What’s Your Story?

Tell all at The Moth StorySLAM in NYC

Living in the limelight… the universal dream…

For those who wish to be seen, you can step in front of a packed audience and share your real life stories at The Moth NYC.

The Moth believes that everyone has a story to tell and StorySLAMs provides the forum with a stage, microphone, lively audience, and a host to guide the festivities.

Every storyteller writes, rehearses, and memorizes their performance so it’s a great chance for actors to build up their confidence and artistic self-expression.

If you want to sharpen your story telling skills, attend an event and sign up when you enter the room.

Each event features ten participants, chosen at random, who speak and compete based on a pre-chosen theme.

The rules of the night are… the story must be true, memorized (no notes, papers, or cheat sheets are allowed on stage), have a conflict / resolution, and be told in five minutes or less. Three teams of audience-member judge every participant and choose a winner who will then face off with other winners at a future GrandSLAM event.

At the Moth StorySLAM you get five minutes of fame plus a chance to really speak up and express yourself.

Truly amazing storytellers set the night ablaze with genuine emotions as if they are drawn to some bright light—of adventure, ambition, knowledge—but then find themselves burned or trapped, leaving them with some essential conflict to face before the story can reach its conclusion.

Upcoming NYC SLAMS and themes include:

March 18: Green
March 29: Fear
April 5: Spring
April 13: Dues
April 22: Earth
April 26: On the Road
May 3: Borders
May 11: Money
May 20: Good Intentions

To help NYCastings members learn more about the MOTH, we asked actor specific questions based on the upcoming themes above…

Q: How does the Moth help actors become more natural / less GREEN?

To win a Moth StorySLAM the storytellers must be authentic. They can’t be playing a role. But, strange as it sounds, it takes practice to be yourself! Folks hide behind professional voices or our “outside face” so often. Sometimes actors have to unlearn acting. Get back to being themselves. Being real is rewarded at the SLAMS.

Q: What are the FEAR factors involved with sharing a personal story versus fiction? And how does getting on stage help performers get over this?

When it’s your own story you have to be invested. You have to be in touch with your feelings. You have to mine your life for an incident worth sharing. This can take work. It can be painful. However, the best stories involve some ouch. A story about a wonderful day is not as rewarding as a story about a wretched day that turns out well.

Q: What makes a story SPRING?

At The Moth authenticity is a sacrament. The Moth judges can spot a phony. In a night of real people, someone too polished or too memorized sticks out like a sore thumb.

Q: How do judges pay their DUES?

Judges are picked at random. They are regular folks used to listening to friends tell stories, not “performances” Sometimes they are booed by the audience when the audience feels they’ve made a bad call.

Q: It seems like all of EARTH attends the Moth NYC? Why do you think this is and how do you get the word out there?

I think people respond to the Moth so wildly because it feels real, authentic and old-fashioned. People are aching to connect in a more substantial way. Email, Twitter, the Internet keeps us “in touch” but not within reach. Hearing stories told live feels more connected, not pre-packaged.

Q: How does the Moth StorySLAM help actors ON THE ROAD to success? 

I think telling personal stories is good for an actor. The actors we love make everything feel real and believable.

Q: Do agents or talent managers find talent within the Moth’s BORDERS?

Sometimes we do get calls from casting agencies who ask the Moth producers if they have someone who fits. In fact, we just had a talent manager from SPIKE TV send us a general query asking us about talent at our shows, this week. And a couple people from our GrandSLAM ended up being cast in The Wrestler based on their performances.

Q: How much MONEY does it cost to attend?

Tickets for a StorySLAM are typically $7 at the door in NYC. Everyone pays, including those chosen to perform.

If you have good intentions to learn more about the Moth visit

Thanks to Jenifer Hixson, Senior Producer at The Moth, for helping with this article!

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