Friday, February 13, 2015

The Moth versus So True

Those of you who've read my blogs for awhile know I am a huge fan of the Moth, a competitive storytelling series hugely popular in New York and L.A. I managed to catch two of their events in NYC and felt truly at home in a group of storytellers, my people. The book that came out of the Moth is packed with powerful true tales. Exactly, 100% my kind of thing.

For years, I wished for something similar here; the various local events are just not the same. So I started my own - So True, life stories well written, well told, a tri-annual storytelling event: Our event is limited, though, to writers who've worked as students with me. I'm the curator, the editor, the tsarina, and I don't apologize for the event's lack of democracy.

So learning that the Moth itself was coming to Toronto, with opportunities for all local storytellers, I was thrilled. But then disappointed. First, it's expensive - $45 for a ticket, when the American shows cost $10, as does So True. Why so much higher here? And then I heard the host would be Ophira Eisenberg, a longterm Moth host from New York, and the five readers were TBA.

I'm sure they do not mean to be offensive - the Moth folks are wonderful people. But in bringing their American storytelling event to Canada - so typical! - they are charging more than four times what they do at home, bringing in their own host rather than hiring a local person, and not revealing who the tellers will be. I objected vehemently and did not buy a ticket.

The event is now sold out. It's fantastic that storytelling is a hot ticket. I hope that if the Moth stays in Toronto, that hot ticket will be less expensive, a local person will host, and local storytellers are advertised and become well-known.

In the meantime, have I got a great storytelling event for you! It's not sold out, and it costs only $10 for eight Toronto (or vicinity) writers, EIGHT fantastic true stories and then one from me. I could not be more proud of each reader, and I guarantee, these will be the best stories you've ever heard, or your very small $10 back. (And for my own bit, I think I'll wear my new embroidered coat.)

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