April 13, 2015

Monday Inspiration: The Moth Mainstage


To me, the point of having a blog is to have this little place that is mine, that I can visit when I feel inspired to just let something out. It doesn’t happen all the time, and doesn’t matter whether it is big or small, or perfectly written. All I know is when I get inspired by something I feel a bit flushed in my face and a little agitated and I need to run home and open my laptop and just TYPE. Literal word vomit.

I realise inspiration doesn’t just come to you. You can’t just sit around waiting to feel pumped about something when going about your daily business or doing the washing up. Sometimes, inspiration just vanishes for a bit. And all you can do is hope it’ll come back to you when you least expect it. 

Some things in life, however, are guaranteed to inspire you and put a little fire in your belly. I have friends who I know will inspire me in some way even if they pop round for one glass of wine, even just an hour in their company will open up loads of different ideas and feelings. I think that’s the point isn’t it? To discover things, have new ideas, meet new people, feel excited stuff and not get too bogged down. But I would say that: I’m addicted to writing. And writers need material.

“You think too much” should feel like a slight insult whenever it is spoken to me, or at least it’s quite far from being a compliment. Usually it’s been said to me after attempting to be open with someone who doesn’t get it, or who hates talking things out. Maybe an ex-boyfriend who’s idea of having a heart-to-heart is his worst nightmare.

Saying to an over-thinker “you think too much” will only make them think even more.

I think. I think.

But why would I want to change? Over-thinking things is my jam.

Tonight I had one of those guaranteed inspirational nights where I then “over-think” everything for hours afterwards. The Moth. I’ve been to the Story Slam events a few times, I even got up on stage and told my own story and then wrote about it for the Independent. I interviewed the lovely producer Polly. But oh my god, these stories. The Moth main stage event was another level all together. These stories has been rehearsed, directed and performed. They were insanely good. It put my “story” slash gin-fuelled rambling five minutes to shame.

The evening was hosted by Dan Kennedy from New York who hosts the iconic The Moth podcast (coolest job ever?) and he told a couple of stories himself (one about introducing himself to Duran Duran, and another about a roommate prank going wrong with resulted in falling out of a window). The theme (The Moth always has a theme) was “High Anxiety”. How very relatable.

Here’s a breakdown of the stories from tonight. I feel honoured to be in the same room as these people. I feel so so so so inspired after hearing their stories this evening.

Bisi Alimi

Bisi is a Nigerian gay rights activist. He told the story of his best friend who died of Aids. He was the first ever Nigerian man to come out on national television. The FIRST EVER. This story was incredibly moving and I admire Bisi for being brave enough to share such a deeply personal story with so many people. I think it’s important to note how brave it is to get up on that stage.

Sara Barron 

Sara’s my new #girlcrush. She’s a storyteller who has written books such as People Are Unappealing. Her story is about her husband who shares custody of a dog with his ex girlfriend. Sara was totally brilliant at communicating her story, and a total natural on stage. I was cackling so hard the person next to me gave me a weird look. It included a lot of truths about privately stalking people you shouldn’t be stalking on social media. My kinda gal.

Jung Chang

Jung Chang told her story of growing up in communist China, wanting to be a writer. Her story began with the horrors of growing up in Mao China, in which her parents suffered a lot. She would get in serious trouble for even writing poetry if anyone found out. However, later on in life she came to England, and was the first person from China to be awarded a PHD from a British university.  She wrote a family autobiography called Wild Swans which then went on to sell 10 million copies. Incredible.

Tim FitzHigham

Tim decided he wanted to row across the English channel in a bath. Like, as in, a bath tub. He pitched the idea, and ended up getting supported from the Royal Navy, the Queen, and the navy in France (after much persuasion.) Oh and he also has a toilet named after him. Quite an amazing (and random) story about how the British public love to show support for weird and wonderful things.

Christina Lamb

Christina is the foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times and author of Farewell Kabu. She told an incredible story about what its like to be in a warzone and then a few days later be at her son’s 7th birthday party shopping in Tesco for bread and ham. The contrasts between the risks she takes for her work and her home life really was incredible to listen to. SUCH an inspirational woman.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to just have a long think about how brilliant the evening and these people are.

Thanks to The Moth & Sunday Times for a wonderful evening.

No Responses

  1. Becks says:

    Ever since the first time you wrote about The Moth I’ve been trying to pluck up the courage to go! In the meantime, I’ve heard they do podcasts so I’m definitely going to download as many as I can and get lost in the stories!

    Becks xo

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