Three years ago today, I wrote a post asking for readers to vote on a story pitch that I had submitted to The Moth via their website.
The opportunity to tell a story for The Moth is a big deal to me. So if you have a moment, please click over to The Moth’s website and vote for my story (if you think it worthy) by clicking on the stars beside the story itself. Rating my story pitch will also register one vote for me.
This represented my cowardly attempt to tell a story for The Moth. Even though I lived close enough to New York City to compete in a StorySLAM by simply dropping my name into a hat, I was desperately attempting to avoid taking the stage and being assigned a numerical score for my performance.
It’s amazing to see how quickly your life can change when you decide to face your fear. Less than a month after pitching that story on The Moth’s website, I decided to stop acting like a coward and went to New York City with my wife to tell a story.
When we arrived at the Nuyorican’s Poets Café, I placed my name in the hat and immediately prayed that it wouldn’t be drawn. When it was, I stayed in my seat for a moment, hoping that the host, Dan Kennedy, might become impatient and choose another name instead. Then Elysha told me to get out of my seat and on the stage.
I did. This is what I saw.
I had become a storyteller.
This victory led me to my first GrandSLAM, where I competed against nine other StorySLAM winners. I placed third that night. I met two storytellers on that stage who I am proud to call my friends today.
My life has changed profoundly since the night I took that stage less than three years ago.
I have gone on to tell stories at 22 Moth StorySLAMs in New York and Boston. I have won 11 of them.
I’ve told stories at six Moth GrandSLAMs and placed a frustrating second in four of them.
I’ve told stories at two Moth Main Stage shows.
I’ve gone on to tell stories for other storytelling organizations like The Mouth, The Story Collider, Literary Death Match, and more. I’ve delivered talks at three TED conferences throughout New England. I’ve been hired to deliver speeches for a variety of reasons.
Last year my wife and I founded Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization. Since then, we have produced six shows at Real Art Ways in Hartford. All have been sell outs.
We now teach storytelling workshops to people who want to become storytellers for a variety of reasons. Other venues throughout New England have reached out to us, asking us to consider bringing our show to them.
When someone asks me where I see myself in five years, I laugh. If you’re wiling to say yes to opportunities, as frightening or silly or impossible as they may seem, your life will change constantly.
The future will be impossible to predict.
Three years ago, I was a guy who wanted to tell one story on one Moth stage. Someday.
Today, storytelling has become an enormous part of my life.
It’s incredible to think that just three years ago, I was staring a website, asking friends and family to vote for my story, hoping that someone at The Moth would like my pitch enough to choose me.
Life can change fast if you give it a chance.