Tuesday, September 9, 2008

only one person I know...

...will appreciate this post, i think.

tonight, I did it! I went to my very first (hopefully, of many) Moth Slam! So so impressed, but wait, let me start at the beginning.

First--I had the option of going to an Elvis Costello/Jenny Lewis concert taping or going to the once-a-month Moth Slam at Nuyorican...and well...so glad I chose Moth, although I do love Jenny's Acid Tongue. If you like listening to people, mostly authors, telling ordinary stories and making them sound compelling, or telling compelling stories and making them more ordinary--you should check out the podcast.

Anyway, I get to the show, and the line is all the way down Avenue B. Nuyorican is small, so I'm thinking, "oh no, I'm not getting in." But, as I near the front of the line--inch by inch, foot by foot, I hold onto hope. This is serious. Finally (I hate that word), I get to the front, and there are still about 30 people behind me, possibly 150 or so inside already. The door guy takes me and the couple behind me, and then sadly has to tell the other fans that there's "no more room." I'm sorry for them, but I got in!! I don't know why I'm so excited...these are people just like me, standing at a mike, telling a story that I could tell. And maybe I will next time.

So, I won't bore you with the details of every 5-minute story (there were 10)... and although everyone was pretty awesome--my favorite was definitely Juliet and her painful-funny story of how she tried, in vain, to win back her vegan, crazed boyfriend by becoming a story teller, and actually winning the Grand Slam in Philadelphia. It wasn't what she said, it was how she said it--and that's what makes a great story teller. You could tell me how to make a tuna fish sandwich--and bore me to sleep, or you could tell me that you make a tuna fish sandwich by first hunting for 5 secret ingredients that you have to buy from 3 different markets, and then you can't just eat it on any bread, it has to be a special pumpernickel that's sold only at one deli that's open one day a week on the other side of town. And that's what a story teller does. Takes you there...all the way...even if at first, maybe you didn't want to go.

I think one of the hidden highlights of the night was the geriatric bartender, who looked a bit like my great granpa and had a sweet, ear-to-ear smile he flashed with every beer he uncapped. Well, he gets more lovable. Whenever the storytellers touched upon anything even slighty risque', for instance any mention of a tattoo, or sex, he'd give an embarassed "Oh boy..." and begin to giggle...but think a deep, husky granpa giggle. The kind that makes you (well, me) want to reach behind the bar and hug his fat belly tight.


etoilee8 said...

This sounds like a good night. I'd like to go with you sometime. . . when I'm next in the city. xoxo.

£ex said...

the details are never boring. Who was it that said "its in the details"? Wait was that me? Did i just make up an aphorism?

Anyway i love details. and i loved how you described the geriatric bartender. When you said fat belly i had to re-image. First i was picturing a jimmy stewart type, who was then converted to a carol o'connor. I know i'm way off, but at anyrate he sounded like a cool dude. (btw i hate it when older folx work, even if they enjoy doing it)

and, i will be checking the podcast because i do love a good story. thanks!

Ariel said...

That sounds so awesome. I can write well but I have a hard time telling stories orally and keeping them interesting. It would've been good to go.