The Tanner Mayes Interview

Some people should not get into the adult industry without the careful guidance of someone that cares about them. Tanner Mayes is one of those people.

I wrote this long heartfelt piece on what constitutes an unhealthy relationship and what opportunities it presents. Here is just a bit of it:  

“In a relationship where there are unhealthy acts – whether two people are involved, three, four, ten – the relationship, itself, demonstrates the possibility of growth or stagnation. And it is hard, for me, to side with only one party because it takes everyone involved to perpetuate the unhealthy properties of the relationship. A man hits a woman. He loses control and if she stays, she is giving him the power to lose control again. That’s not to say she deserves to be abused, but she thinks she does or she would not stay. Very little  sympathy is ever given to the abuser, though they have their own demons and are just as deserving of compassion as the woman who lets herself be punished. I’m using an extreme example here because there are many layers and levels that constitute unhealthy behavior, but it’s roots come from the same type of place. It is like a broken record – the cracked surface of what would facilitate well-orchestrated notes with a purpose they cannot realize because one does not know or care to know that all that is needed is the gentle lifting of the needle so that these otherwise perfect notes can stop repeating one section of  neurotic and never-ending sounds that only serve to irritate, grate and invest everyone involved with incredible tension.”

Tanner Mayes. This dives in too deep for me. It is a deep issue, but this interview is just simply about a girl with a broken heart because she trusted the wrong people. That’s it.

In a quick summary, according to Tanner, she had over a year’s worth of history and tension built up over her relationship with the main guys at JM Productions. She was a fluffer on their Tuesday webcam show, eventually known as Tanner Tuesdays. She starred in many of their movies and was featured on several box covers, but she also endured more than she wanted to in order to keep this working relationship going. According to Tanner, even after being on set all day some of these men would take her to a hotel room and have sex with her, including a married Jim Powers (a fact that, while it bothered Tanner to say it, may not even matter to a woman married to someone like Jim, a well-known pornographer). She also said that she was required to have sex just to receive her check.

Tanner Mayes admitted to being a total pushover and in the end, made it okay in her mind, doing these “favors”, because they gave her so much work, even though her main confidante – her mother – told her repeatedly that letting them get away with such things would eventually erode her sanity. She even did signings for the company, for free, and, again, according to Tanner, was not paid at all for other jobs.

I am, in the interview, obviously… on her side. I was a model, so I am biased about the fair treatment of actors and supremely disgusted at the powers that be for not treating these young women with the same respect that mainstream actors get in regards to rights and attention, etc… That is not to say I think the government should barge in and take over anything. The government is already way over the line with their hands in marriage and religion, among other things.

I dont see any way I can save performers like Tanner Mayes, However

However, I do believe that if we actually cared about our women in this country – even the Midwestern females that don’t reign from big cities, with deep family ties and histories built on the solid foundation of education that find themselves wandering into sex jobs in order to find themselves – as a nation of people we would probably reach a higher sense of self, as a whole, and inch our way that much closer to being a race actually qualified to use the title “advanced civilization”. An evolved and “whole” person accepts every side they have, from the base to the enlightened, and so an evolved and “whole” people accepts every sect they have, from the base to the enlightened. But that is another story for another time…

I only have Tanner’s side of the story, but when someone like Kylie Ireland can recount the same kind of story – a consummate professional who is several years sober – there is probably more truth to the story than not.

Tanner showed up to work, started drinking, then ran into a few problems. When she canceled the shoot – walking off set, to end her part in it – the behind-the-scenes caught her angry, drunk and disheveled. She was deeply humiliated by the whole experience because she thought those guys, after all they’d been through, were her friends.

Tanner Mayes  thought that she was an indispensable need in their work routine. She thought they would turn the cameras off and allow her to walk away, even if it meant not working for them ever again.

They posted the video right away and Tanner suffered from lack of sleep and a “stress seizure” that sent her to the hospital. Look, I get it… We models get into the adult industry expecting to be exploited with the guarantee that we will be paid well and look beautiful on camera – not to be exploited with the guarantee that we might not get paid at all and look crazy on camera. Of course, I side with her. I’m a woman and a mother. She shouldn’t have had alcohol, though. I cannot stress enough the importance, ladies, of being in control when you are about to be filmed forever doing something that, is at least assumed, something you want to be doing. Do not let anyone harass you, do not allow yourself to be bullied, do not drink and do drugs pleeeease! It’s not worth the headache you could face for not having your head in the right place.

Tanner was treated terribly

I’m sure the guys at JM Productions hire… probably mostly females who are fine with the treatment they get. I’m not actually “sure”, but I do know there are many women who are not like Tanner Mayes, women that have a pretty good grasp of what they are doing and who they are when they get into the adult industry – how to do business, how to talk to people about the job, etc… Bobbi Starr is one of those people. I just happened to interview a very self-possessed woman of the industry and then immediately found myself interviewing a female on the completely other end of the spectrum. Tanner is not as sure of herself. She’s not nearly as discerning and discriminating as Bobbi Starr, but she does have a basic understanding of how a person should be treated, and though it’s a very simple expectation that is not realistic in this town unless you demand it, at least she has that. And she’s right. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly.

