With the success of his indie film Sleepwalk with Me, which he co-wrote, directed and stars in, it’s been a whirlwind year for comedian Mike Birbiglia; though he’ll be the first to brush off the “movie star” title.
“My agent always tries to knock me down and say I’m not a movie star, but rather a movie starrer—which means I was the star in a movie, but I’m not an actual star,” Birbiglia tells SFR via phone.
The topic then turns to life on the road.
“I’m at the Delta Sky Club in JFK airport. I’m across from the gentleman’s bathroom and sitting next to me is someone’s empty Wendy’s,” he says. “It’s very glamorous. If you’re not getting it, that’s what I’m trying to get across.”
Putting the routine aside, Birbiglia opens up on the more strenuous side of the gig.
“Truthfully, it’s really rigorous, but the show is pretty exciting, because I’m also touring with the movie right now.”
He’s excited for this Wednesday’s show, his first in the state, not counting a one-week stint through the Southwest when he opened up for fun. lead singer Nate Ruess’ previous musical endeavor, The Format.
Birbiglia describes his “all-ages” show as “smart, funny—it has an arch to it and, dare I say, it’s romantic.” He also points out that, in many ways, it’s tied to the Sleepwalk storyline.
“Comedy shows tend to be cynical but, in some weird way, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend is actually a sequel to Sleepwalk with Me in a very abstract kind of way,” he says.
“The only difference is that My Girlfriends’ Boyfriend is basically about how I decided to get married—even though I don’t believe in the idea of marriage—so it’s actually the other side of the coin to the story line of Sleepwalk with Me.”
Along with his first SF gig, Birbiglia, who describes himself as “pro-green chile” is also looking forward to the food.
“I go to a restaurant in my neighborhood in New York City called Santa Fe, so I can only assume that if a restaurant is named Santa Fe, and they make food that I love, that if I go to the actual Santa Fe, I’ll love the food there,” he jokes.
He’s also elated that on a scale of barf to yay!, SFR film reviewer David Riedel awarded his cinematic debut the highest accolade in the spectrum.
“That’s the best thing I’ve heard all day. I just found out this morning that we’re going to hit the Toronto Film Festival,” he says. “So the Canada distribution and the yay! are the two most exciting things I’ve heard today.”
Though he’s quick to add that if the situation had been the opposite, he’d still hold his head up high.
“Had I gotten a barf, I would have had it thick-inscribed; I feel that that’s such a cartoonish grade to get, that it’s a badge of honor to get barf as well.”