Linda J. Alexander
· A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story
· Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, & Communism
· Weekends In New England
· The Unpromised Land
· Until Next Time
· How Taylor Hicks Made it Possible For Adam Lambert to Win American Idol
· In The Hands of the Law
· Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, and Communism
· Has He Made It Through The Rain?
· Voice In My Head
· New Orleans vs Irag?
· Diamonds vs Kisses . . . a Flippant Commentary on Women’s Lib
· To Speak Her Name: Margie Hart, Ace Stripper
· Birth Of An Activist
· Lou Christie: Lightning is Still Striking
· From Queen of Me to Queen of Indy Music
· Guiding Light’s Joseph Breen Crazy Like A Fox - Dr. Will Jeffries
· Browne Has Big Plans After Departing Another World
· From General Hospital to American History X . . . and beyond
· Guiding Light’s Secretary, Wanda, Hails from Washington, DC Area
· The Adult Video Awards Show – 1990
· Dear John, Harry Groener Is No Nerd
· Handsome Jay Hammer of Guiding Light
· Two Originals Remain From the Herman’s Hermits
· Spotlight . . . on Michael Swan
· I Don't Know
· Ms. Simile Skeltonics
· Getting Older
· Man in the Box
· The Younger Years
· Music or Love?
· On The Radio
· Life Before
· My Mama
· Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, & Communism: AD Top Books!
· e-book Available: Reluctant Witness, Robert Taylor, Hollywood, & Communism
· Biography - Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood & Communism
· Robert Taylor Scholarship Announced!
· Award-Winning Photographer's Work to Grace Cover of New Book Set In Boston
· Linda Alexander Signs New Book Contract!
· X-Rated Industry Insider Recognizes
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Our sexuality is very misunderstood. . . .
What if the tornado dropped Dorothy not into Oz, but onto the shooting set of an X-rated film?
Eric Edwards makes sex films. Period . . . Sex-on-command . . . Sex-for-hire. . . .
So begins the story of Eric Edwards, Mr. Everyman of X-rated films, an adult film industry icon since 1969. Yet Eric Edwards is also a regular guy who deals with the same ordinary problems as everyone else.
This book tells of an odd camaraderie between a porn icon and freelance writer. The storyteller’s curiosity took her on a journey into a sexual world about which she knew nothing. She, an awakening "Dorothy," and Eric Edwards, a celebrated adult film star since 1969 in his own "Oz," were an unlikely pair but through interviews and day-to-day living they became friends, protective of each other. Eric tried to shield Linda from the darker side of sexuality, and Linda was determined to share the light of hope with Eric.
This non-pornographic look behind the X-rated camera includes voices of industry insiders to offer a non-judgmental look into the most mysterious, misunderstood faction of film entertainment.
Dorothy From Kansas Meets the Wizard of X is the final result of a long search into a world I knew very little of prior to beginning the process—the world of sexuality: mine, as well as others. I am, figuratively, Dorothy From Kansas. Eric Edwards is the Wizard of X. If you’re looking for a spicy, hard, and blatant account of the world of pornography, you should not read this book. It is none of that. If you’re interested in learning about personal journeys into sexual psyches, you won’t be disappointed.
This nonfiction work was written in 1991, so time references and some information may seem dated in today’s world, but that makes it no less sincere. Rob Everett, aka Eric Edwards, is now the father of two sons, rather than one. Both are the children of Rene Summers, aka Cheri Everett. More on this is detailed in this book’s Afterword. Neither child’s name is mentioned, at Rob’s request, so as to protect their privacy. Children deserve that.
Where there are personalities in a few instances described but not named, that, too, was intentional, to protect privacy. Not many, but a few people just didn’t want to talk publicly. If you learn their names elsewhere, that’s not my business. I did my part to not betray a trust put in me. In that vein, a few others spoke under the cover of their industry name.
I wrote this book to delve into the truth behind our society’s determination to keep sex in the closet and out of the public eye. I wrote it to look into my own deep-seated misconceptions about sex, as well as countless public misconceptions. Sex is not always pretty, it’s not always soft and gentle and romantic. Nor is it always honest. It can be, and often is, brutal, boring, or shocking. As a general society, most of us don’t want to talk about it, and don’t want to know about the folks that keep the business of sex ongoing. We don’t want to face reality, yet we would never consider living without sex.
