Skip to content

The Bitter End: Story Time with The Moth

2010 September 28

It was a rainy and gray night in New York last night, but The Bitter End, an old rock club on Bleecker Street, was packed by 7 o’clock.  Some friends and I climbed to the very last seats in the place, a bench and two chairs crammed in the corner beside the stage. Our view was blocked by a large piano, but it wasn’t the view we had come for–it was the stories.

The Moth, an NYC-based nonprofit organization committed to the art of oral storytelling, holds its StorySLAMS every week in New York, with similar events in Chicago, LA, and Detroit.  During these events audience members can sign up for what resembles a well-crafted open mic night–there are ten slots, during which you have five minutes to tell an engaging story to a packed room of strangers. Most nights, more than ten people sign up, so names are picked from a hat to determine who gets a chance to tell a story (this system also determines the order). Each story is judged on several categories–its narrative arc, how much the storyteller was able to engage the audience, and whether the story stayed within the length requirements. The judging is done by three teams of audience members, pre-selected at the beginning of the evening.

It’s hugely fun and entertaining. Last night’s offerings ranged from semi-professional storytellers to first-timers, the stories about breakups, shoplifting, prison visits, life as starving artists, and a dramatic high school Model UN trip. The emcee for the evening was comedian Sara Barron who was so funny she made me cry. Seriously.

The night is worth the $8 ticket–it will inspire you to go out and live life to create your own stories. That way, you’ll be prepared, should you ever have the chance to participate in a StorySLAM. (If you don’t live in one of these cities, you can listen to stories via the Moth Podcast.)

{image via Pale Girl in the City}

*Cross-posted to Fringe Magazine

2 Responses Post a comment
  1. September 29, 2010

    OH, that sounds like so much fun!!! I always love a good story.

  2. September 30, 2010

    What a cool event! I’ll have to check out the podcast until Boston can get in on the fun.

Leave a Reply

Note: You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS