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!
I’m writing about our first post-Bill show and I’m already cartoon swearing. And the show is Family-Friendly! Oh, we’re doomed.
Come on out and see us completely make… stuff up based on your suggestions. (There, is that better?)
Every second Saturday of the month, the Magic Meathands (that’s us!) and Beach Cities’ Jump Start Improv put on a full night of improv comedy appropriate for the whole family. While staying sharp we offer a night for grownups where they can feel comfortable bringing the youngsters along.
A portion of ticket sales is donated to the Mary Pickford Institute, 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. Part of the organization’s outreach includes the Mobile Film Classroom, which brings cutting edge digital film technology and the opportunity to learn to children throughout Los Angeles.
Tickets: $7 ($3 for kids 12 & under)
Mary Pickford Studio
8885 Venice Blvd. Ste 102
Los Angeles, CA 90034-3242
Plenty of parking in the lot right there at 8885 Venice Blvd. (cross street National Blvd.).
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!
This month there are three – YES THREE – chances to bring some joy into your life with the Magic Meathands!
This Saturday, March 10, it’s our popular Family Friendly Night with Jump Start Comedy Improv! Both of our groups perform an hour each of fully improvised comedy suitable for people of all ages. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for 12 and under. The show starts at 8 PM at the Mary Pickford Studio.
Then next Saturday, March 17, come check out our Tag Team Comedy Show with this month’s special guest, The Callbacks! This is their second time joining forces with us and we’re thrilled to have them back. Once again, tickets are $7 and the show starts at 8 PM at the Mary Pickford Studio.
So there you have it! Three times the funny! All waiting for you!
One of our regular openers for our shows is a game called Objection. It’s also called Cranky Lawyers (cue: grumbling lawyers on-stage). It is perhaps not the most accurate representation of the US legal system, but we’re not that far off.
Since this show was rated Late Night, we somehow got from grilled cheese sandwiches to internet porn. Go figure!
Shane Boroomand plays the judge. The line-up of attorney, left to right: Jim Maloy, Carol McLaine, Paige Kimball, Mary Benedict, Nikki Turner, Liz Gill, Bill Johnson, Corey Blake.
Speaking of which, check out our new Cast page to get to know us better!
We’ve also updated our Shows page to a handy-dandy Google calendar. We have a community outreach show for a middle school, and then we’ve got two public performances at the Mary Pickford Studio: our Family Friendly Show on Saturday, March 10, and our Tag Team Comedy Show with special guests The Callbacks (referenced in the video above) on Saturday, March 17. Both shows start at 8 PM with $7 tickets ($3 for 12 and under at the Family Friendly Show).