I didn’t appreciate that two-faced attitude. I knew going into the project that many would probably shun me because I dared to cross the barrier—a real though invisible barrier. This actually proved to be true. I also found, though, that as long as someone else was willing to take the chances, many other “Dorothys From Kansas,” others like me who had never been face-to-face with the world of sex as a business, were willing, even eager, to learn about it. For this, I was pleasantly surprised, and that gave me the courage to continue. I was delighted to find most of the folks with that closet-curious mentality were women. If I could offer even the least little bit of insight into the world of sexuality for other mirror “Dorothys,” then I achieved an important goal by writing this book.
Most any writer, if given the opportunity to put out the same book twice, has something he or she feels should’ve been included in the original release. I am no different. I’m happy to correct a few omissions. I’ve added a “Where Are They Now” section for almost each individual mentioned. If the person is in the text but not on this list, it means that nothing further could be found about him or her. There’s a pseudo-bibliography, insofar as I was able to relate the few texts I consulted. Most of the writing was completed from in-person interviews, and not textual research. Where I could update timelines without changing the meaning of the words, I have done so.
Please read with an open heart and mind.
Linda J. Alexander
North Potomac, MD
Late at night,
In the dark,
When the movie house is out. . .
Oh, I swear
You can hear
Every hero's heartbeat.
Don't go believin'
All that you're seeing is not always true.
Characters winnin', cowboys bleedin',
Preacher is grinnin' --
He's grinnin' at you.
Every hero cries -- sometimes.
You can see it in his eyes -- sometimes,
When you bring him down to size. . . .
Every hero cries -- sometimes.
No matter how he tries -- sometimes,
and the hero never dies. . .
But every hero cries.
copyright James Jolis, permission granted, from "Every Hero Cries"
It is not my intent with this book to judge whether or not pornography is derogatory, right or wrong, a sin against God or an aid to sexual mental health. Rather, this is a book about PEOPLE: who they appear to be as opposed to who they really are. The pivotal personality is Eric Edwards. What is there is not always what is seen. This might also be said for others in the adult film industry, the romance novel industry, the U. S. government, the religious community, me, you as readers and viewers, and all other public advocates of and denouoncers of what is deemed by today's overall society as pornography . . . free and clear, black or white, and, ultimately, right or wrong.
I hope to make people thing about brutal honesty, an honesty which may be painful to admit to, and about hypocrisy. . . . Beyond what pornography does to society at large, the most important issue this book addresses is: What does it do to the lives of those intimately embroiled in the industry?. . . .Once I challenged my "treat others as you want to be treated" ethics I found that, to use the old cliche, people really were just people. . . .
It's Porn, Not Kansas Dorothy, But Easily Confused
by Henri Pachard
well-known X-rated Film Director
[note: lightly edited for general audiences]
"Everyone has talent; what's rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads" Erica Jung
Author Linda Alexander included this quote from yet another writer, at the close of the press release about her new book, "Dorothy From Kansas Meets the Wizard of X" (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, www.publishamerica.com and other sources,).
Included in its introduction, we're asked; "What if the tornado dropped Dorothy not into Oz, but onto the shooting set of an x-rated film?"
Well, Linda, that depends; assuming by now, that Dorothy from Kansas is well over eighteen, she might get the thrill of her life and find herself being led into the dark places. Or she might think she's still in Kansas, and be wondering how she can gracefully get . . . out of there without offending all those nice people who are waiting silently, while some poor schmuck sweats under the lights. . . .
We get a lot of "Dorothy's"; and most of them still don't know how they got into porn. I'm . . . sure there was never a kid who used to lie down in the fields of Kansas and gaze up at the stars, dreaming about becoming a porn star when she grows up.
But Linda Alexander is a pretty sharp dame, and she probably knows this by now; she started working on her book over a decade ago.
And while this seems like a long time; it's not. Ian Gittler started "Porn Star" (Simon & Shuster) around 1991 and with nearly half of its 175 pages are photos, it wasn't completed until around 1999. Even Marshall Blonsky's 500 plus pages, "American Mythologies" (Oxford University Press), which started in 1988, didn't get out the door until sometime in '94. And his coverage on porn is less than twenty-five pages.
