Category Archives: Updates
Many thanks to all who came out to our Tag Team show this past Saturday! We had a great night mashing stand-up comics and improv comedy into one big show, and judging by the laughs, you seemed to like it too!
Last month, we sadly said goodbye to our director Bill Johnson but that doesn’t mean the end of the Magic Meathands striving to get better and better. We’re now pulling from a number of experienced improvisers to serve as temporary coaches during our rehearsals.
Our first is Chris Ellis, a longtime member of the The Trans4merz, an improv group playing regularly at Fanatic Salon and originally directed by improvisation innovator Stan Wells. He is also co-creator/director of the hit web-series Fresh Hell, the comedy/tragedy starring Brent Spiner as himself in a world where a mysterious incident has destroyed his career. As you might expect, guest appearances and cameos abound, among them Star Trek: The Next Generation co-star LeVar Burton and The Guild‘s Jeff Lewis and Sandheep Parikh. The series was created with Spiner and writer/fellow Trans4merz Harry Hannigan (According to Jim). Meathands alum Heather Brumley can be seen in the opening credits of each Season 1 episode, and cameos as a Trekkie Nerd in Season 2, now playing on YouTube.
Oh and Chris Ellis is also British. So if you notice an inordinate amount of terrible British accents in our shows, now you know why.
Here’s a Fresh Hell promo:
This Saturday night, the Magic Meathands will debut at our new home, The Heyler Space! Our popular Family Friendly Show with Jump Start Comedy Improv will break in the new performance venue on Saturday, May 12 at 8 PM. Tickets are still only $7 for adults and $3 for children.
Located on Pico Blvd. only one block east of the Westside Pavilion in West Los Angeles, Heyler is owned by Heyler Realty, one of the community’s oldest local businesses. They just recently moved to this great new location and with their interest in giving back to the community, we knew they’d be a great fit for us and our community outreach. Heyler can be easily accessed from the 10 and 405 freeways.
Straight from their Facebook page, below is a peak at Heyler’s spacious offices, which will be transformed into a fun and comfortable theater this Saturday night! Bring your friends and the whole family to witness the start of a new age of madcap mirth-making from the Magic Meathands!
Family Friendly Show featuring improv comedy with the Magic Meathands and Jump Start
Saturday, May 12
8:00 – 10:00 PM
$7 ($3 for kids 12 and under)
10659 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Change is certainly in the air for the Meathands.
In case you haven’t heard, Indiewire initially broke the story and Deadline Hollywood has the most recent information. The basics is that the Mary Pickford Foundation cut off funding of the Mary Pickford Institute, which owns the Mary Pickford Studio. For those that don’t know, here is the Mary Pickford Institute’s mission statement:
The Mary Pickford Institute (MPI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating awareness of film pioneer Mary Pickford’s life, preserving her work, furthering her philanthropic legacy and honoring her creativity. Our community resources and services provide a bridge from early cinema to modern filmmaking. Our innovative outreach programs ignite an excitement for learning while building participants’ sense of accomplishment and self-esteem by utilizing teaching tools that are immediate, relevant and current.
There’s an online petition set up to ask the Foundation to reconsider. Please join us in adding your voice in support of continuing the legacy of Mary Pickford and the Institute’s (and our) efforts of outreach.
Truthfully, we don’t know much more than what’s been released in those links above, but we know that this Saturday night’s show will almost definitely be the last chance to catch the Magic Meathands in this great venue. We’re crossing our Meaty fingers for a last minute Hollywood ending. But in the meantime, we’re going to give the Mary Pickford Studio one heck of a blow-out for our final show! Please come out and help celebrate the good work the Institute has done. We have given a percentage of the box office from every show we’ve held at the Mary Pickford Studio to the Mary Pickford Institute. Maybe if we completely pack the house, we’ll send the signal to the Foundation that the Studio has value in the community and both the Studio and the Institute deserve to stick around.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
- Come to a special fundraiser at the Mary Pickford Institute tonight at 7:30 PM!
- Come to this Saturday’s Tag Team Comedy Show at the Mary Pickford Studio at 8 PM!
- Sign the online petition to Save the Mary Pickford Institute and the home of the Magic Meathands!
Yesterday’s rehearsal was our final with director Bill Johnson. He was the original founder, teacher and director of the Magic Meathands improv comedy ensemble.
After 8 years of guiding us, he is leaving us behind to let us grow to the next level while he pursues his own opportunities.
Bill taught most of us for years and encouraged us to explore the absurd, the silly and the joyful. Because of that influence, the Magic Meathands have developed a dynamic, high energy that is unique among most improv groups. He also brought his focus to community outreach, making the Magic Meathands the only improv group in Los Angeles that regularly brings live comedy to the very people most in need of joy and laughter. Just this past Saturday, we played to an enthusiastic crowd at the Ocean Park Community Center, a facility in Santa Monica that serves the homeless and mentally ill. Next month, we’ll return to our friends at the Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services facility in Altadena, where they house over 40 boys aged 10 to 18. We first performed for them in early 2008 and continue to visit them several times a year. And finally, because of the variety of our audiences and venues, Bill developed a team of performers comfortable with audiences of different age groups and content preferences. Not too many improv groups have their own rating system for their shows, but the Meathands do to make sure audiences know what they’re getting into.
So yes, Bill created a pretty magnificent thing but the time has come for him to go. So now what?
Always passionate about reaching out to the community and helping children, Bill is pursuing a teaching career at a school in the Coachella Valley where he’s teaching math to struggling kids. Yes, math. We don’t get it either.
