The Art of Performance: Top Stars Share Current Strategies for Success

The Art of Performance: Top Stars Share Current Strategies for Success

While many studio performers are also creators, harnessing the booming indie content and streaming market, only a select few creators also do studio shoots.

It takes a unique blend of skills and qualities to gain fame starring in scenes for marquee brands, shot by award-winning directors for high-traffic paysites. Shoots can take upward of a dozen hours, be dialogue-heavy, require multiple locations and setups, or encounter unforeseen complications owing to weather, other performers not showing up or the need to match parameters mandated by distant corporate headquarters. On top of that, performers need to be able to work well with the crew and navigate everything from on-set consent to securing booking through an agency, or self-booking if they are well established.

There is overlap between the studio and indie worlds, of course. Some of the challenges noted above also apply to top creators, whose equipment, production values and collaborations can rival studios.

There is overlap between the studio and indie worlds, of course. Some of the challenges noted above also apply to top creators, whose equipment, production values and collaborations can rival studios. Traffic from talent is much desired by paysites eager for high-converting visitors, and lessons learned on pro sets can translate into better indie productions. However, the more traditional ecosystem of studios and paysites remains its own landscape.

XBIZ canvassed numerous acclaimed and award-winning stars to determine what business practices and professional strategies today’s studio performers favor. Their responses covered everything from staying in shape, the huge difference the right collaborations can make and keeping up with the latest production trends and effective marketing tactics, to areas for improvement and personal highlights from the past year. Now, we break it all down for you in this special report.

Let’s Get Physical

It has been accurately observed that adult stars are sexual athletes. In a profession that demands physical stamina and defines success according to how many people seek to watch you, personal wellness habits take on major importance. The stars we spoke with shared a variety of approaches to staying physically and mentally healthy, fit and camera-ready.

For some, it’s about focusing on the basics. Ana Foxxx says that early in her career, she took her health for granted.

“This lifestyle can be so fast and fun that you almost feel invincible,” she notes. “For me, less alcohol and parties, more food and sleep!”

Other performers have very specific routines. Derek Kage takes health and wellness very seriously, sticking to a strict diet and exercise regimen while getting as much sleep as he can.

“I strive for eight hours a night,” he shares. “And if I can fit in a nap during the day, then I will. I rarely drink alcohol. I monitor my carbohydrate and sugar intake to keep my body fat low. I mostly eat lean meats like chicken and fish and I typically eat nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Don’t let me fool you, though! I have days where I say “Screw it!” and binge comfort foods.”

Kage reveals that peanut M&Ms are his main guilty pleasure, but adds that they help him avoid other junk food. As he nears his 40th birthday, his workouts are geared toward maintenance rather than lifting the heaviest weights he can to get bigger.

“I focus more on conditioning and aerobic exercise to maintain my cardiovascular health,” he says, “Like running, an assault bike, kettlebell swings and burpees — with a few weight training exercises thrown in to keep my muscle mass. Some of the exercises I do are bench press, dead lift and front squats.

“I live in Utah near the mountains and desert, so I love to go hiking and backpacking whenever I possibly can,” he continues. “I love it because it’s also a way to improve mental health. That’s very important to me. I like to get away from daily life and just focus on being out in the wilderness. No people. No phones. No computers. No social media. Just me and nature.”

Alexis Fawx began taking peptides and added nutritional vitamin therapy to her regimen this past year, to help her function at her most optimal level.

“Staying healthy and fit is always a priority,” Fawx shares. “It’s just a part of my lifestyle and makes me feel good. Also, the mental and emotional benefits from a healthy lifestyle keep me well-rounded and balanced.”

Anna Claire Clouds says Pilates helps keep her body and mind in tune with each other. Emma Rose has also made it one of her go-tos.

“After working 12-hour days on set, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself,” Rose says. “So I picked up Pilates and restarted my contortion training. I used to weightlift often, but am taking a much-needed break.”

Jade Venus says going to the gym more often has helped take her mind off problems and put her in a good mental space.

“I’ve also been eating a lot more healthily lately,” she explains. “Those were my best resolutions for this past year.”

Jane Wilde has found ways to stay healthy and fit despite having to give up weight and endurance training due to a flare-up from a hormonal disorder.

