Chad Donovan (born January 11, 1972) is an American performer and director of gay pornographic films. He has won numerous awards as a performer and director, and is a member of the GayVN Awards Hall of Fame and the Grabby Awards Hall of Fame.
Early life and sexual maturity
Donovan has described himself variously as an "Ohio farm kid" and "a redneck [from] the hills of Ohio...a genuine redneck." He grew up on a ranch that bred the American Quarter Horse, noting that he "knew how to ride horses before I knew how to walk." In high school he was a member of Future Farmers of America and 4-H. He traces his early sexual maturity, in part, to working on the farm, noting it was "the best time of my life. Every year you got a different animal to raise...all year long until Fair at the end of the year in July. And you showed your project and then at the end of the year, the whole deal is to sell your project... So that was a big deal and it was a lot of fun. For two weeks we would sleep at the fairgrounds underneath the animals, with snot flying and everything. It was just all of us kids. We had shaving cream fights. And trust me, lots of cocksucking. Lots of cocksucking at the 4-H."
Donovan was born into a Southern Baptist family and switched to the Pentecostal movement for a period when he determined to become a preacher. His rigid religious background and sexual precocity led to experimentation at an early age. "My first sexual experience was when I was about four or five. And it was with a girl. We were camping and I ate her pussy and fingered her. That was my first sexual experience," he recalled. "My first experience with a guy was about eight, just playing around and fingering buttholes. We probably didn't even get hard." Donovan's large endowment prompted teasing from his classmates as he reached puberty. "Through high school I had a difficult time because I had to change clothes for gym and stuff. I nearly failed gym class because I didn't want to change clothes. I got made fun of. Plus, not to mention, I hit puberty at ten. So all these little boys were bald as a peacock and here I am, full out baby's arm holding an apple."
Porn career (1991-2000)
Donovan was introduced to the gay pornographic industry by performers Chase Hunter andTony DeAngelo. They worked as strippers at a 1470 West, a gay bar in Dayton, Ohio where Donovan was bartending. "We were kind of fucking around, having threeways occasionally. They took pictures of me, sent pictures all around," he recalls. Gay adult studios Catalina Video and Falcon Studios showed interest, and Donovan chose to work for Falcon. He was eighteen years old.
Porn director Steven Scarborough came up with his stage name, noting that he was endowed like Chad Douglas and resembled legendary gay adult film star Casey Donovan. (A discarded stage name for Donovan is "Aaron West," which comes from the 1470 West bar back in Ohio.) Donovan's casting generated buzz that brought Falcon's legendary president, Chuck Holmes to the set. "I was told that was a very rare thing, so obviously he was interested in seeing something that I had. He directed part of the scene I was in, which was a big honor."
Donovan earned a $2,000 scene rate for his first movie. "When you're a kid living in Ohio, that's a lot of money. And a trip to San Francisco for three days. I did the one scene and two photo layouts. It was fantastic. What more could you ask for?" He filmed the scene on February 23, 1991, with Hunter Scott and Anthony Moore. The scene was released by Falcon in 1994 in the film "Workin' Stiff"
He moved to Los Angeles in 1994. "To be honest, I hated Ohio. Obviously, I was not fitting in there any longer." Donovan went on to film roughly 50 titles as a performer over the next decade.
Porn career (2001-present)
In 2001, although still performing occasionally, Donovan began to transition behind the camera. It was during production of the Men of Odyssey film "Carnal Intentions" that company president Bob East broached the idea of directing. "He asked me if I'd be interested in directing. He said I seemed to have a good knack for finding talent, I've been in the industry long enough, why don't I try putting a movie together? So I did." That film was titled "Movin' On," and it was during production that he met and began a relationship with cast member Antonio Madiera, which continues to this day. "I had no intention of getting a boyfriend out of it. I hired the kid, I really liked the way he looked, he performed like a champ, and every time I looked down—when I wasn't even shooting him, I'd be shooting other boys in a scene—he'd be looking up at me with these puppydog eyes. I just couldn't resist."
Although Donovan credits directors Chi Chi LaRue, John Rutherford and Steven Scarboroughwith influencing his career as a performer and director, he says the greatest influence has come from producer/director Jim Steel. "I could not have done it without Jim Steel, who is basically the person behind what made me what I am today."
He later joined Studio 2000 as a production manager and casting director. In August 2006, Studio 2000 owner David McKay hired veteran gay porn industry columnist and adult film director J. C. Adams as his new chief of production. Adams replaced Scott Masters, the award-winning director and co-founder of Studio 2000 who retired after selling the production house. McKay announced that Adams would manage all the studio's productions, while Donovan would handle talent development. Donovan left Studio 2000 later that year and briefly joined Falcon Studios in a similar capacity.
Donovan's final onscreen sexual performances (as of December 2007) were in 2004. One of those films, "Studs 'N Pups" for MSR Videos, was the first time he and boyfriend Madiera performed together. Madiera continues to act occasionally, usually in films that Donovan directs. In 2007, Donovan helmed Basic Plumbing 3 for Falcon Studios; the film starred Chase Hunter and brought them back together 16 years after Hunter introduced Donovan to the industry. Although essentially retired as a sexual performer, Donovan occasionally appears in nonsexual roles. His early roles remain in circulation as they are continually repackaged into compilation tapes.
Donovan received a GayVN Award in 1998 for Best Group Sex Scene with Zachary Scott,Brett Ford, and Tony Donovan in Ryker's Revenge. He was inducted into the GayVN Awards Hall of Fame and the Grabby Awards Hall of Fame in 2005.
Selected acting filmography
- Studs 'N Pups (MSR Videos, 2004)
- Open House (Massive Studio, 2003)
- The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride (All Worlds Video, 2001)
- Hot Cops 3: The Final Assault (Centaur Films, 1997)
- Picture Perfect (Vivid Man, 1996)
- Come And Get It (Catalina Video, 1995)
- Secret Sex 2: The Sex Radicals (Catalina Video, 1994)
- Workin' Stiff (Falcon Studios, 1994)
Selected directing filmography
- On Fire! (Jet Set Productions, 2007)
- Basic Plumbing 3 (Falcon, 2006)
- Carnal Choices (Studio 2000, 2005)
- Porn Struck VIII (All Worlds Video, 2003)
- Knight Spot (All Worlds, 2002)
- Movin' On (Men of Odyssey, 2001)
|GayVN Awards Hall of Fame|
- ^ a b c d e f g Adams, "Chad Donovan," XXX Showcase, February 2005.
- ^ a b c Jansen, "Hall of Fame Inductee: Chad Donovan," Adult Video News, August 24, 2005.
- ^ Lawrence, "J.C. Adams New Production Chief at Studio 2000," Adult Video News, July 14, 2006.
- ^ Richards, "Chad Donovan Joins Falcon Studios," Adult Video News, November 7, 2006.
- Adams, J.C. "Chad Donovan." XXX Showcase. 12:11 (February, 2005).
- Jansen, Brady. "Hall of Fame Inductee: Chad Donovan." Adult Video News. August 24, 2005. Accessed November 30, 2007.
- Lawrence, Doug. "J.C. Adams New Production Chief at Studio 2000." Adult Video News.July 14, 2006. Accessed April 15, 2007.
- Richards, Rick. "Chad Donovan Joins Falcon Studios." Adult Video News. November 7, 2006. Accessed November 30, 2007.