HOLLYWOOD - It was a dynamic duo that regaled the small audience at Hustler Hollywood last night: Georgina Spelvin, best known for her role as Justine Jones in the classic XXX film The Devil In Miss Jones, and Bay Area author/activist David Henry Sterry.
Spelvin was there to read from her acclaimed autobiography, "The Devil Made Me Do It". Sterry, who assisted The "DMJ" actress with her memoir, was promoting his own book, "Master of Ceremonies: A True Story of Love, Murder, Roller Skates and Chippendales."
Spelvin, looking tiny and a bit ill-at-ease as she approached the microphone, began by recounting her entry into the world of adult films, which occurred after she answered an ad in the Village Voice for production work on "what they call tits 'n' ass movies" in the early '70s. Once on the set, she found herself playing the role of the mother in the softcore film ... and so it began.
"So I played the role," Spelvin told the audience, "and at the end of the thing, one of the lighting technicians came over to me and said, 'Would you be interested in playing the mother? I'm doing this film called High Priestess of Sexual Witchcraft, and I need someone to play the mother.' And he had an actual script ... So obviously, it was a legitimate offer, so I took the script and I read it and it seemed okay and I said, 'Fine, a hundred dollars a day is a hundred dollars a day,' and so I signed up to do this film. And we shot all of these exteriors and running shots - it was high production stuff, with car chases and all this stuff, and then of course we got to the scene I refer to as the Oedipal scene, where the mother seduces the son - and it was in the script, but that's about all it said."
What it required, though, was hardcore sex. Spelvin, ever the professional, simply did what the director called for ... all of which is detailed marvelously in her book.
Spelvin also talked about how she was "outed" as a porn star to her family: Her brother had seen a review of Devil by famous mainstream critic Judith Crist in Newsweek, together with a photo of Spelvin in a bustier, and wanted to double-check whether that was indeed his sister.
Where Spelvin's tone was low-key and slightly ironic, Sterry's account of his arrival in New York City as an aspiring actor was flamboyant and humorous. For instance, after sending out 100 resumes and photos, Sterry said he managed to get appointments with just three agents, the first of which died the weekend before their scheduled appointment.
"Agent #2 is just under five feet tall and just over 120 years old," he continued. "She smokes an unbroken chain of unfiltered cigarettes. Her office is swabbed in a smog overcoat."
That agent recommended "extensive cosmetic surgery," which could be had at a discount from her brother, the cosmetic surgeon, and Sterry recalled that after hearing her litany of what was wrong with his looks, "I slouch out of her den of nicotine, trying to imagine what my new herpe-free, tiny-eared, normal-nosed, symmetrical surgically-straightened face will look like."
What Sterry wound up with was a job as MC at the New York branch of the Chippendales strip club, where he was required to roller-skate among the male strippers while announcing the acts.
Sterry is an excellent writer, given to alliterative descriptions that paint vivid pictures of his targets. For instance:
"A half-naked tanned ex-Klan man with a bitchin' hot bod, big blond hair and a '70s porn-star moustache cock-walks into the dressing room," Sterry intones. "He is ... The Snowman," so named both because of his hair color and the fact that he has the best cocaine of anyone on the staff. Sterry later described in exquisite detail walking into the men's room to find The Snowman being blown by a pair of blonde twins ... but still having enough presence of mind to offer Sterry a line or two of coke.
A Q&A period followed the readings, with Spelvin relating her first visit to Larry Flynt's offices as part of her work on the "Henri Pachard Project," which she said Hustler Video would be releasing in the next few weeks.
"I was impressed when I saw the Louvre," Spelvin gasped, "but when I saw Larry Flynt's office, I was just ... I can't describe it."
When asked about the differences between having sex with Devil co-star Harry Reems on- and off-camera, Spelvin said: "Well, I never had sex with Harry outside of making films, and having sex in the course of making a film is a totally different sexual experience than real sex."
Reminiscing about Reems, she added, "As an actor, he's incredible. He's just wonderful: Focused, constantly in the scene and never lost his concentration or anything else - and that's not a small consideration when you're making that kind of a movie."
Sterry brought his friend, Sweetheart Video director Nica Noelle, up to the microphone with him to discuss the differences between male and female strip-joints.
"For me, the best part of the show was watching these women be with each other," Sterry said, "and they would come in these gaggles, and they would all have the same kind of hair and the same kind of outfits, and there was always one woman who was kind of the instigator of the group. Usually a lot of alcohol was involved, and she would always wave the dollars over all her friends' heads, and it was like, when something would happen to one of them, they would all look at each other and like, 'Ohmigod, isn't that great' or 'Isn't that weird' or whatever."
When Noelle asked Spelvin her opinion of modern porn, the actress admitted, "I know nothing about porn today. I love to do it but I don't have much interest in watching it. I'd rather watch a turtle fuck."
"The fame and notoriety [of being a porn star] came as a great surprise," Spelvin later said, "and I really never expected and it was never anything that I looked for and it embarrasses the hell out of me. I constantly feel like somebody's going to find me and tell me it was all a mistake and I wasn't supposed to be here."
Asked if she regretted her career as an adult actress, Spelvin replied, "I'm very proud of the work that I did because I did the work as work. It doesn't make any difference to me whether I'm drinking from a bottle or kissing a cock; whatever's in the script, I do. And I always try to do what the script calls for, the very, very best that I can. I'm an approval junkie. Pat me on the head and that's all that I need. Yes, I'm glad to try it. Jump off of that 12-foot tower or bureau? Of course I will! I can't believe some of the things I did because it just never occurred to me that I couldn't."
Both of the stars talked about their upcoming projects. Spelvin said she's working on another book, while Sterry noted that his first book, "Chicken," about his days as a Beverly Hills gigolo, has been made into a Showtime mini-series premiering this fall. He also has an anthology of sex workers' experiences releasing in July, titled "Ho's, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys."
Spelvin and Sterry will join AVN Hall of Fame favorite Nina Hartley and Vivid-Alt director Vina Virago for another reading and panel discussion this Saturday night at Circus of Books in West Hollywood.
"The Devil Made Me Do It" is available directly from Spelvin's website at georginasworld.com.