When organizer Susan Michals first told us about her plans for the upcoming CatConLA, she hinted that celebri-cats like Lil Bub and Pudge would be joined by some famous humans -- though at the time she wasn't at liberty to identify them.
The cat is now officially out of the bag with today's announcement that two-legged actors Mayim Bialik ("The Big Bang Theory") and Jack McBrayer ("30 Rock") are scheduled to participate in the two-day feline-focused event June 6 and 7.
According to today's announcement -- which included the full event schedule -- Bialik (who is appearing on behalf of PetSmart Charities) will introduce a Saturday morning (June 6) lecture titled: "Goodbye Dowdy, Hello Gorgeous! Debunking the Cat Lady Myth," and discuss why she is working with PetSmart Charities to change stereotypes of cat people. Later that same day she'll also be holding a special meet-and-greet.
On Sunday afternoon (June 7), McBrayer, who currently appears opposite Triumph the Insult Comic Dog on Adult Swim's "The Jack and Triumph Show" will switch species and sit down for what's being described as "a frank and hilarious conversation with Lil Bub on a late-night television show set to talk about life, Hollywood, and space."
We recently spoke with Scott Stulen, creator and former curator of the Internet Cat Video Festival, who is scheduled to participate in two of the seminars ("My Cat's a Celebrity ... and How I've Dealt With That" on Saturday and "Cat Vid Fest Favorites " on Sunday) and who gave us a heads up about something he and current curator Will Braden will be doing at the event on Saturday that should be of interest to anyone thinking about leveraging their fur children into Internet fame and fortune.
"Will and I are going to sort of play Siskel and Ebert," Stulen told us Wednesday. "And we're going to be critiquing people's cat videos, and offering them pointers on how to make them better." Stulen said that while he and Braden have a few Internet videos on hand to prime the pump, they're relying on attendees to upload videos to YouTube or Vimeo ahead of time and come prepared to share the links.
Those are just a few of the events on tap at the upcoming conclave of cat aficionados, which is set to include some 100 exhibitors selling cat-related merchandise, all manner of meet-and-greet opportunities and a specially themed cat adoption area.
The sponsor list for the inaugural event is nearly as long as the speaker and seminar lineup and includes Rachael Ray Nutrish for Cats, Animal Planet, PetSmart Charities, the Ace Hotel, Modern Cat, Purpose Cat Litter, Scrap Cat and Zoomer Kitty. Two-day adult tickets start at $40 with $1 of every ticket sale going to FixNation, a nonprofit organization committed to cats and its trap-neuter-return program. In addition, 50% of the proceeds from two of the meet-and-greets (one with Lil Bub and one with Pudge and the Cats of Instagram) will go to FixNation.
CatConLA, June 6 and 7 at the Reef, 1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. The complete schedule -- and information on how to purchase tickets -- is available at catconla.com.