Since the company’s inception, CockyBoys models have become a ubiquitous presence in New York nightlife, with stars like Chris Harder, Tayte Hanson, and Levi Karter making regular appearances at clubs all over the city, and even hosting their own weekly bash in Hell’s Kitchen. It makes sense, then, that nightlife folks would want to return the favor and infiltrate the porn studio which is exactly what happened when Brooklyn’s own Andy Pandy, a documentarian turned club kid rapper, was hired earlier this year as an editor. Bringing his experimental film background to projects like Answered Prayers: The Lamb, the upcoming “Meet the Morecocks” reality series and others, Pandy’s got big plans for making it in the industry, and as a breakout nightlife star. I sat down with the self-described Pauly Shore-soundalike to discuss his unusual path to porn, his obsession with pandas and life as a newlywed.
Adam: When did you move to New York?
Andy Pandy: This time last year.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Berkshire County. Lots of woods and rich white people.
You have kind of an accent but it’s not Massachusetts.
People compare my accent to Pauly Shore. Maybe it’s a West Coast stoner accent. Ever since I was little people have asked me where my accent came from.
You grew up in Massachusetts and then
I went to film school in Boston. Then I came to New York.
What kind of stuff were you doing in film school?
I was doing mostly experimental documentaries. Some performance too.
What kind of documentaries were you making?
A big one I made was about my mother, who’s a first generation Korean immigrant. She’s quite a character. She’s an avid hula-hooper and does acupuncture for free for the community as a missionary statement for God. She’s lived in America for 25 years but she speaks very little English. She finds these pockets of Korean communities wherever she goes.
That sounds compelling.
Yeah. The relationship I had with her at that point was pretty estranged, so I used the piece to kind of reconnect with her.
Why was it estranged, the gay thing?
No. We just lost touch. The language barrier was a big thing. Korean was the first language I ever learned, and it was a big moment when I lost it. I remember her crying on the phone and my relatives crying on the phone, when they realized I couldn’t communicate with them any more.
So there was a point when you were fluent?
Yeah. Growing up. But my parents divorced and I lived with the American side of my family, and I wasn’t exposed to the language on a daily basis. I understand it a lot more than I can speak it, still. But I can only speak it as if I’m talking to an old person. “I’m hungry.” “I need to go to the bathroom.” All the polite phrases.
That’s pretty emotional.
I wanna re-learn it. I don’t think it will take very long. I want to go to Korea and find the underground scene out there. There’s such a strong pop culture out there, so I figure there must be a really subversive underground. I want to find it and bring my character Pandy out there. But I have to learn the language first.
How did you get involved with Cockyboys? Was it the first time you started working in porn?
Yeah. I started in May after answering a Craigslist ad. First I was getting selects from the various projects. I had noticed Cockyboys before on my personal internet porn quests, and liked that they were different from the other companies. The porn was shot differently, with a shallow depth-of-focus and natural lighting, which I’m really into. The sex was more natural, which I’m also really into. Because I’m really into people who bring truth into porn. I think the reality of sex is so much hotter than what is portrayed in most pornography. CockyBoys has been a really good platform for that. Jake Jaxson saw my work actually the first time he decided to hire me full time was when he was doing Answered Prayers, which is much more experimental, and I was in charge of making the opening credits for part 1 of The Lamb and he saw I was using my creative abilities to construct it. So he was like, “Let’s see where you fit in the companies.”
So you go in every day, nine to five?
Yeah. Monday through Friday. Right now I’m working on a variety of different projects. Sex scenes, short interviews. I’m also filming stuff. I’m not just editing, I’m also producing. But a project that I’m working on right now, that is gonna be more of a full time thing, is that they’re doing a reality show called Meet the Morecocks. I’m gonna be in charge of the reality show. It’s still in the developmental stage. It’ll focus on two characters and then there’ll be a sex scene between them. It’s so interesting how the company is run, and the relationship between the owner and the porn models.
So you get to hang out and observe that whole interaction?
Yeah. If I had a superpower it would definitely be invisibility. I love to be watching how things play out and how people interact. I find it very fascinating, especially in a dimension that is so unusual.
What’s something that you’ve observed and learned that you’ve been really surprised by?
