September 21, 1999

Porn Star Interview: Will Clark



STORY AND TOP PHOTO BY VINCENT LAMBERT

It is September 21, 1999, and Will Clark is still recovering from the second-annual Bad Boys Pool Party a few days before. The 29-year-old porn veteran—who has appeared in 35 films over the past four years—conceived and organized the event to benefit Aid for AIDS, a Los Angeles–based charity. Casually dressed in jeans and sporting his trademark buzz cut, Clark is relieved that the pool party was a success despite less-than-perfect weather. As he good-naturedly talks about his longevity in an industry in which he is almost as well known for his charity work as for his films, it’s easy to see why this redheaded Iowa native has bucked all the odds to become one of gay porn’s longest-running and hardest-working stars.

You are known in the porn industry for both your movies and your humanitarian work. Tell us how you got your start.
Well, I’d been working in New York as an actor. I got a role in an off-off Broadway show in the winter of 1995. I had been in New York for about a year. It was at the Wings Theatre in the Village, and the show was called The Lascivious Transformation of Mr. X. It was this insane, nutty play. After that, I got all these auditions. But I realized I didn’t want to be out of work for six months or do Meet Me in St. Louis on the road. I wanted to act, but I had trouble finding roles. I just didn’t fit anything. I wasn’t the type they were looking for. No one was casting a young, redheaded male. So to earn money, I started go-go dancing at Limelight and Tunnel and Palladium. I also started doing escort work, and I really enjoyed that (laughs).
Did you have any qualms about using your body to make a living?
No, but I kinda thought, “Who would pay money to have sex with me?” I wasn’t a hunk or anything. At the time, as an actor, I spent a lot of time living in my head. But I didn’t think of myself as a sexual object. To then have someone pay me to dance…it was a huge compliment. I was very self-conscious and pale and thin. I worked out, but I wasn’t bulked up.
Had your Iowa upbringing prepared you for this?
No (laughs). I was from a conservative, white-bread, Republican family. I had a very normal childhood. I lived in the same house all growing up. My parents were together. They were very affectionate. My father died of cancer when I was 17. We didn’t really talk about sex. It wasn’t in the fabric of our household. When I hear other people’s stories, I think, “Thank God.” There were no huge family traumas.
What were your first experiences with sex like?
Sex kinda came later for me—really, really late. I made jokes about sex with the neighborhood kids. I remember one kid saying, “Fucking is when two people kiss with no clothes on.” I tried to think what was wrong with that. Jerking off came late. I had a few wet dreams, but I didn’t quite put two and two together. No one explained it to me. It wasn’t until I was almost out of my teens (laughs), well, 20, when I was at college that I did it. I used to wear sweatpants without underwear, and it started rubbing and I got hard, then had the discharge. And I got this wave of pleasure.
Did you have a roommate?
Yeah, and thank God he wasn’t there at the time. Oh, my God. And I was like, “What just happened? And how can I do it again?” I was like a sexual moron.
Did you use porn at all?
Well, in my junior year, my roommate had a subscription to Sports Illustrated, and I started jerking off to the swimsuit issue. It was the only thing that was available. My first experiences with porn were a few years later. There was a guy I had been corresponding with in St. Louis, and he brought out a porn tape. It was really stupid. The guys were in a frat house, and they were having sex in the kitchen. I thought the acting was crappy.
Did you think it was something you could do?
It never occurred to me. I wasn’t interested.
Had you dated a lot in school—guys or girls?
Well, I’ve always had an interest in both. I had fooled around with girls here and there, but nothing too serious. I didn’t have much time to date in high school. Also, when my dad got sick, the last thing I wanted to deal with was that. After I started jerking off, I met a girl and we fooled around. We didn’t go all the way, though. Then I met this really hot British guy. He was great. He laughed at my jokes! I tried to fuck him, but he wasn’t into it. So he fucked me. It was kind of awful at first, painful. But then it got better.
Okay, so you ended up in New York…
Yeah, so I was in New York and doing some dancing. Then, I decided to be a writer. A promoter I was working for in 1995 said, “I know some people at Falcon. Why don’t you send your pictures to them?” So I did.
And what did Falcon say?
They said, “You’re too white, you’re too hairy, you’re a redhead. We don’t care for any of that stuff. And you need to bulk up.”
Did you take that personally?
I knew that already; I knew I wasn’t the Falcon type. They weren’t interested, which was too bad because I would have loved to have work for them. But it got me thinking. I hooked up with some old friends in San Francisco and one friend, Rob Boxer, had worked for Hot House. So I called up Steven Scarborough and went over there. I did the whole interview thing—in my clothes. They took me into the other room and said they wanted me to take my clothes off and get a hard-on. They were worried that I thought they were objectifying me. But I was, like, “Objectify me! That’s why I’m here!”
And that led to your first film?
Yeah, they put me in Dr. Goodglove, in which I fisted Steve Pierce. And I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was fisting this guy and going, “Where is the erotic thrill? I’m sticking my hand up someone’s ass.” It was no big deal to me. I kept asking if Steve was okay, and both Steve Pierce and Steven Scarborough were like, “You don’t have to keep asking that. The man can take a Mack truck up his ass!” All I could think of were legal problems if I damaged his ass!
Before doing the film, did you give a lot of consideration as to whether or not you should?
I figured I’d do a couple of movies, get it out of my system and move on. I also figured if anyone saw it, I would be a writer by then and no one would know what I looked like. I figured it was irrelevant to my life. I said I didn’t want to be on any box covers, though. I thought that would protect me a bit. Because it was different if someone watched the movie versus just walking by the box. But before I knew it, I had done six movies in about six weeks.
