I hate having to do this post, but I update it every couple of years as it saves me time repeating the same answers, to the same questions and hopefully if current or prospective models read this, it may save them heartache and expenses. There are countless stories of girls who’ve wanted to make a big splash in the industry (and may have done) – moved location, quit jobs, lost friends and damaged their mental health, before realizing that their expectations are often not met.
You can make a living as a trans adult performer – but you have to work at it – and work every angle – and not expect others to be there to support you.
Before I get into it, we’re just one company and this is just one man’s opinion, an opinion back-up by 25 years of data, experimenting, successes and failures – but an opinion nevertheless. I’m not looking to get into an argument over my points, or how we choose to run the company, there is a different platform for that. This is purely to try and educate and inform as to why we cannot always work with new and returning models, and how few companies and openings there are for trans adult performers.
For every model who ends up with a company shoot there are at least ten rejections, probably more. Not every trans person is going to be able to feature in a professional/paid shoot. This is probably the biggest issue when we have to reject applicants or ask them to return when they’re further along the path. I empathise. You’ve put a lot of time and heart into transitioning and you are ready for the validation of showing yourself to the world, and getting paid for it.
So why can’t we give you a shoot?
Grooby is a business. I think we run it quite ethically and our margins are much smaller than most other adult companies. We don’t have the largest model fees in the industry but we do shoot a massive amount of content compared to other companies, and our total investment in trans performers annually is far more vast. We try to work with as wide a range of models as we can, from different shapes and sizes, ethnic backgrounds, geographical locations, age ranges or trans persons in a wide range of self-identification. We are a business and we need to be profitable if we’re going to be able to continue. I personally see every model application for our N.American and European sites and with a little help, make a decision as to whether we can work with that model, or not. What I’m looking for is a model who presents well, and whom I think can a) keep the current members happy and rebilling and b) attract new members to the sites. Sometimes I’ll choose models who have a specific appeal to a segment of our members and sometimes I’ll choose models who look simply gorgeous but more often its a model whom I think is going to work well, and possibly develop in the future. Some models are instant hits, some are slow burners.
We have only about 60 slots a month to fill. That sounds a lot, but those are for different sites and there is no model who could work on every one of our sites as they just wouldn’t fit. So for a new model there are only 10 slots, that are competed with every other new model, as well as models wanting reshoots. So we can only take those models who we think are the most likely to fulfil a) and b) as above.
It’s easy to say, not to take a rejection personally because of course, it is personal. Very personal. You are likely to be rejected on the basis of a few photos you sent in – and thus rejected on your looks. How much more personal can it get? So while it may be ‘personal’, a rejection for a shoot shouldn’t be taken against you as an individual, like any job application, you aren’t being invited for a position simply because on the day, there are other applicants who are more suitable to that company. And that’s all it is.
I look ten times better than some of those [insert expletives or not] on your site!
It’s not a pretty thing – to see a trans model put down another model in an attempt to platform themselves but I understand. You may think you look better, that’s your opinion. You may look better but when we hired that model, we thought she would either look better, or do better. I took the decision to hire that model based on what I had in front of me at that time, and depending on the year, what other ‘job applicants’ were applying.
Sometimes I get it wrong, and the model didn’t really work out – but at least we tried someone new. Often the first shoots can be difficult and the model returns down the road and it works out for the better. Finally, maybe you are not the best person to make that judgement. We know what our members are looking for, and that’s the model we’ve chosen to fill that slot, if you think you look better, good for you – but you don’t have to make that choice, and I stand by my decisions on models.
Can you tell me exactly what’s wrong with me?
It’s so unfair to put me in that position. Yes I may be able to give you general advice usually along the lines of “reapply when you’ve been on hrt longer and can present a better aesthetic” but please don’t ask for specifics. The only real answer is : “In my opinion, you’re don’t look attractive!” and I don’t want to have to say that. Read above. We just don’t have the room for everyone, try one of the other companies.
I’ve worked for you before, why can’t I come back?
Models with bad attitudes or who have no-showed will be blacklisted. I think that’s fair – it doesn’t matter how great you look, if you don’t do a great job then let’s try a model who really wants it. Most models who get through to a shoot, will get invited back to a second one, even if their first shoot wasn’t a huge hit. I recognise how fast girls can change, and sometimes the springboard of working on a site is what they needed to really come alive, and their second shoots excel.
Not always though. Some models have an appeal that is so limited, we can’t bring them back in for future shoots, some times I make a mistake based on the original application photos and the reality of the pro-shoot doesn’t work out, and sometimes models just run their course with us, and there are new models that would be better in those slots. We’re just company, with limited shoot availability. As much as we’d love to, we cannot shoot every model as much as they’d want us to.
Right now, we’re so full on GroobyGirls and BlackTgirls we’ve content into 2022. So we’re barely shooting for those sites, meaning we’ll take new models but delay existing models reshoots. That means some models may not be reshot for nearly a year. It’s just how it works, trying to accommodate as many great models as we can.
We’re just one company. A rejection from us, does not mean a rejection from the industry as a whole. There are other companies (read below) and there are other avenues. I’d advise everyone to start shooting their own content, to play and get paid on cams, to work with other models. If you can find a market of customers willing to buy your content, then do it – and any rejection from Grooby is thus irrelevant. Look at what else is available, see what other avenues there are to performing, there are plenty of models we’ve been unable to work with, who seem to be doing well for themselves.
