Dave Keystone Talks Comedy, Broadcasting & ‘Cam_Girlfriend’

LOS ANGELES—Dave Keystone remembers his first job that involved any kind of public speaking was as a strip club DJ in his native Toronto. He winged it. It was about two decades ago, when Keystone was a student at Ontario College of Art and Design University, and the future award-winning TV host, producer, comedian and actor decided he was comfortable talking into a microphone while staying out of sight in the DJ booth. “I wasn’t even good at it,” Keystone jokes. “The owner would say, ‘Talk about the girls! Get raunchy!’ I thought, I have three older sisters, I can’t speak about them this way. I didn’t last. “It didn’t occur to me until now that in a way it’s coming full circle.” Now he is co-starring opposite Chaturbate broadcaster and popular adult performer, Lily LaBeau, in the new comedy Cam_Girlfriend, which today unveils Episode 3 of a 10-part series about rising cam girl Chloe Cables and her live-in boyfriend, Mike, played by Keystone. Produced by CAMGF1 Productions and made possible by the Independent Production Fund, the show is available to view now on The Camming Life YouTube channel. Today’s episode, titled “The Doppelganger,” finds Chloe sidelined after a bad bikini wax. She and Mike go into crisis mode in search of an anatomical double to keep Chloe’s cam business afloat. Will she pull it off? And will her fans buy it? Keystone notes that his character is “a bit of a fish out of water.” “And it’s kind of easy to be that guy,” he admits. “With Lily’s background in adult performance it was also my first experience spending a lot of time with someone who works in adult entertainment. “Working with Lily was interesting and fun. She was so professional. I think it was her first time acting in kind of a scripted series like this. She’s done some adult acting but this was her first time strictly acting. “It was exciting for all of us knowing we were representing a community of people who deserve to be represented.” The couple’s improvisational flair brings the stories to life as they tackle unpredictable situations while maintaining a relationship that often intersects with Chloe’s profession. In the debut episode, titled “The Registry,” Mike and Chloe run into trouble after using her camming registry to obtain wedding gifts for personal friends; and Episode 2, “The Hit,” examines what happens when a world famous DJ samples Chloe’s orgasm and the song climbs the charts. Mike has no qualms with Chloe’s career choice, supporting her as she problem solves. But as the series advances, things become more complicated. “I’m really pleased with how it turned out,” Keystone says. “When we’re on set shooting it’s hard to know if it translates on camera. We wanted to it be funny and we didn’t want it to be too raunchy. “So far the feedback has been great.” No stranger to the broadcast realm, Keystone was a principal cast member on Canada’s first-ever reality TV show, U8TV: The Lofters—in 2001. The show followed eight Canadians in their 20s who lived together in a loft in Toronto for one year while at the same time producing and hosting their own programs for various cable TV networks and the website U8TV.com. “We were allowed to leave. It wasn’t like a fishbowl in that way,” Keystone recalls. “That was actually my first experience in broadcasting. I just got cast randomly on this reality show, before reality shows were what they are today. It was really a lab experiment. … It was before digital cable. That’s where I first got a sense of my on-camera presence.” That presence—not to mention a mission of raising social consciousness with his work—led to a track record of success for the 39-year-old who is best known as the host and co-creator of the CBC series Small Talk, where he seeks life advice from kids. Keystone won the 2018 Canadian Screen Award for Best Host on Small Talk, receiving a nomination again in 2019. He is also the host and co-creator of the viral web series, Kids On, where he seeks relationship advice from kids; and host and creator of the digital interview program Who We Are for which he won two 2018 International Academy of Web Television Awards for Best Host and Best Pre-Recorded Hosted Series. In addition to his TV endeavors, Keystone is co-founder of Keepsake Video Inc., a production company specializing in personal profile videos that preserve the stories of people’s parents and grandparents for future generations. Keystone says it was his friend Ethan Cole, the creator and co-writer of Cam_Girlfriend, who reached out and asked him to audition for the role of Mike. Cole is part of what LaBeau refers to as “the dream team” of seasoned pros behind Cam_Girlfriend that also includes producer/director Daniel AM Rosenberg, writer Michael Goldlist and producer Jason Kennedy. Each brings a wealth of experience creating scripted and non-scripted television, film, music and other entertainment projects. “Ethan told me, ‘I have a project and I have a character—I basically wrote the personality based on you. And I want you to audition