I am not ashamed of porn film, says Craig Chalmers

Craig Chalmers: first time was 'nerve wracking'

Craig Chalmers: first time was 'nerve wracking'

13
Have your say

IT WAS the most nerve-wracking opening performance of his long and varied career and as the camera crew loomed large and the lighting rig burned overhead, panto star Craig Chalmers realised his former family-friendly career was well and truly behind him as he readied himself for his first shoot as a porn star.

We revealed yesterday how theatre bosses dropped the 30-year-old from a lucrative panto run after he was exposed as an adult entertainment actor.

The former Any Dream Will Do and Pop Idol star had been due to play Prince Charming in Cinderella at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline. But a whistle-blower, aware of his secret double life as a sex performer, put paid to his family-entertainment ambitions.

Today the Edinburgh stage star has exclusively lifted the lid on why he chose to secretly explore a new career in the xxx-industry, what his family think of his decision and why it suits his busy lifestyle.

Recalling the first time he walked on set to shoot a hard-core sex film he said his experience appearing in lavish productions helped get him through it.

He said: “There’s a lot of pressure but it’s just like going on stage – you learn to deal with it. I come from a performance background so that just kicked in. The first time was pretty nerve-wracking. I was terrified to be honest.

“The guy with the camera and the lights – it’s not exactly romantic.

“Most blokes think that it’s an easy career – their ideal job maybe – but there’s a lot more to it. For starters you’re not at home under the covers with your wife but stood naked on a set with a camera over your shoulder. You’ve also got to open up to the camera and perform in an acting sense. You might be in an uncomfortable position for a long time or have to stop for a change of lighting.

“It’s certainly not easy.”

Craig won’t reveal the name of the first film he shot, or who with, but on her explicit blog, porn star, Paige Turnah, a stunning 23-year-old, reveals she believes she was the actress who gave Craig his first foray into the world of adult entertaining.

Asked to explain how he first broke into the industry, Craig said it was “an opportunity that presented itself” earlier this year. He added: “I spoke with a friend who performs in the industry and who is doing fantastically well from it and he told me what it’s all about.

“I make considerably more money than when I was performing lead roles in pantos and plays. However it’s not all about money, the adult industry offers me the chance to work regularly while also allowing me to spend more time at home.”

He added: “I’m not ashamed of it. How many people have watched porn or do so on a regular basis? Well, quite a lot, because the market and industry are huge. Someone has to make it and I just happen to be one of those guys.”

The entertainer’s desire to lead a “normal nine to five” life with his wife of two years Jennifer Smith, 21, is the main driving force behind his move into the adult performing industry, however.

He said: “Working on conventional shows, I was basically living out of a suitcase, going from town to town. I hardly ever saw my wife. In my new career I head to work for 10am and I finish at 3pm. I’m home every night for dinner.”

One dining table that he most definitely won’t be getting his feet under any time soon though is that of the annual Alhambra Theatre Christmas panto wrap party after he was – to coin a well-known theatre phrase – given the hook from his role as Prince Charming in the upcoming performance of Cinderella when bosses became aware of his adult film career.

Theatre chiefs were made aware by an anonymous tipster that he is now listed on an adult talent management website under a new guise, Ryan Ryder, and that he’s filmed a number of porn movies. The films are due for release in the new year, just as the curtain falls on another panto season.

He has blamed an unexpected “crossover” between the launch of his porn career and his starring in panto this 
Christmas.

Regardless of this, the Alhambra Theatre Trust swiftly dropped the singer and bosses are now hastily replacing promotional material such as posters and programmes featuring his name and picture.

When considering how the news of his sudden career move might have been received at home you may picture him à la Dick Whittington hitting the road, with belongings in hand. But, far from telling him to pack his gear, his wife is fully supportive of his new career.

He said: “She was actually there when the matter cropped up in conversation with my adult performer friend. We went home and had a discussion about it and she supports me 100 per cent, as do the rest of my family.

“We have a very strong relationship. We’ve been together five years and every day we get even stronger.”

Jennifer has also been reassured by Craig regarding the issue of sexually transmitted diseases – as all UK adult film workers are required to undergo regular blood tests to ensure they are free of infections and an up-to-date certificate must be produced by performers on every set.

He said: “All of the performers are tested every two weeks. You’ve more chance of catching something from a one-night stand.

“It’s extremely strict. Every time I do a shoot, if the person I’m with doesn’t produce a fresh cert or has been with someone I’m not comfortable with, then I don’t have to work with them.”

Explaining how he came to choose his new alliterative stage name he said: “I didn’t put too much thought into it to be honest. Everyone has a stage name in the industry and it just kind of rolled off the tongue. The pun was intended too.”

Chalmers came fifth in the BBC’s Any Dream Will Do in 2007. He previously appeared on the ITV show Pop Idol in 2003. He also performed with all-male dance group G-Force before having a top-ten hit with boyband No Reason. He now lives in Birmingham but was brought up in Edinburgh, where his family still stay.

• Inside track on the world of adult movies

WHEN Balerno-born actress Jenna told her mum she was going to be an actress, she says they celebrated at Edinburgh’s five-star Prestonfield retreat with Champagne and cake.

The 32-year-old already had a string of small screen and stage successes to her name and had received an invite to try out for various auditions in Los Angeles. But within months of arriving in Hollywood her dream of making it big lay in tatters. Fleeced out of a deposit on a flat she never got to step foot in and repeatedly rejected for work because people didn’t “get” her Scottish accent, she was

facing desperation in the face. Jenna (not her real name) said these knock-backs saw her being taken advantage and propelled into a small time, sleazy porn career just to feed herself.

She said: “I’d been to a casting for an ad that was to run on a cable channel. It was for an ambulance chasing legal firm. After the audition a dodgy looking guy who’d been hanging around the shoot in a cheap suit approached me and gave me his card.”

When she called him two days later he explained she could make good money – if she was willing to strip and be filmed having sex for money.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. My pals had threw me a party when I left and, to be honest, it was the thought of asking them to bail me out that resulted in me calling him. It was the worst decision I ever made.”

She soon found herself shooting three low budget porn movies a week – for which she’d be paid $500 or £310. “It cheapened me emotionally and left me scarred. It was soul-destroying being gawped at by a room full of men as you did something that should be the sole preserve of the bedroom.”

Now back home, Jenna’s determined to get her life back on track.