Does your family know about the movies?
No.
Do they know you’re gay?
Oh, yeah.
Are they cool with that?
They’re okay. It’s not something we talk about. I have taken my boyfriend home a couple of times. They like him and think he’s nice, but they sort of have a problem with the gay thing.
Let’s talk about some of the directors you’ve worked with. Do you have a favorite?
I like David Thompson a lot. We’re friends, and he’s a former porn star, so he runs a very casual, loose set. There is work to be done, but there’s a loose feeling. I did a scene for Mark Kleim for Brush Creek. He’s a kooky guy in San Francisco, and I had one of the best times with him. He just said, “Go have sex and I’ll film it.” He was so laid-back. I’ve worked with Chi Chi LaRue, and that was great. I did Night Walk with Gino Colbert. He’s also kinda laid-back, but you work long days with him because he’s so meticulous. He’s also got great stories.
What do you think is your best work?
Well, some I haven’t seen.
Do you usually watch your own films?
I used to, but I’ve kind of fallen behind. I’ve got about 10 at home sitting in my drawer that I haven’t had time to watch. The one I always tell friends to get is Island Guardian, which I did about three years ago in Hawaii for Titan. York Powers and I had this amazing scene in the mud.
Who is your favorite person to work with?
Cole Tucker is up there. But it’s hard for me to separate the people I like from how good the scene is.
Is there anyone you’d like to work with?
I’d love to work with Jason Branch and Blake Harper. Tom Matthews is also amazingly hot. Tommy Lord is cute too. And Dean Phoenix is the best kisser in the industry. We made out in a scene in SNAFU, and a year and a half later, I still remember that kiss!
What do you attribute your longevity to?
I think it’s a combination of things. I have a popularity with fans, and that’s important. I’ve been good at marketing on the Web. I take care of my fans when I tour—give them pictures and promotional materials. The columns I write and the fund-raisers I do help raise awareness of my presence. Everything sort of blends together. Plus, I’ve been very lucky. I mean, I’ve thought the career has ended at least a thousand times because the phone stops ringing. And it does for everybody. And you get to a point where you say, “I guess I’m over now. I had a good run.” Then you do other things, and suddenly, boom, you get another movie.
Do you think it has anything to do with how you constantly change your image?
I think the change in looks has given me a certain longevity. It was serendipitous because I started out looking a certain way because I thought that was what others wanted. When I was dancing, I thought I’d work the apple-pie look. I like the apple-pie look, but it’s not who I really am. Then, I shaved my chest for a while because I figured that was what porn people looked like. But over time, I became more comfortable with myself and my career. It’s become a reflection of who I really am. I’ve enjoyed the evolution, the story arc of my character, and so have the fans. That way, I can be all things to all people. Now, I’m back where I started.
Let’s talk about your charity work and the humanitarian awards you’ve won. How did you first get involved?
Well, I started doing charity work in June of ’97. When I lived in Chicago, I worked as a volunteer for Stop AIDS Chicago. Then I did a couple of little fund-raisers in New York. At one, I saw Blue Blake and how great he was onstage. I didn’t think I could ever host a show as well as he did. I was in awe. Then in ’97, I called Aid for AIDS and asked if I could help. That started a huge chain of events. The same week I had won a leather title in New York, Mr. Northeast Drummer. At the same time, I met my boyfriend, Rob, that same day, and my Web site [www.willclarkusa.com] started that day too. So June 15, 1997 was a huge day. After that first benefit at the Gauntlet, I thought, “This is something fun that I could do.” I started calling people I knew in the leather community and asking if I could do something at their bar for their favorite charity. And it snowballed from there.
Did you create the Bad Boys Pool Party event yourself?
Yeah. I did this birthday party for myself and Dino DiMarco and Sam Dixon in March of ’98. And after that, I was talking to Mickey Skee and he was doing promotion for his Bad Boys of Video book. And I was in the book, and I thought some other guys in the book would make great bartenders. I said, “Hey, why not call it the Bad Boys Pool Party and promote Mickey’s book and the guys in the book?” And that became the hook of the party. And it evolved from that. The first party earned $8,300, and the second earned $10,600. And the first birthday party earned a hair under $4,000. All three benefited Aid for AIDS’ general fund and the Joey Stefano Fund, which benefits porn stars with HIV and AIDS. It’s been really rewarding to see people in the industry benefit from the fund. And it’s been fun—the fans get to meet their favorite stars, the studios and stars get publicity, and the charity raises money. It’s a win-win situation. That’s how I like to operate my life. Everybody gets something out of the experience. There are no losers.
So, where do you hope to take all this?
Well, that’s an interesting question. I’ve signaled the demise of my career many times and then something comes up. I thought this was just a little six-week thing I was going to do, and here I am four years later, still going strong, with columns in three magazines [Dude, SkinFlicks and International Leatherman] and an online column [Porn Star Confidential, which is syndicated to seven different Web sites]. I estimate about 2,000 people read my online column every week. I also write an online journal, which people like. And I do all the fund-raisers.
And you’ve won all those awards. Tell us which ones.
Well, I won the Leo Ford Humanitarian Award at last year’s GEVAs. I won the Special Award for Gay Causes at the AVNs, and Aid for AIDS gave me a gratitude award at the last pool party because I’ve raised $25,000 for them in the past two years. And I calculate I’ve raised about $50,000 to $60,000 for a variety of other causes. But I couldn’t do it without the stars, the companies, the fans and their generosity. I live by the adage, Give the fans what they want, then give them more! It’s a great way to live.

Reprinted from
Manshots magazine (1999)

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