NPR's The Moth Returns to Miami

The Moth
The Moth
Photo by Denise Ofelia Mangen

Have a tale you’ve always wanted to share? The Moth sure hopes so. Created as an offshoot of the New York based series which is recorded live and transmitted via podcast and as “The Moth Radio Hour” on WLRN (91.3 FM), participants offer true, first-person accounts on a predetermined theme.

“I like the really personal ones; there are some people out there that have no qualms in just really opening themselves up and sharing this private part of them,” said Miami Moth producer Paula Echevarria. “I think now with technology and social media we kind of miss that sensitivity of what it really is to relate to another human being.”

Created in 1997, the StorySLAM program and open mike first presented a show in Miami way back in 2007 and finally returned in January of this year to The Stage. After just a few months, the venue closed and their new home became Grand Central. Tuesday night’s theme was “delusions” and topics ranged from war, schizophrenic mothers, praying the gay away, and vanity. Moth StorySLAM stories are always presented live, without notes, and must be five minutes long. The winner wins nothing, except the opportunity to participate in the GrandSLAM championship.

“You get over here and you see people from all walks of life sharing their stories and it really paints the rainbow of what’s really going on in Miami,” said Echevarria. “The fact that The Moth podcasts it and videotapes it and reports it, I think it’s important historically just to get a sense of what’s happening here now.”

Some believe that Miami is going through a cultural renaissance right now, breaking its own stereotypes of being a party spot, a tourist haven, a city of sin and shallow folk. The truth is, Miami is a bit of an enigma.

“I don’t think anything has to be Miami specific when you attach an emotion to it,” said Echevarria. “I think the culture comes in itself in the storytelling. Across the board, no matter what race or culture you are, we all feel.”

For the next StorySLAM in Miami, the theme will be “balance.” Whether you want to listen, judge, or tell a story, it's worth checking out . And come November, even bigger things are on the horizon with a collaboration planned with the Miami International Book Fair and Swampspace.

The Moth StorySLAM will be back Tuesday, July 28, at Grand Central. Doors open at 7 p.m., show stories begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information visit themoth.org.

Follow Dana De Greff on Twitter. 

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