On Tuesday, I was able to go to The Moth live in Ann Arbor. I had listened to a few Moth stories online before, but this was my first time experiencing it live. I can confidently say that the experience exceeded my expectations, and my friends and I already have the next one marked on our calendars.
As far as being an audience member goes, I think the host made it very clear as to how we were supposed to behave, which was pretty in line with the expectations I had for being an audience member. We were supposed to listen and engage with the storyteller, which I also did not think I was going to have any issues doing (which, for the most part, is true). However, one aspect of being an audience member is realizing, and somewhat acknowledging, that we were supposed to act collectively as an audience when listening to the storyteller. It was different than when, for example, I am reading a book or watching TV because in those situations, I am experiencing the story by myself. Experiencing stories as a collective audience made the environment feel warm and welcoming, something that I personally can’t feel when on my own.
In my opinion, to tell a good story is to not only know the story, but to know yourself and what you have learned from the story you’re telling. For many of the performers, specifically the winning one, I could see how the experience that they had shaped them as a person. This, I think, is the power of storytelling – after five minutes of hearing one story about a stranger, I felt as though I already understood them.
As I’m sure many people felt, I was surprised at the ratio from men:women speakers. About halfway through the night, when I noticed that there were way more men storytellers than woman storytellers, I looked around the room to see if there were just way more men than women there. To my disappointment, it seemed as though there were an equal amount, and that more men were just deciding to share their stories. I don’t know if this was just because it was an off night or if it was for any other reason, but the entire rest of the night I was left wondering why so many more men spoke.
As I mentioned in class, I spent the entirety of class thinking about what story I would share for distance…nothing came to mind. Then, I started thinking about other stories that I could share just in general, like, events that have shaped me to become the person I am…nothing came to mind. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t think my life is super exciting or if it’s because I’m just too hard on myself, but I literally have no idea if I have any stories that would be of interest for anyone to hear. Definitely something that I want to think about. I can’t be THAT boring, right?