Like a Moth to the Flame

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Image by Flash Rosenberg

Been wishing for a bedtime story lately? Let the Moth’s StorySLAM sing you a lullaby. If you know poetry slams as open mic’s more urban sister, then think of StorySLAM as a book reading meets up with a slam and goes to the edge of the ‘burbs and back.

Widen the shot, and you’ll see that while you think you’re waxing prosaic to your teddy bear, there are groups of judges holding up gauzy moths when they’re ready to grade you and make you reminisce about Moscow in 1980. While you may be thinking: I don’t do this chump change small time bit, remember that the winners of each StorySLAM event will compete again in the GrandSLAM SLAMoff (Yes, like baseball but with words. See, creative writers aren’t all gothic anti-sports nerds. Your high school yearbook was lying!)

Before you decide to grace the stage and give up your slam virginity, make sure you’ve checked the evening’s theme, memorized your piece, and, once you’re up there, stick to the time limit. If the idea of you in front a microphone with a few dozen people blinking at you makes you more nauseous than excited, calm your worrisome fears by putting a few $4 domestic bottled beers down your throat and be an art appreciator. Those brewskies also help ease the pain of any awkward performers, so throw some cold hard cash at that dark wooden ledge that is the Nuyorican’s humble bar. With all those beers and emotions, be careful you down fall out of your folding chair.

The Moth’s devotion to storytelling shines far brighter than your Snoopy night light. Emcee Dan will keep things on the move like a good babysitter while you wring your sweaty hands in anticipation. He’ll probably get a few well-deserved laughs out of you, too.

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A quick note on the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe in general. The artistic intensity inside those brick walls is a wonder to behold. Say, you check out a Moth slam on a Tuesday and dig it, I recommend that you relinquish the Forever 21 top, Jimmy Choo heels, and Davidoff 100s for one freakin’ club-less weekend, and feel the verbal art by trekking back down to East 3rd Street on a Saturday night to see the Nuyorican in its prime.

Find your inner moth and flock to the lights of a StorySLAM on a coast near you. Unless of course, you live in Kansas or Nebraska, then I guess the coasts aren’t as close. Road trip! Uh, anyway, quit trying to get your friends to listen to your stories, beeped back and forth on your Nextel, and tell them to a willingly captive audience. How to locate such a wonder: www.themoth.org and www.nuyorican.org.

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