I’m ever in search of a great live theatrical experience. I’m a fundamental believer that good theatre starts (and possibly ends) with good storytelling. So how is it possible that I have never experienced a Moth StorySLAM? I weep for the time I have lost, I assure you. If you mock me for my love of theatre and lack of Moth in my life, I understand. If you are amongst the Moth ignorant, let me help you avoid shame, find the fun and introduce you to a fun evening of stories and stories… and stories.

How does it work? Pre show: Go to their website (listed below) and pick a show in your city (no, they aren’t in every major city, but they’re working on it) at a venue or with a topic that interests you. They have a different keyword or theme for each evening. You can purchase tickets in advance, at an additional cost to have a guaranteed seat, or bring (less) cash to the door.

Show: I’d arrive early-ish to assure good seats. I believe most shows, if not all, take place in a bar… or a restaurant/bar with food and booze. So grab a good seat and fetch yourself a drink. And settle in. Ten storytellers go up a night. There are rules. I’m trying to recall them off the top of my head. It’s something like:

*5 minutes max (with a warning sound and a final sound)
*Must be on topic
*Must be a real story
*Must be your story

There is a master of ceremonies (perhaps a previous StorySLAM winner) who gives the ground rules and gets everyone started off on the right foot by sharing a story of his/her own. Then he/she draws the name of the first storyteller of the evening. After the story, several pre-determined teams call out their scores to the MC and the next storyteller is drawn and beckoned to the stage. There is an intermission… otherwise known as another chance to grab a cocktail, and it’s back to the storytelling. The evening is about 1 hour and 20 minutes in total. Great layout, I’d say.

So, of course, all I can “review” are the storytellers who “storytold” (my made-up term, not theirs) the particular evening I was in attendance… and they were pretty stellar. On the evening of my attendance, the theme was “Sunny” and the gentleman who won told of the time he almost drowned at the water park while he was “training for the Olympics”… at least in his own mind. Moth has an excellent reputation, and that no doubt, keeps most of the schmucks away. This wouldn’t be the ideal place for a first time storyteller. Surely there is a lame story from time to time, but I would bet it’s a rarity. The skilled MC keeps the evening going with commentary and laughs. This is simple, well done storytelling, folks.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… and it’s better than Cats. Well, it’s too good to miss, surely.

The Moth – True Stories Told Live
http://themoth.org/events
Times and prices vary… but $16ish presale, $8ish at the door.
On stage for a long time to come, hopefully.

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