XCritic Interview: Jillian Janson Discusses Early Adult Career, Feature Dancing and More
22-year-old Jillian Janson has cemented a place in the adult world incomparable to many performers who enter the industry at a young age. Still a high school student upon her 2013 debut, Jillian exploded in popularity almost instantaneously and has never looked back.
Today, the pretty, blue-eyed Janson ranks among adult’s immensely popular starlets. In addition to her on-camera credentials, Jillian enjoys a thriving feature dance career and is a successful online entrepreneur with a plethora of prospering websites.
Jillian kindly spoke with XCritic on the afternoon of May 1 to discuss her entry into the adult business, making the move from Minnesota to California as a teenager and more.
You can visit Jillian online at her official website, JillianJansonXXX.com, follow her on Twitter under the handle @XOJillianJanson and check out Janson’s FreeOnes page here.
Jillian Janson is represented by Matrix Models. For feature dance bookings, please contact A-List Features, The Lee Network, or Centerfold Strips. Publicity inquiries may be directed to Star Factory PR.
(Special thanks to Tanya Tate at Star Factory PR. Interview conducted by Cass Ashlen)
Thanks for taking some time out for the interview today, I appreciate it.
Absolutely. Not a problem.
I’d like to begin by asking you about a signing that you appeared at just last week, I believe, for a documentary called Underbelly: Beneath the World of Porn. Can you tell us about that film and are you actually in the movie?
Yes, I am. It’s funny, because he invited me - a good friend of mine, Corpsy, who put it all together - and I was actually very busy. I was just coming back from feature dancing in Pennsylvania.
So, I got there and sat down and we had everything kind of planned. The movie started rolling and there I was. I was like, “You didn’t tell me!” (Laughs) He wanted to surprise me.
It was very, very revealing. Very truthful and very accurate about the industry. It’s nothing bad - it’s all good. It pretty much tells you everything about the industry - the good, the bad and how much we love it. It’s much better than the one that people saw in the past on Netflix.
Right. And the man behind it (Robert “Corpsy” Rhine) also runs the Girls and Corpses magazine, which is a quality publication.
Yes, it is - which I’ve been on the cover of.
Right. Going back to the beginning now, can you tell us how you initially became interested - and later involved - in the adult industry?
Yeah. It all kind of happened unexpectedly. I was always very sexual growing up and I never really thought that I would get into the industry, but I watched it a lot. I watched porn growing up and I was very comfortable with myself. I had multiple partners by the time I was comfortable with myself and I was ready to move on. One day, I was sitting at home and I was online, and I came across a webcam site kind of thanks to an old friend of mine, and wasn’t really on there long before I was kind of discovered.
I was a waitress at the time and I was just understanding the world of generosity and tipping and all that good stuff. I was having a good time and I got offered the opportunity to come out to California and start modelling. Of course, there was a little more to it than modelling. We discussed it and he was like, “You could just model, or you could do videos or whatever.” And I was like, “You know what? I’ve been having sex for a while. There’s no need for me not to keep doing it.” So, I said, “I would love to do my first boy/girl scene.” We did it and it was amazing. (Laughs) So, it all just kind of happened unexpectedly. And now, it’s really taken off. It’s five years in August and I couldn’t be happier.
Terrific. I understand you began webmodelling the summer before your senior year in high school?
Yes. (Laughs) That’s correct.
And you were actually in the business during high school. Do you feel that made your high school experience different than the average person’s because you were doing something so unique for a living?
Oh, yes, definitely. I thought I was completely different from everybody in my community where I grew up because I started working at 14, I had another job at 16-17. I was just always working and I kind of took pride in that over my actual schooling. Eventually, it was just sort of like nobody really understood me and I was kind of the outcast. No one really got what it was like to be, I guess, more unfortunate than they were, I suppose. They didn’t have to have jobs like I did - they had everything handed to them.
It was a different time for me. So, when everyone found out, it was one of those things where, “Oh, she’s a whore.” “Oh, she’s a slut.” They were shaming me. It was never a feeling that I wanted to feel, so I got out of there real quick. I wanted to make a life for myself.
Now, I look back and I’m like, “Who knows?” If I would have stayed my full senior year, what would have happened? I’m just glad that I got in when I did and decided to do what I did. It was not really a hard decision for someone at that time who didn’t really like the environment she was in and knew that all she had to do was get out of it to be happy.
What a lot of people don’t understand is that that’s all I had to do. If there’s something that’s bothering you or not making you money or not making you happy, you just have to do something to fix it. And that’s what I did.
