A Guide to The Moth for New Listeners

  • January 18, 2017
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A Guide to The Moth for New Listeners - San Antonio Book Festival

Why is the Book Festival so obsessed with lepidoptera this year?

Is that what you’ve asked yourself when you’ve seen our promotion of The Moth event at the Majestic Theatre on April 7? (We know you’re a person who uses a fancy word that means the study of moths.) Well, rest assured we’re not converting the book festival to a moth festival. But we are bringing The Moth to San Antonio, thanks to a generous contribution by EY. If you are unfamiliar with The Moth, we’re here to help with a primer.

What is The Moth?

The Moth is a storytelling show. Think of the best storytellers in your life—friends or parents or spouses or co-workers—who captivate the room with their tales. Everyone goes silent to hear them speak; they make the crowd laugh, cry, or hold their breath in suspense. Now imagine them on a stage sharing that story with a large audience. That is The Moth.

Started in 1997 in New York City, The Moth is based on founder George Dawes Green’s experience in small-town Georgia, when he and his friends spent nights swapping stories, attracting moths with the light on the porch. The Moth celebrates the art of the raconteur (that’s a fancy word for storyteller; we’re in a fancy mood). Each show starts with a theme, and the five storytellers of the night explore it, often in unexpected ways. The stories are not improvised; they have been developed and polished with Moth producers—but every story is true and told live without notes.

How to listen to The Moth

THE RADIO — Good news, San Antonio! Starting this month, you can now listen to the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour on Texas Public Radio KSTX. This is a curated selection of The Moth’s most beloved storytellers from across their various programs (they also do StorySLAMs in cities across the country). Each hour mixes humor with heartbreak and shares the stories behind the stories as well. The Moth Radio Hour airs in more than 400 radio stations across the country.

 THE PODCAST — Many of us first became acquainted with The Moth through its free, weekly podcast, which re-airs full episodes of The Moth Radio Hour, plus additional stories from the vast archives. It is regularly ranked in the top 10 podcasts on iTunes and is downloaded more than 30 million times a year (is that triggering your FOMO*?). We hear you asking: How do I listen to a podcast? If you’ve got a smartphone, you can listen to podcasts. Subscribe via iTunes, or if you’re an Android user, our intern Katy Fitzharris recommends the TuneIn Radio app. You’ll get access to The Moth podcast, real radio, and more.

YOUTUBE — One could potentially spend hours watching Moth videos on their YouTube channel. Go ahead; we won’t judge. 

THE BOOKS — You didn’t think we at the Book Festival wouldn’t have a BOOK to recommend here, did you? The Moth: 50 True Stories presents soul-bearing tales from The Moth’s extensive archives. A second book is slated for publication this year and copies will be sold at The Moth Mainstage event on April 7.

The Importance of Stories

We at the San Antonio Book Festival believe that everyone has a story. That’s why we’re proud to bring The Moth Mainstage to San Antonio. Because stories are important—whether they live in books, like the ones featured in our festival, or in the age-old tradition of true stories told live.

The Moth storytellers are by and large ordinary people. They are not celebrities; they are the people we encounter in our everyday lives—who happen to have a story worth sharing.

Pitch Your Story

Nothing is impromptu at a Moth Mainstage show. Storytellers will be selected well in advance of the event so the stories can be developed and refined with Moth producers. That said, for the next few weeks, Moth producers will be paying close attention to their pitch line for outstanding pitches being made out of San Antonio. 

Think you’ve got a story worthy of The Moth stage? Pitch your story and you might be one of the five storytellers on April 7.

Stories We Suggest

Katy Flato, Executive Director, recommends:
Adam Gopnik — A husband and wife’s ongoing argument comes to a head.

Lilly Gonzalez, Communications Director, recommends:
Daisy Rosario — A young woman meets her brother for the first time at their father’s funeral.

Intern Katy Fitzharris recommends:
Vivienne Andersen — A GrandSLAM story from a trans teen.

Intern Jamie Niland recommends:
Anthony Griffith — A comic must earn his living as a clown while suffering the ultimate heartbreak.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Go purchase your tickets now… We highly recommend the VIP package. For $100 you will receive premier seating and entry into the exclusive VIP after party with Moth storytellers and producers and SABF authors and moderators in attendance. 

One final note: This epic night of storytelling would not be possible without the generous sponsorship of EY. 

*FOMO is the fear of missing out. NOT a fancy word.
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