8. IN A GIVEN THREESOME YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL WHICH PERSON IS THE MOST IMPORTANT.


In the real world it’s technically at least a five-some and they call it a corporation or a board of directors, but no matter how equally you cut it, there’s always someone everybody feels the need to please and someone who everybody demands satisfaction from. Sometimes they are one and the same person, but you’ve got to observe carefully and repeatedly, or even in slow motion if the technology allows it.

 

7. YOU ONLY EVER KNOW WHAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY LIKE BEHIND THE SCENES.


Forget Lacan’s gaze and Mulvey’s cinematic update—this is porn, not Only Angels Have Wings. Look at someone or listen in on their conversation while they think they’re not being observed.  Look at them looking at themselves in the mirror, admiring or admonishing themselves or others. Watch how someone you know can quickly turn into someone you thought you knew. They can be dangerous, too. Wait, this is about cinema! This is 2001: A Space Odyssey! I fucking love it.

 

6. IT DOES TAKE SOMETHING LIKE 10,000 HOURS TO BE GOOD AT SOMETHING.


There’s a lot invested in every move, especially when it comes to professional work. That’s why it looks so easy—until you try it. But also know that every performance is an opportunity for the viewer to learn. Especially because it’s lit so well and every movement is angled to favor the cameras. I am still talking about 2001: A Space Odyssey, BTW—there’s a scene where the evil computer HAL is reading lips conveniently placed at a perfect angle in relation to his line of electronic sight.

 

5. BUT PAST THAT, IT CAN GET VANILLA OR FAUX-EXTREME.


Sometimes being a one-trick pony isn’t so good. You get tired, your clientele gets tired, and there are only two ways to go forward: let your star dwindle until you become a faded, flaccid version of yourself, or try to bump up your game and end up clownish, theatrical and pathetic. A better way to proceed might be to hang back, let the younger talent take the spotlight and allow them to call you a mentor, or if you’re lucky and talented enough, a producer.

 

4. POSITIONING MATTERS.


That said, it’s not the position you’re in, or you prefer to be in, that really matters—it’s your positioning. In a given situation, are you a “Rocco” (an arbitrary codename for the exotic, creative type) or a “James” (an arbitrary codename for the disarmingly sweet and nurturing type)? Are you an “Anjelica” (an arbitrary codename for the quiet and passive type) or a “Stoya” (an arbitrary codename for the pale, playful, role-switching type)? Your positioning at any given encounter or situation often contains the shape and trajectory of your career. Think of it as fractals—everybody who knows that song from Frozen has heard of them. The great thing about it is that you have the power to change it or turn it around. Remember, these are only roles and projections—they don’t need to be the real you (see second item above).

 

3. BEDS ARE FOR SLEEPING.


What this really means is that variety is the spice of life, and if that sounds like a cliché it’s only to illustrate that the world at hand is rife with structure and formula, down to the timing and the framing and the dialogue. Nobody will ever notice you if you do the expected thing when and where it’s expected to be done. And no, if you want to shake things up you don’t need an LA mansion filled with bad décor that you think you’ve seen somewhere before. Or a black leather couch or the inside of a van, for that matter—whatever. You need a sense of adventure and a lust—for life.

 

2. BEDS ARE FOR SLEEPING.


This is repeated because this one thing really stands for two things, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. So let’s arbitrarily call this the Milton Twins clause. The second part just really means get a lot of sleep. “Sleep is a weapon,” Robert Ludlum wrote; it can be a weapon of love and a weapon of war, but mostly it is a weapon of work. Yes, for pornstars, too.

 

1. YOU’LL NEVER GET ALL THAT TIME BACK.


Whatever you spend your 10,000 hours on, or whatever you’re into right now, know that you’re never going to get back all that time—or that sweat and effort, for that matter, because entropy is real and it rears its head pretty well, no matter what side of the screen you’re on. I don’t know if anyone really means it when they say “I get paid for what doing what I love to do!” but might as well say it again and again until it gets real. Or else, get out, get another job, or another life, or a wife.

 

 

 



Sarge Lacuesta

Sarge Lacuesta has published three books of fiction and has won several Palanca Awards and Philippines Graphic Awards, two National Book Awards, the NVM Gonzalez Award and the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award. He has been literary editor of the Philippines Free Press and is now editor-at-large at Esquire Magazine.

Related Posts