Framed against the history of The Moth, authors from the experience compile a list of tactful questions, mindsets, and various other tidbits from performing their lives on stage in How To Tell A Story. As interesting as this scope is to consider, writing nonfiction that isn’t necessarily performative but a presentation of sorts, I was left wondering who this book was for while reading. Was it for professional or emerging authors? Was it for playwrights? Was it simply for inspiring storytellers working up the courage to get on stage? And I have come to the conclusion that it’s a yes, a yes to all the questions above, and a yes to all the people who may pick it up. How To Tell A Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth is for anyone and everyone.
This book doesn’t teach one how to perform their life, but how to detangle the stories that fill it. From what angles should people be considering different experiences, how can one analyze this interaction, is this funny to me and no one else, how do I share the humor or the tragedy? The Moth is teaching people how to effectively communicate with all the tools shared in How To Tell A Story.
What I find most compelling about this book, isn’t the contributors, the history, or even the tips, but the timing of the lessons. As we all emerge from our sheltered abodes, I find more and more miscommunication around every corner. People are struggling to speak in person, to pick up bodily cues, to enjoy interaction at its purest form. The Moth has cultivated a skillset in the absence of one. I wonder what the world would look like, if everyone picked up a copy of How To Tell A Story. How do you think it would look?