If you've listened to This American Life recently, you might have taken note of the live storytelling segments they've started to broadcast as one of the acts, usually the last in the show. The often funny and reflective pieces are actually part of The Moth, a non-profit storytelling organization based in New York that aims to bring live storytelling to audiences all over the country.
The live sessions are sort of a mash-up of stand-up comedy and literary reading, without so much of the awkwardness or pretentiousness usually associated with the two. Usually it's just one person on stage, telling their personal story, so although it is a performance, there is a sense of intimacy. Just like TAL, the stories work to help people understand things in a new light. Listen to a sample of stories here. Past notable performers include Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, Lewis Black, Jonathan Ames, Tim Gunn (yes! That Time Gunn) and Salman Rushdie.
The segments on TAL are great, but seeing these stories told live takes the meaningfulness behind the stories and the people who are brave enough to tell them to a different level. And you've got your chance tonight, as The Moth sponsors its one of its three L.A. StorySLAMs tonight at Busby's East. The StorySLAMs consist of ten stories/storytellers, limited to five minutes each, that follow a certain theme. The stories are scored by three audience member judges, who at the end of the night pick a winner to face off in a later GrandSLAM. Tonight's theme is "Inspired," and who knows, maybe it'll inspire you to get up on The Moth stage to tell your own tale.
The Moth StorySLAMs occur at Busby's East (5364 Wilshire Blvd.) every second Tuesday of the month, El Cid (4212 W. Sunset Blvd.) every third Tuesday of the month, and the Air Conditioned Supper Club (625 Lincoln Blvd.) every last Monday of the month, at 7:30pm for $8.
-- Chau Tu