“I was told to focus on improving my diet and on exercise that’s easier on my body, so I have been eating mostly plant-based and gluten-free for the past few months, and going on long-distance walks,” Wilde says. “I truly feel the healthiest I ever have, by listening to what my body needs and providing it.”

Kira Noir says she swears by collagen peptides, which she uses in place of protein powder.

“It boosts my protein intake while also helping my hair, skin and nails,” she notes, giving credit to Emma Magnolia for the recommendation.

Some stars find that it helps to have support and motivation from those around you. Michael Boston works with a trainer, who also created a diet plan for him. Lilly Bell runs around with her dog and takes him hiking, but also appreciates her human exercise companions.

“Becoming friends with Charlie Forde has really helped me keep accountable at the gym,” Bell says. “She used to be a champion weightlifter, so she really pushes me. I remember the first time we worked out together, she put 45 pounds on each side of the bar and was like, ‘Just a quick warm up!’ I was like, ‘Girl, you’re crazy!’ But she was right, I could do it.”

Penny Barber’s husband started working out during the COVID pandemic, then began training her — in part so that they could spend more time together. She says she surprised herself by getting into really good shape this past year.

“Last January, I had never done a pull-up or chin-up in my life,” Barber says. “Now I can do four or five, upside down even! I got stronger, and then a friend recommended that I change my diet. That was when I started to see some encouraging muscle definition.”

Ricky Johnson says he tries to eat healthily and go running at least three times a week. He experienced a setback recently, however, pulling a hamstring while racing a colleague in November — and then pulling the other a month later, again while racing.

“Now I need to dedicate more time to getting my leg meat strong,” he explains.

Seth Gamble has found success with an animal-based diet that he began six months ago, while also cutting out gluten and sugar.

“I’ve lost a lot of weight,” he shares. “I’ve consistently trained four to five days a week for the past decade, but I mentally feel the best I’ve ever felt from changing my diet based on my body. I’ve also lightened my weightlifting to more volume as I’ve gotten older, to stay in shape without putting too much pressure on my body.”

Vince Karter has gotten staying healthy down to a science: “I like to cook my own food, train every morning for an hour, shoot at least one scene and then go back to training before finishing with chocolate in bed.”

Then there is Zac Wild, who says he has always made health and fitness a priority.

“It’s pretty simple,” he notes. “I remain consistent, going to the gym and watching what I eat. I don’t go out or drink or bullshit around clubs. I’m quite reclusive and I like it like that!”

Violet Myers works out twice a day, lifting weights and then doing cardio for an hour and a half afterward.

“I also watch what I eat,” she says. “I believe that what you put in your body is important — though I sometimes splurge because you only live once! Don’t be too strict on yourself.”

Lulu Chu tends to agree. She prefers to avoid a strict regimen and eats what she wants. Fortunately, she notes, she performs so often that the job itself is a workout.

“I actually put some weight on this year,” she says. “But I think it’s good weight!”

It Takes a Village

Surviving and thriving in the studio ecosystem is not something any performer can do alone. Discussing their experiences on set, many stars touched on just how important it is for performers to connect with, trust and feel supported by the people around them.

“It’s a collective and team effort,” notes Nicole Doshi, who says she relishes collaborating with the industry’s many performers, directors, camera people, hair stylists, makeup artists and others.

“Everyone is so positive, encouraging and supportive,” Doshi says. “It has really helped me become a confident performer.”

Brazzers contract star Fawx agrees, and describes her own on-set experience as “consistently great.”

“I think when you feel super safe and comfortable, that just automatically brings out your best,” Fawx shares. Her sentiments are echoed by fellow Brazzers star and veteran performer Kira Noir.

“Being on set for long hours and doing intense action scenes is massively improved by Brazzers’ standards for consent check-in and triple-checking safety concerns,” Noir offers. “I feel really safe and cared for within my Brazzers family and for that I’m extremely grateful!”

Clouds is equally positive, reflecting on what she calls a stellar year of working with amazing directors and crews.

“Every experience created an environment that nurtured creativity and a productive workflow,” she offers. “I had the opportunity to play so many interesting characters in several different genres. I think of it less as acting and more as playing pretend with my friends.”

Falcon/NakedSword contract star Beau Butler cites a similar dynamic. He credits writer-director Ben Rush with eliciting his strongest work, noting that Rush has created his favorite projects and is someone he can always lean on.

