My Worst Porn Directing Experience: Barbara Dare

Barbara Dare came running down the sidewalk barefooted, a spike-heeled pump in each hand.  “I wanna ride in the Corvette!”  As she fumbled with the shoes and the door handle, I realized that I’d been about to commit what any red-blooded American auto buff would consider an unnatural act: let one of the most beautiful women who ever bared all before a camera scrunch into a production assistant’s beat-up Falcon, loaded with reflectors and camera gear, instead of inviting her to settle into the black leather of my yellow Stingray.  But after a morning of non-stop friction with Dare on the set of E.X., I would’ve consigned her to ride in a garbage truck—and not in the cab section.  (Passages from SKINFLICKS are in italics.)

The auburn-curled beauty was not yet the sensation she would become in 1986, but already she acted the prima donna. “What girl ever works with three people in one day?” I rattled of a list of those who had, including Traci Lords. In response, Dare blurted, “But Traci likes fucking!” I knew then it would be a tough shoot.

A previous post related Rick Savage thanking Shanna McCullough for making his screen cherry scene so pleasurable that he continued his porn career. On the E.X. shoot, the opposite happened. Dare consented to a three-way with Billy Dee and a man making his porn debut, as long as everything with the new guy was simulated.  I agreed to her terms; new guys usually can’t get it up anyway.  But he surprised us, to Dare’s consternation. When he tried to touch her breasts, she pushed him away…After that debut, the new guy decided he didn’t really want a porn career after all.  His last words before leaving: “She thinks her shit don’t stink.”

New guy, Dare, Billy Dee. From E.X.

Dare’s refusal to follow any directions that weren’t yelled at her was giving me a headache.
Some pornographers like to act tough, to enforce their commands.  That wasn’t my style.  I sat staring into space, trying to make a decision.  I could either spend the rest of the shoot snarling and threatening to manhandle her, or I could cancel the shoot and pay everyone except Dare for a half-day.  She saw that I was at the breaking point.
Like most seasoned bitches, Dare knew when she’d pushed too far. “You don’t seem to like my New Jersey sense of humor,” she laughed.
“If New Jersey humor means making a complete cunt out of yourself, you’re right.”

That exchange marked a turning point: Dare lackadaisically  followed directions, and I decided to settle for her perfunctory performance. The next day’s E.X. finale—without Dare—went beautifully, and I appreciated even more the pleasure of working with those great ladies Lilly Marlene and Nina Hartley.

With her abrasive chutzpah, Barbara Dare attained porn success. She signed an exclusive with Select/Essex, claiming she got $10,000 for each of her movies. She maintained a six-figure annual income over her porn career,  making no more than a dozen movies a year and negotiating top dollar on the dance circuit.  She even managed to do some acting, winning the 1988 AVN Best Actress award.  Talk Radio monologist Eric Bogosian gushed, “Barbara  Dare, in her effusive, bubbling orgasmic womanhood is the purest antidote to pin-headed porn haters, Left and Right.”  Yes, she knew how to fool her fans.

Regardless of the demand for the actress, I told her agent Jim South, “Jim, if I ever shoot Barbara Dare again, it won’t be with a camera.”


Comments

My Worst Porn Directing Experience: Barbara Dare — 2 Comments

  1. By the look on her face I all ways thought she would be a real Bitch she was good looking but you can tell a lot of the time if they are enjoying them self or just trying to make a buck its hard to fool the camera you can tell that Traci lords really liked her job and wanted to be the best. But after a while they all seem to get a hardened look in their eyes like you see in a old hooker that was beaten to many times its a dirty job wouldn’t want to half to do it for a living. So many aren’t strong enough and commit suicide.
    Or they end up in a dumpster some were and are never found Im sure its a hard life and not as pretty as some think.

    • Hi Bret. Thanks for your comment. You’re right. Traci Lords really LIKED her work. And if the age thing hadn’t emerged she’d probably have become a producer/director/manufacturer of X movies. There were many actresses who never succumbed to that “hardened look.” Women like Annette Haven, Nina Hartley, Ginger Lynn and many others. The way they avoided the pitfalls was by steadfastly refusing to submit to doing things they didn’t want to do. In other words, they did things on their own terms. They had the strength of character and self-respect needed to prosper in a ruthless business. The women who became victims were the passive, needy types who didn’t have the gumption to stand up for themselves.
      Even though my experience directing Barbara Dare was a sour one, I ultimately had to respect her for having the “balls” to carve her way though a tough world and meet her goals. Was Barbara Dare a Bitch? She sure was! But I have to admire her.
      Thanks again for your feedback.
      -Dave

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