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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Lucky Daniels Interview

By Gabe Ayala
Photo by Gabe Ayala
The man behind Rolling Blackouts photography, Gabe Ayala, sat down with popular Randy Blue scenester Lucky Daniels to discuss all things serious and superficial—everything from his work as a personal trainer and living in L.A. to his favorite scene partners and Randy Blue porn reunions.

So, where were you born?

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and I grew up in Cuba City, Wisconsin.

Tell me about your family life and upbringing.
Well, I grew up in a family of five kids—all boys and a little dog whom I got my stage name from, named Lucky. It was a little Catholic community. I grew up Roman Catholic and had a really good childhood. Played sports, had a good amount of friends and great times.

We know you through your work with Randy Blue, but I know you’ve worked with other studios. With whom did you start working initially?

The first studio I worked with was Falcon, and then I made my rounds around the big studios. Now I just pick a couple that I work with—and Randy Blue.

You’re one of the few of Randy’s models who works with other studios. How do you go about negotiating that?

Well, I’d worked with Randy for about a year and a half, and I had talked to him and mentioned the idea that I wanted to work with other studios just to see what it’s all about and to expand my fanbase, because I realized each studio markets to a different niche. He told me, as long it’s nothing that’s direct competition with my website—and he didn’t consider the studios direct competition—he said he was fine with it. So while I didn’t have to, I consulted with him before I made any moves, and he said that he was fine with that.

How long have you been in the industry?
I have actually been in the industry for a long time. Five years. [Laughs]

Oh no! You’re giving away your age.

No, but five years is a long time in porn.

It is, but you’ve managed to be very successful and really relevant and I feel a lot of that stems from you being very levelheaded. I see you out socially, and we do work together often, but you’re not on Twitter and are very minimally on Facebook. How do you feel about social interactions with relation to the industry?

Socially, as far as porn goes, I do my scenes and try and do the best job that I can, because the people that matter when it comes to scenes are the fans—the people who actually watch what you produce.

I like to have my private life. When I’m not working as Lucky Daniels, I’m my other alias, which is my real name, Paul. I just have my personal life, and I keep them separated. Porn is a character that I portray when I do events and I do movies. But when I’m not doing that, I’m just Paul, who my family and friends know me as, and I think that’s the best way to go about this industry—having a personal life and not intertwining your porn name and your real name.

That makes complete sense. I also know you’re very driven and you have other projects going on, namely personal training. How long have you been interested in that field?

I was interested in personal training when I went to college. I was double-majoring in college in Kinesiology—which is personal training—and Public Relations. Then after my brother and I joined the military and went through basic training, I decided to get my personal training certification through the American College of Sports Medicine. I started training at a gym in my hometown area, and now I’ve been training for about three and a half years or so. I’ve just recently decided to create my own business.


Photo by Gabe Ayala
I didn’t know that you had double-majored. Where did you go to school?
I went to school at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, which was a Division 3 college, and I learned a lot about drinking games. I think I learned every drinking game ever created. I mean, I also got some good education, but I learned a lot about drinking.

I feel like that’s what college is about.

I would never bash college, because a college education is very important. But I don’t agree with the fact that you’re forced to take gen eds at four-year colleges. If a gen ed isn’t towards your major, then you’re not really going to apply what you’re learning, and knowledge is useless unless it’s applied knowledge. So you’re pretty much throwing your money away, because you’re going to forget what you learned.

I concur—gen eds should be specialized to one’s major.
And they should be cheaper than thousands of dollars. Education talk, from Lucky Daniels.

When did you make the migration west? Did you stay in Wisconsin after college?

I stayed in Wisconsin after, and stayed close to my hometown area. I made the move out to Los Angeles probably about two and a half years ago. I made the big leap to the big city.

How do you like living in L.A.?
I really enjoy it. When I first moved out, it was kind of scary, because I didn’t have anything set in stone work-wise, but I believe in taking leaps of faith. I feel if you want to achieve great things in life, you need to take a leap of faith that things will happen and materialize for you—and if not, I knew I always had the option to move back home. So I did that, and I’ve created my own niche, and I love the weather.

What was the deciding factor on coming here?

I actually met my partner in crime, my soulmate, and we ended up very lesbian-like—we met and started dating, got engaged three weeks later and moved in together a month later. Now we’ve been together almost two and a half years.

You met at White Party, right?
We actually met at Here Lounge when I was coming out to do a Randy Blue scene. Four days later was the White Party, where we decided to be boyfriends.

