In one of my most heart-wrenching interviews yet, "Call Me Adam" chats with Mrs. Smith about her missing cat Carlyle, who went missing about two years ago when he ran out of his hotel room in Poland. Mrs. Smith and I discuss how the mounting of her new Off-Broadway show, Mrs. Smith's BROADWAY CAT-TACULAR will hopefully help reunite Mrs. Smith with her beloved cat Carlyle. This is one CATastrophic interview!
Mrs. Smith's BROADWAY CAT-TACULAR will run through September 20 at the 47th Street Theatre in NYC (304 West 47th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue). Click here for tickets!
1. Your show, Mrs. Smith's BROADWAY CAT-TACULAR is making it's Off-Broadway premiere through September 20 at 47th Street Theatre in NYC. What excites you about having Mrs. Smith's BROADWAY CAT-TACULAR make it's Off-Broadway debut? The chance to have the message about my missing cat Carlyle put into musical theatrical form and spread to a larger audience. The key thing here is this Carlyle Message and Off-Broadway will allow us to reach some important demographics such as Key Influencers, Opinion Leaders, Belief Shapers, and Mind Melders. Beyond that, performing gives me a chance to channel the Grief and the Rage.
2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Mrs. Smith's BROADWAY CAT-TACULAR? Elevated. All senses electrified and tuned into finding Carlyle.
3. If you could give people one reason as to why they should come see Mrs. Smith's BROADWAY CAT-TACULAR, what would that reason be? How often do you see a real-life person (me) singing and dancing to save their own life?? Usually people in these plays are pretending to be someone else but in this case I'm me and at every performance I'm walking a tightrope stretched between two extremes: Broadway Glory and Emotional Oblivion.
4. Your cat, Carlyle has been missing for two years now. When did you first realize Carlyle was missing? What were some of your first thoughts that went through your head when you realized he was missing? We were in the only five-star, boutique hotel in Warsaw (Carlyle loves Poland, don't ask me why), and I received a frantic phone call from a diplomat friend who had committed an egregious utensil-based social blunder at a State Dinner and we were trying to fashion a response when the room service cart arrived and the door was ajar for all but a millisecond. I usually take great pains to secure Carlyle in his Kitty Condo when we are in this hotel and room service arrives because that cat adores Poland so much he'll run right out to explore it (don't ask me why!!!). In a flash of tuxedo he was gone and my life has been absolute torment ever since. My first thought when he vanished was, "GET THAT CAT!!!"
5. How do you feel the mounting of Mrs. Smith's BROADWAY CAT-TACULAR Off-Broadway show will possibly help find Carlyle? I hired an economist formerly of Google (and RAND Corporation -- he was let go from both but for personal not professional reasons), and he did an Influence Scan of all forms of comms: online, television, film product placement, print, etc. He ran this study three times because he was GOBSMACKED by his findings. Off-Broadway is the best mode of comms for this message not because of its literal reach (the distribution model is DISMAL and financials are HORRENDOUS) but because all these hip kids and cool cats and fancy fellows who are into Off-Bway. That what this guy told me anyway.
6. How do you think you'll be able to find the strength to go out on stage every night singing and dancing with a happy face and surrounded by some hot dancers, knowing that Carlyle is out there in the world lost and afraid? These are not mutually exclusive. The Carlyle Message is my engine and knowing that this audience has come to hear about my cat and our life together and be part of this cause: it lifts me up! Sometimes I'm so lifted up I am outside my body and then I get a crick in my neck and have to go get one of those $30 massages in the East Village.
7. What is it like to continuously look for Carlyle and still not able to find him? How do you get through each day without him? Everyone has a best pal, I hope anyway. Just imagine if that buddy you chat with everyday who understands you like no other, that friend with whom you shared so many wonderful experiences, imagine if they went missing. You would never stop searching to have that person back in your life. He's my best friend!!!
8. Do you ever picture in your mind the reuniting of you and Carlyle? If so, what is that reunion like? I had this vision during a Shamanic Journey the other day. Here is what was unfolded to me...I'm in my dressing room putting on my stage makeup and final preparations for the evening's performance...I sense a presence behind me on the fainting couch reserved for VIP visitors....Do I hear soft purring...??! I slowly turn around and as plain as day there is Carlyle sitting contentedly on my fainting couch his paws tucked underneath him like the little gentleman he is. He has not changed one bit. We sit there for a full minute regarding one another a smile stretched across my face. The stage manager calls places over the intercom. I fetch Carlyle's portable Kitty Condo, open the door, and he gracefully scoots inside and we quietly sneak out the stage door. I catch a taxi cab to JFK and book the presidential suite in the only five-star, boutique hotel in Warsaw.
9. How has this experience made you stronger? From an aerobic point of view Act I is like one of those torturous exercise programs the young people seem to like these days. It's non-stop costume changes, props, puppets, dancing, singing. I think my director is trying to kill me! Cross-fitter's if you want to really get in shape try Act I of my show!!
10. What is the best advice you've ever received for dealing with this vacancy in your life? Never stop believing.
11. If you could have any super power to bring Carlyle back, which one would you choose? Well my Pet Psychic Sylvia Cleo has second sight so I don't need that. My Shaman isn't literally psychokinetic although I have seen dust particles float in strange patterns around her. I guess the best I can hope for is a syndicated television show on a major network or subscription-based streaming service to really beef up this distribution model. I think that would do the trick. Do you know anyone at Netflix?
12. If you could create a signature drink in honor of Carlyle, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? I'd call it a "Meow Mixer" and it would be grapefruit juice, liquid Benadryl (I have these nasal allergy things), lemon juice, and honey and then use that to chase a mood stabilizer.
Mrs. Smith is a woman of many passions. Her distinctive blend of comedic performance art has been seen from coast to coast, including: 54 Below, American Repertory Theatre/Oberon, Ars Nova, Dixon Place, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Upright Citizens Brigade and NBC’s hit reality competition America’s Got Talent.
She has also performed at her share of fairly depressing dive bars, cabarets, and condo complex community rooms. Two and a half years ago, her beloved cat Carlyle went missing. If you have ANY information on his whereabouts, PLZ CONTACT HER IMMEDIATELY! @SmithCatMrs