Thursday, November 6, 2008

A story may be your

A friend told me about this storytelling set. He sent a recording along for me to listen to from a recorder he'd set in front of a radio's speaker. As soon as I finished listening to the story (which was simply a great story!), I searched for the name given at the end of the broadcast. Wow. I wasn't expecting to find such a mother lode of stories to listen to whilst on the road. Texas highways being what they always are: very, very, very long and black with little stripes running lengthwise. They need something to keep the mind from going into a trance. Bad things happen to he who trances out on a driving trip. Here's the solution. Hear the story.

What is The Moth?

The Moth, a not-for-profit storytelling organization, was founded in New York in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green, who wanted to recreate in New York the feeling of sultry summer evenings on his native St. Simon's Island, Georgia, where he and a small circle of friends would gather to spin spellbinding tales on his friend Wanda's porch. After moving to New York, George missed the sense of connection he had felt sharing stories with his friends back home, and he decided to invite a few friends over to his New York apartment to tell and hear stories. Thus the first "Moth" evening took place in his living room. Word of these captivating story nights quickly spread, and The Moth moved to bigger venues in New York. Today, The Moth conducts six ongoing programs and has brought more than 3,000 live stories to over 100,000 audience members.

Why "The Moth"?

The screen around Wanda's porch had a hole where moths would flutter in and get trapped in the light. Similarly, George and his friends found that the characters in their best stories would often find themselves drawn to some bright light—of adventure, ambition, knowledge—but then find themselves burned or trapped, leaving them with some essential conflict to face before the story could reach its conclusion. So George and his original group of storytellers called themselves "The Moths". George took the name with him to New York, where he hoped that New Yorkers, too, would find themselves drawn to storytelling as moths to a flame. They did. With no advertising, through sheer word of mouth, every show to date has sold out in 48 hours or less.

Their home page is here. They do accept monetary support, but that is not what I'm telling you about. Their podcasts are found here. Grab a bag o' podcasts & your MP3 player, warm up the car engine, and HIT THE ROAD. All of Texas awaits your mindful travel. [Heck, gas prices are getting more reasonable all the time...if you have a Prius.]

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