Archived on The Moth!
My dream came true in December 2019. My story from the 2014 Moth MainStage show in Denver played on The Moth Radio Hour!
The Moth Radio Hour not only airs on over 500 radio stations, reaching about 1 million listeners, but having your story featured means you will get an intro and outro from the host and your story will be archived on themoth.org for all time!
This was definitely an incredible start to 2020 and a professional goal to tick off my list. It felt especially good to have that story reach new people. When I relistened to it, I was pleasantly surprised at how satisfied I am with it. Usually when I hear old performances, I am flooded with a barrage of things I wish I could go back and change. With this one, the work I put in really showed.
Back in 2014, I was doing a life-changing artist residency at Elsewhere, a living museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. One day, I checked my email and found a message from the executive director of The Moth. I had done a GrandSlam in St. Paul where I met the producers from NYC. When I was asking about getting audio from that show, they asked what I thought my MainStage story would be. I pitched it and they liked it! So began two weeks of intensive coaching, revisions, and rehearsals.
First, I had several phone conversations with the executive director to hash out my story. Then I wrote draft after draft, emailing it to her and then discussing it over the phone. In total, I wrote about six drafts of the story. I flew to Denver the day before the show and met the other performers. What I didn’t know is that we would be asked to tell our stories off the cuff in front of everyone for their feedback!
Because my story jumped around in time, I was SO not prepared. I was also incredibly nervous because I was the only first-timer in the group. Everyone else was a seasoned radio professional or author or had done this before. I got a lot of great feedback though and everyone was so gracious, kind and encouraging.
Then I went back to my hotel room and started rewriting and rehearsing. The next day, I spent six hours rewriting and rehearsing in my room. I almost forgot to eat! The time flew by but I was so glad I put in the time. A few hours before curtains, I met up with the producers and ran through the story a few more times. They had some small changes that I was happy to take. When it was my turn to take the stage, I felt strangely calm. I knew the story backwards and forwards and my brain did not fail me. I didn’t blank on a single part.
The show was sold out at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado. I had never been to Denver before (except during a layover, where I just hung out at the airport). The room had 1,600 people but luckily the lights made it impossible to see people in the audience or I would’ve gotten distracted.
It turns out that my dad’s high school friend was in the audience since he lives nearby. That was significant since my story was about my dad’s accidental drowning in the Colorado river in 1995.
You can listen to the story on The Moth. It’s one of my proudest achievements.