Behind the Stories: The Moth Radio Hour 6th Season Extras

May 25, 2012
by The Moth,

The sixth and most recent season of The Moth Radio Hour hit airwaves on public radio stations across the country on May 25th.

Fans of the show can stream it on PRX’s website (requires registering for a free account) or search their local public radio station’s broadcasting time. If your station is not currently carrying the program, consider contacting them and requesting that they air the show. For those of you who have already heard this season of The Moth Radio Hour, please enjoy the special behind-the-stories extras below which you may have heard mentioned on the show.

JUMP TO:  Episode 601 | Episode 602 | Episode 603 | Episode 604 | Episode 605

Episode 601

A special live edition of The Moth’s collaboration with The World Science Festival. An astrophysicist discovers wild parallels in her research and romantic life; a surgeon details his involvement in one of the world’s first-ever hand transplants; and a geneticist is called to testify in a murder case and lays the groundwork for DNA fingerprinting as forensic evidence. Hosted by Jay Allison.

Janna Levin

Jana’s husband, Warren, with their son.

The music video for Warren Malone’s song “Whole Life Blues”, featuring their son.

The song that Janna references in her story, “A Thousand Tiny Pieces” by Sean Hayes is available on iTunes.

Kodi Azari

Kodi arm-wrestles his hand transplant patient.

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Episode 602



Laura Albert, better known as J.T. LeRoy, details her side of what became a major literary scandal; a case of credit card fraud sets an amateur sleuth on a crime-solving caper; and a young man is drafted into the Vietnam War and trained to be a killer, but during his third tour of duty finds that compassion still lives in his heart. Hosted by The Moth’s Producing Director, Sarah Austin Jenness.

Laura Albert

Writer Laura Albert shared her reflections on telling her story at The Moth:

“The entire Moth experience was very powerful to me. So much of JT was moving into the culture’s language — how JT looked, whom he knew, all the crap that had nothing to do with the work. But it had to been gaged, just to get a chance to get through the door, so the work could reach its audience.

I am sorry when I spoke at The Moth I left out the line — which comes after describing the NY Times attack — BUT THE WORK ENDURED. The Moth really is a deconstruction of the layers that have, perhaps unconsciously, become the lingua franca of shorthand communication. But I often think that such an effort to unpack is actually a lack offaith — the need to explain, defend, justify. So at first, when speaking to Moth folks over the phone, I didn’t trust that you could contain the truth of my story, let alone help me explore it further. It was an act of faith for me to show up anyway and give myself over to it. I have turned away talk shows, quickie book deals, hack filmmakers — all kinds of bottom-feeders. But I had hope, due to all I’d heard about The Moth, that this opportunity could be of service. Still, I did not expect the process to be transformative. So now I go back to my life, and I am hit with all kinds of crises – and all thewhile I want to hold to what I feel moving within me from this experience. And I am so scared that it didn’t really change anything, that it won’t articulate in me because I won’t allow it to. I am crying now. I feel so often what Ed [Ed Gavagan, regular Moth storyteller] spoke of, about being given a blueprint for a boat when you’re drowning.

It was an incredible opening, that night of my birthday — I have not processed it yet. Having all those folks from various parts of my life there at The Moth that night … Storytelling is how we find out who we are; it is how we heal. But it is the community-making that I crave, the knowledge that I am not alone with my secrets. After the show so many strangers came up tome and hugged me, telling me how moved they were. And you were right, they were folks who did NOT know from JT or myself, other than what they had just experienced. And now they wanted to read it.

As the Oscar Wilde quote said, “Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth.” The mask that The Moth allows is craft. It’s funny that, right off the bat, I told you that I was NOT telling the JT story. I did not trust that this was not one more attempt to trot me out as the Elephant Man and recount the sideshow story of a HOAX to astonish and amuse the public. It is because all of you at The Moth hold the soul of a story — and of its owner — with such passion and compassion that the deeper truth can flourish. I see now that The Moth is larger than all of us, that we are instruments of its purpose. Ultimately TheMoth is really about love — as corny as that sounds — which is why it feels so good. You are the fierce guardians of that flame. The Moth serves love — which is the breaking down through craft of the illusion of our separateness.”

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Episode 603

A family of amateur detectives crack a case; a librarian takes a dance class to spice things up; a father and son come to terms in Newark Airport; a grandson brings joy to a nursing home; and a woman releases her grief and lets her passion take over. Hosted by The Moth’s Senior Producer, Jenifer Hixson.

Steve Zimmer

WNYC profiled Steve preparing for one of his many GrandSLAM performances.

Amy Rood

Amy, her husband, and… yes, a stripper pole.

Robert Weinstein

Robert and his grandmother.

Jay Dixit

Jay and his father.

Satori Shakoor

Satori with her late son.



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Episode 604



A boy’s Bar Mitzvah becomes a family battle ground, three literary pilgrims search for the author Paul Bowles in Morocco, and a novelist decides that the only way to cure her writer’s block is to block out the world. Hosted by George Dawes Green, founder of The Moth.

Jeffrey Solomon

Jeffrey at his Bar Mitzvah.

Edgar Oliver


Edgar and his sister Helen in Morocco.

Elif Shafak


Elif in her beloved Istanbul. Photo credit: Gökhan Çelem.

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Episode 605

After many years in the legendary Blue Man Group, a performer makes a profound connection with an audience member; SNL alum Rachel Dratch meets a debonair man at a cocktail party and dares to think he might be Mr. Right; and a world-renowned neuroscientist identifies patterns in the brains of psychopathic killers. Hosted by The Moth’s Artistic Director, Catherine Burns.

John Grady

John gets ready for a “Blue Man Group” show backstage.

James Fallon

The Moth’s Artistic Director, Catherine Burns, interviews neuroscientist James Fallon about his family’s dark past and his struggle to keep his promise.

James with his family’s brain scans. Image courtesy of Daniel A. Anderson/UC Irvine Communications.

James struggles with his family’s legacy.

James as a little boy.

James with his family.

James’ TED Talk, “Exploring the Mind of a Killer.”

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