Linda Alexander's book is a journey with Eric Edwards, who became a legend in this business after thirty-some years performing in porn before he became another director, editor and shooter. He's still at it; and the author still remains close to him, even today.
Eric showed her the ropes and helped her to hook up and interview a lot of players in the game; Tom Byron, Gloria Leonard, Bill Margold, Ashlyn Gere, and even Renee Summers – Eric's ex-wife – and several others; myself included.
Linda interviewed me about my relationship with Eric, which only adds to the irony of my writing this article. We have some history together and have shared some common nightmares.
I directed Eric in a few films, and the last two were "Sexcapades" in 1984, and its sequel, "Great Sexpectations", the following year. But while the first one was a fun, nasty satire about a porn director coming to terms with his career, the second one goes a little deeper; and – as Erika [sic] Jung suggests – darker. Much of the story is about my own struggles, fears and weaknesses; thinly veiled through Eric's second portrayal of a porn director that's become both a bigger success in the porn world, but a bigger loser in his other world; the one known as life. In those days, both myself and Eric Edwards lived way too far out on the edge; and Eric's portrayal of a coke snorting, vodka drinking, ego maniac, controlling a**hole that he performed during the days, was a mere rehearsal of both of our real lives.
So yeah, Linda; I'd like to help you push your book about the porn game; me and Eric Edwards left a good chunk of what might have been the best part of our lives, back in those days. We were f**ed up; and even today, kids in the game can't seem to figure out that porn's just another way to make a decent living, not a life style. I want your book to go a lot further than Gittler's "Porn Star"; if for no other reason, the publisher's choice of photographs on the cover: Savannah's on the front and Ron Jeremy's on the back. Ron Jeremy is still working; Savannah had already killed herself long before that book was finished. And just because Ian Gittler may have f**ed her when he interviewed her, her photo won't resurrect her.
Linda, your book shows the real and very human side of us; and I'm grateful for that. Perhaps the readers won't, if they're looking for some hot titillation. But maybe your book can help some of us in the game - both rookies and veterans - to better define and validate ourselves. We are who we are; and while the beat still goes on, the rhythm doesn't have to be so treacherous.
We're not that far from Kansas, Dorothy; it's just that a lot of us didn't get their turn to dream.
"I was so much older than, I'm younger than that now." Bob Dylan.
The Porn Star Next Door
by Neil Drumming
Washington City Paper
November 12, 1999
"I'm a romantic. I love being in love and when I am, I give my mate my all. . . . I enjoy opening doors for women, throwing my coat over a puddle, that sort of thing, that's the way I've always felt with whomever I'm with."
Some people might have a hard time reconciling Rob Everett's words with his 20-plus years in the adult film industry as a star and producer. Until recently, D.C. area activist and author Linda Alexander was one of those people. Her latest book, Dorothy From Kansas Meets The Wizard of X, is an account of Alexander's coming to terms with Everett (stage-named Eric Edwards) as a guy who gets hard under stage lights--not some ogre who turns to stone at daybreak.
Alexander never much liked porno flicks. She describes the tapes that her ex-husband used to bring home as "lousy at best." Nevertheless, she eventually did find something in the films to hold her interest. "Every now and then, though, there was one of them that seemed to have some sort of acting ability or characterization and so forth, and each and every time it never failed that this gentleman Eric Edwards had something to do with the film," she says. "And if you looked at him, you wouldn't in your wildest dreams think that he would be in that business."
So Alexander began researching her book. She spent time with Everett and his young son in California, interviewed his associates, sat in on the production of one of his films, and even accompanied him to an adult-film awards ceremony. "I was just curious," she admits. "What was a nice boy like this doing in a place like that?
"He's considered an aberration by the industry," Alexander maintains. Dorothy [the book] paints an idealized picture of a sensitive small-town boy trying to survive in a business in which he doesn't quite belong. She may have a point: Many of the people with whom Everett has worked reagard him, Alexander says, as one of the more "classy" actors. And much of the book deals with his transition from actor to producer and his sturggle to make more romantic, couples-oriented sex films.
What's funny is that the same interviewees who commend Edwards' sensitivity consider his efforts pretty worthless. Most agree that a viable and--more important--lucrative couples market doesn't really exist. Alexander says, "If you're going to have sexuality in a film, there's got to be a point to it, not just sex for sex's sake."
