In an exclusive sit down, Mike Dreyden bares all – Jewish guilt, hanging with his Divas, and waiting for LAST CALL.
Chiseled abs, furry chest, bulging biceps, luscious lips… but enough about this Diva. Nothing compares to former adult film star sensation, the savory, Mike Dreyden. Chatting with this NYC-made hunk raised the heat under my panniers (that’s the hoop to widen the dress). But I told myself to be a lady and first ask him about his humble beginnings in the porn industry.
Before we get to the sizzle, let me say Mike is as charismatic and intellectual as he is sexy. An avid men’s health advocate, he finds strength and solace in his faith of Judaism. Which if you know me, there’s nothing I like more than a big brain, a bigger heart, and a HUGE…..strong faith.
(DSD) Mike, tell me how did you find your way into the industry that brings so much pleasure to both men and women, but mostly men?
(MikeDreyden) Go-go dancing all over Brooklyn and Manhattan, until being spotted at an expo by President and CEO of Knight Stick Films. I debuted in his film called All Out ASSault. Which garnered a lot of attention from other casting agencies such as, Raging Stallion, Lucas Entertainment and Titan Media.
(DSD) We will make the assumption that shooting sexy scenes can be awkward. What was the most difficult scene to shoot?
(MikeDreyden) I’d say the most difficult porn scene to date is Piss Pigs for Lucas Entertainment (NSFW). It was torture. We’d have to drink lots and lots of water. Hold the urge to piss. Drink more water. Hold it. Drink more water. It was a six-hour shoot. NEVER AGAIN!
(DSD) Were your family and friends surprised, encouraging or indifferent when they learned about your films?
(MikeDreyden) It was a combination of support and concern. I didn’t actually tell my mother, but she figured it out. Once, I was over for the holidays and I needed to check email for flight confirmation to an event I was appearing at and I’d forgotten to sign out of my Gmail account. She yells across the living room… “Who’s Mike Dreyden?!” My mom is one of those moms who doesn’t see their kids as grown adults. Growing up, she went through our things all the time. She found my journal, read it and found out I was gay. That’s the day I learned NEVER to write down anything you want to keep private… especially on the internet! All in all, I’d say my friends and relatives who know I did porn were/are supportive. They’re even more so after seeing me on stage and in the films I’ve done.
(DSD) Did you have any crushes from the industry?
(MikeDreyden) Absolutely! I was head over heels for Colby Keller, Jake Deckard and Ray Dragon! I was feeling it for Ray for years, back when he was designing underwear and swim suits.
(DSD) These days anyone with a smartphone can make porn, what advice do you have for upcoming actors?
(MikeDreyden) I get emails from around the world from guys, some young, asking my advice about getting into porn. If they’re very young, like late teens/early 20s, I say don’t do it. I also explain how porn is a short term business, flavor of the month at times, but to be successful at it and have longevity, you have to carry yourself with professionalism. Nobody wants to work with and market rude or demanding queens who are just stepping onto the scene. It’s not about the act itself it’s about being able to create a moment, a fantasy and letting go.
Ladies (and gents, of course), I got to give Mike 5 stars for his work. It brought me to life several times. But this Adonis is not just stimulating to the eyes and other regions I won’t mention, but he is a talented actor, writer, director and health advocate. Doesn’t he just get dreamier?
(DSD) How do you feel about the use of Prep?
(MikeDreyden) I didn’t think in my lifetime I would see a way to prevent the contraction and spread of HIV. But here it is and I believe it is a win for our community. I have been on it for two years and actually feel more free in my sexuality as others have mentioned the same. It doesn’t prevent other STDs so it is still important to use common sense, condoms and have open and honest conversations. Jack Mackenroth invited me to be a part of a Housing Works Prep PSA for Prep Heroes to end the stigma of HIV/AIDS and to empower my fans and community on how to protect themselves. It was a great experience and I had the opportunity to work with the legendary Mike Ruiz.
(DSD) What is this nude summer retreat you take annually about?
(MikeDreyden) Ah yes. Camp Nehirim. A retreat for gay Jewish men, or as I like to call it, JEW CAMP! Nehirim was an LGBT Jewish Organization that has folded, however some of its programs like the summer men’s retreat at Easton Mountain continue. My first time attending a retreat I was asked to speak about my experience being an out, gay, Jewish, porn star. I didn’t realize I was opening the weekend of events. It was an honor. I was then asked to not only speak at the summer retreat but facilitate a couple of workshops. I developed the Men’s Grooming workshop, “Porn Star Grooming Tips,” featuring my favorite products. I also included a “How to do a testicular cancer examination,” portion of the workshop. Everyone is nude at my workshops and the men love the freedom.
(DSD) How does the retreat relate to your faith?
