Attending the Moth Storytelling Slam

Florence, August 2008

Last might I attended the Moth’s Storytelling Slam. Basically, it is a competition of storytelling. The Moth is actually a pretty famous one, they often excerpt some of the contestants on their podcast or even This American Life. In honor of the Giants winning the Super Bowl (apparently that is kind of a big deal up here), the theme of the evening was sports. With the exception of golf, they did stipulate that if you can drink while doing it, it is not a sport (although I have plenty of friends who would beg to differ).

The stories themselves were pretty fascinating. Everything from a golf pro who broke a rib vomiting to two guys who swam the Hudson. Most of the stories were more about a lack of sports ability, but there were some fantastic one liners. For example, the consistency of the water in the Hudson can best be described as a warm glass of Guinness and the silt as a “comforting” guacamole. As someone who has taken a dip in the Allegheny River, I can say that swimming the Hudson must have been pretty disgusting.

The Emcee was fantastic, hilarious, he kept the show moving along with his own stories. My only gripe was that I really could not figure out what the judges were judging based on. It was a ten-point scale. The judges were 3 groups of 3 audience members. Their scores just seemed pretty arbitrary. Were they judging on the quality of the story? The humor? The presentation? The winner this week really felt like a sympathy vote.

Despite my personally issues with the judging, it was a fun night. I would highly recommended checking out their recordings online. They have a podcast and some of their best are on their website. If you are in a city that has one of their live performance, go check it out. You never know when you might hear a life changing story.

In honor of Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday:

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” Charles Dickens




One thought on “Attending the Moth Storytelling Slam

  1. That would be fun to go to and frightening to participate in! I know what you mean about judging. I think it does tend to be arbitrary in situations like that, and it seems to never be the best story that wins.

    Hoping to get to NYC early summer if I can.

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