Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ Looks At Improv Comedy
The writer-director-comedian says trust is key
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Credit: The Film Arcade
Mike Birbiglia, writer, director and star, "Don't Think Twice"
Beth Accomando, arts and culture reporter, KPBS News
Writer-director-comedian Mike Birbiglia has been contributing to "This American Life" since 2008. He made his feature film debut in 2012 with "Sleepwalk With Me."
Last month, Birbiglia came to San Diego to hold a preview screening of his new film, "Don't Think Twice," and to meet with the folks at Finest City Improv.
Birbiglia performs stand up and improv comedy. He said both find "humor in truth," but they are very different beasts. Stand up is a solitary profession, whereas improv is all about working as a team. But the team of comedians at the center of "Don't Think Twice" are suffering from some growing pains as two members of the group get auditions for a Saturday Night Live sketch comedy show.
The film serves up a bit of a history lesson about improv and lays out some rules. Key to making improv work is "don't think." It's all about going with your instincts and building on what your fellow comedians give you.
While the ads for the film emphasize the comedy, Birbiglia insisted that it is a drama with comedy in it. What audiences may be most surprised by is how much you will come to care for the characters he creates and how real and truthful the relationships are.
You can hear more of my interview with Birbiglia on the KPBS Cinema Junkie Podcast Episode 85.
To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.