Very few people are mentioning DeVoe’s race in a profit-hungry industry where sales, price points, distribution, and awards matter. Yes, he’s African-American, something which could have presented obstacles there, but he is making that work for him.
DeVoe brings three bestselling films to the marketplace this year: “Orgasmic Oralists,” “Strawberry Milk Juggs,” and “Deep In Latin Cheeks 6”. “I think sex should be hot, erotic, and sensual,” the director said to the press. “I prefer things dark and dirty, yet passionate and memorable.”
Savvy in business, DeVoe appreciates the rough-and-tumble environment of competition, vying for promotion and sales in a crowded market. In 2006, director Jules Jordan, with an extensive line of independent production companies under his brand, signed DeVoe to an exclusive distribution deal, making him one of the powerhouses in porn. Under that agreement, DeVoe joined the Jordan roster, but retained ownership of his product.
“I think Alexander is the top ethnic director for sure, if not one of the top directors in the business,” Jordan said at the time. “He’s the best at what he does with black girls and interracial. He’s one who understands the genre. He will be shooting ethnic and multi-ethnic titles here and we will give him the widest distribution possible.”
After graduating from the University of Hawaii in 1992, DeVoe made his name directing films at West Coast Productions during the 1990s, putting into the scenes what he thought was missing. He was truly one of the pioneers in the maturation of ethnic porn. Maybe why he is such a capable director of the genre stems from his knowledge both as a performer and the role of stepping behind the camera.
“I started behind the camera first,” DeVoe says in an interview from Los Angeles. “I moved into doing sex in front of the camera in 1996. I was never motivated to become a performer. I always knew being a performer required a different mindset than being behind the camera.”
Following his stint at WCP, DeVoe threw his energies headlong into directing, producing, and distributing his films, with his first Jules Jordan Video project, “Dynamic Booty,” in 2007. With the efficient Jordan distribution machinery, he has placed nearly 50 films on the market to date.
Growing up in Los Angeles and other parts of the country, DeVoe credits the noted pornographer John Stagliano for inspiring his interest in directing. “I worked in an adult video store. I was always attracted to Stagliano movies, anything “Buttman” did it for me. Because of him, I wanted to make porn movies.”
How He Makes It Work
According to DeVoe, his entry into the lust business couldn’t come at a better time, because the consumers loved to watch the passion generated by his films. “One thing about being a good director is to understand how to create chemistry between your performers,” he explains. “You must know how to set the pace and not place unrealistic expectations on male talent is paramount to the success of the scene.”
DeVoe is considered “an actor’s director,” |DeVoe with wife Sharee "Stilts" English]since he keeps light and lively on the set. “You have to know what turns your performers on, their likes and dislikes. When I did scenes for some directors, they never asked what type of females I liked or what types of kinks or fetishes I was into. I used that as a starting point in the preproduction process. That ensures hot passionate scenes.”
Being in control of a production can have a down side as well. “There are some negatives such as shooting bad scenes and wasting time and money,” he adds. “Sometimes you deal with bad personalities and chemistry that doesn’t mix well. In some cases, you deal with agents with girls who don’t do black guys on camera but have black boyfriends. A lot of the male talent have really large egos and that’s frustrating. Or girls who don’t come prepared to a scene or change their minds midway through a scene because they can’t do a certain act.”
Possibly one of the key weapons in DeVoe’s arsenal is his attractive wife, Sharee “Stilts” English, a model, actress and mother. Viewers remember her from her stint on the reality TV show, “For the Love of Ray J,” where she was eliminated in the last episode because she was married.
“Be who you are, not what people want you to be,” Stilts, a co-host with her husband on Wednesdays on LA Talk Radio, the number one internet radio station in the market. The popular radio show features controversial topics and people such as a Tiger Woods mistress, men who suck their own penis, the daughter of an acting icon with a sex tape to her credit, and straight guys performing gay for pay.
“People who know me will tell you that I’m a guy who loves to laugh and do characters as well as tell funny stories about my adventures,” DeVoe says. “I play the devil on the show, while she plays the angel. I’m always trying to get guests to tell intimate details of their lives and reveal sexual things that people don’t know about. Nothing is off limits.”
Asked about his wife, he becomes almost tender. “Her job is to keep me in check and provide me with a safety net. We met in 2002 while I was shooting a project in Miami. We had an instant connection upon meeting, not sexually, but more of like we wanted to see what could develop. I credit Justin Slayer, another porn director, for actually prodding me to call her because otherwise I would never have called and we would not be married today.”
With numerous prizes from the AVN and Urban X committees, DeVoe wants to branch out into television and mainstream film. There is also a reality TV show in the works, with the contents of it still in limbo.
“I never had a goal to be the best black director,” DeVoe concludes. “I remain humble. I understand the consumer has a myriad of tastes, fetishes, perversions and kinks. I am a black man who makes movies. Let’s stop labeling things in racial terms. I appreciate everyone who buys my films. I love that they trust the DeVoe brand.”