I was introduced to the art of true-life storytelling recently. Kate Walton, an inspirational true-life storyteller and great workshop leader who took a couple of sessions at my local writing group last month. Not only did I come away from those sessions enthusiastic about a new art form, I also left with a great new resource for combatting the wakeful hours – in the shape of a podcast called The Moth.
True-life storytelling is not really about writing a story, it’s about the act of telling that story – to a live audience. The thought of doing that myself fills me with terror, so until I’ve finally found a way to turn down the volume on my inner critic I’ll have to be content with listening to other people’s stories.
The Moth showcases stories from people around the world. These are the stories that, really, we all hear every day of our lives – someone’s re-telling of a specific experience in their life. The difference being, you have a choice about whether you want to listen to them. Not like when you’re on the train and some loud-mouthed bore decides to recount his experience of last night’s Arsenal game to his mate. A sense of warmth comes across – from the storyteller who’s grateful that people have chosen to listen to their story and from the audience, who are happy to receive this gift of words.
When Kate first described true-life storytelling to our group there was a part of me that wondered whether these stories wouldn’t just be like listening in on a group therapy session for a bunch of needy millennials. I stand corrected! The stories featured on The Moth are as varied as, well, people’s individual experiences. Each story is just a few minutes long, so when I finally drop off I know I won’t have missed much and can always pick up the next night. I really recommend it as a bedtime companion!
Find out more about The Moth storytelling events and podcast here.
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