But that's just the sort of tape that sells.
Unlike her ex-husband and millions of others who actively rent skin flicks, Alexander wants some "artistic value" and Edwards-style romanticism is her pornography. From the sound of things, it seems as though Edwards might not be the only aberration.
Dorothy From Kansas Meets the Wizard of X --
by Christina Kay, Reviewer http://www.theromancestudio.com
Dorothy of Kansas Meets the Wizard of X was a well-written non-fiction book. It showed all sides of the adult entertainment industry - the good, the bad, the indifferent. It didn't condemn or judge the lifestyle but it didn't try to glamorize it either.
What the book did do, was force me to open my eyes to a reality I never before allowed myself to face. In the storyline, a fairly innocent Catholic woman develops a friendship with a well-known star of the adult entertainment world. She learns about the industry, the actor, and the man from candid interviews with others who willingly open the door and share their lives with her.
I learned, as I am sure other readers will too, that regardless of how open-minded we believe ourselves to be, we all have some preconceived notions about what is right, moral, or acceptable and sometimes we judge others while ignoring our own downfalls.
How do we, as a society, judge people in the adult entertainment world? Often we label them as "oversexed", perverts, scum who will "perform" any act for the almighty dollar. And yet, in the privacy of our own homes, with lights low and curtains drawn, many of us thoroughly enjoy watching the show, so to speak. Even those who do not view pornography, per se, often enjoy Dramas which involve not only sex, nudity, and violence, but also vulgarity and atrocities against children. Are we any better than those who work in adult entertainment or those who enjoy watching it? Or, are we simply better at hiding under the cover of decency and acceptability?
This book was GREAT in my opinion. It blew all of my preconceptions away and made me open my eyes into the blaring truth. It presented, in an articulate manner, the reality of the adult entertainment industry. Most importantly, it made me, as a reader, stop looking at others and pointing fingers, and instead look deep inside of myself for my own truth and morality - one not imposed on me by religion or society or peer pressure or any outside influence, but one that is much more real because it comes from within me.
This is definitely one worth the read and I will be purchasing my own copy soon as I know it will also be worth reading again!
Reviews for "Dorothy From Kansas Meets the Wizard of X"
|Reviewed by G Donais
|Linda has truly help break the silence the society has locked in the closet for many years. As a victim of child porn during the 60's and 70's I know first hand about the issues she decribes in her Book. I talk about it in my book "Not Just a Touch". Great job Linda.|
|Reviewed by Michael Tyler (Reader)
|What a neat concept. Gotta read it now!|
|Reviewed by Lynn Barry
|WOW! Liberating...and to think they aren't traumatized....they actually love their work?...perhaps???? and maybe some don't...but your point is well taken...people...that's what matters...|
|Reviewed by Jeff Neugroschel
|The title is certainly an eye-catcher and the foreward enhances the mystique surrounding the pornography industry. Looks like a superb read to me!|
|Reviewed by Ralph Singleton
|A very interesting perspective from the hearts of those caught up in this industry. Once again, we see that the addage "don't judge a person until you walk in their shoes" applies to everyone. Just because we don't necessarily agree with how someone lives their life does not make them any less valuable. Thanks Linda for shining a light on a controversial subject.|
|Reviewed by Erin Elder
|A good non-judmental character study_as they should be. Who chooses their sexuality? No one I know. The world is tough and we choose how we handle it, but somehow our sexuality kind of just lands on us. Very thought provoking Linda. I wish you much success, no doubt it is yours and will continue to be so.|
|Reviewed by Melody Ravert
|An eye catcher!
Everyone has to learn about their sexuality from someone or somewhere...makes me wonder if the family doesn't teach it, and churches don't talk about it..where is someone to go to learn the values and responsibility our sexuality seeks?
|Reviewed by Mary Erickson (Reader)
|The excerpt intrigues me. As a former Catholic who could only watch movies that were listed A1 on the Legion of Decency I had no experience with pornography. But that was then. This is now. I may indeed be Dorothy (I was actually raised in Kansas), but I've since leaving "Kansas" experienced a larger world of grays, rather than a world of blacks and whites. The author has given me much food for thought.|
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