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League of Inveterate Poets

The out-of-context contextuality of a foolish sage

Dylan Brody and the Art of Storytelling

By on June 13, 2010

If you follow this blog, you know that I’m trying to develop myself as a storyteller (The Bus, the Bench, and the Chamber of Doom text version | audio version). They say if you want to be a writer you should read great writers. So I figure if I want to be a storyteller, I should be listening to great storytellers. It doesn’t hurt that I survived my adolescence by means of nightly doses of Jean Shepherd on the radio.

It’s a boon to me, therefore, that there is currently a storytelling revival going on. The Moth is a great example of this, sponsoring sold-out events nationwide that are nothing more than people getting up and telling a “true” story of 5 to 15 minutes in front of a live audience. Here in the Triangle region of North Carolina, Jeff Polish’s The Monti brings a local flavor to Moth-like evenings. (I plan to put my name in the hat for a chance to tell a live story at the next Monti Story Slam on June 22.)

As I’m learning the craft of good storytelling, whether in writing or “live,” one of the contemporary masters I’ve come to admire is comedian, novelist, artist and playwright Dylan Brody. Here’s a brief sampling of his genius, “The World’s Stupidest Mugging”:

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