(MikeDreyden) It is an important weekend for me spiritually. It’s the one time of year where I immerse myself in Judaism. Study, prayer, song, dance AND food! It is also my time to reconnect with myself. From walking through the woods, naked to writing in my journal, to skinny dipping; it’s a REAL barefoot ‘me’ time for five days.
(DSD) I could certainly use a week to find myself. Remove the duck tape, if you will. Now who inspires you?
(MikeDreyden) So many inspire me, especially my actor friends and those I look up to. One of my dearest friends and great supporter is Billy Porter. He’s been that voice that shouts DO IT! DON’T STOP! KEEP GOING! YOU GOT THIS! WORK BITCH! All of my friends in Broadway productions right now from Kinky Boots to Fiddler on the Roof to Waitress to Chicago and more. They all inspire me.
He’s spiritual, more than some queens I know, and a voice to multiple communities. But he keeps getting better! I got to get a glimpse of Mike’s new venture, a web series called, “Last Call.” Here’s the tea.
(DSD) Mike, you had me at Pissing Pigs, but please tell me what’s coming next for you?
(MikeDreyden) LAST CALL is a web series based on my experiences leaving corporate America. Getting involved in the gay NYC nightlife and gay porn. Like me, my character, Leo Ocean, leaves his job as a realtor with no idea or set plans. He’s somewhat down on his luck but dreams of owning his own bar someday. He is an authentic type of guy. What you see is what you get. No nonsense. Honest. Gritty maybe, but loving and ambitious.
(DSD) Ah, I see perhaps you will need some of our divas as extras, wink wink. Would you say your series is an autobiography or a memoir?
(MikeDreyden) It’s definitely autobiographical. My memoir will come in about 10 years from now or when I turn 60.
(DSD) A realtor? Honey why didn’t you say so my aunt Rita, well, we’ll talk about that later, but tell us what do you hope to accomplish from this endeavor?
(MikeDreyden) The main goal for LAST CALL is to be the foundation for launching my own production company, Mike Dreyden Media. A production company dedicated to producing projects in new media and the stage. Another goal for this show is to be a calling card for not only my own acting career but that of the entire cast and to serve as a representation of what the crew is capable of in their production value. Along with AJ Mattioli and Mattioli Productions, we are bringing the first three episodes to life and plan on premiering at this year’s Brooklyn Web Fest.
(DSD) How long does it take to shoot a scene for the series and how do you select locations? By the way, my apt is available (one room in particular).
(MikeDreyden) Yes, location scouting is a chore I am NOT fond of. However, every location for season one was donated space. Rags-a-Gogo, BarThalia at Symphony Space, and the home of my friends Joe Pinelli and Yossi Buskila. Sometimes shooting can take anywhere from 8 to 10 hours, depending on how well planned out the day is and barring any unforeseen circumstances.
(DSD) Have you directed before? I take direction very well.
(MikeDreyden) I suppose I do in part when I’m directing a scene in LAST CALL but not in any other project. I think once LAST CALL ends I’ll be ready to do a stage show I’ve written. I’m not sure what that is or what it will look like but I do know there will be lots of nudity and a real authentic point of view.
(DSD) We are anticipating your series will be a hit. But besides me, who are other drag queens you favor?
(MikeDreyden) I love all the NY Queens. Sherry Vine, Lady Bunny, Bianca del Rio, Peppa Mint, Shequida, Hedda Lettus, Cherry Jubilee… love them all. I also adore Misty Meaner and Mocha Lite, two of the newest queens on the scene.
(DSD) One thing about you that most people wouldn’t know?
(MikeDreyden) Oh, this is a fun question. I mean, I’ve talked about being color blind. I see colors, I just confuse one for another or can’t tell what some colors are and don’t even put that color blotch test in front of me. I firmly believe it’s a prank and there aren’t any letters or number in there. So the answer is I have a PA now. Love it! Bottoms freak out! And, my left ear is smaller than my right ear. the left one is shaped like my dad’s and my right one is shaped like my mom’s. It’s freaky!
(DSD) How have you seen the drag/gay scene evolve in NYC?
(MikeDreyden) Well, my first introduction to drag was at a Spanish nightclub I went to, ESCUELITA. It was amazing! The performances were way over the top, lip syncing to these dramatic and classic Spanish songs in some cases. From then on I found that although drag wasn’t my scene, I met so many who were a driving force in LGBT nightlife, an integral part actually. I am proud to see how drag has launched careers for so many of the people I know.
Stay tuned to learn more about LAST CALL, and how you can help to support the web series. Be sure to check out Mike’s blog to get your daily Dreyden fix.
Cover photo courtesy of Jeremy Lucido for Starrfucker Magazine.
Thank you! You honor me.