TEA WITH WENDY WHOPPERS
MAIDEN INTERVIEW BY ST STEPHAN
ST STEPHAN: Bless you for granting me an interview, Wendy. This is my very first time as an interviewer, so please, be gentle.
WENDY WHOPPERS: :)
StS: It's not your first time, is it? I mean, how many men have you done it with before?
WW: An interview?
StS: I'm a saint, remember? What else would I be thinking of?
WW: I'm not sure how many interviews; more than a handful, anyway.
StS: Let's start with your origins: where are you from? I mean, you live in Las Vegas now (right?), but where were you born?
WW: I'm originally from St. Louis, MO. I left Vegas back in '94 or '95 and moved to Indianapolis. Then in '96 to Columbus OH, and late in '97 to Ft. Lauderdale FL, and I have been here ever since. I have moved so many times I think I have lived in every state!
StS: Why so much moving around? From Vegas to...Indianapolis? And then Columbus??? Better opportunities there than in the entertainment capital of the world?
WW: I had been living in Indiana since 1989, so I had friends there, and --as far as traveling goes-- it is a great location when traveling as a feature dancer. I always preferred to drive to bookings rather than fly. Living in Vegas, you have to fly to every booking because it is just too far to drive. Most bookings are on the East side of the US. Vegas was good to live in while I was doing films still, because it is not too bad of a drive to LA, where all the videos are shot. Plus Lisa Lipps was living there, and we were best friends and liked being able to hang out all the time. So I had a house in both Vegas and Indiana for a while. I moved to Columbus OH after my ex and I broke up. I did not even want to be in the same town as him. A friend of mine owned a couple clubs in Columbus, so I went to work up there as a dancer in the bikini bar. (At this point I was pretty much retired from traveling.) I had my reduction in Ohio and then took a break from dancing altogether, and worked as a bartender at my friend's country & western bar.
StS: So you were winding down your dancing career: why? Surely it still paid much better than bartending.
WW: After 10 years of dancing, I needed to do something new. It wasn't about the money. People in country bars are the cheapest people I ever met. They were scraping change together to buy beer LOL. But it was a nice change of pace.
StS: Back to your origins: can you tell us a little about your parents, your family?
WW: My mother is still living back in St Louis and father, sadly, passed away on my birthday last year. I have one brother and one sister.
StS: What do they think about your career?
WW: No one in my family is bothered by what I do. My mom was mad when I first started dancing and didn't talk to me for a couple months, because she thought strip clubs were really secret whorehouses and that there were hidden back bedrooms. After she found out it was really just dancing, then she didn't care, and was glad I was supporting myself at 18 and not living off my parents.
StS: And when you started doing hardcore, still no problem?
WW: No, not at all: they had their concerns about safety, but respected my choices as an adult. Besides they were pretty used to me doing the out-of-the-ordinary. I had a mohawk in high school; they were embarrassed by that!
StS: Hey, have you got a picture of you with a mohawk?
WW: No, sorry, I only ever had one pic of it, and lost it a long time ago.
StS: Speaking of your career: you had several breast enlargement operations, right? How many?
WW: 4 enlargements.
StS: What was your breast size originally?
WW: 34 B.
StS: And the maximum, after four enlargements?
WW: With 3000 cc implants, my advertised measurements were 80 HHH; my actual bra size was 34 H. We have to add more numbers to the advertised measurement because men do not understand how bra measurements work. They are under the false impression that the number has something to do with the size; in fact, the number is only the inches around the ribcage under the breasts, so that never changes unless you gain weight. The cup size is the only measurement that tells breast size. So if I had advertised myself as a 34 H, then guys would have thought that was small.
StS: All silicone, right? You never had any troubles as a result of these operations?
WW: They were double lumin implants, which were made of one bag of 1000 cc's of silicone inside of another bag of 2000 cc's of saline. Kind of like a balloon inside another balloon. I never had any problems with the actual implants themselves, no.
StS: Did you pay for all of these operations, or did some Maecenas help (or maybe Blue Cross)? Can you give a general idea of how much such an operation costs?
