Jan. 21, 2016
What`s Your Story?
A friend of mine recently told me about a really cool thing that brings storytelling to a lot of cities in the United States, but also in the UK and Australia: The Moth. The Moth is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. There are story slams – offline, real world things – where people tell stories, true stories, live, without notes. Each event has a theme. Stories are about 5 minutes long. If you want to tell a story, you put your name in a hat. Judges, selected from the audience, score the stories. The winners go the GrandSLAM Championships. There is The Moth Mainstage that features true, personal stories by luminaries in the arts and sciences, as well as an astronaut, an undertaker, a voodoo priestess and a retired NYPD detective, among many others. Each show features five carefully selected storytellers who develop and shape their stories with TheMoth’s directors.
The website www.themoth.org has all the information about the different activities and programs. But it is also the home of a big treasure: the stories. There are recordings, videos and audio. It didn´t take me long to become addicted. The stories made me laugh and tear up and chuckle and think. Every time I listened to these different stories I had a new favorite. This is one of my recent ones http://themoth.org/posts/stories/panic-on-the-road-to-jericho-2
The man behind The Moth is George Dawes Green, poet and best-selling novelist. He started The Moth in 1997. Since then more than 17,000 stories have been told, there are regular StorySLAMs in 25 cities, and there was even one onstage marriage proposal (she said yes). 2009 aired the first radio show, The Moth Radio Hour.
If you are wondering why it is called The Moth, here is the story as it is told on the website: “The Moth began on a back porch in small-town Georgia, George Dawes Green would spend sultry summer evenings swapping spellbinding tales with a small circle of friends. There was a hole in the screen, which let in moths that were attracted to the light, and the group started calling themselves “The Moths.” When he moved to New York City, George wanted to recreate the feeling of those nights in his adopted city. The first New York Moth event was held in George’s living room. But word spread fast, and the events soon moved to cafes and clubs throughout the city—and soon to popular venues throughout the country and beyond.”