The Moth Ball: why storytelling matters

Went to the Moth Ball last night in NYC at Capitale on the Bowery.

The Moth, a nonprofit organization devoted to the “art and craft of storytelling,” is a showcase for true stories, delivered live and without notes, by the famous and ordinary, young and old. Literary greats and great intellectuals throw it down alongside hospital orderlies and teachers, lawyers and firefighters, police officers and ex-junkies. Even the occasional comedian and rock star have shown up. Each storyteller has 10 minutes.

The Moth Ball is The Moth’s annual fundraiser, and features Moth StorySlam winners and acclaimed storytellers, plus eating, drinking and dancing. Hundreds of people were there.

Why does storytelling matter? Because it’s an art—and an act—that’s existed as long as we have. Storytelling is powerful and primal. So is listening to one.  There’s something extremely intimate about storytelling. It connects the teller of a story with the listener in a way that electronic media simply can’t.

When you tuck a child in at night, and they whisper to you, “Tell me a story,” you never know until you start where it will go or what’s going to happen. It’s never the same story twice. That’s the magic of it.

The end!

StorySlam winners re-tell their stories in one minute

co-hosts Jonathan Ames and Mike Birbiglia wrap things up

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