You know, the ones where some gaggle of girls (and sometimes boys) all live together in a house while they’re slowly “eliminated” for having too much attitude, or for not having enough… or for being too fat or too skinny… or for just being too much like Tyra?
Well, the idea of a “model house” is not just some made-for-TV nightmare. In fact, in the real world (??) of modeling, agencies often have what is essentially dormitory-like housing available for the out-of-town talent they represent.
But who manages and maintains that house? Seriously – who makes sure that the lights are on and there is appropriately fluffy toilet paper in the bathrooms? And, come to think of it, who coordinates all of the talent staying in that house? Who keeps track of their whos, whats, wheres, whens, whys, and hows??
In the mainstream world, there may be a team of people responsible for such epic coordination. But the adult world doesn’t work exactly like the mainstream world, and at LA Direct Models – Los Angeles’ Premier Talent Agency– that work and more is done by Krystina Chin. Krystina took some time out from coordinating porn stars in and around the Los Angeles area to answer a few questions for Porn Valley Vantage – read on!!
Hi Krystina! So to get us started… tell me, tell me – what exactly is it that you do in the industry?
“I work for LA Direct Models as their talent coordinator. I handle receiving, booking, and sending out flights for all our models. I also make sure all scripts and information get into the hands of our current talent.
…and I also recruit new talent for the agency. This involves screening all new submissions before bringing them into the office. I request candid photos from potential talent (since we all know what a miracle worker photoshop can be) and have them fill out a model profile form so I know where they are located and what types of scenes they are interested in doing (i.e Girl/Girl, Boy/Girl, etc).
With girls who are located outside of LA, I have to be more certain about their current appearance in order to avoid having to send them home once they arrive. That has only happened to me once while working here. We had to send a girl home who had flown out from Las Vegas because she looked nothing in person like she did in her photos. Most of the submissions come from people applying via [LA Direct’s] website and some are from word of mouth. And I occasionally surf Facebook, Myspace, and magazines to see if I can get in contact with some of the girls I find there.
I also take care of the small details that go into making sure things run efficiently here: making sure all our models have IDs on file; making sure that proper paperwork is completed for, for example, our 2257 compliance records; and arranging housing situations for girls traveling to LA from out of state. I handle any repairs that need to be done at the model house. Oh, and I keep track of all the content that gets shot and sent out for our girls’ websites as well.
Wow! That easily sounds like five jobs in one!! You must have a lot of experience…
Well I’ve actually only been working at LA Direct, and thus in the adult industry, for about 6 months.
Actually, I was looking to relocate to Los Angeles and responded to an ad to be a personal assistant in the industry. I knew I wanted to work for LA Direct after my interview with Derek [Hay, President and Owner of LA Direct]. I found the industry to be refreshing and an opportunity for me to become educated about a business I’d never explored. I didn’t end up getting the personal assistant job, but I did get a call back about a month later seeing if I wanted to work in my current position.
Before moving to Los Angeles and working for LA Direct, I was working for a small clothing company as a design assistant. I had recently graduated from college and was making patterns and clothing samples for look books. My job was completely different from what I do now.
Yeah, but fashion… models… I don’t know, maybe there’s some kind of connection-ish in a way? Regardless, it sounds like you really like the change this job has afforded you …but what else? What’s the best thing about working in the business, and what’s maybe challenging about it?
The best thing about being in this business is that I am learning something new every day. There are always last minute challenges to face, and this job requires me to think outside the box and be proactive. What I find most challenging is that I work with so many different personalities. And by this I mean that, beyond the people physically sitting in the office with me everyday, our models and the people working in the various production houses [that LA Direct does business with] are all really different.
For example, some of our models are really easy going about minor things, like which house they may be staying in during their trip. But then we have some who demand to stay in one particular place at all times. We have ones that are reliable about giving me their travel information and come by the office when they say they will etc etc… and then there are others that I may never hear from without following up constantly. I try my best not to be intrusive to the ones that are easily volatile. So I guess I would say that learning to adjust my approach in every situation is a challenge.
…but that type of flexibility is a skill everyone should be so lucky to get! Now you mentioned ‘outside the office,’ which makes me think of your personal life… Has working in the industry affected your personal life at all?
It’s affected my personal life because the hours can be long, particularly since I’m working with people who have such sporadic and variable hours themselves. I guess I mostly can’t go to the gym when I want :) but I wouldn’t say that my job has affected me emotionally in any way.
Haha well the gym is important, so you had better go!! Just kidding, but seriously – it sounds like you are just starting out, so this question may be a bit preemptive, but where do you see yourself in five years?
You know I can’t really say where I see myself in five years since I ended up taking a completely different path than I thought I would in the first place. I do think the experiences I’ve gained from this position will help me be more successful in anything I do in the future though.”
Ahhh… uncharted and unexplored paths – don’t you just love it when those work out, when they lead you somewhere unexpected? When they give you a chance to explore parts of this vast and changing world that you may never see otherwise? I sure do!
Krystina is always looking for new faces to organize… If you’re interested in visiting LA Direct’s model house (or you just need some tips on getting your own life together) and you’re at least 18 years old, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(pictured throughout: Krystina Chin courtesy of Krystina Chin)
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Porn Valley Vantage’s feature Back Stories explores the lives of people who work in the adult film industry, as well as those amorphous dimensions of the business that seem to have taken on a life of their own. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated – email me!
You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from Porn Valley Vantage, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.pornvalleyvantage.com).”