WW: The first one --in 1989-- was $2600, which a guy I was dating at the time paid for; they were 260-cc silicone implants (lower cost because it was done at my doctor's office under local anesthesia). The second was $3200 for 800-cc silicone implants done in a surgery center, which I paid for. The third time, I had the double lumins put in and filled to 1600 cc's, costing $3500, which I paid for. The fourth was adding more fluid to the same implants to fill them to 3000 cc's, which was around $1000, paid for by photographer John Graham in exchange for a photo shoot. The cost was less because I was reusing the same implants and just adding more fluid to them, versus buying a whole new set of implants.
StS: Would it be accurate to say that your success as an entertainer was directly related to your breast size?
WW: Mmm...I'm not sure about that. I think I would have still been popular as an adult film star without the biggies, but as a feature dancer I would have gotten less pay. However, I would have been able to appear in the magazines that feature smaller-breasted girls, and they pay more.
StS: I'm sure you know what you're talking about, but that doesn't make economic sense. The supply of women with your dimensions is limited, and therefore -- given an at least equal if not greater demand -- the price for photoshoots/videos should be higher than for less-endowed women. This is confirmed by the higher pay offered you as a dancer with huge breasts. I assume that big-bust stars are offered higher pay because they attract more, or perhaps higher-paying, customers. So why would magazines pay less? Can you shed any light on this?
WW: Because there is a smaller group of buyers for the big breast magazines; therefore, less market = less money. Busty girls only get $500 a layout or less -- whereas Playboy or Penthouse will pay much more.
StS: Actually, how did you get into the adult entertainment business in the first place?
WW: I was working 3 part-time jobs just to try and make ends: one as a cashier in a pizza shop at the mall, another as a parking lot attendant at Busch Stadium, and also working at a gourmet popcorn shop in the mall. I started going to school to be a lab tech, but needed a job with hours that would allow me to go to school by day and work at night. I had heard that cocktail waitresses at the strip clubs made a lot of money, so I went to try and get a job as a cocktail waitress, but they were not hiring, and asked me if I wanted to audition. After watching the girls dance for a few nights, I decided to give it a try. My first time on stage I made $270 and that was what I normally got paid for an entire week at my other jobs combined. So needless to say, I took the job.
StS: So you started as a stripper. How did this develop into hardcore?
WW: From dancing at a regular strip club, I learned that there were feature dancers. I wanted to become a feature, so I got an agent and larger breasts. I had many offers to do hardcore from Score mag and other video companies, but was not interested for a long time, as I was involved in a serious relationship with a guy. He and I did a couple videos together for Score later on, while on photo shoots. Once the relationship was over due to his repeated cheating :( I said "F*ck this! I am getting laid now!"
That was pretty much it... after being faithful for years I got tired of getting dumped on, so I called my agent while I was at a booking in Canada and said "hook me up with some films". She called me back an hour later and said, "Can you be in LA tomorrow?" So I was off to LA for a huge film deal with Video Exclusives (now called Leisure Time Video). The only other busty girl they had ever had was Tiffany Towers. So I agreed to do ten films for them. Then every video company wanted me, so I did a film or two for most of the video companies, then went back and did another ten-film deal with VE. I ended up staying in LA for four months doing films on my first trip out there. Needless to say I did get to catch up on all the sex I missed before! LOL
StS: Is it pretty standard for strippers, especially the big-boobed ones, to get into porn this way?
WW: Actually, the majority of the other big boob dancers hated that I did videos. I was "The Big Slut". I had talked Lisa Lipps into coming out to LA with me during those first few months, and also doing videos (which she did), and then all we heard was what whores we were for doing films, and how gross we were. They had already bitched about Tiffany, but it was well known that she was a prostitute anyway, so no one really cared. The funny part is the next thing you know, here comes Letha, Lyndon Johnson, LeAnn Lovelace, etc... all running to LA wanting to be pornstars. All of the girls who thought we were so disgusting were all begging for jobs in film.
StS: OK, you became an adult entertainer, and eventually a pornstar, in order to make money. Well, that's obvious, of course -- I hardly think any pornstar would claim she does it to promote world peace -- but I find it significant that you name a figure ($270 a night for a beginner). Can you give an idea of how much you were paid per video/photoshoot/appearance at the height of your career? I'm sure the fee varied greatly, but perhaps you can give a ball-park figure.
