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Heads up! It's a unique, crowd-funded production that mashes together everything from hip hop to poetry and — by ignoring the familar tropes dramatists usually rely on when they portray the industry — hurtles the dialogue around sex workers into the present day. What gives the work real clout is that it gives an open, honest platform for those in the sex industry to tell their stories. One afternoon, before a performance, we sat down with four cast members to find out more about the sex industry in London.
I want people who come to the opera to see us as people, just like everyone else. There is no typical day for me, really. I wake up between 10am and 12pm and sit in the park on my laptop, answering boring emails, thinking of new ideas for the workshops and outreach projects I run.
Often I get a last-minute job, sometimes when I am out with a friend. I also spend part of the day creating new work personas, essentially reconstructing myself. When I am playing a dominatrix I become another person. But in London I feel liberated. When I got here, I worked crazy hours in restaurants and pubs. I wanted to go out with my friends, so I decided to do webcam work. I thought that I was alone. I started escorting because it was something that I was extremely curious about, but it was also because I needed more human interaction.
The first time I did it, I was very scared and confused. People tell you that being a prostitute is a bad thing and I grew up in a very Catholic family, so my morals were conflicted.