Bryan’s love for story changed the trajectory of my life. The night we met, Bryan knew nothing about me. He was just doing what he loves: telling stories and creating the space for others to tell their stories.
I had never heard of The Moth. I wasn’t a storyteller. I was a poet. And someone at the Dayton Poetry Slam told me that my poems were more like stories and that I should check out this thing: The Dayton Story Slam. And when I heard that the winning storyteller got $50, I decided to check it out. I prepared a story and I won. And that $50 paid my cell phone bill, days after the heat and the electricity had been turned off for non-payment. I told that story because I needed $50.
What I got in return was so much more rich than $50. I found that I loved telling stories. Healing happened within me when I shared stories on stage. It was like I took this weight that I was carrying around and I unpacked it and opened it and showed it to the audience. And each person in the crowd took a tiny piece of the story for themselves. And when I left the stage, the weight was gone. Each member of the audience had taken a small piece of it from me and instead of being heavy, it became small and precious. Sharing the story transformed my history for me. And sharing the story changed the audience right in front of me.
The Dayton Story Slam Grand Slam was followed by a Louisville Moth Story Slam and then the Louisville Moth Grand Slam, where Bryan and I shared the stage. And then Pittsburgh and Chicago and Detroit and Ann Arbor and Cincinnati. And when I thought this storytelling thing was too much, Bryan encouraged me. And when I wanted to do a curated storytelling event, Bryan supported me. And when I asked him to teach storytelling, he joined me.
Bryan was just doing his thing, living his truth and sharing his love of storytelling, and his being himself changed me. Bryan sharing his story changed how my story has been written. And that, THAT, is the power of story.
Bryan is the emcee for the LORE Mainstage: Hunger event on Thursday, May 9th at 7:00. He will on stage, telling stories and creating the space for others to tell their stories - doing what he loves.
Don't miss it.