So much wonder to share from my first live experience of THE MOTH in Boston.
ORIGIN STORIES MATTER TO YOUR AUDIENCE It was 1997 and founder George Green was living in NYC. He was sorely missing those Georgia evenings when he and friends would gather on a porch and tell stories. Moths were drawn to the porch lights through a hole in the screen and so they named themselves, ’The Moths.’ Green decided to recreate this experience with friends in his living room, and now The Moth has reached audiences all over the world via radio, stage and podcasts.
REMEMBER: IT’S ALWAYS PEOPLE FIRST This curated show in Boston included a retired cop from Brooklyn, a real estate agent from California, a mom from Rhode Island, a dancer from somewhere in the South and a James Brown fan from NYC (I think he was from New York…I lost the program). Each storyteller had 10 minutes alone on stage to share their story. You could have heard the proverbial pin drop at the sold out Shubert Theater. I was reminded of was our abiding fascination with people. We are our own favorite human interest story and the genuine, unpolished quality of real people onstage was gripping. These five people represented a range of physical shapes, colors, fashion sensibility, and ages. “More! More!” was the unspoken undertow from the audience.
LESS IS MORE What a relief. No props. No PowerPoint. The stage was stripped of any adornment except for a microphone and a chair placed upstage for the fiddle player. Ophira Eisenberg emceed (she is pretty funny) and she would invite each storyteller sitting in the front row up to the stage. The power of the darkness, the aesthetic simplicity, the big, vast stage and the lack of pretense of the tellers was as compelling as any presentation I have seen. Says Einstein, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Here is my best Google image of what the stage looked like.
ORDINARY PEOPLE TELL EXTRAORDINARY STORIES We all make snap judgments about people. We are hard-wired to respond and assess for threat in a nano-second. In fact, much of my coaching focuses on how to manage the non-verbal aspects of your presentation for maximum impact. In the professional world how we manage our brand, our brand-identity, our pitch and polish matters. In that self-conscious process, it’s easy to disconnect from the reality of our everyday, ordinary lives. THE MOTH reminds us that we each have extraordinary stories to tell.
Here is to more real people and real presentations. And thank you LM for sharing your extra ticket with me.