Sinn Sage is an eight-year veteran of the adult entertainment industry and best known for her work within the girl-girl genre. She was selected by Cherry production manager Melissa Monet for the role of Winterlynn, marking her debut in a major production company feature film.
Movies are not her only activity. She maintains a website, www.spanksinn.com, attends college in San Diego, and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including traveling, hiking and attending concerts. “If heaven exists,” she once said, “it’s a nonstop music festival.”
In this interview, Sinn Sage discusses the importance of movies like Cherry within the adult realm, how the industry has changed since she made her debut in 2003, and takes on naysayers who question the role of women in adult entertainment
GT: How did you find out about auditions for Cherry?
SS: I’ve known Melissa Monet for a long time and I would always see her onset. She is wonderful, and I admire and love her. She called me and said she was doing a movie for Digital Playground and she was doing the casting. I worked my way up for a long time. I don’t have an agent and I never worked on a movie of that size and caliber, so of course I was interested. I wanted to do something in that capacity.
GT: What attracted you to your character, Winterlynn?
SS: I identify with her because I’ve been a stripper and because of the dance aspect. My character is a little mistaken and thinks it’s a Broadway dance and doesn’t realize it’s a stripper dance when she auditions for the club! So it was fun and I get to act as well. Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be an actress. It was a dream and a passion of mine, and any time I get the chance to act a part it makes it so much more fun and rewarding.
GT: Do you think Cherry will open the door to more movies with real scripts and plots?
SS: I really hope so. The movies I tend to be in, which are girl-girl, there’s a little bit more emphasis on having a good storyline or at least a little vignette that makes sense, as opposed to just “here’s two girls having sex.” I see other girl-girl movies that are trying to do the same thing, but it seems there’s some very weak plot lines with very extended sex scenes. With Cherry, you feel more for the characters. You’re not just watching sex. They have history and you’re learning about them, like a regular movie. When they’re having sex there’s something behind it; it has passion and drive and it’s for a reason. I don’t see how it could not open that door. I think it definitely will. A lot of companies are already catching on that this is what people want to see.
GT: Was this your first time working with Kay Brandt?
SS: Yes, it was. I shot a few Girlfriends films but never with her. She’s really invested in Cherry and I like that. It means a lot when the director tells you what they want to see and actually directs, rather than just pointing the camera at you. She tells you how your character should feel and how you should portray those emotions. She says what she wants and that’s very helpful. You can’t just expect us to know. Also, she’s eager to give praise and positive feedback, and that makes for such a wonderful environment. We’re not Hollywood actresses; we’re getting naked and very intimate in front of a bunch of people, and hearing praise is a great thing. I wish it would happen more often on set. Kay is very generous with praise and she’ll take the time to tell you how awesome you are.
GT: Your background is in drama and school choir. How did that help prepare you for Cherry?
SS: When it comes to drama, acting and theater, I always had it in me. I was in a play every year in high school and you learn the basic aspects of what it means to take on and become a character, how to speak clearly and how to hold yourself. I’ve been doing this for many years, so all of that prepared me, and definitely the fact that I’ve been a stripper, worn the outfits, worked the room and felt that feeling. I’m still nervous when I’m in a club for the first time, wondering how it will be. I drew from all of that and I believe it enriched my performance.
GT: With so many women on set, how do you ensure that you get along?
SS: You make sure that you have professional, good women. Everyone has a reputation in this industry. If you are nice to work with and pleasant and get along with everyone, then you’ll get hired more, and that is definitely the cast we had. I had worked with most of the girls before and I knew them very well. Melissa handpicked them and she was not going to pick anyone who was known for starting problems and causing issues. There’s no reason for that. Our days were so long that I can’t imagine someone starting drama and adding to the stress. You just try to keep everyone happy and you hire the right girls. When you have the right people, you don’t even have to try. They’ll get along and do their jobs because they’re professionals.
GT: How do you categorize Cherry? It’s more than erotica but certainly not hardcore.
SS: Ideally, I would like to think that lesbian couples are watching this movie together at home and having a nice sex fest! I don’t think that’s who the audience will always be, but it’s a nice idea to think about. Straight couples will enjoy it too. Having a passionate storyline will draw more couples because more people are coming out of the closet as porn watchers these days. They don’t feel so much like they have to hide it anymore, especially when couples use it for excitement and to make things more fun and interesting. I think this movie falls somewhere in between. The sex is explicit, you see everything, but I call it sensual erotic drama, not hardcore, because there is no slapping or spitting or stuff like that. There’s definitely passion and emotion, and that makes the experience more enriching.
GT: You’ve known since you were a teenager that you wanted to work in adult. You’ve been doing this since 2003. What has changed?
