Please, Sit Here With Me, and Hear My Story

The night at the Moth blew me away. I have missed listening to stories, for the academic rigor of the college education often leaves little room for anything that doesn’t require an MLA/APA/Chicago citation.

I loved the entire experience of the live storyslam. There’s something so unique about having 200 people sitting in the same room, all united with the purpose of engaging with a story. It wasn’t just about the stories, every part of the Moth event contributed to the experience as a whole. There was the audience warm up by the oh-so-charismatic host with an amazing laugh, there was the excitement of drawing names from the hat, the performative aspect of the stories, the judging process, the use of mini-stories between the big stories, all of that built up to a very refreshing evening. I honestly felt like I got more in contact with my emotional/human side, which often gets slighted in favor of posh objective academic discourse (you feel me?). I think the rules of the Moth added to the overall vibe of intimacy and authenticity. 5-minute stories kept things concise and almost like a conversational story, rather than a ted talk lecture, and making it true+ YOUR story to tell made the experience of listening to them so authentic, knowing that the stories were real and from the mouth of the one who had been through it.

But why would I want to pay money to attend the live event when it is all uploaded in podcasts and story hours anyway?

There’s so much to an evening at a live story slam that just doesn’t come through if you’re listening to the stories from your own bed. Not that I wouldn’t, I feel like that is a wonderful experience in itself, but the evening at the slam itself is completely different. One thing I really loved was hearing the mini-stories in between the big stories. These were short, anonymous responses to a prompt on a slip of paper, related to the theme. Tuesday’s theme was “Distance” and the mini-stories prompt was “Tell us about a time you went all the way”. I loved hearing the quirky, different interpretations of this, and the way people condensed it into a few poignant sentences. This is especially because I just finished an experiment in writing microfiction, and these mini-stories I heard reminded me so much of microfiction, in that a lot of the good ones still had that sense of beginning, middle and end, and alluding to something larger, even in the small form of a few sentences.

I’m definitely putting the future storyslams on my calendar. I’ve already made a date with one of my friends for the 4th December one! I am so excited!

One thought to “Please, Sit Here With Me, and Hear My Story”

  1. Hi Jamie, I definitely agree that attending the live event was a fantastic experience! I also felt like attending the event got me out of the academic “bubble”. Not only were we experiencing a genre not typically used in academic settings, but we were physically off-campus in a non-class environment. There were definitely other students present, and I’m sure many of the adults were affiliated with U-M, but we were still in a new crowd and I found that pretty powerful. Listening to people’s stories outside of the bubble helped me to relax and really appreciate what the speakers had to say.

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