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Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out
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“Cleverness is overrated, and heart is underrated,” Mike Birbiglia wrote in 2016 for the New York Times. The empathetic Georgetown University and DC Improv alum, known for storytelling shot through with an enthralling honesty, is also a comedian, director, actor, writer, filmmaker, author, and now host of a free weekly podcast, Working It Out. Since May, Birbiglia has gifted comedy fans with about a dozen podcast episodes in which he works out new material amid veering, spelunking conversations with other comedians or creators. In the second episode, stand-up comedian and former Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney, who, like fellow basketball fan Birbiglia, belonged to an improv group at Georgetown, tells vulnerable tales about youth sports travails. This evolves into Birbiglia explaining that a touch of unwarranted self-belief is part of getting on stage: “Hands down, I don’t know a single comedian for whom this isn’t true. You will bomb a lot of times. And when you’re bombing, you basically have to tell yourself: No, this is going pretty well.” Agreeing with him, Mulaney harkens back to the basketball court, where he warmed the bench. “I did think I would get better. Yeah, I’m only 12,” he recalls. “I didn’t know that that was it.” In the seventh episode, he chats with Sarah Cooper, a comedian and author who moved to Rockville at age 3, graduated from the University of Maryland College Park, and went on to work for Yahoo! and Google, who now does viral videos of her lip-syncing Donald Trump. And apart from the podcast, Birbiglia and his wife, poet J. Hope Stein, are participating in Politics and Prose’s P&P Live! Series on Aug. 21, where they’ll discuss their insightful new book about becoming parents, The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad. The podcast is available at https://workingitout.libsyn.com. Free. —Diana Michele Yap
The Palestinian Diaspora Stories: Chile and Colombia
Did you know there’s a large population of Palestinians throughout Latin America? There were several waves of Arab migration from Palestine between the 19th and 20th centuries, and many immigrants settled throughout countries such as Honduras, Colombia, and Chile. The latter country is home to half a million Palestinian-Chileans to this day, boasting the largest Palestinian community outside the Arab world. To learn more about this community, join the Museum of the Palestinian People on Aug. 21 for a discussion about the diaspora in Chile and Colombia. The discussion will be hosted by two community leaders: Marcelo Marzouka, a Palestinian-Chilean lawyer and scholar who promotes investment in Palestine, and Odette Yidi, a Colombian-Palestinian scholar on the Palestinian diaspora in the Caribbean. The talk begins at noon on Aug. 21. Registration is available at eventbrite.com. Free. —Kaila Philo