Kage also praises Rush, as well as helmer Steve Cruz, both of whom he says have been particularly helpful to him. He is especially thankful to them for casting him as the lead in their feature “Overdrive.”

“They allowed me to express my full potential as an actor in addition to the sexual performances they needed from me,” Kage offers. “The film is incredible and raises the bar for adult.”

“I really am grateful that the studios and directors have shown so much faith in me,” Kage underlines, citing encouragement and mentorship from ASGMax/Next Door Studios director Jeremy Babcock, who cast him in the lead for feature “The Goldenrod Resort,” and from Micah Martinez, with whom he worked in a supporting role on the KinkMen feature “Silent Hill: Delirium,” which allowed him to show off both his acting and his ability to handle BDSM scenes.

For Emma Rose, it is Ricky Greenwood who has made that kind of special impact on her career.

“He pushed for me to star in multiple Dorcel productions and has helped me break glass ceilings that trans women haven’t reached yet,” she says.

Kira Noir seconds the praise for Greenwood, who directed her as the lead in “Machine Gunner.”

“I also had a lot of fun shooting tons of campy comedy scenes with directors like Lea Lexis, who has a great way of providing us interesting structures to follow while allowing us to improv silly things on our own to add to scenes,” Noir says.

For her all-star team, Venus lists Tom Moore at TransAngels, Jim Powers with GenderX and Adult Time, and especially Aiden Starr with Evil Angel.

“She’s amazing!” Venus enthuses. “I always have so much fun shooting with these directors.”

Vince Karter, who just spent his first year in the U.S. after moving from Europe, names three directors that he really enjoyed working with this past year.

“Pat Myne, as we have deep mutual respect for one another and we shot some of my craziest scenes ever,” Karter notes. “He’s a hardcore gonzo director who reminds me of my years shooting for Rocco Siffredi. Laurent Sky from Vixen is so passionate when he shoots and the results are always amazing. When you shoot for him, you really want to give your best.

“And Marvin from Brazzers is the sweetest director. On his set you feel at home with everybody.”

For his list, Zac Wild also name-drops Myne, along with directors and crews like Chris Streams; Jules Jordan; Brian, Mark and Peggy of Keiran Lee’s Brazzers crew; and Mason at Hard X.

“I couldn’t be more grateful,” Wild enthuses. “They all treat me so damn good. And a shoutout to every PA who has held their foot out to keep me stabilized while I’m opening up for camera to hold a position, you all know who you are and you’re awesome!”

Johnson directs his shoutouts to Lexi Morin, Mello, Lea Lexis and Toni Ribas as producers who bring out the best in him.

“Really watch out for Lexi Morin, she’s been killing it quietly and is a name to be reckoned with in the future,” Johnson says. “When it comes to my productions, I have Curious Judas filming all the sex and we dance well together, so I’m always at my best there.”

“Being at your best” emerges as a consistent theme in our interviews, linked with working in a comfortable, positive, safe and consensual work environment.

“Every studio has supported me and my scene partners in putting on the best performance possible,” Kage shares. “Before every scene, we always discuss consent and boundaries with each other and the director. We also discuss what we really enjoy and what we think would work for the scene with regard to positions and acts we can perform. It’s usually a very collaborative effort.

“This is especially true of sets involving any kind of BDSM,” he continues. “Clarion Alley, KinkMen’s ownership group, won’t even turn cameras on without all models being tested, full consent talks and ensuring safety and health practices have been discussed and agreed to.”

Jane Wilde sums it up this way: “I particularly enjoy sets where our comfort and overall experience as talent is taken into account and everyone feels safe and provided for. Nowadays, I’m secure in who I am and what I bring to my scenes — even if I still play the stepdaughter sometimes! So I’m much more aware of what a good production flow feels like on set, and I can stand up for myself if I don’t feel like the process is being respected or done justice.”

Constant Evolution

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted, the only constant in life is change — and the performers we interviewed would seem to agree, highlighting numerous recent changes in the studio ecosystem and production. They also are not hesitant about suggesting changes and improvements they hope to see in the future.

For Foxxx, this past year was about pushing her performance limits, something she attributes to the way studio projects are evolving.

