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Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Jun 13, 2018

Meet the Education Interns

by Diane Cardoso

The Moth office was extremely excited to say hello to five Moth Education Program alumni who are joining us for a three week internship! College students Stephanie Dinsae, Ernest Holliday, Lucas Hoye, Madison Mack, and Diavian Walters recently joined the Moth team to gain experience in production & arts administration by helping with the upcoming GrandSLAM and Teacher Institute. 

We sat down with the newest Moth interns to discuss their goals for the internship, pre-storytelling nerves and the coolest memes.  

Stephanie Dinsae

Stephanie
Rising senior at Smith College
Classical Studies major

How did you first learn about The Moth?

I first learned about The Moth through one of my teachers in high school. I never had her personally, but she was a history teacher. She had known about The Moth because she listened to podcasts. She was our faculty advisor for The Moth. She basically introduced me to it.

How did you feel the first time you told a Moth story?

It was really long ago! I barely remember anything from high school. But if I know myself, I was probably a mixture of nervous but also comfortable at the same time. I felt supported by the people who were around. I felt like it was okay to make mistakes. For me, I feel like there’s always two warring sides. There’s always like, oh yeah, it’s okay to make mistakes but then there’s also the irrational side. It’s the irrational side that’s saying, “oh no, people are gonna look at you weird,” and, “oh no, you feel uncomfortable? Sit in it.” But in a more negative way. Dwelling too much, basically. But overall, it probably went well but I was probably still terrified.

“It’s really important to voice anything that means something to you so people can hear that.”
— Stephanie Dinsae —

Do you have any tips that you have used for public speaking or dealing with stage fright?

It really depends on the type of public speaking. For example, The Moth is no notes, but I consider myself a poet and poetry, you can have notes but also I’m trying to memorize all my future poems, the ones I want to perform. It really depends. If you’re public speaking for an event, I would say have notes for sure. And don’t write everything word-for-word, have bullet points to guide you along. For whatever you’re speaking about, you should be able to speak about it relatively well so that you can just use your bullet points so you can end up on the path that you want. Also, eye contact! We learned this in high school because we were big on public speaking. Eye contact is super important, even if you’re nervous about it or you feel like it’s awkward or too intense. For a variety of reasons, making eye contact makes people feel like they’re part of the process, makes them feel engaged. Even if you’re not looking at anybody, because when I perform I can’t look at anybody because it messes me up so I kind of look straight. Even if you look straight, it still looks like you’re at least engaging with somebody. Even if nobody knows that you’re not looking at someone, somebody thinks you are. Looking up, looking confident.

What meme do you relate with the most?

The Beyoncé one where she’s sitting on the couch in the black outfit and she kind of looks like, petty I guess.

Ernest Holliday

Ernest
Will attend the Borough of Manhattan Community College in the Fall
Plans to study film and acting

How did you first learn about The Moth?

I first learned about The Moth in 12th grade when a couple of my friends were doing it, but I didn’t do it then. I did it in senior year when I was reminded about it when my best friend, Susan, was going to do it and I wanted to do it along with her.

How did you feel the first time you told a Moth story?

The first time I told a Moth story… I guess I was a little uncomfortable, but I felt like it wasn’t a good story. I felt like I didn’t have enough life experience to tell anything interesting. I felt like I didn’t have anything interesting to tell, but the second time I did it, I told a really good story.

“When I got on stage, it was the most confident I’ve been on stage, even though it was the biggest audience I’ve ever been in front of.”
— Ernest Holliday —

If you could go back and give your 10th grade self some advice knowing what you know now, what would it be?

I’d say, take a lot of drama classes. I was an illustration major in high school so I’d say focus on acting. And I’d say study more in film as well because that’s where I know I want to go right now in my future. And be calm, relax, don’t stress out too much.

What meme do you relate to the most?

I like the meme where it’s like, the brain meme. It’s just the brain, and as it gets more cosmic it’s a stupider idea. I relate to that the most because I just like, I make bad decisions a lot so it goes from one really good decision where it’s like, you go to sleep early, you study, you eat healthy, to go to sleep at twelve, binge netflix, eat Burger King.

Lucas Hoye

Lucas
Sophomore at Hampshire College
Studies film and writing

How did you first learn about The Moth?