Mental Health is an issue not addressed in the Industry

JM Productions is a niche company that specializes in crazy content and it doesn’t take much internet research to figure that out. They’ve incorporated a reality television-style angle on their product by placing alcohol on the set and planting trouble-makers who inevitably drive another girl into psychotic-looking behavior so they can feature her “meltdown” in their behind-the-scenes footage. If you want to read Kylie Ireland’s entertaining and fabulous story about working for Jim Powers, you can find it on her MySpace page entitled, The Violation of Kylie Ireland – my memoir of the shoot. It was published on May 1, 2009. I suggest reading it because Kylie is a good writer and she is very even-tempered about the whole thing, even though she has a “meltdown”, herself. Tanner’s story is posted on her MySpace blog, as well.

What I want to accomplish by posting this interview:

  • To show that Tanner was not “crazy” during my interview with her. She was very sweet and upset about the whole thing, but she didn’t even get emotional until well into the interview, and only teared up after expressing her stress in being “a woman dealing with men like this…
  • To highlight the person I’m talking to – a young woman without real direction that someone in the world loves and cares about.
  • To emphasize the importance of saying “no” when you don’t want to do something, to restate to Tanner and to emphasize to other young women the importance of being skeptical sometimes and standing on your own two feet. To learn that confrontation is a fact of life and must, at times, be faced head-on and not smoothed over through compromising surrenders – through your mind and body – just to avoid such things, just to “get along”. That we have to be the first people to instigate our proper treatment by others. Sometimes the best we can do is help ourselves and hope the example we set has the right effect on those around us.

What I don’t want to accomplish by posting this:

  • To stereotype the industry by talking about one company. There are many companies that have a great reputation for fair practice.
  • To alienate JM Productions as a “bad” company. It’s possible that Tanner never let on she had a problem with anything that was happening until her drunken breakdown moment. In fact, she definitely insinuates that she never said things she should have said and that that’s why she “blew up”.
  • To harm anyone. This is an interview. Views are expressed, but I think this young woman just needed to vent and show her fans that she is not crazy. She cares what people think about her as a person and as a sex performer, and the main idea here is to reveal her sensitivities and humanity in a compassionate light. Damn… I think this is called “investigative reporting”!

Oh, and the audio sucks again. Ha!

For Bobbi Starr’s interview I did not set up the microphone properly, and for this interview, Doug set up two microphones properly, Tanner texted to say she was running late because she had to get her test at AIM Healthcare, so I turned the microphones off to preserve the battery… and never turned them back on. Ha!! But, I borrowed a friend’s apartment, and since the windows were closed and the room was small (with decent acoustics), my only two channels of audio sucks a decaying cow turd, but it is audible! F*cking, mother f*cking, c*ck sucking, bullsh*t,grrrrrrr

– Julie Meadows







29021cookie-checkThe Tanner Mayes Interview

The Tanner Mayes Interview

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19 Responses

  1. We had a great experience with Tanner Mayes on our set of Not the Bradys XXX #3 which wrapped August 25th. She was really quite good and was an excellent actress. I remember when I decided to hire her, my business partner was less than enthusiastic as he too had heard about the ‘meltdown’ and was not sure she would be good for our set. I told him that I wanted to take a chance and give her a really good role to play. Tanner was excited to get to play a character (Jan’s friend)that was more than just a sex performer and was actually an important part of the story.

    She attended the cast read through at our office and attended all of the fashion fittings and once on the set was bright, fun, patient (with our long hours) and quite good. I don’t think we simply got her on a ‘good day’ because she was with us for 3 of the 8 days of shooting and was great each of those days.

    I really know nothing about what makes people tick but I wanted to let those interested know that X-Play’s experience with Tanner Mayes was fantastic and I look forward to working with her again. I think everybody enjoys being treated fairly and with a little respect and that all we can do. BTW- She did an awesome sex scene too plus she was very pretty which is never a bad thing.

  2. Thank you, Jeff, for leaving a comment. I hope that when she returns from being out of town I can contact her, again, and try to reassure her that it was just a bad experience that will pass. She really seems like a sweetie.

  3. Great job julie

    I think that did a lot to put things in perspective for Tanner. Its one thing to see something written on a blog but seeing her just talk candidly and forgetting the camera was there did a lot to boost her credibility.
    It also illustrated some very important points, the one thing I always do before a shoot is sit down with the girl and tell her in detail what I expect, what she will be paid , that way there are no surprises. I also emphasize that girls should always do that before a shoot. Sit down with the guy in charge and spell out what she is going to do and what she expects to be paid, when he agrees there can be no surprises.