for it. We’ve auditioned like 100 people and we’re coming to a point to where I think you should just play the role if you like it, and if you can,’” Keystone says. “My background is hosting and producing stuff. I work in the business of interviewing people and having conversations. I’ve acted a little bit before but not too much. He told me what it was and how they wanted to shoot it. That it was going to be loosely scripted. “And that appealed to me a lot, too, because I was not sure how my memorization skills would be. This helped bring out my personality in a way—being able to improvise.” Keystone took extra care with his decision to join the Cam_Girlfriend cast, giving the role careful consideration and discussing it with his manager before accepting the opportunity. One of the deciding factors, he says, was how alongside the outrageous situations presented in Cam_Girlfriend, the stories facilitate a greater understanding about a marginalized community. “My manager and I talked about it and we decided that this was acting. We knew the show wasn’t going to be raunchy. We knew the show was a comedy. So why can’t the comedy be based on adult performing? This show gives a voice to cam models. I don’t see that as a bad thing,” Keystone reasons. “And to be honest with you, everything I do in my life—all the shows I produce—I care about heightening social consciousness.” Keystone continues, “When I talked to Ethan and I found out they were getting their storylines from real cam girls and there were cam girls at the beginning of each episode giving real testimonials, in my mind that was the social good of it. We were giving them voices; we were humanizing the industry. That was the social good that actually made me say ‘yes’ to the show. “I knew there were going to be cam girls opening the show and that was really important to me. … I don’t even think there’s any swearing in the show, except in the chat that appears on Chloe’s screen. I don’t think I swore once.” Keystone studied Design at OCAD U in Toronto. “In another life I would be an architect or a designer,” he says. “I have two degrees that are not really associated with my broadcast career. One of them is in Industrial Design and then I have a degree in Integrated Media, also from OCAD U. I’ve always been able to keep myself afloat hosting events and broadcasting. But I still had a lot of time on my hands. So I would go to school just as something to do, almost as a hobby. I know that sounds weird.”  He has always demonstrated range in the entertainment medium. Some of Keystone’s stand-up material is adult-oriented, while some of his broadcast interviews entail adults sharing stories geared toward mature audiences. For example, his web series “Sex on the Street TV”—which went viral on Funny or Die—entailed him talking to random people about topics not often discussed in public. “That I didn’t think were being talked about enough,” Keystone says. “I made a list of 30 topics I wanted to talk to people on the street about—and 16 had to do with sex. Like, ‘What happened to pubic hair? Where did it go? Why aren’t people using condoms? Sex on a woman’s period? Facials?’ “I went on the street and talked to people about these seemingly taboo sex subjects that are so common in the adult industry and in our sex lives. They were tongue-in-cheek conversations about sex, but in my opinion important conversations in the background.” Keystone has racked up more than a thousand interviews over the course of doing his various shows, sitting down with people from all walks of life and sharpening his listening skills along the way.  “I think I’ve often been described as coming off as being vulnerable and those vulnerabilities come across in my interviews and the way I listen,” Keystone says. “When I watch and listen intently I’m really trying to help the other person shine. I’m listening with a true open heart and open mind that this is a human being. I’m not here to embarrass them or laugh at them. “I understand some of the things they might say could be detrimental to them without them even knowing. I want to protect them as well. I’ve interviewed some people who I’ve found have said some things that would’ve really done them a disservice, so I don’t put it online or don’t broadcast it. “I want them to tell their stories to help other people. When I say heightened social consciousness I have a really tough time with judgment. As long as someone is not hurting someone else or disparaging someone they should be accepted for who they are in their beauty or their flaws.” Keystone adds, “I’m definitely a selective listener in my social life. Every girl I’ve ever dated has said that. But when I’m interviewing someone, I’m so excited to hear what they have to say. I’m genuinely fascinated. I don’t do a lot of prep. I don’t want to know too much. I want to see where this is going to go. I believe everyone has a story.” To view Episode 3 of Cam_Girlfriend, click here.

written by: Dan Miller

source: Dave Keystone Talks Comedy, Broadcasting & ‘Cam_Girlfriend’ | AVN