Mike Birbiglia Q&A at Cinema 21

And after we watched Don’t Think Twice, we got to hear the writer/director chat!

Tickets! (Or: a piece of paper that is standing in for tickets.)IMG_5745

The conversation with Mike Birbiglia was facilitated by a woman who is a local in the Improv scene.  In other news, I’m quite happy with this photo, because it accidentally captures a moment in the credits that is a callback to a funny bit in the movie.  (Thank youuuuuuu).IMG_5747

Mike Birbiglia does not stay still for long.  I have about ten photos with some part of him blurry.  This was my best shot.


The theater guy (if memory serves, his name is Tom) was quite still, and it was easier to get a photo.IMG_5764

And here is where Mr. Birbiglia became distracted by an audience member’s shirt with Laser Cats on it and had to take a photo.IMG_5766

Things I learned from the chat/Q&A:

  • If we liked the movie, we should tell our friends because, “You’re the advertising budget.”  (I did like it.  You should see it.)
  • Mike Birbiglia’s favorite thing about Improv is that it has the potential to be the best thing you’ve ever seen, or the potential to not be so good.  But either way, you’ve only spent five bucks.
  • “You don’t get a body like this [points at his average, american-style body] without a some work!”  Apparently said work takes place on the treadmill, sometimes while Facetiming with your child.
  • The Improv scenes in the movie were scripted, but inspired by real-life Improv.
  • The “stage” at Cinema 21–which caused Birbiglia to question how little you need to be a stage–is referred to by staff as a “riser”
  • There was an Improv festival happening in Portland that very weekend.
  • Worst advice about Improv Mike Birbiglia has ever received:  Don’t ever try to link Improv with fame or fortune.  Because it’s not about how many likes you get, it’s about connection.
  • Suicide Squad also opened the same weekend and was rated PG-13, despite much killing.  Don’t Think Twice was rated R for pot smoking.  Values and beliefs?
  • There was a guy recording the talk.  Mild heckling by Mr. Birbiglia did not bring an end to recording.  Officially calling it out finally did.  “You know, you really can’t do that.  And also.  Be here now.”
  • Comedy and Improv are two art forms are different: comedy is a solitary venture, driving across the country on your own and doing shows.  Improv is about working collaboratively.

4 thoughts on “Mike Birbiglia Q&A at Cinema 21”

  1. What a very cool opportunity! I love all of those fun facts at the end. I wonder how many performers have to hint at or directly ask people not to record things these days. I’m guessing it happens more often than not.

  2. Ugh, the whole rating system is so messed up. It makes me a little nuts. I especially hate the trend in action films to sanitize things in order to get that PG-13 rating so parents will bring their kids. I want my action films to go all out. Also, it has literally never occurred to me to record a Q&A session.

    1. Action films going all out is not something I personally am championing, but I’d love a firmer line drawn. And I the innocuous drug use portrayed in this film was no big deal. PG-13 would have been fine.

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