Competing against my hero

Storyteller Steve Zimmer is a hero of mine. I’ve listened to him several times on The Moth’s weekly podcast and have heard him tell stories live at Moth events around the city. I adore this style of storytelling and am always impressed with his performance.

But Steve is also my competitor at the upcoming Moth GrandSLAM Championship in July, which I find both exciting and daunting.

Steve has told stories at more than 75 StorySLAMs and has been to 10 GrandSLAM championships.

By contrast, I have told stories at four StorySLAMs, and this will be my second GrandSLAM championship.

In the experience department, Steve has quite a leg up on me.

I’ve always wondered how veteran storytellers prepare for competition, and in this short video, Steve discusses several of his techniques, as well as admitting to the level of nervousness and competitiveness that he experiences when he takes the stage.

Overall, I suspect that I am slightly less nervous than Steve when I take the stage but at least as competitive, if not more. As much as I enjoy taking the stage and telling a story, the competitive side of The Moth has always appealed to me as well.

But competing against one of my storytelling heroes next month will probably increase my level of nervousness considerably.