Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Jun 23, 2020

Storytelling School with The Moth: Weekly Storytelling Activity #19

by The Moth Staff

Lesson #19: FIRST AND LAST LINES: "Go, Venae, Go!" - Neshaune Lasley

Here’s another Storytelling School with The Moth! We are in the midst of a difficult time that can feel hard to process, both for ourselves and for our young people. For this week’s blog, we’re taking a look at a story about support from family.

This week’s Storytelling School story is:

“Go, Venae, Go!” by Neshaune Lasley

You can read the transcript of Neshaune’s story here.

1. Talk to each other about Neshaune’s story.

For each post, we’ll highlight a different crafting strategy for how to make your story compelling. For this post, we’ll focus on FIRST AND LAST LINES.  At The Moth, we think about stories as living, breathing things that can change with our mood, with the audience’s response or as we tell them over time. In our Moth workshops we tell storytellers that it can be helpful to decide on a set first and last line for your story. The rest of your story can change a little every time you tell it, but those two lines will help anchor your story and give you confidence as you take the stage!

  • What is the effect of starting a story in mid-action? Where did you expect the story to go from Neshaune’s first line? 

  • Both Neshaune’s first and last lines are in her dad’s voice. What is the effect on the story to bookend it in that way?

2. Write or tell your own story.

At The Moth, we believe in celebrating the diversity and commonality of human experience. Often, listening to someone’s story will remind us of a story from our own lives. While you almost definitely have not had Neshaune’s exact experience, it still may have reminded you of a story from your own life. Get inspired by these prompt questions to tell your own story!

  • Tell us about a time you did something with your body you didn’t think you could do

  • Tell us about a time you expected the best from someone (but were prepared for the worst)

  • Tell us about a time you showed up even if you thought about staying home

  • Tell us about a time you weren’t supposed to win 

  • Tell us about a time someone told you something you needed to hear

  • Tell us about a time someone believed in you

  • Tell us about a time someone helped you believe in yourself

3. Activities

  • Exercise is not the easiest to come by, especially when we’re trapped indoors. Now that summer is officially here, try to move your body OUTSIDE! You could go for a hike, do yoga, or even run, like Neshaune.
  • Do you have a phrase or saying  you use to help yourself keep going during tough times, or to give you inspiration? Maybe it’s one word or a full phrase, like “Go, Venae, Go!” If you don’t, give it a try! Who doesn’t love a good pep talk?

4. Share this post with a friend!

And check back Tuesday for another story.

Be sure to check out All Together Now, Fridays with The Moth, wherever you listen to your podcasts, new every Friday! And if you haven’t yet heard it, listen to Neshaune’s story on the 5/22 episode here!

Neshaune Lasley told this story at a StorySLAM in Louisville in 2017. Check out radio extras from her story here.

The Moth Education Program works with young people and educators to build community through storytelling workshops, performances and innovative resources. To learn more, visit themoth.org/education

The Moth Education Program is made possible by generous support from The Kresge Foundation, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Charitable Trust, the Kate Spade New York Foundation, and Alice Gottesman. 

Additional program support is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the New York State Council on the Arts, ConEdison, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.