If you love stories, you'll love listening to The Moth Radio Hour. We try to listen to it every Saturday afternoon on Vermont Public Radio -- it's also available on podcasts.
On The Moth, storytellers share true life stories in front of a live audience. So, when we heard that The Moth was taping at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont, we got tickets. And you know how sometimes you really look forward to something and it turns out to be nowhere as wonderful as you hoped or expected? Well, that didn't happen! This was amazing!
Among last night's storytellers were American authors Jamaica Kincaid and Tom Bodett. (Bodett is perhaps best known for being the spokesperson for Motel 6 -- that's his voice in the radio ads, saying "We'll leave the light on for you.") The theme of last night's show was "building bridges." Kincaid told the story of how she was sent from her mom's house in Antigua to live with an aunt in Dominica. Her mom and aunt had been feuding for years. They argued by letter and she described herself as another letter sent between the two women.
Tom Bodett opened his story by saying, "I buried my dad last May. He was dead of course." People laughed when he said that -- which set the tone for the rest of Bodett's story about his difficult relationship with his conservative, righteous father. Bodett's story was sad and funny and wise all at the same time. And he really made his details work for him. He described how his father used to retreat to his La-Z-Boy chair, how he'd raise his feet on the footrest, and snap his fingers if he wanted something. By the end of Bodett's story, I felt I knew not only Bodett, but also his father.
Ahhhh, stories! Nothing makes me happier than listening to a wonderful story (or reading one). And as the evening's host, comedian Rudy Rush pointed out, when you listen to a wonderful storyteller, the story is always a little different.
My mom is the best storyteller I know. Do you know a great storyteller, too? If you do, pay special attention to their stories and how they tell them... we can use their tricks in the stories we tell aloud or in our books.