Like a moth drawn to a flame, hundreds of Houstonians are drawn to The Moth’s StorySLAM at Stereo Live every second Tuesday of the month for a unique experience in storytelling that lives up to its name. Put on by Houston Public Media in a poetry-slam-goes-game-show format, The Moth connects improvisational narrators and eager listeners in an event reminiscent of sitting around a campfire where brave Houstonians put themselves on display for an audience itching to hear a good story.
Here’s how it works: Prior to each show, The Moth invites volunteer storytellers, both seasoned and newcomers, to include their name in a drawing for a chance to be one of ten storytellers of the night who will share a true, unscripted, five-minute story on a predetermined topic. The theme of June’s StorySLAM was “Fathers” (a tribute to Father’s Day approaching) and as one might guess, things got pretty amusing with stories ranging from heartwarming to hilarious. Throughout the night, teams in the audience judge each story to choose an ultimate winner; but competition aside, it’s obvious some are there to simply tell their stories. As newbies, we weren’t quite ready to sign up for the main act but still participated anonymously by submitting answers to the question, “Share your best piece of fatherly wisdom,” and dropping them into a hat prior to the show. The charismatic emcee, Dusti Rhodes, read off these one-liners, and, to our excitement, a few of ours were read including the wise words, “If you forget to pack clean underwear, just turn the one’s you’re wearing inside out.”
The warehouse-like music venue might seem like an unassuming place to host a story slam, but the upstairs and downstairs bars and cozy couch seating (if you snag ‘em early!) makes The Moth a laid back weeknight attraction. Additional folding chairs on the venue floor provide up-close seating for those who want to be in on all the action. Regardless of where you sit, the familiarity that vibes from The Moth’s regulars gives the entire night an intimate atmosphere that’ll make any first timer want to be a regular themselves. We know this to be true, because we’re guilty.
The Moth happens all across America, but Houston boasts the second largest turnout in their network of story slams. According to their website, it’s meant to “dissolve socio-economic barriers, expose vulnerabilities, and quietly suggest ways to overcome challenges and see with new eyes,” and for that, Houston is glad to have their enriching presence. So whether you have a story of your own to tell or just want to bask in the creativity and passion of fellow Houstonians, the Moth welcomes all with open arms.
• Doors open at 6:30 p.m. We recommend getting there early to grab seats, especially if you are with a big group – they go fast! If you’re worried about it, there is an early admission from 6 – 6:30 p.m. for those willing to pay a little extra.
• Get a group of friends together and sign up to be judges! Just ask the staff before things get started.
• You can purchase tickets ahead of time online or at the door.
• They have food catered in for the event, but there are tons of places in the area to grab a bite before the event too. We were able to catch happy hour at Pappasito’s across the street, which was a fun way to kick off the evening.
6400 Richmond Ave. Houston, TX 77057
7:30 p.m., Second Tuesday of every month
Paid Lot at venue, $5 cash
No, venue is 21 and up.