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

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-anna-gunn-jacki-weaver-and.jpg
Watch: Anna Gunn, Jacki Weaver and Virginia Kull on ‘Gracepoint’ and Strong Female Roles on TV
The actresses also speak candidly about how they feel about their characters in the series and why its important for TV to feature series with strong female leads.Check out the conversation above!
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-cristin-milioti-talks-a-to.jpg
Watch: Cristin Milioti Talks ‘A to Z’, ‘Once’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Few actresses have the kind of rise as Cristin Milioti has had in the last few years. A virtual unknown in 2011, she became a bona fide Broadway star in the 2012 hit Once, appeared in a supporting role in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, and was featured as the titular mother […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-bryan-cranstons-acting-adv.jpg
Watch: Bryan Cranston’s Acting Advice
With Breaking Bad: The Complete Series Barrel being released on Blu-ray with all kinds of goodies today, it gives us yet another opportunity to reflect on the series’ star Bryan Cranston and all of the incredible advice he has offered actors in the wake of his success. In a video he filmed in 2013 for […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/alex-sharp-curious-incident-of-the-dog.jpg
Alex Sharp Talks About His Broadway Debut in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ (video)
Alex Sharp went from working in a call-center and renovating houses to going to Julliard. And now, he’s starring in one of the most talked about shows of the season, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Check out this great, inspiring video!
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Its-only-a-play.jpg
Watch a Scene From Terrance McNally’s, ‘It’s Only a Play’, Featuring Nathan Lane and Micah Stock
Here’s a quick scene from Terrance McNally‘s It’s Only a Play, currently on Broadway at the Schoenfeld Theater. In this scene, Nathan Lane and Micah Stock meet for the first time. The show, about the opening night of a new play, also stars Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, Rupert Grint and Megan Mullally.