contacts in the area. Half an hour’s gone by. Bobby Rinaldi at Wildlife said come over. I watched YiuTube at his office. I went back and had it. The voice was different, but I still felt awkward with the lines.”

“So what I ended up doing, I just came up with this totally absurd monologue and burst into the office and adlibbed this big long scene. I went on this thing for a long time and they didn’t say stop. They were looking at me and laughing. We had it. It’s one of those things- to do the character you can’t hold back at all.”

“We were practicing lines at home which I’m sure drove everyone in my office crazy,” laughs John.

“It’s like now when I talk like Kramer I need to move around. On the show Kramer’s off doing his own thing. Jerry’s very much the same, deadpan. Elaine’s fretting, worrying. George is having some crisis all the time but Kramer’s just very dynamic all the time. He could be doing nothing but he’s doing it dynamically.”

“It’s a very physically demanding and tiring role,” John concedes. “A lot of fun, though.”

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