I also did it as a result of an incident that happened in the ninth grade where I had sex with my best friend’s brother and she turned everybody against me. Luckily, my mom at that time said, “We’re moving.” So, I didn’t have to deal with it much. But, it was still depressing - the way people were treating me.
That made me resort to doing stuff online. Porn had become my getaway, my oasis from all that bullshit. (Laughs) So, that’s kind of how I became comfortable with myself. And then, I eventually started hitting people up online on Facebook and stuff, would branch out to this site that was kind of just for teenagers. It was just this awesome little profile where you could find friends and hook up, and what not. I found this friend, and that’s who had told me about MyFreeCams, so it all kind of turns around in a circle.
I also wanted to ask about your transition to California. You grew up in Minnesota, is that right?
Yes, that’s correct.
I would imagine that moving to California - especially at such a young age - from the Midwest must have been such a shift in environment, as you mentioned.
(Laughs) Yes, it was.
What was that change like for you?
It was exactly what I needed. I needed to be independent. I needed to show not only myself, but my family that I could take care of not only them, but me. It was something I always wanted.
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My mom told me stories growing up about how she was from California. She was born and raised here. She was more north, though, not really in the city. I always questioned, “Why did you move to this cold climate?” So, I was very excited to move to California where it’s sunny and beachy - the complete opposite of what Minnesota was. (Laughs) She just didn’t really like California. I was like, “Well, that explains it.” All the traffic and all that stuff - I totally get it. She was afraid of the earthquakes. I was like, “Well, I do not have that fear that you have.” I didn’t have any fear at all. I had no doubts, I had no worry. I just packed up my bags.
I stayed in the model house for a little bit and eventually got my own apartment. It was awesome - it was in Hollywood. My mom helped me move my cat, we put all my stuff in my car and drove cross-country. We visited my grandfather right before he passed away. It was a nice little trip for my mom and I. But she didn’t really like the city. She was annoyed with everything. (Laughs)
So, my move was amazing because I could just feel the freedom. I could feel the independency and having my mom be a part of it with me was amazing. Having her support me is so incredible. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have that support.
I asked her, I was like, “Mom, I’m doing this webcamming and this guy offered me an opportunity.” She was like, “Well, is this the agency that you want to be with? Have you researched everybody else?” I was like, “Yeah, this is the best option for me and I feel like this is the best person that will help mentor me and get me where I need to be.” And, here I am. (Laughs) If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn't be here. So, thank you, Matrix Models. (Laughs)
As you mentioned, it’s been nearly five years since you entered the adult industry. Seeing how well you have established yourself and blown up in popularity, is it difficult when you look back to realize it’s been less than five years?
Yeah, it’s crazy. Sometimes I feel like I could have gotten more done. Sometimes I feel like it’s perfect and I’ve done everything the way it should be done, where you just take your time. I think that’s the Golden Rule. It’s also a key in the documentary to just kind of pace yourself. I think if people do everything right away, they realize everyone is kind of shopping for everything and they start resenting the industry because they have to do everything on their own if they didn’t want to do that independently, and start their own company and stuff. And all of a sudden, they are gone.
Me, I don’t want that. I want to be in this industry for a very, very long time. This is, so far, the only thing I’ve been committed to. I’ve never really won anything. I’ve never been appreciated for anything like this. It’s just so rewarding and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I don’t do it for the awards, but having the awards shows that I’m doing what I love and everyone loves what I’m doing, you know?
For sure. Obviously, there are a lot of misconceptions about the adult industry. Is there maybe one in particular from those outside the business that bothers you above others and that you wish you could dispel?
I would say about protection. The industry nowadays, anyone with a phone pretty much is now in the industry. You can pretty much make your own money off of recording and all this and that, and that kind of opens up the gates for anybody performing with anybody for sales and stuff on sites. That puts everybody at risk for those who are performing on set for companies. Working with somebody who wasn’t actually performing and just kind of doing content trading and stuff like that, that is what puts us at risk for HIV, STDs and even staph infection and all that. People don’t realize that if they don’t get tested or if they don’t test right away after having intercourse with somebody they don’t know or whatever the case may be … it’s just a lot harder to keep track of it nowadays.
That’s what I’m worried about. I hope everyone stays safe and also thinks about everybody else. For some people, this is all they have - they don’t have anything else to fall back on. For me - obviously, I don’t have a degree. Luckily, because of this industry, I now know a lot of things I’m capable of. I can edit, I like to model, I can be behind the camera, I can be a director. I could write a book, I could write a script - I can do all of these things I didn’t know I could do before. But for some, they don’t have any of this - they just have being on film. And for some people, if you go to set after having a crazy night out or after just working with someone who didn’t tell you that he just worked with somebody who wasn’t tested, then all of a sudden - boom! We have another moratorium like we just did recently.
