JB – The Moth is a podcast, radio show and storytelling forum my first newspaper editor made me listen to when I got a real big kid job in Hernando, Mississippi. The podcast, which has a name that implies horror stories or supernatural stories, is a recorded show of amateurs and professionals telling truth-based stories in front of a live audience without notes.
The show was created by poet/author George Dawes Green who wanted to recreate the summer evenings of his native state of Georgia. He and friends would gather on a porch and share stories until the sun set and the moths flew up to the porch light. Hence, The Moth.
Each show has a theme with professional storytellers billed for the night or amateurs from the audience. They’ll tell a story they feel fits within the topic, and can range from hilarious to downright depressing. The first story I listened to made me laugh until tears streamed down my face. I vividly remember pulling out of the parking lot of the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Southaven as the storyteller recalled his ex-girlfriend calling to tell him she’s pregnant. “Our greatest fears have been realized,” he recalled. I laughed until I thought I would cry. And then the next story came on, and I cried. Wept.
The stories build community and bring about change. They help people in dark lonely places see there are others suffering in the same way. They relive tensions and tear down walls. Every community needs something like The Moth.
The radio and stage show has evolved into something larger with community storytelling events and storytelling workshops.
We’re hoping to start something similar, albeit much smaller, in Tupelo. Our first storytelling event will be this Friday at the Link Centre. Come tell us your story or just listen to others.
April: I was introduced to The Moth about a year ago, via JB. I was skeptical at first because I thought of Silence of the Lambs or the Butterfly Effect and didn’t want to waste my valuable podcast time on something weird and scary. Alas! I was surprised to find out I loved it. I always have a hankering for a story, as JB can attest. When I’m not getting enough attention or feel as though the day has gone by without him telling me anything about his day, I will often request, “Tell me a story!” Which is followed by something haphazardly made up to make me be quiet and go to bed. Haha. The Moth, thankfully, fills this void for me once a week with their podcasts, and I’m really looking forward to the Unlucky event on Friday night. I’m not sure what to expect but am curious about what kind of stories these Mississippians have to offer. Please do yourself a favor and download the podcast–especially nice as a road-trip companion or lawn-mowing assistant.