Hello Chanel, for those who might not know you please let us know you are and please describe yourself?
My name is Chanel Santini, 19 year old Hispanic trans woman from the Sandia Peaks of New Mexico, currently residing in Las Vegas. I’ve been an active model online and on film working twp years in the adult industry. I’ve been featured with many companies such as TransAngels, Devils Films, Evil Angel and many more.
What prompted you to join the adult industry?
Honestly it was a way to fund my transition and to help me get a leg up on life. I don’t think people really plan to work in this industry, we kind of just fall into it. I for example moved to Las Vegas two weeks before I turned 18, with my best friend at the the time, the opportunity came to me and I took it as a means to get by.
How would you say the adult industry differs from how you thought it would be before you entered?
I didn’t realize how judgmental and shady some of the folks in the industry are. For a world that involves so much taboo material and topics I was expecting a more welcoming community from everyone. An example of this, I had the privilege of working with many high profile cis gender talent this year and they have told me how much back lash they have received from working with a trans woman. Of course it was mostly positive feedback but it was still surprising to hear that there were negative comments from others in the industry.
Trans porn has become more mainstream over the last couple years. Why do you think that is and what do you hope that means for you and other trans performers?
I believe trans porn has become more popular as a result of it becoming more accepted in pop culture and in mainstream media. There’s still a lot more work to be done in the trans community but having more trans women in the media only helps the porn industry become more inspired. For example I recently had the extreme pleasure of shooting with TransAngels where I was able tp play the part of Wonder Woman, it was such an amazing moment for me because the character is so iconic and empowering. So far it has been the highlight of my career.
I’m sure people are curious about the transitioning process so if you’d like, could you tell us how you came to the decision to start the process and what it is like to go through it?
That questions is quite personal and covers a lot but to keep it simple Carmen Carreras story of her transition was definitely a strong influence in me finding my own strength to start my own transition.
What would be your advice be for someone who is thinking about getting into the adult industry?
You have the power to say no, don’t let anyone take advantage of you. Know your worth, stay strong, there will be a lot of people who will say lots of horrible things to and about you and get you to do things that you are not comfortable with. Especially if you are trans, you will catch a lot of negativity for not just being trans but being trans in porn. Have a plan going in so that way you can work your way out when you need to. It’s very important to save money, to invest, and have a means to support yourself if you can’t keep this business up.
What would you say is your favorite scene so far?
My top two would be the Wonder Woman shoot and my wedding scene both with TransAngels. I loved the Wonder Woman shoot so much because of all the action and dialogue that was involved, it wasn’t just about the sex. It made me realize that I’m an actress and that i act for a living. I remember how crazy it felt when I looked my name up on google and found out that I had an IMDb page, I was literally shook.
If money wasn’t an issue, what would be your dream scene or movie to make?
I would want to make a film that has a real story with serious acting intertwined with erotic themes. Something like Chanel goes to Mars, it would be an intergalactic Tgirl adventure with a huge sci-fi set based on old 60’s films and yes this would include Natalie Mars.
Who would you say are the people you really want to work with but haven’t had the chance to as of yet?
I would love to work on a Axel Braun movie, I love all his parody ideas. Kissa Sins would be so much fun to work with. It would also be a dream to be featured in Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler, three magazines that have helped define the adult community in America.
Who would you say your idols are, either within the industry or not?
Outside adult world I look up to trans women like Yasmine Petty and Laverne Cox. Their style and grace give me an image I hope to fully embody.
Within the industry there are a more trans women than I can mention who have come before me, it’s because of them that I am able to do this work and have the success I am enjoying.
What sort of things do you like to do when you aren’t working? Any hobbies?
I love fashion and makeup artistry. When I was in high school I used to make my own outfits for pageants and daily wear. I also post up on YouTube my process for putting on my makeup when I want to look glamorous.
Are there any projects or special events coming up that you would like to promote, if so please do so?
Please vote as much as you can for me in the categories I have been nominated in with the XBIZ, AVN’s, and TEA’s, there are also a few more scenes I am shooting this month as well as a few photo shoots scheduled. This has been a whirlwind year of projects and new opportunities, I really raised the bar for myself and I really hope that I can climb even higher in the coming year.