Oh, the story as Jeremy [Lucido] told me is that you came out of it in love, ready to get married. [Laughs]
And still going strong.

Your family is aware that you’re in the industry, correct?

Yes, they found out from a girl in one of my brother’s classes who Facebooked him and was like, “go see your gay brother at RandyBlue.com.” So my parents clicked on the link, and Randy Blue has this new ‘clip of the week’ that automatically starts playing when you go to the site, and mine happened to be that clip. So my parents not only found out I did gay porn and was gay, but they actually saw a clip of me bottoming.

Were you out at that point?
I was not out.

Did you self-identify then?

Yeah, I self-identified. I went through my whole process where I was in denial. I said I was straight, then said I was bisexual, which was even shorter than ‘straight.’ After about 10 months, I was finally like, it’s true, I’m gay. So I identified myself as gay after 10 months in the industry.

Who are some of your favorite scene partners?
Out of the last five years, I’d have to say one of my favorite scene partners was Reese Rideout, who popped my cherry. Literally on-camera. He was such a great person to work with, a super nice guy who I love. A good friend of mine still.

There have been so many, I have to think of all my scene partners. It seems like a lot, actually, when I think about it. [Laughs] I think Benjamin Bradley, when we did a scene for Channel 1 Releasing called Seize Your Bottom. That was a really good scene. It turned out really hot. He was a good scene partner. I’m sure there are some I’m forgetting, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

That’s fine, I don’t need a complete dossier. I mean, it’s been five years—there have been a lot of people you’ve had sex with.

Lots of people, but I’m still not at the 100 mark. [Laughs]

Do you actually keep track?
Yeah. Yes I do.

Do you have a retirement number?
Well, I’m hoping I don’t hit 100, so maybe hitting around 50. I’ve always spaced out my scenes when I did them, because I never wanted to oversaturate the market, and I try to think business-minded. I enjoy what I do, but I feel not a lot of people actually think about the business side of their stage names and what they do. So for me, I’m always trying to use Randy from Randy Blue as a mentor and just try and be smart about how I go about this industry.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry? I know you’ve been here for a long time, but you also have other things going on.

I’ve been in the industry for five years, and said I wanted to quit on my own terms. I don’t want to be a washed-up porn star, which has required a lot more work, working out and keeping up with trying to change my appearance and look better each year.

I see myself not really staying in the industry, expect that I’m working on a book right now about the industry. I just feel there are so many things I’ve learned on my own that I wanted to come up with this guidebook/biography about my experiences and things that are good to know about the industry. So that’s something that I’d do, but I don’t want to create my own website, I don’t want to direct or screenwrite. I just want to have reunion parties—Randy Blue porn reunions. I said I’m going to be the class valedictorian that organizes the porn reunions. [Laughs]

Please have them. I’m looking forward to my invitation in goldleaf.
I also plan on working on porn cards, where you have your stage name and get discounts at different vendors, like ID lube—no, I’m just kidding.

I believed you for a second.

Don’t steal my idea—I’ve patented it. I try to be entrepreneurial.

You compose yourself very well, which I admire.
I try to. I feel if you’re at a public event, it’s good to have fun, but you’re still representing yourself and your company. I believe it’s important to be aware of what’s going on and not look like crap. Though sometimes it is hard. When I go out as myself, sometimes you just have one of those nights where you get a little tipsy and have to hold yourself up against a wall. But I try and keep those nights very far and few between.

You’re also great with your fans. How did you get used to the attention?

At first I was taken back by it, because I didn’t want to become a porn star to be noticed. When I first started with Randy Blue, I just wanted to do my solo and get my paycheck. Then I saw how the industry was from the viewpoint of Randy, and it was so much fun and such a different environment than I expected it to be. I wanted to go about the industry differently, so I decided to be a very nice and inspirational person, so that’s why I try and answer people’s questions. I’m like an open book—I have no secrets and I try and help people anyway I can.

What’s the toughest situation you’ve had on set?

Once I was about to do my cum shot and one of the models got up and said his leg had a cramp in the middle of my cum scene.

Wait. So as you were cumming?
As I was cumming, he left the scene. [Laughs]

That’s amazing. To close, what is Paul’s ideal evening?
A homecooked meal of filet mignon on the broiler with some rice and veggies. A little bit of Crystal Light with sparkling water for dessert and watching some episodes of True Blood and Weeds.

That’s actually what I did today. Before meeting you here.

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