Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Aug 11, 2020

Storytelling School with The Moth: Weekly Storytelling Activity #26

by Moth EDU

Lesson #26: PACE: "Looking For Love In All The Dog Places"- Denis Repp

Here’s another Storytelling School with The Moth! As we all try to find our new normal, we hope we can bring you a bit of joy, intrigue, and empathy. For this week’s blog, we’re taking a look at a story about the people (or animals!) in life who have saved us. 

This week’s Storytelling School story is:

“Looking For Love In All The Dog Places” by Denis Repp

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

1. Talk to each other about Denis’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 PACE. Stories from our SLAM series (now happening virtually!) at The Moth are only five minutes long but that doesn’t mean our storytellers have to rush through them! After you’ve made some *critical choices about what details to include, you can tell a story at your own easy pace and your listeners will feel like they’re across the table having coffee with you.

  • What did you notice about Denis’s pace in telling this story? What was the effect of that pace on you as a listener? 
  • How might the story have changed if it was told faster or slower? 
  • Where this story starts, we think it will be about a break-up, but then it takes a turn! Denis made some *critical choices about what details to include. What did you notice about what Denis chose not to tell us?

*See this post from April 28 that highlights the principle CRITICAL CHOICES

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 Denis’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 felt off balance

  • Tell us about a time you bought a gift too soon

  • Tell us about a time you had a lot of time on your hands

  • Tell us about a time you went through a break-up

  • Tell us about a time you helped out at a local organization

  • Tell us about a time you were overlooked 

  • Tell us about a time you gave a second look when others wouldn’t 

  • Tell us about a time a gift you gave (or received) was re-gifted 

  • Tell us about a time you found love unexpectedly

  • Tell us about an animal who has impacted your life

3. Activities

  • If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be? A panda, a dragon, a golden retriever? Draw a picture, search online, or talk to a friend about it!

    • If you're feeling ready for an ACTUAL pet, consider adopting one of those overlooked furry friends at your local shelter. Find a shelter here on the ASPCA website!

  • Even though it’s summer, it’s still important to stay sharp! Try this logic puzzle to find out whose pet wins in a race!

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!

Denis Repp has been part of the Moth community for five years. There was a time when he had great anxiety at the thought of speaking in front of an audience; that time, some would say regrettably, has passed. He can often be found in the forests of Pennsylvania hiking with Lake, one of America’s happiest dogs. Lake enjoys a good story, too. Denis originally told this story at a StorySLAM in Pittsburgh in 2015. Check out photos of Denis and Lake in the radio extras on our site 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.