Last week, Missoula nightowls gathered at the Badlander for the debut of a new and interesting breed of local stage performance inspired by "The Moth," New York City's renowned community storytelling forum. The aptly named Missoula Moth drew roughly 85 people for an evening of drinking and laughing—balanced with a few heartfelt moments—organized by University of Montana journalism graduate and former Independent writer Patrick Duganz. The event proved such a success that a second installment of Missoula Moth has been scheduled for Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.
Missoula Moth's debut featured a number of prominent Missoula personalities. Missoulian crime reporter Gwen Florio shared a darkly humorous tale of covering a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv while working as a foreign correspondent. UM journalism professor Nadia White spilled the beans on her student experience in Acting for Non Majors, the bad grade she got and what she did with the class textbook at the end of the semester (hint: it involved fire). One of the night's highlights came when Nico Atienza gave an eye-witness account of the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that hit Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Even your's truly publicly fessed up to interviewing Jewish rapper Matisyahu by cell phone from a toilet seat several years back.
The first hour or so of Missoula Moth's debut can be heard on the event's podcast. But these stories—all true—are only a small sampling of what the local community has to offer. Expect even more hilarious and compelling tales coming up later this month. And if you've got a real-life story to share, reserve a slot soon by emailing Missoula Moth.