Bobbi Starr: My Journey Into the Director's Chair

There was a time when I couldn’t have told you the difference between Rocco Siffredi and Ron Jeremy. Back when I was in music school, I was focused and sure that my future was playing an oboe for a major symphony. I wasn’t a prude by any means—I had boyfriends, I had girlfriends, I had an active sex life—but porn was not part of what I did or who I was.

I met someone at the end of music school who opened my eyes to porn. It turns out that he was a fetish performer as well. I was curious, and it grew even more after I did a few scenes for Kink. We’d watch movies with Belladonna and other Evil Angel directors, and I’d ask him about them and if he’d ever work with them.

His answer, with a laugh, was that he never worked with any of them. They all worked and shot in Los Angeles; if you wanted to make a go of the adult industry professionally, L.A. was the only place to be.

I finished music school and for once I wasn’t sure about my future. I enjoyed doing porn and it was something new. I’d been playing the oboe for as long as I could remember, but this whole new life opened up to me. I followed my curiosity. I went to L.A.

For someone from the Bay Area, that’s a big move. San Jose and Los Angeles are in the same state, but L.A. might as well be on the other coast. People I grew up with looked down on the city’s perceived superficiality and the shallow entertainment it churned out. It was a badge of honor that you were from California, but not part of the Californication of the rest of the country.

However, I found that I liked being a professional porn performer. People tend to think of this industry as being uncreative, derivative and not very thoughtful. I’m not going to lie. I did meet those kinds of people. But I also met people who were every bit as creative and intellectual as the ones I knew in music school. I made fast friends and I grew from a shy, timid newbie to one of the go-to veterans when you absolutely positively needed a gonzo scene done right the first time. (Though a Female Performer of the Year win has sadly eluded me twice—hint, hint, AVN Award judges.)

While the best I could hope for as an oboe player was the first seat in a top orchestra, I realized that the sky was the limit in the adult industry. I excelled in my hardcore scenes, but that didn’t mean the best I could hope for was to be the best performer. I could direct, I could produce—I could go anywhere my creative whims took me in this industry.

I learned how to shoot and began to fund my own productions, the first being a scene with Nacho Vidal and Fabiana Thompson in Brazil, which is on my website, I found that directing and shooting were just as satisfying as being in front of the camera.

I think there are all kinds of people with different kinds of ambition in this industry. Some girls and guys only want to be performers and that’s all they want to do. I find no fault in that. However, critics of this industry always talk about how the women are degraded and that they’re only used for their bodies. For anyone who’s not ever worked in porn, it’s an ignorant statement. And for people who used to work in this business to say that, it’s obvious they have deeper issues.

I can’t think of another industry where I could express myself not only on camera but behind the camera as well, and have the active support of the industry behind me. Shooting and directing for Evil Angel is something I’ve aspired to for a few years now, and I am beside myself that it’s come true. When Christian Mann called to say that John Stagliano wanted me on board, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

There are few industries where a woman, or anyone for that matter, through motivation and persistence can climb to its top tiers and its heights of notoriety. Porn, the adult industry—whatever you want to call it—is one of them, and I’m very pleased to be part of it.

This article originally ran in the September 2011 issue of AVN.