Luckily, for other performers, there’s also feature dancing. So, it’s just very, very important to keep that in mind.
For sure. You mentioned feature dancing, which sort of parlays into my next question. That has obviously become a big aspect of your career. Is featuring dancing something you enjoy and plan to continue doing as long as possible?
Yes. I absolutely love it. I get to just be myself. When I first did a tease on camera, someone just said, “Go for it.” I spent five minutes just feeling myself and having a good time. One day, I was at AVN doing the same thing, but just kind of for the fans to see. Someone came up to me and said, “Wow, you do that so perfectly.” I was like, “Oh, really? Thank you.” (Laughs) And then they just started booking me for feature dancing and I loved it. I never really thought I could do pole strips or anything. I just wanted to connect with the crowd and feel myself. To this day, I get lost in the eyes of my fans, and it’s just so amazing. I have everyone there supporting me and seeing me in the flesh. They can see me in movies all they want, but when I come to their city, they can actually touch me and it’s really exciting. (Laughs)
I understand you also have a part in an upcoming mainstream horror film yet to be released, is that right?
I have a couple, actually. (Laughs) I was in Cynthia for Girls and Corpses. I believe we’re doing the premiere on May 10 - I should be involved in that as well.
And then, Evil Bong 777 just came out - that came out on 4/20. Of course, it’s a marijuana movie.
Underbelly, they are still doing screenings as well in Vegas and L.A. They’ve got one coming up on May 30. I was invited, I hope I can make it. I love Corpsy. (Laughs)
There might be an orgy I’ll be hosting as well (Laughs) June 2, by SinCityPlay.com. I believe at The Space in Las Vegas, that’s where they will be doing another screening of Underbelly May 30. So, lots of fun events coming up, as well as feature dancing at Sapphire’s in Las Vegas on the 18th. And then, the next day on the 19th is the pool party I’m hosting. That will be very fun, so I hope you guys can join me!
A lot of cool stuff coming up, it sounds like.
Yeah, absolutely. This last week was really crazy. I was in Pennsylvania for two days and as soon as I was done dancing, I had some time to finish packing and then we started driving back to L.A. We went to Sacramento for Underbelly, and then the next day I had a day of rest, but up all night on my favorite site, Sext Panther, talking to my fans. And then the next day, I was out to New York City shooting a scene. It’s kind of a two-part thing. The next day, I was back in L.A. So, it was a lot of travelling. It was crazy. (Laughs)
Wow - a whirlwind week, it sounds like.
Yeah. And before that, I was in New York City at Sapphire’s. I’ve had a few days to rest up. It’s been very relaxing. (Laughs)
Well, that’s good to hear. You just mentioned how things tend to get very hectic due to your career, but what are some of your interests and hobbies when you are able to get away?
I love photography. I’ll just be taking pictures of anything. Some people can kind of vouch for that. (Laughs)
I love music. I just started learning more about production. I want to make my own beats - for myself, but also for my best friend. He’s a rapper in the industry. We actually just did a set together at the last EXXXOTICA in Denver at Platinum 84, where I danced on stage and he actually came on and performed. I danced naked while he rapped and it was amazing.
So, I want to start making beats and going into the recording studio. I want to do more with that. It will also be for my company, but mainly for a hobby.
I started my own company, Jillian Janson Entertainment, and people can go to my website to check it out: JillianJansonXXX.com. You can order custom videos, request panties and autographs - all that good stuff.
But, my hobbies are mainly my branding. I loved taking the time we just did to make that website. Thank you to Ted Houser, a good friend of mine. He also is a big part of the EXXXOTICA shows. He, word-for-word, did everything I wanted him to on my website. We pretty much made that from scratch, so go check it out.
My hobbies … I love editing. I’ll put my phone up and record something. I’ve got the best of all worlds. I can be in it and I can be behind it. I love it.
And feature dancing. I love dancing. It’s weird to say, but I’m doing what I love doing. Everything that I’d be doing personally … it’s all been meant to be. It’s perfect.
There’s a saying that if you do what you love for a living, then you’ll never work a day in your life.
Exactly. That’s exactly how I feel.
Is there one thing about yourself that you feel may surprise a lot of people?
Hmm … oh, goodness. I don’t know, because some people think of me as the girl next door, but other people know how dirty I can be. So, for those who think I’m the girl next door, it’s surprising when I can get on my hands and knees and lick a guy’s asshole. (Laughs) That’s sometimes surprising, I suppose.
For those who know everything about me … I don’t know. It’s hard when you put yourself out there for everybody to see. What is there now, really, to hide?
