It’s happening — I’m telling a story at The Moth!
Actually, I already did. Two weeks ago I went, and in an act of weird bravery and/or insanity, I threw my name in the hat and was picked to get up and tell a story. I had nothing prepared — I did it on the fly, more to see if I could do it. And I did! I wasn’t very good (I came in 4th, I think), but I did get laughs, and I did get people coming up to me afterwards. (My favorite were two girls who ran up to me to say, “We were the ones who were yelling about Dorothy Parker! We love Dorothy Parker!” Me too, and I loved those girls.) It was really important to me to have done it because I didn’t have any friends there (except for one), and usually when I do readings I shill the audience with a bunch of friends to make to look and sound more popular than I really am. (It works!)
However, I REALLY want everyone to come to The Moth on Tuesday! Yes, to yell for me so people think I’m more popular than I really am, but it’s also a terrific time. The other people’s stories are fantastic — and a lot are far more fantastic than mine. (I’m not just saying that — really, they are.) It promises to be a great night, and I am super honored and thrilled that I get to do this. And I would love to see you there!
Tickets are here: TheMothSF
Facebook event here: Event (RSVP Yes!)
Several years ago now, I was standing in front of some nightclub in San Francisco, talking to a few people. A girl whom I didn’t like very much interrupted me and said, “Oh, GOD. Is this one of your long and boring stories that no one wants to listen to?” (After that I didn’t like her AT ALL.)
I wanted to retort with a witty comeback, but I felt punched in the throat. She got on her Lambretta and rode off into the sunset, and I was left feeling tongue-tied and stupid. And it really, really affected me.
All my life I wanted to be a writer. I thought that I had stories to tell, and I always had a sense that people actually liked hearing them. They were never particularly moving stories — my life is pretty run-of-the-mill and undramatic, but I could make people laugh and that made me feel good. And even if people did think I was long-winded and boring, most people were kind and polite, unlike this woman.
it’s taken me a while to get over it, and I’ve had a lot of speed bumps on the way regarding my confidence as a writer and my ability and mostly my subject matter, but I have grown, and I’ve decided to take her mean comment and use it as constructive criticism. I think of her and I edit and murder my darlings and omit filler. I think of her when I think of what I want to write about, and though sometimes her nasty voice paralyzes me, sometimes I can turn around and write something not very boring. My Facebook posts may still be too long and unedited, but my actual writing can always use improvement, because I want to write and tell stories that at least someone wants to listen to.
And I guess someone does — I am doing The Moth November 24th at The Public Works in San Francisco. To say I am excited is an understatement — when I got the email I had to go outside and cry and catch my breath. It is a dream come true — I get to tell a story to lots of people, and hopefully people won’t think it’s long and boring. Or at least some people will like it.
And I finally have a retort to that mean girl from all those years ago. Take THAT, mean girl! I’m doing The Moth!