This guest Q&A is with Carly Fleischmann, a 21-year-old woman on the autism spectrum who just started a new web series called Speechless with Carly Fleischmann. Her first guest was none other than Channing Tatum! This episode later went viral and was featured in major media including People, Upworthy and Mirror among others. Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro, a national speaker, best-selling author and TV talk show host who’s on the autism spectrum got to connect with Fleischmann about this experience…
Fleischmann shared for our readers, “For those who don't know me, my name is Carly Fleischmann and I was diagnosed with nonverbal autism. However that does not define who I am. I am smart, funny and have a lot to say!”
When did you first realize you wanted to be a talk show host?
When I was a young child, television never seem to interest me. I would glance at it when I walked by the family room. It wasn't until one day when I saw Ellen DeGeneres on television that's something in me clicked. She was making similar sounds that I was making. Her sense of humor was so obvious that I even understood it. After meeting Ellen in person, I knew that I wanted to be able to connect with people the way she did. I wanted to be a talk show host.
Who were some of your role models growing up?
I would have to say Roger Ebert.
Roger Ebert showed the world that his voice didn't necessarily have to come out of his mouth for people to understand him on television.
Today I would like to continue to take the torch where Roger Ebert left off.
We loved your interview with Channing Tatum!
Thanks, he was a great guest and I enjoyed every minute with him. It was hard and gruelling on my end to make sure that I could communicate with Channing fluently. When you take a look at the interview you see a fluent conversation. I had to make sure that I was prepared to answer or combat anything Channing was going to say. It took lots of typing and hours to prep for this once-in-a-lifetime interview. However, it was all worth it in the end.
And if you could have only have seen Channing's face when he saw me type responses back to him on my computer for the first time, it was priceless. He understood I had something to say.
What has been the response you’ve received since that interview went viral?
It's been incredible. My interview has gone worldwide. With over 3 million views and media outlets from People magazine, The Doctors television show, Entertainment Tonight and more, picking it up. It showcases what someone's inner voice can say.
What do you hope people take away when they watch your show?
I want people to realize that, just like them, I have many challenges. I have overcome a lot of my challenges and so can they. Just because it's an uphill climb doesn't mean it's not worth the journey to the top of the hill.
What’s next for you? Can you give us any hints on who some future guests may be?
My dream is that big Internet industry leaders such as Hulu, Netflix, Crave TV, Crackle or even AppleTV realize that a show like mine could be a game changer. Who knows, maybe an Oprah or an Ellen DeGeneres would want to sign me, like Usher did Justin Bieber. One can only hope!
As for who my next incredible, unbelievable, defining, breathtaking and groundbreaking guest is going to be, I'm afraid I'm going to have to remain absolutely speechless!