Written and Directed by Janaina Leite (2020), Brazil
“An interactive and virtual performance that plays with the work structures of “camgirls” to promote “erotic” encounters. In this performance, Janaina Leite repeats the masked figure from her awarded work “Stabat Mater”, and challenges herself to learn “how to be a camgirl”.
Coached by Anita Saltiel, a professional camgirl and porn actress, Janaina posed herself as an “amateur” to live this experience. The sentence “Do you like to only look or can I talk to you?” is part of the script that Anita made for Janaina as a structure for relating, approaching, or sustaining conversations with clients.”
An ‘online lecture’ on Zoom, it begins as an online chat and turns into a show that the clients want to see, a private chat and a discussion around fantasy, identity, and how women are viewed in the sex industry.
Not judgemental about camgirls or their clients, Camming 101 Nights highlights the types of men who frequent these seevices, from superDoms to sissies, young and old, seeking their strangest fantasies to be fulfilled.
Whether this work is empowering or debasing is a matter for debate, but Leite explores the whys and wherefores of engaging on an intimate level with anonymous strangers.
It’s a service, a sales strategy, a script to interest, and captivate the client while keeping them active (and paying). It’s about voyeurism, relationships, and control.
So, across 101 nights during the pandemic, the woman in the mask learns, teases, performs, and creates the persona that will reel in the cash and ensure repeat custom.
Camming 101 is an experimental piece that opens up the world of the camgirl and the relationships that exist behind the protection of a screen. A fascinating window into a world where the line between acceptance and abuse is never quite resolved.
You can watch Camming 101 throughout the International Online Theatre Festival in April for free – details here.
Image credit: André Medeiros Martins