The Moth in Sydney

When asked to choose a team name in keeping with the theme “borders”, I chose “Coolangatta Gold”. Admittedly, it’s a rather obscure reference to a 1980s film which starred Colin Friels, Robin Kevin, Grant Kenny and others about ironman events. As such, I thought it was a great way to encompass the interests of my friend (film and ocean swimming) and of course for me, coming from the NSW North Coast, I was well aware of the significance of Coolangatta being on the border of NSW and Queensland. Clever, though such a shame I had to explain it :)

Anyway, we had to choose a team name because we were selected as one of three groups to judge tonight’s contestants at “The Moth”, a story telling night at Sydney’s “Giant Dwarf”.

As we sat and watched the stories being told, our minds and conversation wandered back to attending a “Moth” event almost twelve months ago in New York. We reminisced about how amazing the night was, ending with a late night meal at Balthazar’s where Salman Rushdie was seated at a nearby table. Truly memorable. In contrast, our night started off with a bite to eat at Abdul’s with no apparent celebrities seated closeby.

Nonetheless, we had a terrific night. None of the stories were “standout”. Oddly enough, one of the best stories of the night was told by a fourteen year old girl. Many of them were either over-rehearsed, or didn’t really have a purpose. There was one story, for example, where early in the piece, we whispered in each other’s ears “I don’t care”. That’s the one we gave the lowest score too, and one where we were clearly out of step with the rest of the room.

As scorers, I think we were the most consistent of the night. In contrast other times varied considerably. We must have gained a reputation, though, as hard markers. Overheard in the women’s toilets at intermission was “That team at the front, Coolangatta Gold are pretty hard core”. Really? Our lowest score was 7.6 out of ten (and that was probably a little generous). And did I mention my friend and I have been in the “story” business for several decades between us? I’ve also had my own experience as an on-stage story-teller. Anyway…

A fun night, and congratulations to the organisers, and to the story tellers who had the guts to get up and tell a story in front of a crowd of a few hundred people on a chilly Tuesday night in winter. Bravo

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