    I think you are onto something here and I want to encourage you to keep this up. I think it may turn into something for you. Call me when ya have a chance and I will explain more.

    Good job I am proud of you and what Tanner did took some guts on her part…Thank You Tanner, Very Much!

    I believe that Jeff Mullens experience with you is probably a lot closer to reality than anything else I have read.

    Thanks Jeff for posting that.

  4. I met Tanner Mayes. She was very sweet, sincere, respectful, humble, and quite sober..with the kind of endearing niavete you would hope to see in your little sister (and hope she would never need to lose.) You’d have to be a real piece of shit to take advantage of this girl. It’s pretty fucking sick when you have to fuck someone to pick up the paycheck you’ve already earned. I certainly hope that someone follows up on the fact that they were giving alcohol to an underage girl and continued to film non-scene related events without her consent.

  5. Julie… Great job again! Your approach is totally refreshing. The effort you put into the quality doesn’t go unnoticed by those of us who’ve had to deal with technical issues like lighting, balance, camera settings and location. Oh, and AUDIO… *grin*

    I have to tell you. A few weeks ago, we were shooting this big dance show. I overcame all the lighting and location changes like a master. I’m going from tripod to shoulder, moving around the room, and I’m feeling really good about myself. When we get back to the office and get into the editing, Lady H asked “where’s that rumba they did?”. I told her, “camera malfunctioned”. No, she didn’t buy it. I finally had to admit… I paused the camera to save tape, I didn’t UNPAUSE IT until halfway through the dance!!!

    So the moral is… look forward to your work improving, but look forward to making more (and even greater) mistakes too.

    Keep it up !!!


  6. Julie, Being that I’m Hunter’s wife, I get to see all of the stupid, idiotic things he does. (He told me to say that I’m sworn to secrecy, but I’ll gladly tell the funny shit to get a laff.) I’m also his “gopher” and videographer trainee. That means I’M responsible for all the stuff he forgets…..HA. Well, a couple of months ago, we were commissioned to shoot a video and were loading the equipment for it. I mentioned, STRONGLY, that he should take the lighting kits, just in case. He “assured” me that the client “assured” him that the lighting present would be sufficient for filming. (Wait for it…….) Well, when we get there, imagine our surprise when we see the darkest room we’ve ever attempted to film in! (Insert Murphy’s Law) Thank Goodness that the shoot was only a few miles from the office and we had about 30 minutes before the filming started. Hunter “suggested” that he go back and get the lights! I said, “Good idea”! (Dork!!)
    Anyway, on a more serious note, your obvious sincerity and compassion for the interviewee is extremely evident throughout the interview. It’s apparent that you are genuinely interested and knowledgeable while asking poignant and in-depth questions and are not concerned with sensationalism or exploitation. Keep up the good work and learn from Hunter’s mistakes (which I’ll be tattling every chance I get).

  7. That is priceless. Ha! Very funny. 😀 Thank you for sharing. And thank you for the compliment. How long have you guys been shooting? I have to make a checklist because there are so many things to forget! And please tattle. Pleeeease! I love a good “oops” story. 😛

  8. We’ve been shooting for about 4 years, with the first year going pretty slow. Plenty of time to get it right, huh? NO! We learn something new everytime we film. Lately, we’ve been getting more diverse gigs. The ballroom dance one was quite challenging. Just found out today that we’ve got another shoot next weekend. Wonder what we’ll learn on that one?

  9. Julie, another great interview. Keep up the good work.

    I relly felt for you and Tanner. I wish her the very best.

    No drugs, beer or liquor should be on any porn set!


  10. Cool interview Julie…you ever get that book off Amazon I told you about? have some promo pics of you as well.

  11. Cool blogs on your website too…especially the one “When an Emotionally Inept Person Drop Kicks Your Heart”…I can relate to that!
    The bit where you tell of “loving” someone who was not right for you was funny. 🙂

  12. Thanks Den and Angel. No… I have to admit I am a bit swamped, um… constantly? Ha! I haven’t read anything lately but gossip site stuff. I do want to get that book, though, and after visiting Kayden’s blog site, I’d also like to get “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman. When I will ever have the time to read and not think about what I’m writing about, I’ll never know! Reading and getting inspiration from other sources is good, though. Angel, you should e-mail me privately and fill me in on that heartbreak stuff – [email protected] – you need to get some things off your chest. You can feel safe unloading it on me. I can totally relate. 🙂

  13. When I initially saw this interview it was a bit of an emotional shock. I’m really glad that Julie sought Tanner out so that people could get a clearer picture as to what’s been happening in her situation.

  14. Thanks for posting this. It was great to watch such a fresh perspective/acceptance and to hear what Tanner has to say about everything that’s gone on. She seems adorable, I hope she finds the strength and courage to stand up for what is right for herself. Julie you’re a gem to watch interview because your style is so laid back and approachable. Cheers for the post.

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