Charlie David discusses his work from Mulligans to Shadowlands

Charlie David Proud Times August 2018

Charlie David starred in Dante’s Cove, Mulligans, Judas Kiss and now is at the helm as director and star of the award-winning series Shadowlands.

Charlie David has worked as a host for E!, OUTtv, PinkTV, LOGO, NBC, Fine Living and Slice Networks.  According to many directors and producers that have worked with him, Charlie David is as humble and kind as he is talented.  The entertainment entrepreneur has been referred to as “an amazingly talented and creative entrepreneur”, “a consummate professional”, and “a pleasure to direct, a natural, very telegenic host, and a true gentleman.”

Charlie David Proud Times article August 2018

If you enjoyed this article about Charlie David, explore more interviews with actors from Border2Border Entertainment shows.

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I’m a Porn Star documentary

documentary I'm a Porn Star

I’m a Porn Star is a feature documentary exploring the lives of men working in the gay adult entertainment industry.

There are an estimated 370 million pornographic websites online.  Porn is now a thirteen BILLION dollar business.  So who’s doing all this moonlighting?  Turns out – probably some people you know.  I’m a Porn Star is a documentary revealing the inner workings of the gay adult industry.

I like to make films about sexuality – how we as a society embrace or are repulsed by it, what some see as artistic expression and others view as pornography, and where the seeds for these often very visceral reactions begin.

I’m a Porn Star is entertainment but it also delves into a provocative new era of sexual liberation and expression.  Living in a domestic post gay liberation era we are now bombarded with the male form undressed for pleasure, for provocation, and as a catalyst in advertising and media.  I wanted to explore how young men are being conditioned to perceive their own bodies, their constructs of masculinity, and the disintegration of labels around sexuality.

A decade ago we consumed pornography in magazines or buying DVDs and VHS tapes.  Today the studio giants in the adult industry have been gutted by the Internet auteur and are struggling to reinvent themselves before it’s too late. 

I'm a Porn Star documentary Brent Everett

A millennial gay porn star could make a living with film and was truly the star of the community in a time when Hollywood was still afraid to come out of the closet.  Today a gay porn star likely has another job to pay the rent, which usually includes ‘club appearances’ or online hustling. 

At the turn of the century we were still shocked by the AIDS epidemic and many studios began routinely testing their stars and only filming safe sex.  Today in spite of rapidly rising rates of HIV transmission in youth – bareback scenes are in vogue and receive special promotion on many websites. 

In 2000 it was risky business getting into adult entertainment. Today in a volatile economy, more and more young people are using it to ‘put themselves through school’ or because like the new Queen of Pop they’ve also been bitten by the Fame Monster. 

I'm a Porn Star documentary on set

‘Boys will be boys’ as the saying goes and we were invited onto a pleasure island while filming I’m a Porn Star.  As a young twenty-something, I witnessed several handsome friends suddenly working in the adult industry – either as strippers or in adult video.  I always wondered how much was enough for them to say yes to that world and the lifestyle that went with it. 

I'm a Porn Star documentary Rocco Reed

To what extent will a young person push their body, their will, or their sexual preference in order to grab some quick cash? The answer of course is not easy and each subject we worked with presented their own set of motivations – everything from lust for dollars, an addiction to attention, or simply loving to have sex!

Directing the I’m a Porn Star documentary was such an adventure because I was able to immerse myself outside my comfort zone, grow and be challenged by the experience.  There were many times while interviewing when I had to keep my fist planted firmly under my jaw so it wouldn’t fall to the floor.  These guys are shocking, competitive, profane, relatable and endearing.  Perhaps they’ve made choices that there’s no turning back from or perhaps they’re brave enough to live the sexually liberated lives we all secretly fantasize about.

I'm a Porn Star Johnny Rapid

Following the interest in the first documentary, we decided to do a sequel, I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay which explores the lives of straight men who work in the gay adult industry. 

INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR CHARLIE DAVID, Director of I’m a Porn Star documentary

What was the genesis for I’m A Porn Star? Was this your brainchild or were you approached by someone else to take part?

I was approached by OutTV Canada to create a film that somehow reflected a change in the queer experience over the past few decades.  I decided to look a little beyond the obvious political landscape and explore adult entertainment and how it’s been impacted by technological, social and consumption advances and new norms. 

Porn is ubiquitous now – creation and engagement are high across all social classes and so a deeper look at the people who make it their career despite it still being a taboo fascinated me. 

This isn’t your first documentary, but it’s the first with people who are fairly well known, at least in the porn world. Did you have an easier or harder time getting them to open up for the camera?

I’ve been really fortunate with my documentaries that my subjects have been extremely comfortable and forthcoming with me.  I also do interviews in the casting and vetting process so I won’t work with someone if I think they’ll be flat or problematic in a show. 

For this project, there are many great looking guys who take awesome photos or make great sex videos but in an interview situation or to follow them around in real life with a camera would be a terribly boring experience both for me and for an audience.  Those early interviews and doing some research before considering production is very important.  It’s casting essentially and a dynamic story line and compelling characters are tantamount to having any entertainment experience succeed. 

Working as a host on the travel show Bump for 6 years really cut my teeth as an interviewer.  We filmed 120 episodes all around the world and there were some great interviews and some that were painful teeth pulling experiences.  I think that process of learning how to get a person comfortable with me and asking the right questions so they share freely and openly was like boot camp for becoming a film director – especially of documentaries. 

Were there any revelations you had while making this or any moments that really stood out to you as being eye-opening? 

I went to some shoots with various companies prior to filming and seeing the use of injectables like Caverject to get erections for filming was certainly eye-opening.  There really are a disproportionate number of straight identifying men working in gay pornography.  Some of the feedback on my doc and on blogs I’ve read, the comments seem to obsess with who’s straight, who’s gay, is it subconsciously homophobic that we have so many straight guys doing gay work, etc. 

