Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Moth: Live Storytelling

Last night, Kristin and I went to see a story slam put on by the Moth at Southpaw in Park Slope. This is how it works. Everyone shows up and stands in line outside the place, until 7:30 when you can enter. It costs 7$. Then if you want to tell a story on stage, you write your name down and they put it in a hat. Last night's theme was Scandals, and so we heard 10 six minute stories about scandals that were judged. Then a winner was declared. The whole thing from waiting in line until the winner was declared lasted about 3 hours.

I had wanted to attend a Moth event for awhile, so I was happy when Kristin agreed to go with me. Overall, I thought it was okay but in general, I didn't really like the stories that came out of this theme. First, there weren't many seats for an event that you would expect to be a sit-down affair. Kristin and I found a place by the sound table where I stood (and could barely see) while Kristin just gave up and sat on the floor. Also, the whole event was very stretched out because what felt like a long time would pass between each story while the judges decided on a score. Meanwhile, the MC had to fill the time on stage, and often his jokes entered into the realm of the desperate and disturbing. I didn't really get the point of the judging, or what the criteria they were using.

Finally, the nature of the theme lent itself to stories that reminded me of people at a party all trying to top one another with stories about crazy family members and sexual exploits. As Kristin commented at the end, everyone was laughing at stories that really were just kind of sad and upsetting. However, we both still really like the idea of a story slam, and would be open to going again, especially with a different theme.

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