“Features have really been adding a lot of production value and stunts, really making high-quality movies,” she observes. “I did more stunts this year than in the whole last decade.” That included jumping off of buildings, having sex under “blood” rain and undergoing prosthetic makeup so an alien parasite could slip out of her.

Karter says that many studios want to see more energy than ever before on screen. He recalls being asked to be more passionate and expressive in his sex scenes, an idea he likes.

Noir believes that as time goes on, performers are becoming increasingly involved in the production process in various ways, such as by contributing scene ideas.

“It’s great to feel like our opinions, ideas and concerns are valued more and more,” she says.

Venus sees significant evolution in studio work, especially when it comes to trans performers and content.

“I feel like every year there are new doors opening up for our genre and I feel very fortunate to have witnessed it,” Venus reflects. “In particular, Adult Time’s ‘Muses’ is a series that really shows how porn can be a form of art.”

Rose is on the same page, adding: “I’ve had a few film series that actually create a story and include acting. Bree Mills is an amazing storyteller and has definitely inspired me to become more of an actress.”

Gamble similarly enthuses, “Pretty much anything I get to do with Bree Mills and Adult Time is an amazing experience,” before name-dropping other favorites. “Working with Ricky Greenwood has been a lot of fun. So is the work I get to do for Jacky St. James, and anything with Bellesa. Working with Kayden Kross is an excellent experience in every scene as I feel the effort they put in.”

Rose highlights recent progress that is close to her heart. In the past, she points out, studios often underestimated the appeal and commercial potential of trans content, but now the genre’s momentum is transforming studio work in a positive way.

“It’s an honor to continue building upon the framework begun before me by so many trans pioneers,” she says. “Names like Domino Presley, TS Foxxy and Jessy Dubai inspire me because they refused to be treated as second-class actresses.”

Kage is optimistic about the direction in which studio work is evolving.

“The studios are improving themselves so much,” he tells us. “I’ve heard from industry professionals that model care and safety are taken into account more today than in years past. It’s a better work environment for everyone involved and the studios release a better product because of it.”

Gamble concurs, saying: “Over the past four or five years we’ve definitely put a massive focus on the importance of consent and the understanding that talent should feel good about being on set. Continuing that is extremely important and must always be top priority.”

Of course, there is always room for improvement, including in-studio performers’ experience on set. Wilde rattled off a few common-sense tips that she thinks can improve things for everyone.

“Everyone showing up on the same page,” she notes. “Small on-set meetings to make sure everyone is up to speed. Time management skills are also imperative.”

Bell says she is occasionally frustrated when production is too slow-moving.

“I can’t stand the ‘No urgency!’ I’m like, ‘Where is the efficiency? You’re paying for a location here!’ But then again, there are certain crews I love to goof off with, so it always depends.”

Venus contends that productions could still be more accommodating to trans models, as there is often extra pressure placed on them not only to look beautiful but also to perform harder than others, even while they deal with challenges cis performers may not face.

“That can range from sex prep to maintaining libido on camera despite our hormones,” she specifies.

Barber cites a decidedly modern issue: the rise of AI-generated content considerations to which performers increasingly must pay attention.

“Unfortunately, I’ve worked for several studios that have tried to sneak AI clauses into their contracts without informing performers of the changes,” she laments. “Fellow performers, if this happens to you, do not sign the contract — especially if you don’t have a lawyer with you. This is a big decision. Know your AI rights, and what they cost.

“Demand extra compensation, even if you’re a guy shooting POV or a director,” Barber recommends. “Remember that you’re signing away future work, even if you’re not a lady model. I hope that directors, DPs, photographers, PAs, sound techs and everyone on set will realize that it’s in their best interests to keep AI rights in check, as they won’t be hired to direct those computer-generated scenes that will render their gear investments obsolete.”

Gamble brings it all back down to the performers’ experience, noting that when talent feels good about being a part of a project, they deliver better performances.

“That’s noticeable to the viewer,” he shares. “So I would like to see more emphasis on casting talent who really enjoy being together. Giving the audience a product where they feel there’s actual real chemistry is vital.”

Brand Fitness

While this report has already touched upon physical and mental well-being as key ingredients for success, there is another sort of “fitness” to which studio performers must dedicate themselves. That is their social media savvy and ability to market both themselves and the productions they appear in.

In the age of fan platforms, studios are hungry to take advantage of the traffic popular stars can generate. Just like their indie counterparts, therefore, studio performers must master a variety of tools and techniques for promoting themselves and their projects.