SS: What I’ve noticed is that things have gone from being almost exclusively male oriented and dominated. When I first came in, it was the height of the gonzo era and I wasn’t working as much as I have in the past three or four years. I worked every once in a while. They were making this for men, men were always behind the cameras and it was a boys’ club thing. I was lucky in that I never experienced the stereotypical sleazebag guy hitting on all the girls and trying to take them home. Over the years, women have been coming onto the scene, directing movies, being in control and taking up power. People have become nicer, and I think people who were stuck in the ’80s and ’90s way of doing things were phased out somewhat. It’s like this new revolution of empowering porn, of neo-feminism. You can’t tell me that I don’t have control of my sexuality. For feminists to look at what I do and judge it and think that I’m taking women back, it’s like, I’m bringing them forward and saying that we are sexual creatures, we have control over our sexuality and we can get off on this stuff just like you can. If women are going to be equal to men, then they should have a voice in this market. I’ve noticed that’s changed a lot. Big companies are trying to make movies like Cherry, put a budget behind them and make the sensual things that turn women on, but there is a market of men that are interested in these things too. Not every guy wants to watch a gonzo/anal/slapping scene. The biggest change I have noticed is women are more of a force behind the camera and in the market. That is the best change. The worst change, of course, is everyone struggling the past few years due to all the stealing and the torrent sites. I think the people who are going to spend money on a movie are going to do it anyway. They want to have a DVD; they’re collectors in that sense. There’s hope for us yet. I’m still doing OK and I’m sure a lot of other people are still doing OK as well, so let’s hope it stays OK.
GT: How have you changed in the eight years you’ve been in the industry?
SS: Oh my God, so much! So much! When I first started I was a kid. I used to always get nervous before a scene, but in the past few years I gained some confidence because I know what I’m doing. There’s definitely self-confidence that comes with knowing my skill and my job and I feel like I do it very well. I’ve become mature. It’s taught me a lot about myself and made me realize recently that I am in control of my situation, my happiness and my future. This is what I want and I can’t imagine a time coming up when I don’t want it. I love my job and I wouldn’t want to do anything else if I didn’t have to. I’m really happy with it and I try to put that into all aspects of my life. I’ve really gone from being a young girl to a woman in the past eight years.
GT: Outside of work, you enjoy a lot of outdoor activities — snowboarding, hiking, nature, music festivals. Do you have much time to participate?
SS: I shoot movies, I have school two days a week, I shoot for my website, I do scenes, so with school and driving from San Diego to L.A. for work, since the beginning of this year I’ve had almost no time for anything. I’ve gone snowboarding twice and I’d like to go more during the season, but I think that’s how many times I went last year, too. It’s hard to get to a mountain when I have all these days when I have to work. My drive is two hours each way. I come up for a couple of days, go home, go to school and I have maybe one day off. Things are going well with my career and I never complain or turn down work because I love it. As much as I love San Diego because it’s so beautiful, and I’m grateful for every moment I have there, it doesn’t make sense for me to continue living there because I do so much driving. I hope to move to L.A. before the fall semester. I had planned to stay until the end of fall, but I do so much driving.
I love music and I try to make time for it. I went to Bonnaroo last year. I bought tickets for Lollapalooza this year and I’ve gone to one in the past. You have to make time for those things. If you really love it and you want to go, then you schedule it in and tell people, “No, I’m not available that day.” I’ve been to every major music festival that I’ve wanted to go to, just about. It’s a lot of money, but it is so much freaking fun and it feels so good, so if I have the time and the money, I’ll do it.
GT: What are you studying?
SS: I take two classes per semester and I’m studying to get into a community college with a special program called Exotic Animal Training Management. It’s the only program like that in the country, and if I get in and finish that program I’ll have an associates in science in animal training. That’s years down the line, but I like working toward something and going to school. It’s somewhat stressful because of all my work and trying to have a social life, but I try not to let anything stress me out too much. It feels good to accomplish something school-wise. I’ve taken social science and humanities so far and this semester I’m finishing U.S. history and English. It’s really a lottery to get into the program because there are only so many spaces available and so many people apply.
If I finish the program, I’ll have more options to maybe work at the San Diego zoo, or do something like wildlife rehabilitation or work for a forestry service or the Humane Society. Aside from my work, the other thing I feel passionately about is animals, but I don’t want to get into a job or situation where I have to put them down. Most of the people I know in this industry are very compassionate about animals. Maybe it’s because we’re in touch with our urges and we feel a connection with them or just because animals love you no matter what and they never judge you.
THANK YOU SINN! XOXO
Interviewed by Vonda Dix