Dan Kennedy, host of The Moth
In the latest episode of the RiYL podcast, Brian Heater interviews the host of the long-running true-story live performance and podcast, The Moth.
Over its 17 year existence, The Moth has shaped the age-old art of storytelling into something uniquely its own, a style as instantly recognizable as any music style or movie genre. And like a great song or movie, there’s something in a perfectly executed Moth story that leaves the listener feeling as though they could never imitate such a perfect feat. And, if the organization’s show runners are to be believed, just about anyone with a story, and the willingness to be coached by a pro, can do precisely that.
And that is The Moth’s greatest attribute: its ability to balance populism with transcendence. In one sense, the podcast’s host Dan Kennedy embodies exactly that, at least the way he tells his story: jobless, furnitureless, recently dumped, newly sober, stumbling into a storytelling night many years ago.
Until I heard him recite the tale of his magazine-assigned trip to Indonesia to search for an elusive nine-foot reticulated python, I knew little about Kennedy. Turns out he is a man brimming with stories — and over the years, he’s gotten pretty good at telling them. In fact, he’s got a few books to his name. There’s Rock On, which recounts the 18 months he spent working marketing for Atlantic Records, and Loser Goes First, a memoir of Kennedy’s uncanny knack for stumbling into interesting situations — not unlike the one that brought him to The Moth in the first place.
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Olivia Wood is a video game writer, narrative designer, and editor, specializing in interactive narrative. She works for Failbetter Games in London, UK. Her credits include Sunless Skies (writer, narrative designer and editor), Sunless Sea: Zubmariner (writer, narrative designer and editor), Sunless Sea (writer and editor), Fallen London (writer, narrative designer and editor), Where the […]
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