On the last Monday of each month, The Moth holds a StorySlam in Venice, CA at the Air Conditioned Supper Club. The Moth is non-profit live story-telling organization that was founded in New York City. Why is it called the Moth? Because the founder, George Dawes Green hoped that people would be drawn to storytelling as moths are to the flame.
Their mission statement:
The Moth is dedicated to promoting the art of storytelling. We celebrate the ability of stories to honor the diversity and commonality of human experience, and to satisfy a vital human need for connection. We do so by helping our storytellers to shape their stories and to share them with the community at large. One goal of The Moth is to present the finest storytellers among established and emerging writers, performers and artists; another is to encourage storytelling among populations whose stories often go unheard.
I regularly listen to Moth podcasts and always thought it would be cool to see some stories told live. The entry is $7 and you want to make sure to get there early for the best parking as you'll probably end up parking in the surrounding neighborhood.
I parked in the Tsuami Zone. I am such a risk taker.
I ran into two friends from my No On Prop 8/Vote for Equality volunteering and we grabbed some booze and some snacks before the stories began.
I had a (two) cocktail with Grey Goose Poire, St. Germain, and sweet and sour. Basically, I get any cocktail that has St. Germain in it. So boring, I know.
An order of frites, s'il vous plait.
Tasty bar food. Nothing to write home about, but it did the trick.
And now let the festivities begin!
The theme for this particular Moth slam was AMBITION. Ooooo... looks like we could hear some good ones!
The rules of the Moth story slams are simple.
1. No notes, no papers, no reading.
2. No monologues
3. Stories should be under 5 minutes long.
After your story, you are graded by three panels of judges. The panels for Monday night were "Little Engine", "The Casting Couch", and something I don't remember.
If you're interested in telling a story, your name goes in a totebag and if you're one of the lucky people to be chosen, you get your 5 minutes of fame. Here's our host with the most.
Here's the thing about LA Moths. I've been to one, but I think I can safely make this assumption. A lot of the people that performed were, as we say, in the business. I like stories told by every day people. Not people who work the stand up comedy circuit.
The guy who won on Monday was a stand up comedian. He was good and funny. His story was about being a part time boyfriend to this girl in Alaska... He would clock out at around 10:30pm and another guy clocked in at 11:00pm for the good stuff. Our hero spent his time taking her to restaurants and walking her dog.
This woman told a story about working at a non-profit during 9/11 in New York City... She began by exclaiming that all non-profits are full of shit and ended past the allotted six minutes with a rushed account of how her non-profit boss was sending stalkerish letters to herself. Weird.
This guy told a story about how some television personality that he was dating was fucking the fashion photographer at her PETA shoot. Um, weird. And this isn't your therapy session, dude. And the anger which he told his story was a bit unsettling. Oh and he announced midway that he was drunk and lost his place in the story. He got bad marks on that one. lol
Another guy described his failure at putting together a replica of a Cutty Sark ship. At one point he was like FUCK YOU CUTTY SARK!! I laughed and laughed. That was the best part. Aside from that, not so much.
The first guy was gay. That's pretty much all his story was about.
Another woman told a story about hating her kid. Well, let's examine this further. It's not that she hated her kid, she just said something to that effect to be shocking. She didn't think she should have to spend all her time changing diapers and wiping drool. Instead, she wanted to do go on acting auditions even though she hasn't had any commercial success in 14 years or something. AMBITION!
And then there were two Latino storytellers that both featured soccer. I'm not being stereotypical, I'm just reporting the realization that one of them had. lol
But these were two of my favorite. The guy who was a little heavyset talked about how his father's ambition for him was that he become a world class soccer player, even though he wasn't the most athletic kid. The story ended with him lying stretched out on the field bleeding from a ball in the face. Nice and on topic. Yay!
This woman talked about how she wanted to be cool so she did some pot, and was horrified when the really cool girl passed on the pot and everyone thought that not smoking pot was cool. And then she played soccer with the cool girl thinking she could kick her ass on the field. She stole the ball from the cool girl and was about to make a goal when her crush stole the ball from her. The woman realized that her crush actually had a crush on the cool girl. AMBITION!! Actually, I have no idea how that relates to ambition.
My favorite story was probably this middle aged guy's. He was in London studying with some prestigious Shakespeare organization (Royal Shakespeare Company?) when he heads to a college production of a Tennessee Williams play. He's taken by one of the female leads, and proceeds to take her to a local pub. About an hour into their flirtatious banter, he realizes that he has no idea what her name is. Don't you hate that? You're sort of past the point where you can do a "What was your name again?", but our hero recovers nicely - he asks the fetching young lady, "What is your full name?" She responds, "[blah blah] Oliver." She doesn't say blah, but I forgot what the storyteller said. Whatever. Anyways, the storyteller says jokingly, "any relation to Sir Lawrence?" And she goes, "He's my father." He tries to focus on how hot she is and how he wants to do all sorts of carnal things to her, but he's obsessed with Sir Lawrence and the chance of meeting him that he totally blows it. See? That was a good one.
The last guy talked about trying to avoid a "JunCo" during his senior year of high school by quitting his drug habit and doing a bunch of extra-curricular activities like running for student body president. He was hoping to go to Cal State Northridge. I don't remember if he succeeded. AMBITION!!
And that was it!
Next month the theme will be Cars.
Next month the theme will be Cars.