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ORIGIN STORY: How Mike Birbiglia's 'Sleepwalk With Me' transformed nightmares into a dream project

It’s a pretty common dream: Let’s make a movie.

Every kid who grew up with a video camera had it, even if it ranked in likelihood alongside becoming a “major league baseball player” and “astronaut” as possible professions.

Mike Birbiglia also had this dream — though he has a lot more of those than he knows what to do with.

The actor-writer-director’s new film Sleepwalk With Me, which expands nationwide today, is a fictionalized version of his bizarre experience with somnambulism — that is, acting out his dreams while still asleep — an affliction that hit him during one of the worst periods of his life.

It also turned out to be one of the best times of his life, or at least a very fortunate one. It gave him a story to tell, and everyone knows that’s the main ingredient for making a movie. That and money.

Here’s the story of how Sleepwalk With Me became a reality (with help from This American Life‘s Ira Glass, grappling with him in the photo above.)

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