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Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Sep 02, 2015

Lindsey Mayer: The High School Slam

by Lindsey Mayer

When I stepped into my first Moth meeting, a sheer wave of nerves took over my body. I saw the students in the classroom and they were from all different backgrounds, people that I rarely had a conversation with. I wondered, “How can I trust these semi-strangers with a personal story?”

I still look back on what I was thinking that day and I laugh at myself.  The Moth has been the most creative and supportive group that I’ve been a part of in high school.  The strangers that I met that day became a supportive friend group that made each other strive for the best story we could tell.   I learned to accept not only my story, but the stories of others.  Every week we would give suggestions to our teammates on how they can improve their story and what we liked about their story.  The Moth instructors Melissa Brown and David Crabb encouraged a creative space for us to be ourselves and that enough would enhance our performance.  The Moth instructors gave us a chart to formulate our story and we practiced telling our story out loud in front of the whole group.  I would usually start shaking in the legs during my performance, but my Moth instructors reassured me that everyone wanted me to succeed.

This instilled some temporary confidence in me, but when the real slam was coming up I was not sure I could pull it off. As I practiced my story I started to get less nervous: I realized that people were listening to me without any distractions, which is hard to come by in this day and age.  In the Moth I learned how to listen and what it felt like to be listened to.

The actual day of the Slam came and I hoped that I would go last. My dream came true.  When I got on stage I started to tell my story with a shaky voice, but as soon as I cracked my first joke the audience starting laughing.  The performance became really fun as the audience responded to every line I announced.  I felt a warm relief wash over me and became very comfortable with myself.  After the slam I had people telling me how great my story was. I thought: storytelling  was like sharing a bouquet of emotions enclosed with a letter of thanks.

LINDSEY MAYER is a Junior at the Beacon School who spends her free time taking photographs of unsuspecting strangers and historical sites. She was really excited to be part of this special event and would like to thank her friends and family for coming to the SLAM!

150605 Nyc Hs Grand Changer 0641

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