I’m very surprised by the large female fan base. There’s definitely a large gay male fanbase of course, but the porn moms are very vocal on Twitter and social media. CockyBoys is very welcoming of that. A lot of my female friends don’t really watch pornography, or at least they claim they don’t. But these women are so vocal about the chemistry in the scenes and whatever. That was really surprising.
Do you have favorite models at CockyBoys?
I love Colby Keller. I’m supposed to interview him soon, which I’m really excited about. I don’t think I could really say a favorite though. I asked someone in the office who their favorite was, and they were like, “I can’t say that.” So I’ll make that my answer.
Are you working on a sex scene now?
Yeah, I’m finishing up a sex scene now, and then some recap montages of Tayte. I went with him to Westgay and filmed him doing his thing. Also some behind the scenes docs for the Answered Prayers DVDs.
Do you want to be a full-time porn director?
I definitely want to direct things and expand the creative direction of porn. I want to make stuff that shows the reality of what gay men are like. Coming from a documentary background, I just want to give insight on the world of gay porn in a truthful way.
Do you want to be in porn?
No. No way. I mean, not no way. No shade on people who are in porn but it’s not for me. I’m much more behind-the-scenes.
Do you have any porn influences?
Well, some of my influences are Travis Mathews, in terms of, like, let’s make it more realistic, and Black Spark in terms of the mystery element. I love the anonymity of it. That’s really cool territory. Those took me to another level. Also CockyBoys, of course.
How much input do the editors have in terms of creating the work? Is there a mandate like, we need this, this, this and this to be shown? How is the work creatively shopped?
Well the director, Jake Jaxson shoots something with a vision and then kind of gives it to the editors and explains the vision and then we create something and show it to him and he’s like, “Oh I like this, this, this…” So it is a collaboration. Nothing is so set in stone, and with Answered Prayers, they shoot it with a wide net, getting a lot of different things. So it’s up to the editors to figure out how to formulate and put something together. He has the main idea though, of the story and the look and how it should be.
When did you first start watching porn?
When I first had a laptop in high school. 14-15, something like that.
Was there ever a moment where you had a disconnect between what gay porn was really like and what sex was really like?
I wasn’t having gay sex until college, so it wasn’t until much later that there was any disconnect.
It was in college that you started performing as Pandy right?
Yeah. My panda nightlife persona came about freshman year of college on Halloween. I was coming up with ideas for a panda costume and I got way too into it, more so than anything ever. I realized it wasn’t a costume for me, it was my alter-ego. That Halloween I was a panda and it was a spiritual experience in a weird way. But then I didn’t think about it until I came to New York, and started going out and dancing and losing myself. I started dressing as a panda because I was like, I can do whatever I want in nightlife. There was that freedom. So one night I went out to this event and Trey La Trash was there with Cher Noble and Hamm Samwich, which is weird because they were never at this party usually, but that night they were. I would go to Trey’s event, Dizzyland and he posted on that Facebook page, like, “We love you Nike Panda. We love you Puma Panda.” So he was noticing me, and then I talked to him and he asked me to host his parties. That was my introduction into nightlife and seeing that this was something I enjoyed. He asked me what my name was and it just came out, “Pandy.” Since then it’s stuck. Andy Pandy. I try to look like I’m having fun, and inspire other people to have fun.
The light is hitting your face from over head and it’s making panda shadows on your eyes.
Haha, Cool. Awesome.
Why do you love pandas?
They’re really chill.
Aren’t they supposed to be really mean?
Maybe that’s koalas.
Yeah. That’s koalas. Pandas are really chill and they’re a prized animal within the Asian culture, so it connects me to my Asian roots which I’d lost.
Now you perform as a rapper right?
Yeah. Nightlife is such a good platform for me. I’ve always wanted to perform and do music but I always thought, nah, I’m not a rapper, but going out night after night I was like, hey I can do whatever I want, and I tried it and began to write music. I like to use a lot of movie sound effects in my tracks. My first song, “Bamboozled” uses different internet noises, like the AOL messenger jingle, pitch corrected.
How does porn intersect with the Pandy persona?
