NORTH NORTH HOLLYWOOD by Peter Nolan Smith Chapter One

Six women crowded the honeymoon suite of the Coastal Motel north of Ventura. The buxom ‘groom’ patiently lay on the bed for her ‘bride’, while the brutish camerawoman glanced at the director and tapped her watch.

“Lena, are you ready yet?” A bead of sweat trickled down the wiry director’s spine, as she knocked on the bathroom door.

“One more minute,” the female lead shouted from inside the tiled room.

“That’s fine as long as it’s sixty seconds.” Sherri Conti signaled the camerawoman to prepare for the money shot, acutely aware that the different segments of a movie set operated at contradicting speeds within the same time frames.

Technicians were habitually fast, except when they had downtime and the talent was traditionally slow, especially when they were being rushed by the producer.

A director’s job was to ensure the contrasting sides of the camera meshed during the actual shooting and Sherri checked the equipment for any potential miscue. Everything was in place, except for the girl in the bathroom.

There was no way that Lena was suffering stage fright. The young starlet had performed sex before a camera over fifty times and had not once gone up or blown her scene. Lena was simply dropping into her persona. Sherri had undergone the identical transformation in hundreds of hotels, condos, and ranch houses over her twenty-year career in XXX films.

The extra time had been worth the wait, because once Sherri had heard the word ‘action’, her body had exhibited a tangible hunger for sex and the camera had never lied in an industry with no special effects.

During the 80s Sherri’s name had blazed on marquee lights in Times Square and her body had filled millions of TV screens for audiences of one. A devoted fan had amassed a list of her on-screen lovers. The number ran into the thousands. In the 90s the standouts had vanished from the Valley like animals hunted into extinction. Sherri could have easily joined the missing, except her near-miraculous rise from the dead had granted the forty-five year-old director the status of living legend.

The accolades, setbacks, or sins were meaningless to Sherri, for porno was a business and time was money. She turned to the black woman on the queen-sized bed.

“Josie, give us a sound check.”

“You got it, boss lady.”

Big Josie Cane had worked for Sherri ten times.

The ex-actress’ production company paid better than the standard daily of $500 and the director had never blindsided the actresses with bizarre requests, so Josie saved her best performances for Sherri. These girl-on-girl scenes were especially easy with Lena, for the Spanish girl shone in a business where most actresses were mere light bulbs.

Rising off the mattress Josie spoke into the overhead boom.

“Testing, one, two, three.” Josie cinched the belt of the strap-on dildo, which she didn’t want to slip out of place during the shoot. This was going to be one long take and she meant to make the most of it.

“How clean is it?” Sherri asked the soundwoman.

Even with the taped windows and heavily blanketed door the microphone caught the wet sizzle of 18-wheelers on the rain-drenched Ventura Freeway.

“Nothing I can’t fix in the sound studio.” The soundwoman had heard worst background noise.

The battery of Soft Ks, 10Ks, and Mighty Mole lights around the room raised the temperature. Sherri surveyed the sheen of sweat on Josie and figured that the film’s viewers would appreciate the glistening ebony skin.

“It’s a go, once the ‘jig inky’ is in focus.” The stocky gaffer in jeans studied the bed without seeing a shadow on the sheets.

“Okay, we’ll deal with that when Lena is in place.” This scene needed to be shot and Sherri nervously fingered back her brown shag-cut hair. “Lena, that minute is up.”

“Ready or not here I come.”

The raven-haired actress emerged from the bathroom and struck a provocative pose displaying the natural tautness of her girlish body. A neutral-toned blush heightened the smoothness of her olive skin, while kohl-black mascara accented her green eyes’ Oriental cant. Her coal-black hair was cut to mimic Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile and this suggestive exoticism converted into star quality, which had earned Lena a ‘best new starlet’ nomination in the upcoming XXX awards in Las Vegas.

“Finally.” Sherri clapped her hands and the crew snapped to attention.

Lena crossed the room to her off-screen lover.

The actress was an inch shorter than Sherri and her pouting pelvis grazed the director’s thigh. The older woman stiffened, wishing that she were on the bed, instead of Josie, however the director had retired from that side of the camera five years ago.


“Nervous? I was born for this.”

The younger woman glided out of reach and every woman’s gaze followed her nakedness across the room. Lena wouldn’t have it any other way, for she was as much an exhibitionist as a voyeur.

Her character in the film was called Desiree, a runaway who had never been with a woman. Lena had fled her home at the age of fourteen. She lay on the bed to become a white trash virgin at the mercy of a bull dyke. The metamorphosis was simple, for young actress had lived every aspect of this role over the past six years.

The market for most adult entertainment was predominantly male, however Lena’s audience was evenly split between men and women, despite purely lesbian content of her films. A good part of her appeal had to do with Lena’s youth, however the invulnerability of her years hadn’t lasted long in the meat grinder of adult film industry and Sherri was determined to protect Lena from suffering her fate.

The young girl deserved to be in real films and Sherri had a plan to get her on the silver screen, but now was not the time.

“Everyone set?” Sherri asked the crew.

“Ready, when you are, boss lady.” The gaffer retreated from the lights and Lena’s hand dropped to her shaved vagina. Soon it would be replaced by that of another woman. The old Jefferson Airplane song SALLY GOES ROUND THE ROSES popped into Sherri’s head and the chorus repeated in her mind.

“Saddest thing in the whole wide world is to see your baby with another girl.”

“Josie, take your position.”? Sherri waved the make-up woman from the bed. Filming Lena with another woman was becoming increasingly difficult, but she was a professional in the end.


Big Josie Cane assumed the ‘top’ position for the classic ‘cowgirl reverse’ shot and the Super 8mm video camera transmitted a pixilated image of Lena speaking her lines onto the monitor. The picture was a little fuzzy.

“Sharpen it a little,” Sherri ordered the crouching camerawoman.

“Got it.” The camerawoman crystallized the focus with the deftness of a safecracker.

Sherri prayed a technical failure would halt the filming, except the words, “Lights, camera, action” transported the crew and actresses into the magic world of movie-making.

While the camera wasn’t 35mm and the budget was less than $20,000, every woman in the room regarded today’s film as a magic carpet to Hollywood, that most promised of Californian lands, and no one was refusing a shot at the silver screen matter how big or small the stage.

Any god or goddess would have known the truth, that only the very lucky and the very good are blessed with such opportunities, although sometimes the very bad reached the Promised Land and one look through the viewfinder was proof that Lena de Gama was destined for that heaven, because the camera never lied about the truth.

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