The Moth Mainstage in NYC


The Moth Mainstage in NYC

Last week I had the pleasure of going to see a Live Mainstage performance with The Moth. The Moth is an organization that brings together storytellers from all walks of life. In each story shared is a celebration of humanity and an embrace of the diversity of the human experience.

Storytelling has recently captured my attention, and attending this performance with The Moth has deepened the intrigue. My interest in storytelling is born from a want to better understand my own art. I am a poet, yes. However, I am warming to the idea of considering myself a writer. Further, I have always found energy in good conversation. There is art in this, too. All things considered, I wonder if my art is simple human connection. Maybe that is the definition of art, and I am simply glimpsing a larger through my corner of artistic expression. In either case, I am convinced that art holds an inevitable assocation to human connection; and storytelling is an artform that embodies human connection in it's rawest form. Maybe this last point is a bit of logical jump. It makes sense to me, though, and I find myself wanting to know more.

At the mainstage performance, we listened to a woman's journey in working through the emotions of her father's death, a Black woman's experience as a tour guide for Bel Meade plantation, and a man's reconciliation of his love of dancing and late onset blindness. I cannot tell their stories as well as they did. I will not try. Instead, I will share the incredible way that these individuals reached me. I have not lost a parent, I have never visited a plantation, and I can only fathom blindness; yet, for a few minutes I felt these realities. The performers spoke as people. I don't remember being eased into a new headspace. Nevertheless, there was a moment when I was in my seat and there was a later moment when I was experiencing someone else's truth.

It felt like really good conversation.

My experience as a performer tells me that every inflection and pause was rehearsed. Even so, there is a part of me that refuses to believe it. They've got skills. This is undeniable. There is something more here, though. I believe there something pure about about storytelling that resembles raw human connection. I don't know what it is. I want to know.

There are books about storytelling. There are obviously professional storytellers out there--I know a few. This storytelling thing is something I don't know too much about. Maybe I know more than I think. Maybe I don't. Either way, I want to learn more and I look forward to the day when I'm good enough to perform for the moth...on the mainstage.
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