Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: May 01, 2020

Storytelling School with The Moth: Bi-Weekly Storytelling Activity #10

by The Moth Staff

Lesson #10: Truth: "Pas de Une"- Val Rigodon

Here we are at the end of another week. Thank goodness there’s another Storytelling School with The Moth to help us celebrate! The Moth’s Education program is publishing these storytelling activities to help parents and educators with some at-home curriculum. Come back for another next Tuesday, and as always, thanks for your support!

The story is:

“Pas de Une” by Val Rigodon

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

After you’ve watched and read the story, you can do the following activities: 

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

For each post, we’ll highlight a different crafting strategy for how to make your story compelling. The Moth is all about “true stories, told live, with no notes”! For this post, we’ll focus on TRUTH.  At the Moth, we tell the truth, even if it’s a little embarrassing.  We think that a story that doesn’t include personal growth (or personal CHANGE) is not a story- it’s probably just bragging :)  If you begin by telling us how amazing you are and end by telling us that you’re still amazing, your audience is likely not going to relate to you or feel engaged. We encourage our storytellers to consider ways they are comfortable ‘telling on themselves’ so that the audience can feel like they’ve been let in on a secret.  A healthy amount of vulnerability makes for an interesting story!

  • In what ways does Val admit that she is not perfect?  

  • How do those admissions affect the story and our connection to her as a storyteller?

  • Can you think about books or films where the central character encounters a limitation within themselves? How does that limitation inform the story? 

2. Let’s Play “Have You Ever”

Raise your hand if … 

  • You’ve ever tried something new

  • You’ve ever purchased a Groupon 

  • You’ve ever felt trapped by a Groupon 

  • You’ve ever felt like you were on uneven ground

  • You’ve ever watched cartoons to make yourself feel better

  • You’ve ever felt out of place 

  • You’ve ever felt like the only amateur in a room full of professionals

  • You’ve ever done something other people thought you were too old to do

  • You’ve ever felt the frustration of learning a new skill more slowly than you’d hoped

  • You’ve ever needed an Uber due to too much exercise

  • You’ve ever found a new passion

Did you raise your hand? If you raised your hand even once, that’s a story you could tell! Find someone to tell it to and try out a draft!

3. Activities

  • Now that we’re all stuck at home, it could be the perfect time to try out a hobby! Maybe there’s one you’ve always thought about or maybe you have no idea which hobby you’d like? We’ve included some resources to help!

  • Ballet dancers of all levels, from Val to Misty Copeland, are strong and determined. Let’s help them become even more vibrant with these coloring pages! This site has all sorts of types of ballet dancers and even has the option to print it out or color it online. Color one how you think Val, you, or your best friend might look as a dancer!

4. Share this post with a friend!

Click here for activity #11.

The Moth met Val Rigodon at a college workshop at CUNY in 2017, supported by the Kate Spade Foundation. She has gone on to perform with The Moth’s Education program at Lincoln Center and host events with The Moth’s Education and Community programs. To learn more about Val, you can read her interview with The Moth 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.