Internet Cats On His Mind
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Making Internet Cat Stars Shine
Ben Lashes, Manager of Cat Meme Stars, Has The Purrfect Job
“It’s an awesome time for cats in the world…”
Those were the well-spoken words of cat meme and purrsonality manager, Ben Lashes, at a recent interview with our CatVideos.com staff, here in our hometown of Austin, Texas.
Ben’s sentiment sums up our excitement about cats in the land of the internet. Lashes,
manager for Grumpy Cat, Keyboard Cat, and Nyan Cat, also represents a host of other meme celebrities and other internet entities through his company A Weird Movie.
CatVideos.com staff interviewed Ben Lashes and Grumpy Cat's parents in Austin, Texas.
We spoke to Lashes during the day-long video shoot for the upcoming segments of Friskies “Will Kitty Play With It?” online game show for cats. Grumpy Cat was in Austin, TX, for the video shoot, plus the not-so-sourpuss kitty spent a couple days making a purrsonal appearance in the Mashable tent at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin. During Tardar Sauce’s appearance time, – yes, that’s Grumpy Cat’s real name – thousands of the kitty’s devoted fans lined up for blocks, with many spending 2-3 hours waiting to have their photo taken with the internet’s cat queen. Local, national and international media all hailed Grumpy Cat as the “Hit” of the annual interactive mega festival, leaving the likes of Al Gore and the creator of “Slumdog Millionnaire” in her kitty box dust.
As Grumpy Cat’s manager, Lashes made the arrangements for her “talent work,” and was part of the official entourage escorting the kitty around town. A visit to the Austin Pets Alive! no-kill shelter was a highlight for Grumpy Cat’s owner and entourage; but, of course, Grumpy Cat never cracked a grin. Tardar Sauce gave her famous game face a work out for the good cause, which was much appreciated by the Austin Pets Alive! folks.
She's really not a Grumpy Cat.
The Friskies video shoot was a real coup for the brand, and for the cat and her family.
Lasher described the experience by stating, “It’s great to partner up with cool brands that, ‘get it’ and like to do cool, new things.”
How does Lasher pick a cat meme or video like Grumpy Cat to seek out to manage? How does he know which one of the thousands (or millions) of new memes, videos or photos will end up being the most popular “thing” on the internet? Lasher answered with a knowing, yet simple statement, saying, “I stay up-to-date on the internet and I know a hit when I see it.”
About Grumpy Cat, Lasher explained his thoughts on her popularity by stating, “It’s always great to relate to somebody else who’s not having a perfect day and laugh about it.”
That’s a very true statement for all of us, and why Grumpy Cat’s little frown makes us smile. Grumpy Cat brings us all down to earth, gives us a stamp of approval of sorts, that our own problems are just like everyone else’s...and we’ll be okay.
Catnip to Line the Red Carpet?
A preview of things to come only gets more interesting and profitable for internet cat faves as Lil Bub, Grumpy Cat, Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat are about to hit the bigger screen. Lasher said, “The Lil Bub documentary will premier at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and Grumpy Cat, Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat all share the big screen with Lil Bub.”
Lashes predicted that it may be the first Tribeca film to have cats walking the red carpet. Oh Meow!
He added, “There’s only so long you can keep these cats on the small screen, the small small screen. It’s time to hit the movie theaters.”
What fun we’ll see from these internet kitties in the future. Just remember there’s a very smart guy named Ben Lashes, working behind the scenes to make sure you and I are completely surrounded by internet cat stars. It was great to meet Ben and learn a little bit about the background of the great feline meme manager.
“Mews of the Day” is a fun, enlightening look at the world of cats, large and small. Join us here on CatVideos.com, as we share news, blogs, photos and entertaining videos about – and for – cats.
Photos by John Ludlow, Eric Dorris and Mia Garcia
Videography: Eric Dorris