WW: Magazine fees: generally you will get $2000 plus coach airfare and accommodation to go on a week-long shoot, which includes 4 layouts and usually a video (you may get an extra $500 for the vid if you can talk them into it), or $250 - $500 for a day shoot of 1-3 layouts, depending on the photographer. Girls don't generally care about the low pay for mags, as that is a super ad for them. Most would do it for free just for the exposure.
Talk Shows: pay you $0; you may get a $50 credit on your hotel expense account, airfare and hotel. Girls also do this for free for the free publicity.
Videos: I got paid $1000 per scene and $750 per boxcover. Which in a two-scene film with me on the box = $2750. That is very high pay for films, actually; only a few of us girls got that. Me, Lisa Lipps, Tiffany Towers, and I believe Kayla Kleevage. I was told the only other girls who ever got that were Savannah and Teri Weigel. I don't know if that is true or not. The others are paid like this per scene: no name girls, $125; girls who are somewhat known, $150-$350 per scene; girls who are "stars", $350-$500 a scene. I retired in '94 from films, so I can't say for sure what they are getting paid now, but I have heard it is worse, and that there are 100 girls willing to do anal for $200 when it used to mean more money.
Feature Dancing: my fee was $5000 per week for 24 shows, plus hotel and $250 travel. Most busty features right now are getting between $1500-$4200 per 24-show week, and the clubs won't book 24 shows any more. They'll only book 12 to 18 shows for the week, which cuts your price down more.
StS: About the photoshoots, and more particularly the videos: I suppose they're very popular (I sure like what I've seen). Once you were an established and popular star, did you ever consider taking a smaller fee, but with a percentage of the profits?
WW: No, none of the video companies ever offer any type of sales percentage.
StS: Or have ever tried owning the rights yourself, i.e. paying the director, cameraman, other actors, etc. a set fee, and marketing the videos yourself? Of course it's a lot of hassle (another possibility would be paying someone to market it for you) but it seems to me you'd make a packet more.
WW: Yes, I have produced a couple of my own films, both shot in Key West and sold via my website.
StS: And didn't you gross a lot more than your $2750 for two scenes+cover?
WW: I doubt it. Don't forget I still had to recoup the $7000 I spent in the first place to make the videos. Selling them just through my mail order fan club, on the road, and now my website, it takes years to make your money back. The only way to do really well is to have a distributor to do it for you, so that they get video store placement. So it really is not worth it unless you use a distributor and can sell thousands at once. A handful a month doesn't cut it.
StS: You know, in a way I see a very limited parallel between porn producers and pimps: both cash in on the attractiveness of "their" women, whose images they manage and market, and their profits must be much larger than what they pay the women. Your thoughts?
WW: Not even close to being true. The women in this biz don't work for one particular guy, like a hooker would work for a pimp. They work for themselves, and book with different club owners, film companies and photographers. Almost all of the girls in this business manage and market their own image. They decide when and if they want to work, whether they want to work at this club or not, whether they want to work for X or Y video company, what agent they will book through, or not to use an agent at all. Some of them have their husband, boyfriend, or an agent do all of this for them. Speaking of agents, the biggest agent, Elainor (also was my agent) is a woman, and gets 12% of your booking fee. But she is also paying for all your ads, getting you the club bookings, making all the phone calls, and mailing out all your promo. So for 12%, it is well worth it. I don't know of anyone except one girl in this biz who is controlled by someone who is nothing more than a pimp.
StS: Hey, will you tell us whhhhhhh...
[Nahpets has been sneaking up behind a totally entranced St Stephan, and now throttles him from behind. St Stephan blacks out.]
NAHPETS: Hey, babe!
WW: Don't call me babe! Who the hell are you?
NAHPETS: Well, you got my address right. Name's Nahpets. I've got a REAL question for you. Aren't you a pros...
[As St Stephan falls off his chair, his tonsure strikes the "Archbishop Visit Panic Button" and the computer goes dead.]
[Note from the Editor: transmission ceased at this point. Although we later received a continuation of the interview, conducted by Nahpets, we felt it best to leave the break, allowing readers with taste and decency to opt out at this point. Those without such scruples will find the Nahpets interview here.]