Meanwhile, the Magic Meathands have been preparing for this day for some time. Over the last year, we became a self-directed performing group. That means we all share the responsibility of running different parts of the show, instead of Bill serving as sole director and emcee every show. In turn, our shows have been evolving into a completely new format that is bringing out the best in our cast. Simply put, if you haven’t seen the Meathands in the last 4 months or more, you haven’t seen the Meathands!
And so the conversion is complete!
We’ve been building up a WordPress blog here for several months and eventually it just made our old MagicMeathands.com website redundant. So, the time came for us to merge the two and here we are: the new MagicMeathands.com!
If you haven’t stopped by before – welcome! If you’re a regular visitor, there’s been a couple of improvements recently. So how about a quick run through the site?
If you’d like to subscribe to get updates about our shows and any other exciting Magic Meatiness, put your email in the “Follow Blog via Email” box near the top of the column to the right. You can customize your subscription to get emails of what’s posted here as frequently or infrequently as you prefer. We usually post something once a week, every Monday at 10 AM, to let you know about Upcoming Shows and other things we think you’d like. (Don’t worry, your email address will not be shared with ne’er-do-wells or anyone else for that matter.)
On the left, we highlight our latest video from our YouTube channel. If the screen is too small for you, just click on the YouTube logo and you’ll be taken to the video’s page so you can see it at a bigger size. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a comment to let us know what you think.
And then below that is our Twitter feed, which we must confess is mostly just a repeat of our Facebook page updates right now, but we’ll get that up and running with something worthwhile soon. What would you think of a live tweeting of our rehearsals? That might be a fun behind-the-scenes glimpse.
Before we go, let’s take a closer look at that prevoiusly-mentioned Upcoming Shows page. Check out that new fangled calendar we’ve got set up! Pretty life-changingly awesome, huh? Click on any show title and more information will drop down, including a Google map to the venue, ticket prices, and other Handy details. Right next door is the Show Ratings page, so you don’t accidentally bring Aunt Tillie to the wrong show.
So that’s the quick tour around the new MagicMeathands.com! Come back any time!
We’re sad to announce that this Friday night’s show at the Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica has been canceled due to forces beyond our control. But we’ll be back at the Mary Pickford Studio the very next week on Saturday, February 11th, at 8 PM for only $7 ($3 for kids 12 and under). As ever, we’ll be performing a full hour of improvised comedy using a combination of short-form games and long-form scenarios based on your suggestions. Opening for us is the Beach Cities improv group Jump Start.
The show is geared toward people of all ages, so bring your entire family. The Mary Pickford Studio has been a very popular venue for us, where we’re regularly pulling in full houses. Come on out and see what all of the awesome is about!
Would you like to have magical hands of meat? Now’s your chance!
The Magic Meathands will be holding auditions for new members this Wednesday night in Los Angeles! We are seeking comedic actors and improvisers, male and female, 18+ to join our ensemble. If interested, e-mail the director at email@example.com. You can also submit via Actors Access.
Members can perform in our numerous live shows each month, as well as participating in our web series, workshops and other opportunities. For more information on being a Meathand, visit our Membership page.
Thank you for joining us in this new corner of the growing Magic Meathands online empire!
If you received an email from us recently via WordPress.com, you probably signed up to our mailing list at one of our shows over the last few years. Or maybe you signed up on our website. We’re transitioning our fan club community newsletter to this blog format, so from now on you’ll hear about shows, online videos, our community outreach program, auditions, and other exciting announcements from this blog. By subscribing to our blog, you’ll get an email letting you know about new postings here. It’s the perfect low-maintenance way for you to enjoy our Meathandy goodness!
All you have to do is confirm your sign-up, which is easy. Here’s how:
In the email you received, there will be a link in there asking you to confirm that you still love us. Assuming you do (why wouldn’t you?!), you’ll want to click on that link, which will take you to a secure page that will allow you to customize how often you get an email from us. We’ll be posting here about once or twice a week, so be sure to pick the frequency that is most convenient for you. You can set it to:
- Instant: The moment we post a blog, you’ll get an email about it. Perfect for our biggest fans!
- Daily: At around 5 PM local time, you should receive an email with all of the day’s blogging activity. If we don’t post anything that day, you won’t get anything. What a perfect nightcap!
- Weekly: At the end of the week, you’ll get a single email containing everything we’ve posted earlier in that week. This is the Weekend Warrior setting! (Or you love us, but you don’t love-love us, and that’s OK too.)
If you’re reading this and didn’t get an email, you can still subscribe to our blog! Just type your email address into the box at the top right corner where it says “Follow Blog via Email”. Or if you’re a fancy computer person, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.
You can always unsubscribe at any time, no questions asked. In fact, every email will include a link to manage your subscription, if you find the frequency you chose isn’t working out. As ever, we will never sell or give away your email address for any other purposes but for us to keep in touch with you.
In fact, we love hearing from you! Under each blog post, you can leave a comment about what you think. You’ll also notice our Facebook and Twitter feeds on either side of this post, and there’s also our YouTube channel, where we’ve got original sketch comedy videos and footage from our live shows. If you’re on any one of those social media sites, friend, follow and/or subscribe, and be sure to leave a comment.
The internet is a lot of fun, but truth be told, there’s an even better way to stay connected: Live and in person! Sure it’s old fashioned, but we think it’s still the best way to do improv. We’ve got two exciting shows for you this weekend!
- Friday at 8 PM, we’re performing at the Westside Comedy Theater, which has just been renovated with a bar and improved seating! Tickets are $10, and your ticket is good for the rest of the night (The Waterbrains at 9 PM and Mission: IMROVable at 10 PM).
- Saturday at 8 PM, it’s our popular Family Friendly show with Jump Start Comedy Improv, an improv group from the Beach Cities area of LA county! The show is at our new home base of the Mary Pickford Studio. Tickets are $7 for the entire night!