By Cory Sklar
By Alee Karim
By Christina Li
By Dave Pehling
By Ian S. Port
By SF Weekly
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
Clark had just walked into a small downtown club for the first time when he spotted the performer Jade-Blue Eclipse, then 19, up on the pole. Her hair was spiky and blue, and she was wearing dramatic makeup. She wasn't naked, but was wearing a long black gown, which was more like a gothy cape. Jade was at a perfect 90-degree angle to the pole holding a long dagger in her hand. "She was performing to industrial music, which was rare," Clark said. "And I thought, 'Wow, this is a lot better than I would expect to see walking into a place like this!'"
The two quickly became best friends. They started performing together in what Clark describes as "kind of avant-garde, blood ritual, typical bondage-a-go-go" performance pieces. When Clark made his first adult film, a soft-core film named Asianatrix: Suffering Eternal, Jade was the original star. She also appeared in his other soft-core work, Queen of Pain: Mistress Shane and the unreleased Salome 2000.
Jade offers no apologies that she's had sex on camera for the world to see, and says she's grateful that adult film gave her the chance to share herself in "the most intimate way." Nor does she judge men who have a fetish for Asian women. She says she believes there's a difference between play and real life, that the world would be a better place if more people could express their sexual fantasies in a safe space where nobody gets hurt. "With sexuality and fantasies, I think whatever flies is whatever flies," she said.
She appeared in nine of Clark's films altogether, including Diary of a Mad Porn Director. They both also appeared in a porn comedy titled Kung Fu Girls featuring Jade as the Evil Ninja Queen who is out to take over the world. But first she must defeat Chow Down Soon's Kung Fu Academy. Jade stands out in that video as the only actress who demonstrates martial arts skills. And Kung Fu Girls is so bad that even the Evil Ninja Queen herself seems on the brink of laughing over her lines.
Both Jade and Clark seem far more at home in his own creations, such as the 2003 video Asia Noir 3. In it she appears as "The Judge," a vision of a doctor working in an asylum a kind-of fragmented identity of a patient he is trying to treat. She wakes up in a padded room wearing lace-up knee-high black stiletto boots, a long black hooded cape, stage makeup, and little else. Jade-Blue does a seductive lap dance before the two have sex in various places around his office, and then she apparently kills him, splattering his blood on his exam room wall. At one point in the video, she walks through a hallway clouded with smoke before appearing at the doctor's desk with her body in mid-air, balanced on one hand.
Living under the shadow of being an undocumented immigrant kept catching up to her. Jade had to fill out paperwork when applying for jobs, whether it was to work as a porn actress or bike messenger, which inevitably led to being asked if she was a citizen. Jade would say that she was, and the paper trail against her grew.
There's no better example of Jade's immigration woes stifling her chances to go legit than her acrobatics and contortion career.
She started training with a renowned acrobatics instructor named Lu Yi at San Francisco's Circus Center. At 23, an age when many acrobats have been practicing for years, Jade was untrained and yet mastered dozens of new maneuvers with incredible flexibility and drive. By practicing up to eight hours a day, every day, Jade learned to balance on her hands, do back handsprings, and twist her body in all kinds of new ways. Her drive to train became all-consuming, one she likens to a burning desire, a curse, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Video footage of Jade training with Lu Yi from the spring of 2003 reveals her impressive focus on and dedication to perfecting tricks and pleasing her teacher. She flipped her body into one back handspring after another as Lu Yi offered encouragement and guidance. He then led her over to a wooden bench she used to practice contortion and hand-balancing routines. Jade raised herself into a perfect handstand, then spread her legs like scissors one in front, one in back. Next she twisted herself into countless complicated positions, usually while balancing on one hand. Around her new mentor she seemed shy, timid, and eager for Lu Yi's approval. She looked down often and said "Thank you, sir" when he offered his assistance on her contortion routine.
After practice that day, Jade praised acrobatics for teaching her about discipline, hard work, and persistence. She admitted in the video that training at the Circus Center wasn't easy for her, especially at first. When she first met Lu Yi, she hated him and thought he was an old-school and closed-minded teacher. Then she started training and found herself wanting to follow him around all day. "I really needed, I think, a good male figure in my life to take care of me," Jade said. "And he fulfilled that."