Milwaukee Talks: former porn star Alia Janine
Former Milwaukee exotic dancer Alia Janine Dailey-Willis took a long time to get into porn, and she didn't stay long. She entered the business at age 30. Exactly four years and 150 scenes later, she was out. Now, she's back in Milwaukee, getting ready to move to New York to pursue a mainstream career in makeup and film.
Judge her career decisions if you want, but Dailey-Willis doesn't want anyone feeling sorry for her. She entered the industry because she liked the money, the exposure and having sex. But now, she says porn is oversaturated and it was time to leave – "the only things free in life are porn and smiles."
We caught up with Dailey-Willis to discuss her career, her old-school Brewers tattoo and her future. Of course, based on the nature of her job, this interview is intended for adults, but won't get you fired for reading it at work. Enjoy this latest Milwaukee Talks.
OnMilwaukee.com: Your story is fascinating. Walk me through how you wound up in your line of work.
Alia Janine Dailey-Willis: I used to be a dancer at Silk. The first strip club I worked at was Art's Performing Center. I've worked at a bunch. The first place I ever auditioned was Rickey's On State, and that pretty much scared me away from dancing until I was 21. Me, being 18, living in West Bend, thought maybe this wasn't as cool of a job as I thought it was going to be.
OMC: What part of Milwaukee are you from?
AW: I was born and raised on the East Side until second grade, and then I moved to Port Washington, then back to Milwaukee. I moved to West Bend, then back to Milwaukee, then Texas, then back to Milwaukee, then West Bend for high school. When I turned 18, I moved back to Milwaukee.
I danced for about a year and a half when I was 20. I met this guy who didn't want me dancing, then I broke up with that guy. I wanted to continue dancing, because I wanted to travel and do feature dancing.
OMC: Did you enjoy being a stripper?
AW: I actually really enjoy dancing, and the money is a super bonus, as well.
OMC: Meantime, you were a security guard?
AW: During that relationship, I went to MATC to be a cop. I got my degree in Police Science. I was a security guard at Summerfest.
OMC: You were a red shirt?
AW: Yeah. I was also an armored car driver.
OMC: How did you decide to enter the world of porn?
AW: It was around my 30th birthday when I moved to Florida to continue my dancing career. One of my friends from Silk in Juneau had done some modeling for Score magazine and told me she got paid all this money and got magazine credits. I thought I could do this. I really contemplated it, because it's kind of a big thing. I had no problem with nude photos, but this was video. It's different, you know. I decided I would go there and do the solo videos. I was living in Tampa, drove to Miami, and they booked me for three scenes. When I was there, they were in the middle of trying to cast girls for one of their featured films called "Mamazon."
OMC: Were you nervous?
AW: I was actually terrified. When you're by yourself there isn't a makeup artist or camera guy. It took me a year and a half to get comfortable with solo scenes.
OMC: So you decided to do "Mamazon?"
AW: I figured that I've done a lot more for less, so I decided to do this movie. I made sure I got paid an obnoxious amount of money.
OMC: How much, if I may ask?
AW: I got paid, for all of the scenes, almost $5,000. That's a lot for a first movie.
OMC: Is having sex on video different than doing it in real life?
AW: It can be. You have to stop and position the lights or yourself differently. In this particular movie, they had me hanging from a tree. I enjoyed it thoroughly and thought that I could actually do this a couple of times.
OMC: Did your family know?
AW: At the time, I had talked to my uncle about it. He's a big biker dude and that was a little interesting to try to explain to him what I was doing. He told me that I'd have to call my Uncle Bill to cancel his subscriptions to porn sites. I had to tell my family – I have two step-brothers. They weren't thrilled about it, but as long as I was happy and safe and making money, they were going to support me. My family has been very supportive.
OMC: Then what?
AW: I had done 150-160 scenes over exactly four years. I started doing other stuff, like makeup and mainstream background work in music videos. I got hooked up with some comedians that I write jokes for.
OMC: Why did you get out so quickly?
AW: The industry has changed a lot; it's really oversaturated with so many girls. Promoting yourself as a porn star is another full-time job. And my knees were really messed up, from being a cheerleader and in volleyball. I did one show where my knee was really bad. My doctor said that if I wanted to continue walking, I really shouldn't be dancing anymore.
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