At the 2009 Adult Entertainment Expo, the gloom and doom of the recession hung over the convention like a big, cold, wet blanket. While 2010 isn't a return to the land of milk and honey, there's a sense that things are on the mend, but no clear sense of what that ultimately will mean.
The most significant thing of the first day of the 2010 Adult Entertainment Expo was the unveiling of Kayden Kross as a Digital Playground contract star. Kayden has a solid body of work under her and with The 8th Day, she stepped up her game and is moving to a whole new level. When I interviewed Kayden I was struck by how focused, intelligent, aware and absolutely stunning she is. Kayden has superstar qualities that I think will have a solid home at Digital Playground. Also pretty much every other contract star there confirmed what I was feeling, that she's so stunning everyone wants to sleep with her. I think it's a fair assumption to say that if 2010 goes right for Kayden, she's going to ascend to a spot few performers go, directly to the top of the pack.
Another performer who was simply dazzling is Alexis Texas. Oh what a difference a year makes. This year Alexis is absolutely beaming, she seemed like she was having the time of her life and was right at home shaking her booty and hamming it up at the Elegant Angel booth. Alexis has trimmed way down but managed to keep her signature booty. She simply looks amazing.
The booth that had the absolute non-stop line was Evil Angel, who had a fantastic line up of starlets signing. One of the most well rounded groupings I've seen from them. Belladonna of course drew a monster crowd, but Bobbi Starr and Asa Akira both were close behind with strong followings and a clearly growing fan base. I was very impressed by Bobbi Star who is so charismatic, you could sit and listen to her talk about anything, including the Oboe (which she plays).
One theme that ran through all the interviews I did today was Manuel Ferrara. Nearly every performer listed Manuel as their absolute favorite person to work with. After hearing this over and over and over again I realized that we had neglected to name a male performer of the year, and I can say it would be a no brainer. No other male performer has had the impact this past year as Manuel.
Day 1 of the AEE Show featured a few brand new faces including Alexis Ford who is Adam & Eve's newest contract girl and Jamie Summers who is a new contract girl for Digital Playground. I appreciate meeting new talent at the show but it would be nice if studios gave these girls a few months in the industry before launching them off into the Adult Expo. But if Angelina Armani and Riley Steele are any indication of what a difference a year makes, these girls can grow up and learn an amazing amount in a single year.
Riley Steele who was a little bit 'deer in the headlights' last year has absolutely polished her game and looks and sounds more and more like an absolute Jesse Jane prodigy. If Digital Playground can successfully replicate some of the massive success they've had with Jesse with Riley they'll be in a great position.
Porn Parodies also had a solid presence at the show mostly at the Hustler booth where most of the performers signing had done a good number of Porn Parodies (including Kagney Linn Karter, Missy Stone and Nicole Ray). One of the juiciest nuggets of info I got today was that Nicole Ray is playing Batwoman in Axel Braun's parody of Batman for Vivid. It sounds like an exciting project and Nicole Ray let slip that Robin DOES get laid!
Other Vivid Entertainment scuttlebut included the fact that Hannah Hilton is out of the industry and that Meggan Mallone may be taking a short break. I didn't have a chance to meet AJ Baily today or Leliah (Vivid's two new contract starlets) but I plan to meet them tomorrow.
One of the more surprising interviews I had today was with Missy Stone who told me that she's taking an indefinate leave of absence from the industry. After appearing in a baker's dozen of Porn Parodies this past year she seems clearly burned out.
Other interesting nuggets from the show...Ryan Keelie was seen both at the DP dinner and in the DP booth talking to Joone. She looks fantastic and seems to be making a serious run at being a contract girl. Julze Ventura is now sporting serious dark hair and said she's really ramping up her career, she's got a great look and a spitfire attitude. X-Play has hinted that they are going to be doing Not Charlie's Angel's XXX as their next film and will be re-releasing Flight Attendants as Not Airplane XXX. Digital Playground is showing off the trailer for their next vocational titles called Fly Girls and it looks good!