For this year’s AVN Male Performer of the Year Michael Stefano (formerly known as Luciano during his time with Extreme Associates), the victory is sweet and he speaks of it with a characteristic humility.
“It was a long time coming,” Stefano told AVN.com “I have been in the business six years and I had never been on that stage….To be nominated is like winning because there’s so much stuff out there but winning…it felt good.”
In 1998, Stefano was a newbie being repped by World Modeling and he took the business seriously enough to have a resume when he went looking for work as a cocksman at Extreme, trying to get work from director Tom Byron.
“Byron looked at it and started laughing, ‘Who’s this guy?’…he called me back later and hired me because none of the directors has one bad thing to say about me and it’s impossible not to hear any bad shit, you know?” Stefano remembered of the time.
Byron knew a good thing when he saw it in action and Stefano was signed with the company after that first go-round. He performed and directed in his own videos, including his first series Luciano’s Lucky Ladies, the excellent anal series Face Down Ass Up and others.
From there, Stefano joined West Coast Productions in 2000 as a contract director/performer where he made consistent, good product such as his series Buttfaced, Caution Your Azz Is In Danger, Sex Toys and Sticky Side Up.
He went on to join with fellow performer/directors Jewel De’Nyle, Manuel Ferrara, Steve Holmes and Brandon Iron to found their own company, Platinum X Pictures in 2002.
His work as a performer and director has been all gonzo and wall to wall with a few turns into features, such as his own feature that he directed for Extreme, Bound By Blood.
As of March 1st, Stefano, along with Ferrara (now of Red Light) and Holmes, will only be performing in Platinum X or sister company Red Light District releases.
“It will keep us focused,” Stefano said of the decision.
It’s impossible not to hear the glow in Stefano’s voice when he talks about his moment accepting that trophy.
“If I never walk up there again as a winner, I’m cool….I just got to walk up there once and know what it felt like. That’s good and I think I deserved it.”
We do too.