Spontaneous Decisions and Finding Yourself

By Frances Clause

When Sebastian Calvin took the stage at the DeYor Performing Arts Center, the audience fell silent as his mellifluous flute-playing filled the hall.

With the accompaniment of the 2015 Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra behind him and his father watching, the final note of his senior solo would lead him to a future in music.

Performing was Calvin’s obvious choice. Growing up in North Lima, Ohio, he fell in love with the flute while listening to NPR with his father.

“I heard Joshua Smith play flute in New World Symphony, and I wanted to impact someone’s life the way he did mine,” he said.

From his decision to pursue the woodwind in grade school to the standing ovation he received after his senior solo, Calvin knew music was the path for him.

Or so he thought.

“It was my senior year of high school that my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” he said. “I went to YSU because I wanted to be close to him.”

But his father died May 18 of 2015, a week before Calvin graduated South Range High School. Despite this, his audition for the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University was successful, and the flute studio became his new home for the fall semester.

And he thrived. As a freshman, Calvin was already third chair flutist in YSU’s top wind ensemble. He traveled to New York City November 2015 with the instrumental group to perform at Carnegie Hall. Every musician’s dream had been accomplished by him at just 18-years-old.

However, it was a different story underneath his raw talent and happy demeanor.

“I flunked classes,” he said. “Due to depression, I would wake up at 5 p.m. and be up all night and drive around the city [of Youngstown], only eating Pop-Tarts and popcorn.”

He was stuck in a cycle: wake up late, drive aimlessly, crawl back into bed when the sun was just rising.

After struggling through the 2016 spring semester to preserve his love for flute, Calvin dropped out when he realized that same love wasn’t coming back. He decided to work at a nursing home, saving money to travel.

“I never really lived anywhere but the farm,” he said. “Growing up there, you don’t really have time to go on vacation.”

So when the opportunity to fly out to Los Angeles struck him like the strong chords he had played throughout his life, he took it.

The Journey He Didn’t Expect

Calvin had been using Grindr, the world’s largest online dating application geared toward gay, bi, trans and queer people, according to the app’s site. Just like a user would “swipe right” on Tinder to show interest in another user, someone from California “woofed” Calvin on Grindr.

“We started talking for a couple of months, and he said I should come out to Los Angeles to meet him,” he said.

Calvin was convinced immediately. Because of his father’s death, him and his mother were not getting along, and he had saved up money he earned from the nursing home to travel.

Feeling like he should be exploring the world after years on the farm, Calvin bought a plane ticket and was off to see what Los Angeles had to offer.

“I was only supposed to stay [in Los Angeles] for three weeks,” he said. “By the beginning of the third week, I didn’t want to leave.”

Calvin was offered a guest bedroom by the Grindr user, and they had already worked out a rental agreement. His mind was set: like the flute studio and the farm, he would make a home out of Los Angeles.

“I called my mom and told her I was coming home for her birthday, but then I would be moving out to California permanently,” he said.

When he returned home for that week, Calvin packed half of his belongings in a backpack and two suitcases, more excited than solemn.

“I thought to myself, ‘Am I making the right decision?’ But by the third day I was back home, I was already getting depressed again,” he said. “Ohio wasn’t the place for me.”

Unsure when he would return, Calvin went on coffee runs and lunches with friends before leaving for Los Angeles again.

Calvin taking a quick selfie before boarding the plane to Los Angeles

A Man of Many Titles

Calvin found himself back in Westwood, a neighborhood encompassing the UCLA campus and a historic commercial district with restaurants and shops.

With the plane tickets eating through all his money, he decided to explore Indeed.com to come up with rent.

“By this time, I didn’t have much on my resume besides farm work, the fact I was an Eagle Scout, my music credentials and the short time I worked at the nursing home,” he said.

Calvin began working at a grocery store near UCLA’s campus but was soon intrigued by The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles after hearing discussions about upcoming auditions.

“I wasn’t gonna audition because I was so sick of music by that point,” he said.

However, after giving the group some thought, he realized this would be a good opportunity to plug himself into Los Angeles society.

With vocal auditions, a barbershop quartet at YSU and an Italian aria under his belt, Calvin walked into his chorus audition and won a spot, effortlessly.

“Now, I’ve been in the chorus one-and-a-half years and have gotten to sing with Alan Cumming for my first show and performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall,” he said.

Calvin even performed with the chorus on America’s Got Talent, and through its many members, he not only plugged himself into Los Angeles society but opened himself to endless opportunities.

“After you go through everything LA puts you through, you find the love,” he said. “Everyone out here is hustling and trying to make their dreams come to fruition.”

Go-go dancer, aerialist, candy shop employee, pet shop employee, door man, landscaper, personal assistant, front desk assistant, sketch model — these are some of the many titles held by Calvin, and he takes pride in them.

But Calvin’s most recent transformation was becoming Finnxdaniels.

This username, appearing on Twitter and Instagram, is how Calvin spreads his name in the porn industry.

Finding Himself

“This all started when I met Jack Dyer on Scruff or Tinder, and when I met up with him, he asked me if I wanted to do porn,” he said. “Jack said he’d introduce me to a director, and I would be a big hit if I wanted to be.”

Dyer, a professional porn actor, said he came up with Calvin’s username and was his partner in his first scene in November 2018.

Calvin said Dyer was upfront about everything — from the glamorous to the not-so-glamorous aspects of the industry.

“It wasn’t shady. [Dyer] told me what to look out for and if I had any questions, to reach out to him,” he said. “We have really good chemistry when we shoot scenes.”

This was easy money for Calvin, earning $500 in just one hour. He could safely say doing these scenes was the first time he was able to save money in Los Angeles.

Although he is an open book about many aspects of his life, Calvin has only told six people about this new side hustle.

“The misconception people have about porn is that those in the industry are always looking to have sex,” he said. “Yes, we’re selling a fantasy, but it is work; it’s acting.”

On top of this, Calvin said porn is also not really something he wants to do as often because of the energy it requires.

“Advice someone gave me was that I shouldn’t take jobs that distract me too much from my main goal,” he said.

Calvin has set his current goal on performing in a circus one day. With more dedication to aerial silks, this goal will be another one to add to his list of accomplishments.

He takes pride in this performance art, where he executes aerial acrobatics while hanging from a fabric, gracefully.

“I don’t want to put too much effort into something that isn’t circus now,” he said, referring to his porn shoots and other jobs. “I’m in a moment of transition, and I’m still trying to figure out all I want to do.”

Calvin thought about going back to school, but his strong passion for aerial silks is the victor over his other niches.

“You can start with a plan, but life’s just going to take you where it wants to take you,” he said. “I’m not the same person I was when I went to YSU, I’m not the same person I was a year ago or even three months ago.”

He is Sebastian Calvin, a free spirit who is continuing to find himself in Los Angeles.