Ever since the Moth storytelling SLAM series landed at West Asheville’s own Mothlight in September, the local reaction has been, well, glowing. September and October shows both sold out in a matter of hours, and now, organizers of the nationally lauded National Public Radio series have signed on through June 2016.
The storytelling slam, in which 20 participants tell funny, heartbreaking and inspiring stories in front of a live audience all without using notes, has set up shop in venues all across the U.S. The Mothlight engagement is the Moth’s first North Carolina outing and takes place every third Thursday at 7:30 p.m. with tickets going on sale the second Thursday of the month.
For Mothlight owners Amanda and Jon Hency, Moth’s SLAM is a natural fit for the venue that just marked its second year on Haywood Road. Well known for hosting genre-busting bands, the Mothlight has also earned a reputation for non-musical entertainment and community events that support its mission of creative expression.
“As much as we do love live music in this town, we also love things like comedy and storytelling,” Amanda Hency says. “People can’t seem to get enough.”
Comedy nights, game show nights and offbeat events like “Everything Is Terrible” (presented by Haywood Road neighbor Orbit DVD) have all drawn loyal fans, and this winter will see the second incarnation of the Mothlight’s Pinewood Derby race.
So when organizers reached out to the Mothlight over the summer, everything just clicked.
Says Moth organizer Robin Wachsberger: “When we partnered with WCQS for the Asheville SLAM series, we were tasked with finding a local venue with an intimate, yet celebratory vibe. The Mothlight was the ‘Goldilocks’ type of venue we look for.”
Wachsberger says it didn’t hurt that the name of the venue was so apt, but adds that even if having the name in common wasn’t part of the equation, “we would have been equally as elated to call this venue home.”
That’s because what the Moth was really looking for, the Mothlight had: seating for 200, a supportive staff, a space that is enjoyable for participants and the audience, and acoustics that lend themselves to recordings of the storytellers for future broadcast.
Hency adds that the Mothlight’s sound is a result of good gear, a great sound staff and the benefit of the venue’s odd architectural corners and angles. “In a lot of ways, we just lucked out,” she says, explaining that a sound expert once told her that right angles are bad for sound. “And there’s not single a right angle in this room.”
So far, the Moth SLAM event has seen return appearances by veterans of Asheville’s comedy community as well as newcomers, all of whom put their name in a hat on the eve of the event in hopes of being picked to take the stage. The momentum continues to build as word spreads and storytellers bring their best to the Moth SLAM.
“I’m so impressed by the caliber of these storytellers,” Hency says. “It’s hard not to be engaged.”
November 19, StorySLAM theme is Celebration.
Tickets at: www.themoth.org
7:00pm Doors / 7:30pm Stories begin
CELEBRATION: Prepare a five-minute story about a celebration. Opulent parties with champagne and fancy cheese or a hootenanny with jug whisky and a single bag of chips. Birthday, Wedding, Bris, Bar Mitzvah, Quinceanera, Graduation, One Year Sober, Coming Out, Passing The Bar, Promotion, your candidate in office, Pregnancy, 50 Years, New Years Eve, Winter Solstice, Cinco de Mayo, July Fourth… A raise, a victory, a divorce settlement, a beautiful day. — *Tickets become available one week before the show, at 3pm ET. Media Sponsor: WCQS