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Marc Spiegler in Vegas

Las Vegas- Each year, the Adult Entertainment Expo-culminating in the AVN awards-brings the porn world to the Venetian for a few days. Though I’ve covered it before, this year I felt more like an insider than a reporter, after I spent the convention and awards show being the suitcase pimp to my college friend Kat Slater. If you aren’t familiar with porn jargon, the defines a suitcase pimp:

“Hanger-on/assistant (usually male) to a (usually female) porn performer. Derivation from 1.) the belief that the assistant is supported by the performer (much like a pimp lives off his hookers) and 2.) the assistant’s usual task of carrying the performer’s suitcase.”

Actually, Kat isn’t a performer; she directs the series Young Sluts, Inc for Hustler. But everyone we met at the convention seemed to implicitly take me for her suitcase pimp. I shook hands and lit cigarettes. After introductions, no one spoke to me. As Kat worked the convention floor, I trailed in her wake, carrying her things. Even waiters, after looking at us, handed the check to her.

About the only friend of Kat’s who didn’t ignore me was Marc Spiegler,, a porn-star talent agent. “I’m a legal pimp,” says Spiegler, 45, who talked to me in his suite at the Venetian, surrounded by six of the actresses he represents. Spiegler has had a lot of experience dealing with suitcase pimps.

“They may look pathetic to you. But those girls are turning money over to these guys, and the suitcase pimps in private often smack girls around a bit to keep them focused.”

Spiegler keeps his girls on track, too, though unlike suitcase pimps, Spiegler’s relationship to the actresses is more like a Colonel Parker than material for Dr. Phil. Or maybe I was just thinking of the Colonel because Spiegler’s suite recalled so many events from the unauthorized Elvis biographies. Except that this was all on the record. There were naked girls wandering about. A blonde from Manchester (who has starred in one of Kat’s films) was fooling around with an Australian girl while a German documentary crew filmed and a British magazine shot nasty pictures. Spiegler represents about 20 girls at any given time, and many of them live with him. He brought almost all of them to the convention and rented three suites to house them.

The first night I met Spiegler, I admit I thought he had a dream job. But by the second time I was in his suite, I knew to bring a book to keep from being bored. Spiegler refuses to estimate how many hours he has spent in conversations about hair and clothes. Frankly, off-screen, the actresses are high-maintenance with much drama in their lives:

“I work 24/7 for 52 weeks a year. They can call me or page me from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. most days. Then, when that is over, I live with a bunch of them, and it’s always, ‘I need this; I need that; can I go here; my boyfriend this or that.’ It’s a constant hassle.”

I got a taste of it. That night, Spiegler’s street-hustler veneer was reduced to Alice from The Brady Bunch as he worked like a den mother for two hours trying to get everyone together to leave the suite for an industry party. One of the girls in the room kept suffering bouts of inexplicable crying, another was sulking from a cold, one drunk girl kept asking another girl to hit her in the stomach. She claimed to like pain.

But, in the end, Spiegler pulled it off. “It is my job to take the girls around and to get them work. That is what we are going to do. My proudest accomplishment is that I’ve never had a girl miss a shoot. And if you know the girls in the business, then you know why I never sleep.” At the club, the Spiegler girls were the center of attention. It helped that a few of them put on a grinding show that got hot enough for the bouncer to hustle over and stop things. Still, everyone noticed, and numerous business cards changed hands by the time Spiegler herded the girls into a limo for the ride back to the hotel.

The next day, in my third hour of trying to convince Kat to leave the place, I ran into Spiegler on the convention floor. I was exasperated. It had been hours of being just one more conversation away from the exit, yet not getting Kat any closer to the door.

“You don’t make much of a suitcase pimp,” Spiegler said. “You got to get your girl where she needs to be. I’ll show you.”

Spiegler took Kat’s hand and started pulling her to the exit. Though she was in the middle of a conversation with an actress, Kat acted without surprise, as though she expected this all along. She said to the girl, “Oh, got to go.” Of course, a few feet later, Kat tried to talk to someone else. But Spiegler’s pull was sure, and Kat quickly accepted it, shouting to the person, “I’ll call you.” Within two minutes we were out the door.

“That is how it works,” he said. Spiegler then headed up to his suite to begin the more challenging marathon of getting his girls to the awards show, and Kat and I went to get dinner which, of course, was on her. At least, that part I get.


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