Well porn is about freedom of expression too, with the body, and in nightlife it’s also the same freedom of experience. So for me that’s how they intersect. Also everyone has pseudonyms. They’re both very much about performing a character.
Feels a bit circular. You get some fame from the porn stuff, and that helps you get a name when you go out, and then at clubs you get a rep for your porn stuff, like, when I saw you perform you introduced yourself by saying, “I’m Pandy, I make porn and I’m a rapper.” I thought that was kind of a different hook to get people interested.
Yeah. It hasn’t gained a ton of momentum yet, but I think in the future it will with more music coming out and more of the porn stuff I’m working on.
You’re also married now. It’s been a week!
Well, yes, we had a real normcore marriage at city hall a couple of months ago and that was so uncomfortable. We were in these suits. It was a really hot day, I was sweating and you go into city hall and get a ticket and they call your number, you go in and get married. It was the most uncomfortable day of my life. Then having this completely opposite ceremony at Bushwig, where it’s just so free, it was just beautiful. My friend filmed both of these events and I’m really interested to get the footage and make a short experimental film with both weddings.
What works with your and your husband?
It’s such an energy thing. It’s hard to put things into words. I feel sometimes like talking about things takes away the importance of them. But he is a very loving and supportive person. I have never met anyone who is so supportive. We’ve been together since last November.
A whirlwind romance.
I just felt like I could immediately be myself. It’s great.
Do you have a wild sex life?
It’s pretty normal. Active sure, but wild, I don’t know. Are you talking about fetishes?
I wouldn’t say it’s as adventurous as you might think. When I go out I’m not looking to be physical with anyone. It’s more using that sexual energy as a fuel to inspire me rather than get my dick wet. I’m more of a voyeur anyway. If I see someone in a club getting their dick sucked and seeing the men drawn to it like moths to a light, I’m fascinated with that. How they will take off their shirts and get into the flow of it and try to get their dicks sucked. It’s so interesting to watch as an observer. To see how sexual energy sells a moment.
Are you interested in power dynamics?
Yeah, and desire. What people truly desire and makes people come alive. Sexuality seems to be fool-proof in making people come to life. That really works in New York City. People don’t care about anyone else’s lives but then if sexuality becomes a part they wake up. If they’re turned on they always can.
Tell me about the most recent sexual encounter you had?
With my husband? Hah. I feel shy about it. I’d like to be private about it.
Well you’ve only been married a week! Have you ever seen a ghost?
When I was little, but I think I was just tripping and it was my dad’s workshirt. I thought the buttons were eyes. It’s weird you asked that though because I like to think of myself as the ghost of a porn set, because I like to be invisible and a voyeur. When I have a camera in my hand I don’t want people to notice me, I just want them to be themselves.
You’ve said that you’re a voyeur several times, but you’re also a performer. There’s a little bit of a yin and a yang there, not to bring it back to the Asian stuff. You’re a voyeur but people are forced to watch you.
Completely. Pandy’s all about that yin and yang, the black and white, the contrast. There needs to be that balance. Performer observer. My grandpa said, all you need in life is peace, balance, and harmony. I wear mostly black and white to remind myself of that contrast and how there are two sides of a coin and you can embody both sides.
What’s a porn scenario you’d want to explore as a director?
I’d like to make a porn set in the world of Brooklyn nightlife. There’s such a renaissance going on right now. You know that movie Go? Centered around a rave. It could be centered around the Shade party and all the different scenes could come together and have a scene. We could use local DJ’s. Cockyboys are looking to start throwing parties in Brooklyn.
Sex parties or just party parties?
Both. So yeah there could be nightlife pornography!
Adam Baran is a filmmaker, blogger, former online editor of Butt Magazine and co-curator of Queer/Art/Film. His short film JACKPOT, about a porn-hunting gay teen, won Best Short Film at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and was recently featured on The Huffington Post, Queerty, and Towleroad, among others. He is a features programmer at Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival and NewFest in New York. In his spare time, he complains about things to his friends. “Fisting for Compliments”, his weekly musings about the intersection of sex, art, porn, and history, will appear every Monday on TheSword. You can contact him at Adam@TheSword.com and follow him on Twitter at @ABaran999. Check out his previous columns in the Fisting For Compliments Archive.