Most of the studio performers with whom we spoke shared the same basic strategy, exemplified by Wilde who promotes her brand on Instagram, X, Reddit, YouTube and, more recently, her new personal website.

“I have accumulated a group of followers who stay tuned to hear about my newest releases,” she shares. “By redirecting traffic from SFW sites to my X account, where adult content is allowed, I’m able to directly inform my followers of what I have going on and how they can support my work.”

Clouds says she utilizes X and Reddit the most, since they allow adult content promotion. Boston is most active on and Instagram where, he says, he is active about responding to direct messages. Gamble combines social media marketing with press releases to promote projects he works on, and collaborates with other talent to maximize visibility.

Doshi says her approach to social media stems from lessons she learned from industry peers.

“I took their advice and used as many social media platforms as possible to market myself, such as Instagram, TikTok, X, YouTube and Snapchat,” she shares.

Myers says she also doesn’t stick to one thing.

“I like to be all over the place and network everywhere I can get my hands on,” she offers, adding that she depends in part on her fans, who often clip her YouTube videos into shorts and post reaction videos. This helps promote her even more. “My fans play a huge part,” she acknowledges.

Fawx favors marketing herself across a variety of podcasts, from sex work-centric to business-oriented. She has also taken to Reddit.

“I created my own subreddit called FawxFans,” she says. “It’s just a nice place to advertise, where I’m not being shadow-banned. Most recently, I’ve been a co-host on a dating show called ‘Shoot Your Shot.’”

Johnson has assembled a team to promote both himself and his Ricky’s Room paysite.

“Curious Judas is my videographer, James McCloud takes fine safe-for-work photos and Lexi does iconic makeup each and every time,” he says. “My homie Riley helps coordinate Reels on set and Janae stays up with me doing production management. They allow for a smoother operation and give me the time to post and repost content on multiple socials.”

Rose takes an equally focused approach. She advises finding a solid publicist and creating a long-term marketing plan.

“I sat down and created a bunch of small goals to hit within a year,” she says. “Then I created goals that may take three to five years — hell, even 10 years! My marketing degree has a concentration in brand management and it fills me with so much joy to perfect my brand and image.”

Bell tries to be thorough, engaging with fans and leveraging connections with colleagues and collaborators for mutual boosting.

“As time has gone on, I have really learned how to use every facet of every option for marketing myself,” she says. “Closed mouths don’t get fed! If you don’t advocate for yourself, who will?”

For Noir, learning to promote herself and her scenes also meant overcoming her need to strive for perfection in every single picture and video.

“I used to feel discouraged from posting if I didn’t have the most perfect pictures or captions, when most of the time people just appreciate seeing my real personality or no-makeup selfies,” she shares. “It’s been really encouraging to see people respond just as strongly to my casual posts as they do to my more professional-looking shots.”

Chu also tries to be genuine with fans, promoting her scenes on X but saving her more personal side for Instagram and Twitch.

“On Twitch, I get to chill out and play games and show a more real side of myself, which I think my audience appreciates!” she enthuses.

Kage makes a similar observation, saying, “It pays to show personality. Fans really enjoy getting to know performers on a more personal level.”

He uses X exclusively for advertising explicit content, he adds, reserving Instagram and TikTok for SFW content and expressing his personality.

“I post photos and Reels of my photoshoots, hiking, camping and my podcast on Instagram,” Kage offers. “I use Instagram heavily to advertise the movies and productions I’m involved in. I also love to share memes in my stories that make me laugh and make me think.”

On TikTok, he posts stories, reaction videos, cooking or silly clips. He goes live for fan Q&As, as well as discussing heavier topics like politics, religion and trauma. Though it has the strictest TOS, he has found the high traffic and ROI on TikTok to be worth the effort.

“I have also participated on podcasts, given interviews, made public appearances at events and parties and traveled internationally for exposure and publicity,” Kage recounts. “There really is no substitute for constantly being on people’s radar in our line of work. It pays to be visible in so many ways, even if it can be exhausting. Take it from me: I’m much more of an introvert, yet I know I need to be in front of people to get my name out there.”

Kage also highlights the balancing act of marketing for adult performers: walking the edge of suggestive but not overly explicit, being careful not to violate terms of service and community guidelines.

