DAY SEVENTEEN – Totally upstaged by an Australian and an Irishman

You all know that I’m celebrating my 70th birthday around the world. I’ve already had 8 birthday parties and I’m planning the next two to take place here in Amsterdam. So I’m feeling pretty confident that there is nothing that can top this effort, this plan, this massive world-wide celebration.

But today while I was working with 9 directors in the Binger Filmlab I brought two of them to the center of the room so that I could put them into an improvisation exercise that would test and challenge their imagination and creativity. And just as we’re about to start, one of them announces, “Did you know that today is my birthday?” And I’m thinking, “Wow, this is nice, another May birthday in the room. Great. We’ll just stop for a second and recognize the day and give him his moment.” And just as I’m about to announce to the rest of the room the blessed event, the other director says, “You’re kidding. It’s my birthday, too.” Now I’m stuck. One other birthday boy I can handle. But two? Two birthday boys? On the same day? Right in front of me? And suddenly I’m realizing that my manufactured, round-the-world, birthday celebration event has just been trumped by the unlikely occurrence of two (curiously shy) guys both announcing that today is their birthday!  

So, what do you do. You regroup, and reconsider, and recognize that you gotta do something to celebrate these two birthdays so that everyone else can get past the awe and wonder of this bizarre occurrence. So that when you, in just a few days, pull out the “hey I turned 70 two weeks ago” announcement that maybe it will have some impact.

IMG_2326Here, looking like the birthday boys that they are … are Chris Jones (Australia) and Diarmuid Goggins (Ireland). Happy Birthday guys. I promise to be kind to them tomorrow in class.

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