11:30 a.m. Porn star Bobbi Starr walks through the Palazzo. It's Day 2 of the 2010 Adult Entertainment Expo, but dressed in a sweat suit with sneakers and a backpack, Bobbi looks more like she's going to a cheerleading camp than the porn industry's weekend-long marathon of nearly naked networking.
11:40 a.m. Walking into a suite on the Palazzo's 46th floor for an interview with French adult mag Hot Video, Bobbi is greeted by a thin man with a video camera. "What happened?" he asks in thickly accented English, before informing us that porn actress and director Joanna Angel will be joining Bobbi for the interview. "What have I gotten myself into? Bobbi laughs. "Kinky French people."
11:55 a.m. Joanna and Bobbi are sitting on the suite's bed in their "porn clothes." A camera is mounted on top of the TV and the questions appear on the screen in simple white text. Alone in the room, they seem more natural. They don't start a pillow fight, but if the TV told them to, I'm fairly sure the pair would gladly pick up arms and beat each other until feathers fly. "Panty or thong?" the television asks. "I'm totally one for granny panties," Bobbi tells the camera. Joanna seizes the idea, "We should make a porno called Granny Panties!" The pair collapses into laughter.
12:05 p.m. A man in a Consumer Electronics Show badge gets in the elevator with Bobbi and Joanna as they head for the casino floor. "This group looks like trouble," he chuckles. The obligatory laughter is noticeably absent.
12:12 p.m. As we walk through the Venetian towards the Sand Expo Center, Bobbi talks about her off-camera exploits. She blogs for Popporn.com ("Buttery flavored & salty as hell") and writes a column for Fox Magazine called "Adventures in Porny Land." Bobbi was also nominated for sexiest geek on Wired.com. Hot stuff. She's more of a nerd, she explains. Geeks are too cool.
12:20 p.m. Bobbi arrives at the Evil Angel booth where they day's dress code is red fishnet and not much else.
12:35 p.m. Rocco Siffreddi and Manuel Ferrara arrive at Evil Angel. "It's pretty awesome the people that are in this booth," Bobbi says. "Porn legends." Bobbi and I discuss the possibility of a porn parody of Glee. She's interviewing for a musical porn character sketch. I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds interesting.
Everything you've heard about band camp is true, Bobbi told me earlier. The trained oboist who used to teach elementary-school music likes to keep her music and her porn separate. Her agent calls it "artist integrity." She refuses to bring her $5,000 oboe on set. In one film where she pretended to play a rental instrument so they could dub it later, they ended up using a trombone track.
12:45-ish p.m. Bobbi on friendships with other porn stars: "It's not that I discriminate against them. I just don't have anything in common with them. Sometimes the guys are more vapid than the girls."
12:55 Frederick Community College professor Rich Moreland stops by to meet Bobbi. He's writing a book about feminists in the porn industry, and Bobbi's one of the stars of the show. Bobbi recommends interviewing Belladonna. "She doesn't actually identify as a feminist, but she definitely is," she tells him. Before saying goodbye, Moreland thanks her. "I just wanted to meet you and tell you you're the reason I got involved in this whole thing. It's been a long journey. It's taken me two years."
1 p.m. Bobbi is on the stand outside the Evil Angel booth, a poster of a longer-haired incarnation of herself giving a sultry stare into the camera behind her. Fans wait in calm silence for their turn to pose with the porn star, get a picture autographed and make a few minutes of small talk. From Polaroids to cell phones to full professional SLR rigs, the variety of camera gear is astounding.
1:27 p.m. "Excuse me, is that Bobbi Starr?" a guy asks as he walks by the line. "OK, we gotta stand in line for her."
1:29 p.m. A young man in a shirt that says "She screams my name" tells Bobbi he wants to be a porn director and asks her who he should talk to. She spends a few minutes giving him advice. In another life Bobbi would have made a good career counselor. Another fan gives her a present, a small printed piece of paper ripped from a magazine or newspaper that says "Do you need a hug?" across the top. "This card is good for a hug from any participating Human Being," it continues. Bobbi obliges. "Every time I see him he tries to give me a massage," Bobbi whispers with an eye roll after the particularly devoted fan has moved on.
1:40 p.m. "I'm your oldest fan," a man in a mustard colored jacket and black beret tells Bobbi. "It's a good thing I have my Medicare card with me cause if I didn't I'd be scared of having a heart attack."
2:15 p.m. Bobbi finally climbs down. She seems somewhat drained from the small talk, gracious smiles and flirtatious photos with fans — asking each one, "Do you want a front shot or an ass shot?" She explains, "These are the people who buy my movies, so I want to get to know them."
2:27 p.m. "This stunning creature next to me is named Bobbi Starr," Playboy.com's Suzy MccCoppin says, beginning an on-camera interview inside the Evil Angel booth. Screaming slightly to be heard above the pounding bass that's a constant fixture at AEE, they go on to talk about Bobbi's nominations, Suzy's sexual preferences and a few things that go well beyond Playboy.com's censorship limits. Bobbi manages to maintain a girl-next-door cheeriness even as she talks about the work that earned her the AVN nod for Most Outrageous Sex Scene. And get this: It was a solo performance.
2:45 p.m. The entire Evil Angel crew gathers at the front of the booth for a group portrait in front of a frenzied crowd of photographers and fans. Karen Stagliano directs traffic while the girls work through a series of shots: smiling, grabbing asses, having asses grabbed, smiling and asses only. There is enough red fishnet to catch a colorblind tuna.
2:55 p.m. Bobbi on her usual weekend attire: "I'm so the jeans, T-shirt and Chuck Taylors girl."
3:14 p.m. Bobbi has taken refuge in the windowless storage room inside the booth. Outside the Belladonna frenzy has begun and Rocco is giving a serious-faced interview in Italian. Surrounded by cardboard boxes of T-shirts and DVDs, Bobbi sits down to a salad. "You don't get tired until you stop," she comments, but her face says differently. A presenter at the AVN Awards show, she still has an hours-long rehearsal this evening at the Palms and then is planning on catching a showing of Zumanity.
Bobbi picks up a Manuel Ferrara DVD from the table and glances at the hardcore photos plastered all over the case. "I don't watch my own movies," she admits. "I've never really watched porn." She's never even been to a strip club, either, though she's considering taking up feature dancing for a few extra bucks and the hell of it. I suggest that she does the robot on stage.
3:45 p.m. On our way back from the bathroom, Bobbi is ambushed by two blondes with glazed eyes and snug corsets. "Oh my god! You're one of the reasons I got into this industry," one of them gushes. As we walk away, Bobbi muses, "I wonder if either of them even knows who I am. Neither one of them used my name."
Back at Evil Angel an interviewer from Fleshbot.com is waiting for Bobbi. "You're No. 6 on our list of crushes," she tells her. Bobbi puts on a smile and says thanks. These are the people who buy her films, after all. And she wants to get to know them.