On the evening of his first ‘purrformance’ of The Cat Show, we asked the Bedroom Philosopher to share his wisdom about our feline overlords.
Then we made him think really hard about places to go in Melbourne.
It’s me playing songs about cats while dressed as a cat. There are two PowerPoint presentations about lost cat posters and the ‘history of cats’ project I did in grade three. And a photo tour of cats I had growing up. Cat-specific songs include ‘I think my cat has got depression’ where I run through all the mental illnesses and compare them to weird cat behaviour. There’s an eight-and-a-half-minute ballad about a heroic mattress protector, a song about dodgy share houses and a dance routine to Beyoncé.
How many goes did it take for you to film the show’s trailer? (the tension between you and the white cat…palpable…)
I wanted to create a sitcom for cats. The whole thing was improvised. I basically got into costume and romped around the backyard. It’s Gorillas in the Mist meets The Adventures of Milo and Otis. The white cat in question is ‘Whiteman’ and I actually lived with him in a share house a few years ago. The director, Will Hindmarsh, owns the cat which is why he’s eerily comfortable around the camera. Have they gone viral yet? I clicked the ‘go viral’ button and everything.’
Cats are traditionally the worst actors. I think in that new film A street cat named Bob they needed four different cats. There are lots of sharp edits from where the cat obviously wandered out of shot. They should have had four different actors playing the guy in Passenger. He was terrible.
While we are talking about cats…why do you think cats rule the internet?
Reading through the project I did on cats in grade three, one is reminded how cats rose up through the ranks in Egypt. Initially they were employed to keep mice away from the grain. Gradually they were more and more cherished. Finally, it was not uncommon for a person to save their cat from a house fire before themselves. A hierarchy which I hope exists today. Cats were royalty, worshipped and buried in fancy tombs – you could argue that they were the first animal celebrities. This is probably where they get their attitude from and why they‘re so comfortable on screen (also dogs smell and can’t act).
The difference between cat people and dog people?
Cats are introverts, dogs are extroverts. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you are shy, it just means that solitude is very important to you. You may also be sensitive to loud noises. Extroverts get their power from socialising and multiple sources of stimulation. If dogs were people, they would be chasing bones all over social media. Cats would be in the corner of a library writing an essay on the poems of Thomas Hardy. It’s interesting how feminised cats are. I watched one of those ABC docos about dudes who dress up as dogs. It said women don’t get involved because they’re much more likely to dress us as cats! I enjoy challenging gender stereotypes.
This is the part where we ask you questions about Melbourne.
What is your favourite place to go for inspiration?
I think I lined up at Cookie once.
Favourite place to eat?
The Organic Food & Wine Deli in Degraves Street. They do soy dandy lattes and the girls are nice to me.
Favourite arty place (gallery, music etc.)
The 86 tram.
When you coming into Melbourne, what are you usually doing….
Wearing noise-cancelling headphones and seeing my therapist.
Earliest Melbourne memory?
I was lurking in Docklands when Sam Newman made a derogatory comment in my general direction.
If people were coming into the city to see your show, where would you recommend they go before and / or after?
The Muesli Bar. (You know, vegan pop-up caravan serving cereals with a light mouth feel). Okay, that doesn’t exist (yet!). But you could smash a pale ale at The Malthouse bar. After my show you’ll be on such a high from all that LOLLING, you’ll require a moderate dosage of fizzy depressants.
Any recommendations for during the festival?
Drink plenty of water and don’t look Josh Earl in the eye.