Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Apr 11, 2023

Storytelling School with The Moth: Storytelling Activity #57

by Syd Walter

Lesson #57: CONFLICT  “R2 Where Are You?” - Tig Notaro

Hello and Happy April!

This month’s blog is guest-authored by one of our extraordinary EDU Teaching Interns- Syd Walter! All alumni from our program are invited to apply for one of our paid internships- either in production, program administration or facilitation of our workshops. 

We met Syd as a part of our All Country program in the Spring of 2022, and she went on to tell her story at the EDU GrandSLAM. Syd is now in her first year at Sarah Lawrence College, traveling to the city on weekends to join our All City team as a Teaching Intern! You can see what Syd is up to on her Instagram @sydwalter and her website www.teenypod.com 

This month’s Storytelling School story is:

“R2 Where are you?” by Tig Notaro

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

Talk to each other about Tig Notaro’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 CONFLICT. Some tension between characters or what we want or what we want to avoid is critical for a story to be compelling. Most conflict is the central point of where change occurs, like in Tig’s story, where the fight with her mom is the transitory shift for both her relationship with her mother and Rick. As an audience, we are intrigued by how a conflict will (or won’t) be resolved. 

  • How does Tig set up the context for a big shift in the story?

  • When did you feel most engaged while listening to the story?

  • What questions did you have when the story finished? 

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 Tig Notaro's exact experience, it still may have reminded you of a story from your life. Get inspired by these prompt questions to tell your own story!

  • Tell us about a time you did something that made you happy even when someone else in your life didn't want you to

  • Tell us about a time someone apologized for something that meant a lot to you

  • Tell us about a time you felt seen

  • Tell us about a time you felt rage

  • Tell us about a time you were encouraged

  • Tell us about a time you had hope

  • Tell us about a time where you had different fundamental thoughts than someone you were close to


  • Many of us might have a box of things that belong to someone who is no longer in our lives. Just like with Tig and her childhood toys and her mother’s items, things that have importance to you are a great inspiration for “story seeds”. Start your own memory box. What items from your life will you put inside and why? 

  • Tig says that her mother would come back to life even if it meant having to go back to a phone call where she is fighting with Tig.  Is there a moment in your life that you would relive (especially if it was uncomfortable), if it meant that you could connect with someone again? Consider what it would mean to go back to that moment and why the relationship is worth going back to. 

Share this post with a friend!

We are always looking for more young people and educators to join our storytelling workshops!  To learn more, apply for a workshop, or refer someone you know, please go to themoth.org/education.

Storyteller bio

Tig Notaro is an Emmy and Grammy-nominated stand-up comedian, writer, radio contributor, and actor as well as a favorite on numerous talk shows, including The Late Show with Stephen ColbertThe Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and EllenRolling Stone named her one of the "50 best stand-up comics of all time." Notaro appears in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead and Star Trek: Discovery; she wrote and starred in the groundbreaking TV show One Mississippi and just released her second HBO special Tig Notaro: Drawn. In 2021, Tig co-directed the feature film Am I OK? with wife, Stephanie Allynne, which debuted at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and will be available on HBO Max later this year. She hosts the critically acclaimed advice podcast, Don't Ask Tig as well as co-hosts the ridiculous documentary film podcast Tig and Cheryl: True Story.

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, and 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.