Honestly I don’t understand the obsession with these questions or lines of thinking.  It seems so old-school to me to be labeling sexuality so rigidly.  There’s a continuum of sexuality and these guys along with all humanity fall somewhere on the spectrum.  However, because of the obvious fascination, I decided to do a follow up documentary, I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay which explores this.

Coming from a fairly liberal place like Canada to the US, do you find that there’s a more puritanical view of sex here in the US than there is in Canada or is the opposite true?

While we may vary on other norms in terms of sex within culture my experience living in Canada and the USA has been that we’re fairly similar.  Our countries are geographically immense and there are plenty of pockets of conservatives, progressives and moderates in both.

You wear a lot of hats, but where are you most at home? Is it performing, producing, writing, directing, or something else?

At this point on my journey I love directing and producing.  The documentaries are really fun but I’m looking forward to directing some scripted films & TV as well.  I’m certainly open to being contacted by studios or independents to direct.

You said in an interview with Out Visions that your work resides in “a little niche within a niche,” but do you see the audience for what you do expanding more rapidly now than it was even a year ago?

Yes, I think there’s a growing hunger for content and the type of sexy, off-beat, gay-centric shows and films I make.  There are emerging markets and growing populations that want to watch compelling films about the gay experience and that’s what I do. 

You also mentioned in that interview that you have received communications from people whose lives were impacted by your work. Would you care to share any one of those with us?

Most of the emails and letters I receive come from either a Dante’s Cove fan or from someone who has just watched my film Mulligans.  I think with Mulligans the inter-generational relationship between the father and his son’s best friend is compelling, arousing or relatable in some way to a lot of people.  It’s also a story about a family man who comes out in his forties and for a lot of men living in those more conservative pockets of the country I think this also strikes a chord. 

Is there anyone you haven’t worked with yet that you’re dying to work with?

Of course, there’s a huge list here!  We’re actually preparing I’m a Porn Star: Gay4Pay, which will dive deeper into the lives of the straight dudes who work in gay porn since that seems to be such a fractious topic.  So in the adult world we’re starting to compile a wish list and are certainly open to your readers input. 

 In the mainstream I’m a huge fan of Xavier Dolan’s work as director, writer and actor. 

Anything else you’d like your fans to know or perhaps anyone that’s discovering you for the first time?

I love when an audience interacts with a film.  So I invite your readers to watch our work and rate it, review it, share it, comment on it and discuss it.  My documentaries are meant to be kindling and I hope they start a conversation. 

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Sonoma County diet – sweat and drink

Sonoma County Illustration by Jon Stich

Sweet & Sweaty in Sonoma County

Sonoma County, California is a perfect long weekend getaway providing ample opportunity to get active year round while offering sumptuous food and wine to scintillate your senses.  My mission was simple – sweat and drink. 

Spring had officially donned her bedazzled Easter bonnet and shoved Old Man Winter down a steep flight of stairs.  With this turn of seasons came one of my favorite pastimes – patio drinks and dinners. 

As the sun coaxed me out of my jacket I’d suddenly been hit with a horrific realization.  Canadian swimsuit season was in sight.  Now where could I shed some Polar Bear poundage and still indulge sipping on the fruits of someone else’s labor?      

Sonoma County wine tasting.
A wine picnic in Sonoma County

Though tempted to skip the sweat on arrival in Sonoma County, I summoned my inner drill sergeant and rented a bike to peddle out to Francis Ford Coppola’s winery.  Being a film buff I considered it the perfect place to begin.  With more than forty wines produced on site and situated on a stunning property surrounded by sustainably farmed vineyards I got it right.  I soon had a stemmed glass of the Director’s Cut varietal in my paw as I perused the display cases with Academy Awards, Golden Globes and memorabilia from Apocalypse Now to The Godfather

Catching a glimpse of the Russian River I decided it was time to get wet and jumped in a kayak for workout number two.  The sandy banks beckoned after a few kilometers paddle and thankfully I had brought a bottle of bubbles on board. 

Many, including myself, are surprised to learn that a few vineyards outside the Champagne region of France have been Grandfathered and approved to use the name.  Such is the case with Korbel Champagne Cellars in the town of Guerneville in Sonoma County.  Over one hundred and fifty years ago the Korbel brothers immigrated to the U.S.A. and continued the tradition of Champagne.  And I’m so glad they did.  Bubbles can be a boy’s best friend. 

Sonoma County - Armstrong Woods Guerneville

The Armstrong Redwood Grove is really not to be missed once you’ve sunned yourself on the banks of the river.  Though I began running I was soon slowed to a contemplative stroll as I took in the serene, majestic beauty of the Grove and how it stands as a living reminder of the magnificent primeval redwood forest that covered much of this area before logging operations began during the 19th Century. 

Sonoma County coastline

While whale watching was not likely to drop any pounds I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get out on the open water and view the rugged Northern California coastline.  At any rate the thought of one of the whales in an Aussie Bum Speedo allowed a smug smile to creep across my face as I made my way to the bow of the fishing boat.

Sonoma-County-Wine-Grapes

Pinot painted my pallet as I reflected on this quintessential California retreat offering sun, sand, surf and serenity.  Sonoma County is a perfect place for romance and a favorite denning area for the bears of our community.  Glancing down at my cubbish figure I realized maybe I just found myself a new sweet spot.  Seawater splashed up and beaded like sweat on my forehead.  Vacation accomplished.  Drink and sweat.  Or at least fake it ‘til you make it. 

Catch me if you can! 

Where in the world is Charlie David?   Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to keep up with the adventures.

Enjoy Travel?  Watch the video on the history of gay Tango dancing I made while in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

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