In a city famous for its scribes and performers, opportunities abound every week to hear Los Angeles writers and poets at readings and open mics.
Sit ‘N Spin
Held on Thursdays for more than a decade (usually twice a month) at Hudson Theatre‘s Comedy Central Stage in Hollywood, Sit ‘N Spin features local writers and performers reading essays from their life that are funny, dirty, tragic and always brutally honest. Each evening presents about a half dozen or so risky tales that shine “a light on the underbellies of the people who’ve sold their souls to the entertainment biz,” according to organizers. Admission is free with RSVP to 323-960-5519.
The Moth might be one of the most famous national platforms for storytelling in the country. Founded by George Dawes Green, a Georgia poet who wanted to recreate the sultry summer evenings of moths gathering around the light of a porch where friends would spin their spellbinding yarns, The Moth (a nonprofit based in New York) has attracted the likes of Sam Shepard, Margaret Cho, Lili Taylor, Al Sharpton and Ethan Hawke telling their stories. The Moth is always looking for new story submissions whether live or via weekly podcasts. The Moth events take place at a variety of L.A. venues and the stories revolve around a designated theme for each event. More info.
The Last Bookstore
Monday evenings at The Last Bookstore, downtown on the corner of Spring Street and 5th Street, are the most colorful and eclectic open mic nights in the city. Known as Speakeasy, and hosted by Lady Bosco, this weekly event is an unbeatable place to hear raw talent whether it’s storytelling, singing, rapping or comedy. Each performer has only four minutes, but that’s plenty of time for some of the wildest tales to emerge. Get there before 7:45pm to make a slot on the sign up sheet. There’s plenty to look at among The Last Bookstore’s aisles. The bookstore is housed in an old bank and even the old vaults house books.
Da Poetry Lounge
Located at the Greenway Court Theatre at Fairfax (just south of Melrose) is the city’s most vibrant and popular weekly poetry slam. Tuesdays at 9pm, the energy is explosive as poets and storytellers leap to the stage, baring their souls. Seats go quickly, before it’s standing room only. A live DJ spins terrific beats during breaks between poets.
Rant ‘N Rave
Rant ‘N Rave, a live storytelling evening at Rogue Machine, always brings a full house to the small theater. Like The Moth, readings revolve around a theme and stories range from hysterically funny to very poignant. It’s not uncommon to find Hollywood A-listers in the audience. Admission is $15 and benefites Rogue Machine.