Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Nov 08, 2022

​Storytelling School with The Moth: Monthly Lesson #54: TELLING ON YOURSELF

by The Moth Staff

Storytelling School with The Moth: Monthly Lesson #54: TELLING ON YOURSELF: “Yu-Gi-Oh” - Andrew McGill

Storytelling School at The Moth is here to kick off the holiday season! This month we’re featuring “Yu-Gi-Oh” by teller Andrew McGill, which was featured on the Let It Go episode of The Moth Radio Hour in October 2018. 

Andrew is a storyteller, SLAM host, instructor in our storytelling workshops, and this season, in his role as a public school teacher, he is participating in our Moth Teacher Institute where he’ll learn how to integrate storytelling into his classroom with his students. Moth Teacher Institute where he’ll learn how to integrate storytelling into his classroom with his students. 

Andrew’s story is about a beloved hobby and what happens when it’s misunderstood.   

This month’s Storytelling School story is:

“Yu-Gi-Oh” by Andrew McGill

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

Talk to each other about Andrew’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 TELLING ON YOURSELF. We encourage our workshop participants to find some humility in their stories to allow listeners to commiserate and empathize. When we’re able to admit we don’t have it all figured out ALL the time, our stories feel less like a brag and more like an invitation to connect to the audience. 

  • How does Andrew ‘tell on himself’ in this story? What details does he include that make him more relatable? 

  • What did you relate to in Andrew’s experience? How did that change your experience listening? 

Let’s Play “Have You Ever”

Raise your hand if … 

  • You’ve ever discovered a new hobby

  • You’ve ever watched Japanese manga

  • You’ve ever collected fan merchandise 

  • You’ve ever had a parent or guardian embarrass you

  • You’ve ever geeked out on something you were really into 

  • You’ve ever been misunderstood

  • You’ve ever doubled down when you weren’t sure you were getting through

  • You’ve ever had to make a sacrifice to satisfy your family

  • You’ve ever pretended to be cooler 


  • Parents just don’t understand! Think back to when you were younger - what were some of the things you loved that your parents, guardians, or loved-ones just didn’t get? Draw those items or activities out on a piece of paper and around each one, like a mind map, write: 1) how the item/activity used to make you feel, 2) how you would describe it to the misunderstanding elder in your life, and/or 3) what your life would look like now if you were still into that thing (that is, if you ever stopped being into it!). 

  • Andrew is such a dynamic teller. He has moments that make us laugh, and moments that are just so relatable, like when he’s telling us what each card means to him. Imagine that you’re at a convention full of people who love the same thing you love. You’ve put some of your hard-earned money, and a good amount of time into this hobby, and here are a bunch of people who’ve done the same. Judgment doesn’t exist at this convention. They ask people to share what their hobby means to them - what would you say about yours? How were you introduced to it? When did you first learn about it? What about it specifically did you like? Did you feel challenged, or was it just a bunch of fun? What opportunities has your hobby created for you?

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NOTE: We’ll be pausing the blog for the months of December and January, but we’ll be back on the second Tuesday of February!

Storyteller bio

Andrew McGill is a stand up comic and storyteller born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. You can catch him all over NYC doing stand up and telling stories. When he isn’t making people laugh, he can be found at Hunter College library completing grad school assignments. He also teaches English at a high school in Brooklyn.

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 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Charitable Trust, the Kate Spade New York Foundation, Alice Gottesman, and The Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation.

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.