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By Dianne R. Davis
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Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis unless otherwise noted

Joanna Angel? Never heard of her. But there she was at the Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock in January. Did I want to interview her? Sure. She was fairly young, had multiple tattoos, and was associated with the adult video industry. I assumed she appeared in some of the videos. I didn't know any more than that. There were a few surprises in store for me.

Joanna Angel and Burt Davis
Burt Davis and Joanna Angel

Joanna, I discovered, is more than another starlet showing herself in her entirety with special talents on video. She describes herself as the director, XXX star, and mastermind behind BurningAngel.com which she describes as a “punk porn site.” Joanna told me that she is 32 and had been in the industry for ten years. She's from Brooklyn and attended school not far from where I grew up in New Jersey. She majored in English and minored in film at Rutgers. “It's a great university,” she told me. Yes, it is.

While in college, Joanna started a website for naked girls with tattoos. “I owned the company. I produced and directed all my movies.” she said. Clearly, here is a woman who utilizes her classroom learning, embraces the entrepreneurial spirit, and controls her own destiny. Gotta like those attributes.

“I love what I do,” she declared. She began with mostly girl-on-girl stuff she said. She's done comedy and likes plot-oriented porn. “I try to have people laugh with us and not at us.” she declared with an infectious grin.

Okay, now my standard question. How did the family feel about her chosen career direction? Her mom did wonder what she had done wrong as a mother to send her daughter in this unorthodox direction. “I didn't want her to feel she had done anything wrong. She hadn't. It was my decision.” Joanna told me.

I was impressed with Joanna. She's a woman with a good education and goals and the mental and social abilities to achieve those goals.

I asked how long she'll stay in the industry. “I call it the porn industry” she told me. And her response was, “until I look in the mirror and am not happy with what I see. I'll know when it is time.”

Where does she see the future of this industry? “Everybody has to ban together to figure out how to have people pay for porn again.” she pronounced, referring to the proliferation of pirated materials.

What about a personal life I wondered. “The day I decided to do this, I had to give up a lot of personal life. That's the business I am in.” But she repeatedly told me that she does love what she does even though, “It's a twenty four hour a day job.”

According to Joanna, there is a stigma of porn people being overworked and underpaid. Making porn isn't easy she told me. “It takes skill, talent, wits, and brains like any other creative product. People should stop looking at us like we are a circus. They should respect it as a business and a genre of film.”

Okay, Joanna Angel, you convinced me. You are clearly an intelligent articulate woman who is in control of her career and her destiny. Respect.

 

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