The Moth may be the most ubiquitous example. The live storytelling series requires participants to eschew notes and memorization. The Moth Main Stage events spread far and wide — long ago breaking out of their native New York City, bringing stories to sold-out crowds across the country. You’ve probably also heard their radio show, made up of some of the best Moth stories. The local storytelling series Back Fence PDX is following a similar trajectory — starting with live events on stage and expanding to a radio version debuting on OPB.
Portland audiences hungry for true, personal stories can also attend a Moth StorySLAM, where storytellers compete to see who can spin the best yarn. Portland Story Theater offers workshops for anyone with a burning desire to hone a story before presenting it to an audience. And the traveling Mortified event gives performers a chance to share embarrassing diary entries from their teenage years.
What is it that draws people in to listen to — and tell — true, personal stories?
Do you attend live storytelling events? Have you ever told a true story in front of an audience? What motivated you to do that? What was it like?
- Frayn Masters: Host of the live storytelling event and OPB radio show Back Fence PDX and producer of Portland’s Moth StorySLAM
- Vin Shambry: Actor, co-creator and writer for the Super Chill web series and recent Moth StorySLAM winner
- Kriya Kaping: Communications specialist, recent storyteller at Portland Story Theater