I AM GOING TO BE THE BIGGEST TRANS PORN SUPERSTAR!
Love it! Go for it! Do it!
Some realities though, just so you can manage your expectations. You’ve got your first shoots, you’ve appeared on a website and other sites and producers are calling. Your social media is growing and you’ve got an OnlyFans or JustFor.Fans account.
This is the most frustrating, saddest and I think most damaging part of the industry in my experience and perhaps it’s because we are part of the problem, I get most frustrated – perhaps trying to warn models, is my penance.
Any new and hot model is going to get work – often we debut models (or Christian debuts them on PureTS), but if we don’t we try or hardest to get them in fast. A new model might be rushed onto GroobyGirls in solos, and then a hardcore on Tgirls.porn followed by another hardcore and solos on one of our other sites. In the meantime, the other producers (whether they admit it or not) treat our sites like a test shoot, if they like what they see, they’re going to be in touch and wanting to see if they can get you in. TransAngels, Gender X, Transsensual, Evil Angel, Gamma and Kink are some of the other big producers in trans porn and their productions are high end affairs, with good pay and working environment. Most models have a great experience with them – but the amount of scenes they shoot are a handful a month each. They tend to work with the top 12-15 models, so if you can break into that, then you’ll get more work – otherwise, it may be in a secondary role. The smaller producers tend to work more on ‘trade’ type deals – and frankly you really have to question whether you’re doing it for the money and exposure (both which are small) or just because you feel you have to (you don’t). There are some guys and girls shooting a lot of trade content, and the trade may be imbalanced – or they’re just guys posturing to get laid. Just make sure you are very aware of what you are getting for your time, and performance.
Ms New Trans Superstar, will soon find that the glut of scenes she was offered in the first few months doesn’t quite continue at that level. Hopefully, she’ll find that out before she’s quit her job, moved to Vegas and spent all her savings. Website and DVD companies can take months to release scenes, and they’re not always going to want to shoot you while they still have unreleased scenes. Not only that, but they’re suddenly seeing you in every scene getting marketed, making it even more difficult to sell you for their scene. There is a reason we try and rush great new models out, we don’t want to compete with everyone else. It doesn’t mean you will never get offers for new scenes, or there won’t be regular work, but those 10 scenes and $20k you made in you first 6 weeks, are unlikely to repeat every subsequent 6 weeks.
I’ve seen models full of pep, full of dreams and ambitions and loving the industry for the first three months they’ve moved to Vegas, yet shortly after they feel disillusioned and let down. Their expectations were not met and they return from where they came.
There are two ways I believe a trans model can be successful in this industry
No 1 : The Professional
You have to manage those expectations. You have to expect to be working everyday on cam companies or fan accounts. You have to manage your social media accounts and drive people to you clip sites, cams or fan sites. You should learn video editing and photoshop. You do trade shoots with other scene partners that you a) enjoy doing and b) are fairly compensated by owning a scene. You look for work with the companies but you don’t make it the foundation of your business. Shooting for professional companies can bring in good money but more so the exposure it gives you often brings fans back to your cams and fan sites. Never work just for the exposure, take the paycheck and the exposure should be a bonus.
It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of work because it’s a job, and to excel at it, you have to put in the time and effort. Look at the girls who have been around a long time, and look at the amount of work they put in.
No 2: The Side Gig
Many of our best performers have jobs and lives in other industries – or they cam from home in the middle of nowhere, and if a shoot is available they come into Vegas/LA/Florida for it. Anything they make from shooting is added income. Everyone should have a side gig. They select work they want to do, and what they’ll enjoy and they’re not pressured into have to do a shoot they don’t want to. They do a lot of trade (because they enjoy it) and they take that trade content and sell it, running their fan/clip/cam sites when they can.
It’s super fucking hard and often demoralizing to try and be a trans adult performer. You have 50,000 people following you on Twitter but ask them for $1 each for a lifesaving operation, or emergency rent and you get $86. You are contacted by fans asking you questions, professing their love or making demands and when you look into it, you find they’ve never dropped a dime on your content. You win an award, or get a great review for a scene – but you don’t hired for a new scene for 6 weeks – all the time, having to keep up your daily routines on hair, nails, skin and body to look fabulous. You do a trade shoot for some guy you think has a following because other girls have done the same … and he makes more money from it (despite nobody wanting to see his mug on the camera) than you, the star. You work for a company four times – and then are told there is nothing else for you this year.
It’s a little wonder that people with already wavering mental health issues find them exacerbated by their experiences.
But the adult trans industry can also be amazing. It can be liberating as you let your fantasies take place in front of a camera. The validation of people paying to watch you. The friends you can make – and the trade partners who become you allies in life and business. The support you can get from within the industry, and the experiences with people who accept you for who you are. The nomination – or winning awards. The exposure of walking a red carpet or appearing in a magazine. 50,000 people following your every word (tho not dropping that $1). It can be intoxicating, it can be fun … and you can make a living out of it.
Manage your expectations. Educate yourself. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Enjoy it. Be smart.
Awesome article, I truly appreciate the time you took to write this. I’m going to take it to heart and put your advice to work. Thank you so much for caring happy holidays xoxo