“Most of us in the industry have already had profiles suspended on multiple platforms because of violating the TOS, even when we are doing our best to follow them,” he says. “It’s just the name of the game.”

Wild admits that he is neither overly fond of social media nor particularly savvy with it.

“But I do what I can,” he notes. “I really just live for being on set, to be honest. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say life and this industry would be bliss without social media! But we have to use it or we essentially disappear.”

Peak Highlights

To gauge what success looks like among studio stars, we asked them about their biggest highlights from the past year. Their answers made it clear that “success” involves more than just money; many prized unique experiences, collaboration, personal connections and maintaining a work/life balance.

“One of my biggest highlights this year was collaborating with so many talented people around the world as I traveled to London, New York, Miami and LA,” Fawx notes. “I think that traveling, and just being in different places doing different things, provides a lot of personal growth within yourself and for your brand.”

Foxxx has found gratification in forging lasting relationships with people whom she now considers family.

“I was recently blessed with being able to do my biggest Playboy production with the most inspiring person I know, Natassia Dreams,” she says. “I’ve also been nominated for scenes with my favorite performer, Johnny Castle. I’ve known the two of them for over a decade now, and to be able to show them how much they mean to me is the best feeling ever.”

Clouds prizes the various nominations she received for awards season, while Butler considers meeting his current boyfriend a top highlight, especially since they started doing OnlyFans together. Karter says he loved doing his first scene with Angela White and Mick Blue — “a crazy, explosive threesome” — while Noir underlines “Machine Gunner” as a standout experience that makes her feel very proud, since it was the biggest action movie she has ever been a part of.

Kage says he was thrilled to be nominated for XBIZ Gay Performer of the Year and a slew of other awards, despite still feeling like a rookie with only one full year in the industry.

“I went through a lot to get to where I am now,” he explains. “My marriage failed, I left my career of 15 years and I went through a horrible depression. So to be recognized for all the hard work honestly made me shed very happy tears. It is so validating, especially when I’m just getting started. It lets me know that I’m exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to be doing for both myself and the studios.”

Kage also says he learned a lot this year about his own strengths and weaknesses, areas for improvement and how much BDSM play he can take on camera.

“I also learned that I am absolutely nothing without the fans and pay close attention to what they like about me,” he says. “I also let go of personal relationships that were negative, toxic and/or held me back from reaching my fullest potential as an adult entertainer. I surrounded myself with other professionals in the industry and it has helped propel me to the top of my game. I hope that I can be a friend to new performers in the industry in the same way.”

Rose says this most recent award season has been a true highlight.

“Winning at every major show back to back was surreal,” she explains. “But my biggest highlight by far is having the honor to host the 2024 XBIZ Awards show. I can’t contain my happiness and gratitude!”

For Venus, winning Adult Empire’s Trans Performer of the Year trophy was a highlight because the award’s sales-based nature let her know that her fans are actually purchasing and enjoying her content.

For Wilde, meanwhile, launching her first zine, Bad Citizen, was a high point.

“I had never published my personal writing before or been so open and vulnerable about my inner thoughts, so it felt incredibly freeing to finally do so and to get positive feedback,” she says. “I also was incredibly excited and honored to win the XBIZ Award for Best Acting in 2023, my first-ever acting award and first time getting to go on stage and make a speech in front of my peers.”

Bell notes that while she had a rough year medically, walking away with 11 XBIZ nominations was unprecedented for her.

“I’m so proud of myself and I’m also super proud of my first gangbang — not to mention my acting this year,” she says. “I can’t wait for future productions to showcase that skill more and more.”

Chu emphasizes two projects that made her year.

“Ricky Greenwood was the director for ‘Feed Me’ and he and the whole crew really set up and delivered an awesome movie,” she says. “I was pretty nervous since it was my first time being in a main role in a feature. but the crew encouraged me the whole time, which was very sweet. Shooting ‘Behind the Scenes’ was way different since it was a comedy, but the director, Bloomer Yang, wrote an awesome script and put together a super-fun cast.”

Boston points to the many personal life lessons he learned from going through numerous changes this past year, and coming out the other side stronger and more confident in who he is and what he can do. Doshi says she appreciates her XBIZ nominations and just being able to do what she loves for work. And Barber, for her part, simply cannot believe she has abs now.

