A few years ago I took Storytelling 101 at the Upright Citizens Brigade and fell in love with storytelling. Margot Leitman was my brilliant teacher and it was a phenomenal class filled with interesting people, each of whom had a multitude of wonderful stories--some mundane, others exciting, some heartbreaking, others heartwarming. After that class, I enrolled in Storytelling 201 and loved it just as much. Since then, I have been performing on storytelling shows around NYC and Boston and attending Moth Story Slams in hopes of being picked. Moth Story Slams are completely democratic—anyone can put his/her name in the hat and be picked for one of the 10 slots. Each storyteller gets about 6 minutes to share his/her story and the Slams are always packed with an eager audience. Storytellers share all types of stories, all connected to a theme (that can be checked online weeks before the event).
After 6 times attending the Moth and never being picked, I began to get discouraged. Was I cursed? Did I have storytelling bad luck?
Well, if there WAS a curse, last night I finally broke it (much like the amazing 2003-2004 Boston Red Sox).
The theme was “After Hours” and I had a bang-up story. My friend Leah and I waited in line for 45 minutes, managed to score two of the last seats in the house, and listened to the first half of the show. No sound of “Selena” ringing over the mic. Argh. Would the seventh time be the charm, or not? After intermission, we came back and after a few stories Leah had to leave for dinner plans. Of course, then I finally heard my name and got on stage. I told the story of when I was mugged on Newbury Street in my beloved hometown of Boston. My best friend Suzanne was with me on that fateful night (Thanskgiving Eve, 2006) and witnessed how it all went down. Totally ridiculous & hilarious and I was honored to share it with the Moth audience last night. I tied for first place with a fantastic storyteller named Steve who I’ve had the pleasure of watching before. We got the exact same score and the tie was broken in his favor because 2 out of the 3 judging teams had higher scores for him. So Steve goes onto the prestigious Moth Super Slam and I remain thrilled that I tied for first place and shared a story that I’m very proud of.
In case you missed it, here’s tape of another time when I told that story (taped in January 2011 at Mottley’s in Boston):