Sleepwalk With Me’s Mike Birbiglia on being a first time director: “It’s like going to medical school”

mike-birbiglia-sleepwalk-with-meComedian Mike Birbiglia has taken his own strange experiences with a sleep disorder and transformed them into a new movie, Sleepwalk with Me.

However, he is quick to admit that he struggled to figure out how to make the film “every second of every day.”  In an interview with Time, Birbiglia said, “It’s like showing up to the field trip in seventh grade and jumping on the bus and saying, ‘Hey, everybody, I’m gonna drive the bus.’  Everyone’s like, ‘What?  You don’t know how to drive a bus.’  And you’re like, ‘I know, but I’ve been watching the bus driver.  I feel like I have the hang of it.  I’ve been watching other bus rides and I have my favorites and my least favorites, and I feel like I have a bus-driving aesthetic and I feel like that’s going to carry us through.’  Fortunately we arrived at the field trip.  We didn’t drive off the road.”

Birbiglia enjoyed the process of working as a collaborative team on the film.  “I’ve always had collaborators,” he said.  “That’s how I started in college; I was in the improv group at Georgetown.  And I hired a director, Seth Barrish [who co-directed the movie] to direct my one-man shows.  But I’m on stage alone quite a bit and I have to manage an audience.  Managing an audience in a lot of ways is like directing a film.”

Birbiglia is certain he’ll be behind the camera in the future as well.  “I just feel it’s like going to medical school,” he said.  “You can’t go to medical school and come out and be like, ‘I’m going to be a dog catcher.’  That would be so pointless.  Once you know how to make a movie, you can’t not make a movie.  It’s the hardest damn thing you could ever imagine and the skill-set is so specific.  Also it’s a passion.  I love movies and I loved making a movie, as hard as it was.  I’m working on the film adaptation of My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, which is the show I’m touring the world with right now.”

2 Comments

  1. Ken Murray via Facebook

    August 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I’m a big fan of his and totally dug this movie when I saw it months ago. I might see it again this week

  2. Daily Actor via Facebook

    August 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Yeah, really liked it too. Wish there were more films like this out there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/bill-hader.jpg
Bill Hader: “I kind of fell into acting” (video)
Bill Hader, starring in the soon to be released The Skeleton Twins, talks about the film and how he fell into acting and then got “crazy lucky” in this quick video from USA Today. Share on Tumblr
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/director-john-carney-narrates-a.jpg
Director John Carney Narrates a Scene from ‘Begin Again’ Starring Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo
Director John Carney (Once) narrates a scene from his new film, Begin Again. Starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, the scene shows the first time the two characters meet. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard it’s great.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/holler-if-you-hear-me-gma.jpg
Watch the Cast of Broadway’s ‘Holler If You Hear Me’ Perform ‘California Love’ on GMA
The cast of Broadway’s newest musical, Holler If You Hear Me with music from Tupac Shakur, performed on Good Morning America this morning. Singing ‘California Love’, the cast (including the teriffic Christopher Jackson – read our interview here), show why they’re the most energetic and inspiring group of actors on Broadway. Holler If Ya Hear [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/behind-the-scenes-of-dawn-of-the.jpg
Behind the Scenes of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ with Performance Capture Actor Terry Notary
Actor Terry Notary is 1 of 5 actors playing the apes in the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. “When you see armies of apes,” he says, that’s “five of us.” Check out the video where you can watch his performance capture work.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/melissa-mccarthy-daily-show.jpg
Melissa McCarthy and John Stewart Talk About Terrible Commercial Auditions on ‘The Daily Show’
Melissa McCarthy stopped by The Daily Show last week to plug about her new movie, Tammy. She talked about how she loved working with her husband, Ben Falcone (director of Tammy) and then segued into talking about some horrible working situations. The always hilarious McCarthy then started to tell host John Stewart about a particular [...]