Cullen McRae went from being a 19-year Video Coaching Coordinator for the Miami Marlins to batting for the heaviest hitter in porn: Bang Bros. With two World Series Championships, handshakes from two presidents, and getting caught in the background of a Sports Illustrated cover, McRae says that although “this profession is not for everybody,” he was hooked from the moment he wrote his first script. And yes, his friends ask him to introduce them to porn stars “all the time.”
Most of McRae's tattoos are dedicated to his family, with the exception of his first tattoo (of Sonic the Hedgehog) that he got in college at Florida A&M University. "There's nothing like sitting in the chair and hearing the gun get turned on for the first time," McRae said. "All of my tattoos have a story, some more personal than others." His most recent tattoo was for his dad when he was sick, wanting to cheer him up. With his dad, Hal McRae, being the ex-pro baseball player for the Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds, McRae had Hal's baseball card inked on his forearm. He adds, "My mom's name is on my left bicep. She's been my Day One."
How has baseball prepared you for this line of work?
As crazy as it sounds, the Marlins — and baseball — have prepared me well for this industry. Baseball was fast-paced with daily deadlines, and I was always under pressure to perform. And, just like in baseball, nobody cares about what you accomplished in the day, week or month before. It's all about delivering each and everyday, no excuses. If a script I wrote stinks, I hear about. It's all about compatibility in both baseball and porn. In this line of work, I feel highly creative and I crave the daily grind. It reminds me of baseball.
What was the feedback around the job switch with family and friends?
Man, I've lost a lot of friends in the process. Some people assume that I must have hit "rock bottom" to be in this billion-dollar industry. I used to lie to my family and friends about my new job, but I am not ashamed one bit. I'm proud of my job, I'm damn proud to be a part of this groundbreaking organization, and I'm passionate about working for BangBros. I just wasn't sure about the whole taboo perception of the adult entertainment industry. Three years later, I think my friends and family realize that I'm the same person, that this is my job, and that I'm happy.
What were your initial thoughts working in the industry compared to now?
Initially, I thought I was entering a world of complete chaos. But it's actually very structured and regulated. I actually thought they just got the girls drunk and started rolling, but it's not that way at all. If a model were to show up drunk, she would be sent home immediately. There's literally zero tolerance when it comes to that stuff.
What do you wish people understood about the porn industry?
I will say the job the performers do is extremely difficult. Everybody thinks it's easy. We try out numerous guys that brag about being a Don Juan in the sack, but when the lights are on and the director says, “Action!” most fail to rise to the occasion.
Has your job changed the way you watch porn?
This job has definitely changed how I watch porn. I rarely watch it these days unless it's work-related. Watching porn now is like watching your friends on-screen. You know a person’s background, real name, the good, the bad, and the ugly. They’re no longer a fantasy on screen. Most are really nice and are your friends.
What is your typical day at BangBros?
During a typical work week, one of my biggest tasks is checking in with our team of directors across the globe, assessing scheduling of shoots and script writing. We have a team of about eight writers with a few that have mainstream Hollywood experience. We like to meet every morning to go over casting, scripts, and priorities for the week. We have smaller meetings throughout the week with our social media, editors and analytics teams. It's a total team effort as we strive to deliver the best adult content in the world.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
It's a daily grind with lots of hurdles. Scenes get canceled at the last minute and sometimes we are left scrambling to save a scene in order to avoid paying "kill fees." Models catch colds, cars break down, people miss flights, etc. There are a lot of different circumstances that can put a shoot in jeopardy.
What’s your favorite memory of your career thus far?
One of my favorite memories was attending my first AVN Award Show (Porn Oscars) and meeting some of the greats in Vegas at The Hard Rock Hotel, such as Abella Anderson, Kendra Lust, Nicole Aniston and Phoenix Marie.
Are tattooed actresses more stigmatized than non-tattooed performers?
There was a time when there was a stigma within mainstream porn against some heavily tattooed performers, but that has really changed. The industry is really embracing tattooed performers. Tattoos aren't taboo anymore, they are definitely mainstream.
Bang Bros is trying to make Porn more acceptable in society through mainstream avenues. Sex is everywhere, society is a bit hypocritical and we are trying to take it out of its shell.