“I mean, I’m almost 40, I’m a mom, I work full-time,” she says. “This is not the lifestyle of a gym bunny! But I absolutely love working out and it’s a priority.”

There was more to Barber’s year, however. One of her favorite on-set experiences of 2023 was shooting for Vixen on her birthday.

“I guess most people don’t want to work on their birthday,” she says. “But I got to fuck Hollywood Cash and Isiah Maxwell, take some gorgeous pictures with Laurent Sky and then stuff myself with the designer cupcakes Vixen sent as a birthday present. I’d be hard-pressed to describe a better day!”

She also raves about shooting strong scenes for Cherry Pimps and Adult Time, as well as participating in the launch of

“It made my cougar heart go pitter patter,” she says.

Finally, Barber was thrilled to see “Pampering Our Sitter,” in which she co-starred with Seth Gamble and Coco Lovecock, nominated for an XBIZ Award in the Best Featurette Sex Scene category.

“It’s one of my favorite scenes to date, but I thought it was too kinky to be nominated for anything,” she admits. “Even for a Pure Taboo shoot, it’s pretty dirty!”

Johnson says that whether performing in his own work or for shoots with Aylo-owned Brazzers, this past year’s productions have been “all positives, baby!”

“I have the pleasure of working with great producers at Aylo who are top-tier at their craft,” he says. “I also have the privilege to work under my own productions where I’m most comfortable.”

In fact, Johnson just wrapped “Ricky’s Resort,” a three-day shoot that he describes as feeling “like a fever dream.”

“There were 25 porn stars attached to the project so it was a hefty amount of production, but it was great to see everyone happy and I’m excited to do more,” he says. “I would love to spearhead vacation porn and fun porn as new categories. Since starting out in the industry, I have felt that it’s fine to take porn seriously but it also needs to be comfortable so we can truly see how spectacular everyone is.

“Another highlight this year was my site getting some awards season recognition,” he adds. “I’m excited for the future; there’s so much more to present to fans and colleagues. It’s going to be a great year coming up.”

On a personal level, he notes, it has been great to have the support and love of his partner Erotic Medusa through his journey.

“She’s about to start her own porn journey soon,” he explains. “I can’t wait to support her and see what new endeavors and opportunities await her.”

Gamble shares that his biggest highlight every year is accomplishing each day sober, growing and learning as a human being and staying accountable for his actions.

“On a work-related topic, though, my greatest accomplishment is launching my new network, LucidFlix,” he notes. “This has been a dream of mine for many years. I’m also writing, directing and performing in ‘Reckless’ for Wicked Pictures, which was a dream project for me with a dream cast. Getting to direct and perform every year in a genre I accidentally created, ‘cinemacore,’ continues to be a highlight accomplishment.

“I’ve had the ability to make projects that talent are very excited about, which brings me a lot of joy,” he says. “Most of all, I’m really grateful for being able to cultivate an amazing crew to shoot the projects I get to do, and to showcase talent and their abilities to the highest extent.”

Myers cites her first DP on Tushy, which was also her first time doing anal in her life.

“Doing my first DP showed me how easy it was, so now I crave more!” she shares. “Another personal highlight was learning discipline in the gym. I now have a healthy routine so I can balance work and personal time.”

Wild says he had too many highlights to count, among them being nominated yet again for XBIZ Male Performer of the Year, having sex with Angela White on top of a firetruck, partaking in the “hot acrobatic skills” of Katie Kush for Hard X and reuniting with Gia Derza for another “crazy Evil Angel scene!”

“On a personal level, I saw Pantera and Metallica at Sofi Stadium, which was a dream come true,” he says. “And all the concerts that I went to with Chris Streams, love that guy. Those are personal highlights but the biggest highlight of 2023 for me was creating my own trademarked brand and website,, which I worked my ass off all year for, directing and performing in every scene, coming three, four or even five times in most of the scenes. They’re insane! There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing something you created from nothing come to life.”

From taking better care of their health and loved ones, to pursuing passion projects, to upping their production and performance game, studio stars have developed a versatile array of professional skills and life strategies. Evident in their reflections is a key fact for studios to remember: Stars who have an excellent time on set, take pride in their scenes and strive to market to mutually beneficial effect offer the best potential for exciting fans, generating traffic and having optimal impact.

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