Last week I told my first story at a Moth StorySLAM; the theme was ‘Freedom’. The Bell House in Brooklyn is a far larger venue that the others used for these events, so it’s fair to say I was more than a little intimidated by the prospect of telling my story on a band-sized stage rather than a makeshift 3 by 6 foot platform. After much deliberation, I added my name to the tote-bag, only convinced to do so by the hope that my name probably wouldn’t be one of the ten storytellers chosen! Despite acute nerves coupled with an underlying fear of public speaking, I told my story without losing my place or completely freezing up – something I never thought I could achieve.
Doing this has helped me understand more about what every storyteller goes through every time they step up to the mic. Be it a first-time or experienced teller, there is a lot at stake when presenting yourself so openly and honestly to a live audience like this. As previously mentioned, as part of my Internship project for the Moth, I hope to produce a short video trailer capturing the essence of these StorySLAM events, which will hopefully be used when establishing the Moth in new cities this coming fall. I have since been interviewing audience members at the shows, as well as storytellers, and have also held meetings with Brandon, Media and Communications Assistant for the Moth, and Assistant Producer Catherine to make sure this project goes ahead with the best possible results. I have also filmed a lot of the linking and cut-away footage for the video myself on my own camera. This has improved my confidence about conducting interviews with the production team and members of the public, whilst presenting me with the challenge of creating, orienteering and presenting the concept of a project in a relatively short space of time.
The final project will be a combination of media pulled from the Moth archives and more recently recorded material from the SLAMs. Using software including Final Cut Express, Audacity and Expressions Media, I will bring this material together to form the finished video, featuring interviews and footage from the events, as well as stories old and new, all brought together to form a neat two minute film. Although I’m aware that my time here is fast (far too fast) coming to a close, I’ve learnt a lot over the last few weeks and built upon skills I wasn’t aware I necessarily had. Hopefully, this will enable me to finish this task by the time I leave, and even if this doesn’t turn to be possible (what with the other innumerable tasks that pop up to do in the day of an intern) I certainly hope to have made enough head-way on the project to allow it to need little more than polishing up by other members of the Moth Media team afterwards.