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Conversations with Samantha Ryan- 6/15/2005

Porn Valley- Today I had a chat with Samantha Ryan on the set of Arch Angel’s The Vampire Chronicles. I ask Cass Paley, the director, who Ryan reminds him of. He can’t put his finger on it but agrees, yeah, Ryan resembles someone. I go, how about Stacey Valentine. Paley’s going of course, of course. And Ryan’s just as nice and personable as Valentine, besides.

Ryan started in the business last year but took some time off to regroup. She wasn’t happy with her representation. “I quit my agency,” she says. “It took me a couple of months to learn the industry and the business. Once I did, I realized I shouldn’t have started off so gung ho with scenes.” I ask Ryan how gung and how ho. Ryan says she ended up doing a couple of boy-boy girl scenes and started doing boy-girl scenes right out of the box. She doesn’t think she should have done that. “A was a little bit of a shock to my body and I was working too much. I was exhausted. It really wasn’t for me. I also realized that girls like myself starting out in the business- if you want to have a long term career- you need to start off a bit slower and I shouldn’t have been doing some of things I was doing off the bat.

“I was pretty much being pushed by my agent,” Ryan continues. That and the fact that I didn’t know and I was new in the industry. I didn’t know the protocol and how girls just kind of go at it. Of course the agent’s trying to make as much money as possible so they were pushing me to do whatever they can.” When she left, Ryan hadn’t planned on quitting. “I was definitely taking a step back. I quit my agency and wanted to find an agency that would work with me- somebody who was a good person and wouldn’t be pushing me to do things I didn’t want to do. I wanted somebody who would work for me and with me and together in a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Ryan’s very happy with her present representation, Cam Smith. “He’s a very good guy,” she says. “Most of his girls don’t even do adult work- they do more modeling, more photo shoots, more fetish stuff. There’s a lot of softcore work. Much prettier stuff. It gives you a much better introduction and I’ve learned a lot more about posing. It’s a much better situation for me and I’m much happier on sets. I’m not exhausted. And I’m not going through the wringer like I did the first few months, working five and six days a week. Working a few days a week I’m moving forward and making enough money and have the time to do the things I need to do. I’m much happier.”

Before porn, Ryan’s been an engineer and in real estate. “I was a network engineer,” she explains. “Computer network. I worked in a global network operation. It was a terribly boring job, programming routers and doing all kinds of stupid stuff. I also pursued an acting career for several years and am a member of the Screen Actors Guild. I’m also a singer and I play piano.” Ryan was pursuing singing but never had an opportunity to advance herself. “Some months I was barely getting by, she says. “So I never had the money to get the best head shots and get help with local training and get someone to help me write music. I could never get anywhere. I was basically living from paycheck to paycheck.”

Sounds like Ryan’s is a classic story of Hollywood frustration. She attempted to land movie gigs and submitted pictures. But she laughs at the irony. “Having been in the adult industry, now I have the best pictures,” she says. “Everything I needed to get into mainstream I now have doing adult. It’s kind of funny. I would send out mass mailings but I wasn’t getting anybody knocking on the door.” In the same breath Ryan will concede that she didn’t exactly push and promote herself as more time would have allowed.

“It was a struggle for several years of not really getting any further ahead,” she states. “I’m getting older and wanting to just be happy and not be struggling as much. I finally took the emphasis off of figuring what the heck I’m going to do with my life if acting and singing’s not going to work out. I figured what do I want out of my life and what kind of job is going to allow me the life I want- which is to be my own boss. I just don’t work well with bosses. I want a flexible schedule where I can work when I want and be able to travel. So I ended up meeting someone in the industry, a girl named Trinity and visited a set not even having a thought in my mind that I would ever do it.

“But I’m the kind of person where I’ll try everything once,” Ryan continues. “I saw how it’s very technical and in a lot of ways close to mainstream in how it’s filmed. It’s not as sleazy as people think. I think a lot of people think a porn set is all sex and drugs and rock and roll, right? There are good people. I had fun and everybody loved their job. I’m thinking this isn’t so bad. It seems a lot of fun. I love sex and it can give me what I want out of my life.”

Ryan’s hormones began roaring at a very early age. She figured she was sexual before she even know what being sexual was. “It felt good down there and I liked being stimulated down there,” she says. “I’ve always been a very horny girl.” Contrary to what you might expect, Ryan eschewed girl-girl involvement. She explains that it has more to do with her background of being raised Catholic in Kansas. “I was very sheltered in my life,” she says. “In everything. Even though I always had an attraction towards women, it was never something I would have done. I never had people in my life that were open enough with who they are with their sexuality, that it would have been okay for me to explore things in my life. I finally feel I’m in a position in my life where I can be the person I want to be.”