That’s what I love about this industry and about performing: You’ve already got your clothes off. You’ve got nothing to hide - you’re exposing yourself and when you’ve been in it for so long and done so many interviews and told everybody what you can tell them, you really don’t know what else you can do. (Laughs)
That’s true. That’s a good point.
Yeah. I’m speechless. (Laughs) For those who don’t know much about me, I have such a huge love for this industry. I’m not just doing for me, for the money. It’s actually because there is a past and future to this industry, and we are the keepers. If it all goes to shit right now, it’s all of our faults. (Laughs) Because we who are currently in it didn’t do anything about it. So, we’ve got to do what we can to teach the girls, the guys and even sometimes the fans about how to go about it.
It’s no secret that I want to help other girls. I love working with women, but I also want to help them succeed. I feel like no one ever did that for me and if they did, it was just kind of off in the shadows. They didn’t really know they were doing it. So, that’s something that if people don’t know a lot of about me, there’s a side of me that’s always kind of wanted to be a teacher, a social worker, or something in that aspect. And now, I realize what I’m doing: I’m helping people - therapy. You come home from a stressful day and you put on your favorite Jillian Janson movie, and - boom! All of your stresses are just flown away.
It’s nice that I had that relief back in the day. When I turned on my favorite movie - it would just take me away. I’d get lost in it, and all of a sudden, I just forgot about everything. It was like a switch had turned on. I want to be that switch for people.
So, if there’s nothing you know about me, that is overall what you should know about me. I feel like I’m not “just a porn star,” you know? (Laughs) I’m not just a person on film fucking. I’m not doing it for the money. Yeah, it helps me because it keeps a roof over my head so I can keep going. If I didn’t have a roof over my head, I’d probably be out on the streets and I wouldn’t be able to do what I love.
It’s sad to think about - a lot of people, that’s how they got to where they are. It just takes that extra advice or that extra comment to just totally turn everything around and take that stress away, and motivate you to become whatever it is you want to become.
Absolutely. Are there any other current or upcoming projects you would like to put out there?
Let’s see … of course, there is always stuff with companies that I can’t reveal until they put out something. But, I’ve got some scenes coming up.
I’m focusing more on my company. My main thing is my website. I’m always doing something. I just did a show last night with my best friend on my Snapchat, JJSnaps.com - it’s my premium. If people want to follow me for a lifetime, you only have to pay once - never again. It’s only $39.95. You can check out some of my free Snaps at JillianJansonX3.
I have a new Instagram - my last one was disabled, unfortunately. I had 400,000 and now I’m back up to 100,000, so if you want to help me, you can go to Instagram - it’s JillianJansonEntertainment.
Like I mentioned before, I love Sext Panther. It’s one of my favorite sites. Sometimes, if I just can’t sleep, people will text me and we’ll get naughty, or sometimes it’s just really casual - we’ll just talk about our days or whatever we want. Some people like to talk about their girlfriends and I love hearing about it. (Laughs) Some people like to get really, really, really dirty. (Laughs)
OnlyFans is a good one, too. You can request customs from me, or you can go straight to my website. All those sites are on there as well if you want to know where you can follow me.
It’s my favorite thing - I love interacting, letting everyone know where they can connect with me. My favorite is being able to connect and being able to talk to my fans about what they want to see next, what they love from the past, or anything in general.
It’s really nice to be able to have this opportunity. I remember when I first started, we didn’t have this. It wasn’t as easy to be able to connect. To start your own branding, it took a lot more. And now, it’s a lot easier. (Laughs)
For sure. There are a lot more platforms, definitely.
To finish up, is there anything else you wish to say to readers?
I love you all. You guys are so amazing for supporting me. Like I said, I’m a small-town girl from Minnesota, where I came from everyone making fun of and bullying me to making me into a woman who has respected herself. I love everybody and if it wasn’t for you accepting me, it probably wouldn’t be this easy. I just want to thank everybody for supporting me and being part of my life. It’s just an incredible journey. I’m so thankful to have all of you a part of it with me.
Again, thanks for speaking with me today and for being so generous with your time. I actually remember hearing about when you first entered the industry - at the time, I was running my own website and heard about how this girl who was still in high school had started in adult. Even when I wasn’t writing about the business, I still followed the news and kept tabs on it, and it’s been really cool to watch your career grow and see how popular you have become. It sounds as if you have found your place and I congratulate you on everything you have accomplished and discovering something that makes you happy. I think that’s wonderful.
Well, thank you so much. That means a lot to me.
Best wishes moving forward. Take care.
Thank you. You, too.