My drama teacher senior year - it was an English elective - he originally showed us a Moth story. After that, we did an in-class Moth story and I remember mine was not very good. I did not get a good grade on it, because I didn’t really take it seriously. And then he told us about the All City and he told us that you can get ten or twenty points extra credit just for if you go on the website and sign up. So I did that but I didn’t do real answers, like one of the questions was “what is a story to you?” And I wrote, “words.” And that was basically like every answer. So, it was probably Micaela (The Moth's Director of Education & Community) who emailed my drama teacher and he got super mad at me: “I’m taking off twenty points from your grade.” And so I was like, “what if I reapplied?” And then I did real answers and Micaela was like, “yeah, we’re taking you.” And then I did it. And it ended up being wonderful and I’m here now.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from being a part of The Moth?

I don’t know if this counts as a lesson, but it’s definitely made me feel a lot more comfortable being open and being honest in my work. I think doing The Moth and telling a story so candidly and honestly has helped me with my other creative work. And my film work and my writing has become better. Really, it’s just helped me be more honest and comfortable with opening up and sharing real stuff.

“I think doing The Moth and telling a story so candidly and honestly has helped me with my other creative work.”
— Lucas Hoye —

What advice would you give your 10th grade self?

There’s a lot of stuff that I’d like to tell him. Like, not to watch movies in class. I guess I feel like I used to deflect a lot of real emotional stuff with humor, especially in terms of sharing with people. Something like, in English where I’d have to write about myself, I wouldn’t really take it seriously because I didn’t want to actually reflect on my experiences. And definitely now I don’t have trouble with that. It’s just really helped to unpack things. I definitely enjoy it now. So, definitely, [I’d tell myself to] take things more seriously and definitely take myself less seriously - just be more open and honest.

What movies are you looking forward to that are coming out?

Definitely Incredibles 2. It looks awesome. Venom. I know they’re making Avatar sequels. James Cameron announced they’re making two, three, four, and five over the next five years, so I’m sure with Cameron that’s subject to be over the next twenty years! I still want to see John Krasinski’s movie, A Quiet Place. I haven’t seen that yet. I saw some other stuff that looks really good that’s coming out… oh, Ocean’s 8. That looks really good. That’s Sandra Bullock. 

Madison Mack

Madison
Attends Buffalo State
International Relations major with a concentration on Peace and Conflict

How did you first learn about The Moth?

I first heard about it in 10th grade. I was nominated along with other kids in my class from other grades to be a part of The Moth but we didn’t really know what it was. We learned that it was just storytelling, and you have five minutes. My teachers really wanted me to do it.

How did you feel the first time you told a Moth story?

I was extremely nervous and my mom was there and I told a story about her. So even after, I was nervous [about] seeing my mom but she was laughing throughout the entire thing and her voice is very loud so I was like, “okay, I’m fine."

“Throughout high school and middle school I kept to myself but The Moth showed me that it’s okay, I can tell things that happened in my life and other people also experienced things too.”
— Madison Mack —

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from being a part of The Moth?

A lesson I learned would be being more confident in what I say and sticking to what I say.

How do you think you’ve used the things you’ve learned from The Moth in your school or life?

I began to become more open. Like, throughout high school and middle school I kept to myself but The Moth showed me that it’s okay, I can tell things that happened in my life and other people also experienced things too. So being more open now is what The Moth has taught me.

Diavian Walters

Diavian
Attends Mercy College
Psychology major

How did you first learn about The Moth?

I first learned about The Moth through an assembly at my school and Micaela actually told her story about being in Italy for the first time. And then we had been selected by our teachers to sign up. The second year I decided to sign up and I joined.

How did you feel the first you told a Moth story?

The first time was really low stakes, but I still feel like I panicked appropriately. I was extremely nervous, because I’d never done it before, but also I had to remember that there was just very few people in the classroom with us hearing the story, because there was only six of us on the team so it should have been very low stakes, but I was still terrified at the thought of having to be in front of a microphone.

“I’ve realized that my voice matters and even if I’m just a kid and I can make a difference and I can help other people make a difference.”
— Diavian Walters —

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from being a part of The Moth?

That my voice matters, ‘cause I always thought that no one’s gonna listen to me. And I always had a political view and I said that I hated politics, because no one would listen to my views and whatnot. But I’ve realized that my voice matters and even if I’m just a kid and I can make a difference and I can help other people make a difference.

What are you hoping to learn from this internship?

I’m hoping to learn more behind-the-scenes. It’s very different from being a Teaching Artist, so it’s more hands-on, let’s put everything together, let’s be micro with the details, rather than being macro when you’re just being a part of the show. So it’s kind of like being on stage and then learning how to be behind the scenes.

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