Ryan will tell you he’s not the kind of woman who will have a relationship with another woman. “But I definitely have an attraction towards woman so it’s definitely fun to do the scenes<‘ she says. “Especially when you work with a girl who also likes girls. Sometimes it’s hard working with girls who are just in it for the pay.” Ryan will admit that she’s in it for the money but a good time ain’t so bad, either. “I want to make this fun.” Asked if she still had her Catholic school girl uniform, Ryan said no but it would probably fit her. “I was a little chubby when I was in Catholic school,” she laughs. “But that was a long time ago.” I was curious what one does for kicks in Kansas. Ryan says she hasn’t been there for awhile.

“I was such a hard worker,” she says. “I never partied when I was young. I was really lame. I was a dork.” Ryan was focused in that she had good grades, was involved in the high school dance team, as well as a world class competitive color guard in Illinois and traveled there once a month for rehearsals. “I was gone all summer competing around the country,” Ryan notes. “I never took spring breaks, winter breaks, nothing. All through college I was teaching my two high school drill teams and going to school and working full time. I don’t know how I had the energy but I really never stopped.”

Ryan first had sex when she was 16. “It was a boy- I broke his heart- poor thing. It was so funny. I was a very shy person growing up until my junior year in high school. I was the one who forced the issue and wanted to have sex which is funny because you think most guys at age 10 are having those hormones and ready to have sex. But this guy, I was breaking in this poor kid. He just seemed like he didn’t want to have sex. It was kind of funny.”

Ryan also describes herself as a jack of all trades and master of none. “I love everything- everything interests me. So it is very hard for me to focus on any one thing. There are so many things that interest me in my life. The only thing that ever gave me the greatest joy in my life is performing. And I danced my whole life until I got in a bad car accident.”

Consequently, Ryan hurt her back and neck really bad. She was in therapy for a year and a half, a factor she attributes to her downward spiral.

“I couldn’t dance any more and that’s why I originally came to Los Angeles,” she says. “That’s why I ended up as an engineer. I was really good at it but it just wasn’t for me. I love to perform.” From there Ryan fell into real estate but didn’t enjoy that either. “It didn’t work out for me,” she says. “The bottom line is I can love anything I can put my heart into and I love to perform. A lot of this is performing and I do love being in front of the camera and modeling.”

Asked how she met Trinity, who caused a ruckus of her own when she got on Howard Stern one time and presented some staunch views against interracial sex, Ryan says they met through a mutual friend. “I met her at a party- she actually lived in Kansas at the time. Here’s this mom from Kansas who does adult videos. She seems like a normal chick. She was a Pleasure contract girl for a year and then she did gonzo for another six months or a year. But she’s not in the business any longer. Although he’s got a lot of stuff that’s coming out from Pleasure right now. I met her, and she invited me to come to the set. I said, sure, why not. And it all kind of started from there. It was never even a thought in my mind. I had contemplated in my many years of struggling- I always said to myself I’m going to have to start stripping. I’m going to have to become a stripper. I was getting too much in debt, especially with the car accident and everything. I was really digging myself into a hole. But here I am, happy and working.”

Fortunately, says Ryan, she was able to do her first three scenes in the business with Trinity. “We did a double B.J. my very first scene. I did another double B.J. with her and then that same night I did my first boy-girl-girl scene with her. In a way she was there to hold my hand and kind of showed me the way. Because having sex on camera is very different than having sex at home. I was opening up for the camera, and the lighting and doing certain things- the deep throating- all that kind of stuff. I was learning all of that. She got me through that, and after my first three scenes, it was really easy. She made it very easy for me to come in and not be too nervous and learn very quickly.”

Asked how she hooked up with her first agency, Ryan said it was through someone in the industry. “And I didn’t know any other agencies,” she says. “So Trinity and I went with this agency. We worked for them a few months.” Ryan, who likes to work at her own pace, basically got tired of being pushed to do things she didn’t want to do. “And having to call and cancel because I don’t do this type of scene,” she adds. “In the mainstream the agent works for the talent and not the other way around.”

Ryan, who’s been dating Kurt Lockwood, works with him exclusively. “Other than that I work just with girls and do a lot of softcore stuff,” she says. “I also do photo shoots and a lot of fetish work.” The days are short and are easy. It’s nice to have the peace of mind of not having to show a test.” As far as The Vampire Chronicles go, Ryan plays a girl named Emily who’s not a vampire. “I’ve been found through an Internet dating service,” she laughs. “I’m just a normal girl who comes to the house and falls in love with a vampire. We end up dying together. I guess it’s the Romeo & Juliet story, right?”

Ryan and Lockwood met doing a scene together for Colossal last October. “After the scene we hung out that night and have been pretty much inseparable ever since,” she says. “We love each other very much. We’re very happy.”

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