Cameryn Moore, a phone-sex operator, talk-show host and star of her own one-woman show, returns to her hometown this week with Phone Whore, an hourlong look into the life of a phone-sex operator. WW scored some valuable phone time with her—but not without being interrupted by a caller.
WW: So, how'd you get into this business?
Cameryn Moore: Well, I got laid off from my job in textbook publishing last spring, and you know it was a really bad time for the economy, and I was looking around for jobs. People told me for years I had a great phone voice, but I didn't take it seriously until I was desperate. It obviously isn't something people dream about doing when they're in high school, but it turned out to be a great match for my skills. Some people wait tables. I talk to guys on the phone. It's easier on my feet.
What are you doing while you're talking?
I don't know what other people do, because some kinds of calls it's easy to zone out on, but I try not to do that. I personally just sit in a comfortable chair and I go to this green screen in my mind and create video in my head of what I'm talking about. The really good phone-sex operators will do that, because we have to give individualized focus to give the callers what they really want.
What's the dirtiest thing you've ever said to a caller?
I have to redefine dirty, because it's all relative. But the call I least expected was the time that one of my regulars, who is a cuckold—a guy who likes thinking about his girl getting fucked by other guys—called me up a week before last Christmas asking for help figuring out what to buy his wife and her two lovers for Christmas. As far as I could tell he did not get off at the end of that call, but he wanted to know what expensive things he could buy these people. I'm not sure if these people even exist, but we've got a full-on soap opera going on here. What do you buy the guy who has everything, including your wife?
How did being raised in a Mormon home contribute to your decision to work in this industry? What's your family's reaction to this tour?
I left the Mormon church when I was 14, so that is long gone. Because my life has taken some strange turns, [family] have been pretty distant for a long time, and they don't know I do this job. I am performing under a pseudonym, and I'm not taking great pains to hide my picture, but they know that I'm touring with a one-woman play. My father asked me, "Is this something we would want to see?" And I said, "You wouldn't want to see this." They know enough about my life that they know they probably don't want to see it. I don't feel ashamed of it, but they're old, and I've put them through enough shocks in my youth with coming out as queer that I don't think they need to see it.
What do you hope people will learn from your show?
Well, I didn't set the play up as a learning experience. It's more like a slice of life a lot of people don't know about. So what I'm finding people do take away, and I've gotten more clarity about it, is how rich and imaginative our minds are when it comes to sexuality and fantasy, and that there really is room for anything in our minds. Our minds are the only safe place we have to play with sexuality and topics that feel scary or taboo. I'm hoping people feel more able to talk about the things they think about, because in our society, sex has become so commoditized that even what we're supposed to fantasize about has been slotted into these categories. I want to blow those categories away and say, "There's a playground in your head. Go for it."
Cameryn Moore performs at the Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 10:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 25-28. Tickets $12 at brownpapertickets.com/event/121906.