Tonight I went to The Moth StorySLAM at Circus on Ashley with my roommate and some friends. Kara was going to a political talk, but since I was going to another cultural event in town on the same night, she asked me if I wanted to do a guest post and of course I was clearly down.
The theme for the evening was “Bosses.” While I was really hoping that someone would get up and yell, “You’re not the boss of me!” it didn’t really play out like that.
If you’re not familiar with The Moth, the way they do it is that people enter their names in to tell a five-minute story on the topic. The stories can be about anything related to the topic as long as they are true, and are actually a story with a beginning, middle and end. There are 10 participants chosen randomly from a bag and they go up to the stage in the order chosen. There are no notes, no rehearsals. It’s supposed to be off the cuff.
Let me just start by saying that while it was supposed to start at 7:00, it started closer to 7:30, which wouldn’t have been a problem, except that it was pretty cramped, the chairs were making me wish I’d brought a geriatric butt pillow and there was a very loud woman nearby who had a comment for everything.
The host was good, and having gone once before I can now say that I think my favorite part of the evening is when the anonymous mini-stories are read between the main stories. The mini-stories are slips of paper that have a question on them based on the evening’s theme, and anyone who comes to the event who wants to fill one out can, and then they read some onstage. Tonight the mini-story prompt was, “If you could say one thing to your boss, what would it be?”
The answers were great, ranging from (recapping from memory), “I want you to hire someone who can point to who you are talking to during meetings because nobody can tell who you are looking at because of your lazy @#$%ing eye,” to “I’m still not sorry I drew the dinosaur.”
Then of course, there were the storytellers.
Now, it takes a lot of courage to get up on stage. That being said, out of the 10 folks who got up there, I would say that only about half were really entertaining, did not make me cringe in a “are-they-not-going-to-make-it-through-this-retelling-okay” kind of way, and really captured the theme. The other half were a mixture of sounding a bit rehearsed to meandering dangerously close to not-a-story-anymoreville and one person who really just needed to get it out…and by it I mean an incredibly personal, painful story that I’m not sure had much if anything to do with bosses.
The crowd was good, very supportive in general, and it was packed.
Was the evening a success? Well, the cost was $5, which for the purposes of this blog is $5 more than the aim is to spend, but we all had a really good time. Most of the performers were hilarious, and I always consider it awesome when someone can make me literally laugh out loud. I also like that they make everyone turn off their cell phones so that you can focus on listening to a story with out any dis… – wait, what was that loud woman behind me? Um, distractions.
The Moth happens at Circus every month, and the details are at: www.themoth.org The topic for March is, “Kiss of Death.” I may try and get up on stage for that one.