Guest Writers · On Writing

Alex Trajano – Musician, Host, Storyteller

Alex Trajano hosting The Moth at Cliff Bells.

*Please note: since this blog was posted, Alex has begun hosting a new podcast entitled ‘Beginning of the End‘. Please, let your ears and hearts listen!

I had the overwhelmingly awesome pleasure of meeting Alex Trajano when I attended my first Moth event at Cliff Bells. Read all about it here! And here too!

Alex is the host of The Moth Storytelling Series when it takes place the first Thursday of every month at the luxuriously fabulous Cliff Bells in Detroit, Michigan.  But that’s not all he does. He’s also a wicked drummer and musician.

And he works for WDET 101.9FM in Detroit, MI.

Alex is engaging, hilarious, eccentric and vibrantly inspiring. I just had to invite him on my blog to find out more about his work, his passions and why storytelling is such an important part of his world. Although his answers are short and sweet (and so funny), don’t let that fool you. Alex is one of the funniest, outgoing and talented folks I know. His modesty speaks to his kind heart. 🙂

1) How long have you been hosting ‘The Moth’? What sparked your involvement with the storytelling genius that is ‘The Moth’? 

WDET brought The Moth Detroit in 2009.  Basically, I was asked to help coordinate the logistics of bringing the event to Detroit: Find a location, assemble the crew, find a host and make sure everything goes well etc.. That’s all I planned to do. During the first show I was surprised to have to say something to the crowd. I remember being terrified. I can’t remember what I said but the next day they asked me to be the full time host. Fools.

2) What is it about storytelling that ignites your own passion for this type of sharing? 

We all have a story.  And I think it is human nature to want to connect and relate to each by sharing common experiences.

3) How long have you worked at WDET – what is your ‘title’ and job there? 

I started at WDET in April of 2009.  My job title is Production Director. I’m also the head audio engineer and I maintain the image of our brand by overseeing what we sound like on the air. When I first started my goal was to change the “sound” of WDET. At first it was about basic audio quality standards. Then I tried to bring humor and an irreverent style.  It seemed to catch on. Now, people think of me as the Court Jester.

4) I hear your voice in ads and PSAs (public service announcements) on the radio, how much creative licence do you have working at WDET?

I’m sort of a Brand Manager of WDET’s image so I get to to be creative on many levels. I try a lot of things that never make it to air. Like fart sounds. My goal is get a fart sound on the air. They do it on Nickelodean all the damn time.

5) Is radio dying? Why or why not?

I don’t think terrestrial radio is dying but it does have some real challenges because of all the ways that people consume media these days. Everyone is fighting for listeners attention and it feels like attention spans are shrinking. However, I think that people will always be interested in good storytelling and the media purveyors that do it well have the best shot at sticking around. We talk a lot about that at WDET.

6) When do you listen to the radio?

As soon as I wake up then pretty much all day after that.

7) What is a Moth story that has stuck with you over the years? Why? 

Your story from the GrandSlam comes to mind. I’m too shy to recant it here. Cause you’re nasty. And I like it.

(I’ll give you two words to set your mind in motion: masturbation & fibre glass.)

8) What books do you read? Do you like to read?

Lately, I’ve been reading Golf-Self Help books. I’m gonna regret admitting this.

9) Do you read to your kids? What are some of your favourite stories?

I love reading to my kids. I must have read the Dr. Suess books thousands of times. Now I read Golf-Self Help books to them. That way, we all get something out of the time we’re spending.

10) Tell me about your band…what role do you play?

I play in all kinds of bands: Jazz, Honky Tonk, Irish Rock, Alt Country, Cover, an Eastern European Alt Folk band, American Rock, Argentinian Nuevo Tango ensemble, blah blah. I feel cheesy describing it. I basically just like to play good music . I am interested in a lot of sounds. I’m a drummer trapped in a lead singers’ body.

11) Would you consider yourself a storyteller? Why?

I don’t consider myself a storyteller because I see myself as a pretty boring guy. I like to tell my kids stories of my failures to sort of scare them straight.

12) What role do you think storytelling has in today’s world (loaded question)? How are you supporting this ’cause’ by hosting ‘the Moth’, being a rock star, a father, and a radio guru?

Storytelling is the only way we can “one up” each other. I just feel like I’m trying to keep up and go along for the ride. I gotta say, it’s pretty fun.

Alex will be hosting the next Moth session this Thursday, June 5, 2014. Here are the details:

“Celebration” on Thursday, June 5th
Host: Alex Trajano

4:00pm Doors Open
7:30pm Stories Begin
$5 tickets at the door

at Cliff Bell’s
2030 Park Avenue
Detroit, MI

Please click here to purchase pre-sale tickets! Pre-sold tickets guarantee admittance and cost $10. We’ve made these pre-sale tickets available for individuals who need to arrive closer to the start of the show or perhaps buy a block of tickets for a group in advance. Due to limited seating, pre-sold tickets DO NOT guarantee a seat. Reservations are also not accepted on Moth nights.

Prepare a five-minute story about a celebration. Opulent parties with champagne and fancy cheese or a hootenanny with jug whisky and a single bag of chips. Birthday, Wedding, Bris, Bar Mitzvah, Quinceanera, Graduation, One Year Sober, Coming Out, Passing The Bar, Promotion, your candidate in office, Pregnancy, 50 Years, New Years Eve, Winter Solstice, Cinco de Mayo, July Fourth… A raise, a victory, a divorce settlement, a beautiful day.


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