Lisa Ann made a name for herself when she parodied former US Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, in six adult films and a music video, appearing as “Serra Paylin.” She is considered to be one of the most well-known adult film stars in the world.
Starting out in 1994, she briefly quit the industry three years later following an AIDs scare within the porn industry. She resumed performing in 2006 and worked until her brief retirement in 2014.
The Rise of Lisa Ann & Serra Paylin
During her initial retirement in the late 90s, she ran a day spa for four years. Following her return to the industry, she found her – rather peculiar – niche.
Serra Paylin was born in 2008 in a video titled Who’s Nailin’ Paylin’? that was released on election day. She was originally offered the part on the day of the vice-presidential debate, which she watched in order to learn to mimic Palin’s mannerisms.
She has also said she prepared for the role by watching Tina Fey’s impression of Palin on Saturday Night Live.
After playing Paylin on-and-off over the next couple of years, on-screen and as part of an act in strip clubs, Ann reprised the role in the 2009 Eminem music video “We Made You,” reviving her on-screen career.
She branched out into directing adult films shortly after her appearance in the video and has expanded her skills to include writing, editing, and makeup design.
Her Off-Screen Credentials
In addition to acting, Ann worked as a talent agent for the agency LA Direct Models from 2005 to 2006. According to her, female performers over the age of 30 were often rejected by other agents and left to represent themselves despite the high demand for older performers.
Seeing this, Ann was motivated to set up her own agency to represent them, launching Clear Talent Management in November 2006 (later renamed Lisa Ann’s Talent Management), which closed in 2010.
The initiative she took was applauded by industry peers, who had seen the ill-treatment seasoned performers received in the porn industry.
Since her retirement in 2014, Ann has been mentoring 10-15 fresh performers, sympathizing with young stars.
Ann has repeatedly discussed the harmful effects of working in the industry from a young age and has expressed her desire to promote the need for change.
Life After The Industry
With an approximate net worth of $2 million, Ann is open about her experiences as one of the world’s most sought-after adult film actresses.
As her popularity rose, she was able to make specific demands prior to appearing on set.
“I only worked with guys who are trained professionals, and that kind of thing costs the set too much money, so you really have to work with people who are good at it and you stay in that lane,” she told Ladbible in 2020.
She said that the explosion of the Internet and the ability to access free content at will had shaped the porn industry.
Ann says: “In the early 2000s, it became aggressive,” she says. “Where studios were shooting 30-50 scenes a week and it became like this McDonald’s thing, a fast-food chain.”
With this desire to see anything and everything online, performers like Ann suffered when they showed up to work. “Companies are doing things that weren’t legal when we were only distributing by VHS; it wasn’t legal in many states to have a girl choked or hit.”
According to Ann, shock value became the next big thing in online adult video content, all to the detriment of actresses who faced physical abuse just to cater to public demand.
After being shunned for refusing to participate in this new genre of adult films, Ann parted ways with the industry and now runs a successful fantasy sports podcast hosted on SiriusXM.
Despite her having left the industry over five years ago, ‘Lisa Ann’ is still one of the most searched actresses on Pornhub.
However, with her new career, Lisa Ann is no longer just a former pornstar. She may not earn as much as she did before, but she is content with her career in fantasy sports.
Her journey from acting to sports was detailed in her memoir, The Life.
She told The Guardian: “People that play fantasy baseball are serious. They were doing this before fax machines. There was a commissioner who was doing it by hand. They wrote down your stats and mailed them to you,”
Evidently loving her life off-screen, Ann has embraced the fact that she can be honest about who she is now that she has left adult film behind. Ann is a trailblazer for women wanting to get involved in the field by donning sports jerseys rather than skimpy dresses.
In 2014, the New York Times reported that 20% of all fantasy sports players were women, contradicting the idea that this is a solely masculine activity.
In representing the underdog, Ann has consistently been transparent about her desire to improve things for women regardless of which industry they hail from. With her new career, she is picking up where she left off with the adult film industry – keeping women safe in the limelight.
Ann had been one of the few performers to have worked steadily until her 40s. By her own admission, her career post-Palin parodies did not take off until the demand for “Milf-porn”, where older actresses were desired.
Ensuring she had the financial security to retire, Lisa Ann changed the trajectory of her career and is more than happy to live a much quieter and less stressful life.
Surrounded by fellow sports lovers, she is content to discuss her past and look toward the future. She hopes the criticisms of her former industry will be taken into account and things improve soon.
Currently, she has continued to mentor young entrants into the porn industry, teaching the new wave of actresses to be vocal about what they will and won’t do on-screen, ensuring they know that establishing boundaries will ensure career longevity.