Mary Pickford Institute

Is This Saturday the Final Mary Pickford Studio Show for the Magic Meathands?

Change is certainly in the air for the Meathands.

This Saturday night, our Tag Team Comedy Show with the variety show Fun Night Live may well be our last time performing at the Mary Pickford Studio.

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:

  1. Come to this Saturday’s Tag Team Comedy Show at the Mary Pickford Studio at 8 PM!
  2. Sign the online petition to Save the Mary Pickford Institute and the home of the Magic Meathands!

Help Save the Meathands' Home

The above was cross-posted on the Magic Meathands blog. I’ve been a member of the Magic Meathands for over 3 years, performing over 150 shows of improvised comedy. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, give yourself a treat and catch one of our shows.

Magic Meathands: Our First April Show Will Feature More Making $#!& Up

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.).

RSVP on Facebook

The above was cross-posted on the Magic Meathands blog. I’ve been a member of the Magic Meathands for over 3 years, performing over 150 shows of improvised comedy. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, give yourself a treat and catch one of our shows.

Magic Meathands: Goodbye to Our Director, Hello to Our Future

Bill Johnson sees something he has to go do. Shane doesn't like it, Marshall ignores it.

Sunday’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.

We also expect him to continue his writing. Bill’s first novel, The Dark Province: The Son of Duprin, debuted last year to great reviews. We’re told a sequel and another novel are in the works.

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!

Your next chance is the popular Family Friendly Show with Jump Start Comedy Improv at the Mary Pickford Studio on Saturday, April 14, at 8 PM! See you there!

The above was cross-posted on the Magic Meathands blog. I’ve been a member of the Magic Meathands for over 3 years, performing over 150 shows of improvised comedy. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, give yourself a treat and catch one of our shows.

A Pair of Silly Saturdays – November 12 and 19

[Cross-posted on the new Magic Meathands blog]

November 12 with Jump Start

The Magic Meathands (of which I’m a member!) have two shows coming up that should satisfy every comedy need known to science.

First is a family friendly show suitable for audiences of every age. We’re joined by the improv comedy group Jump Start for a $7 show ($3 for kids 12 and under). Jump Start is from the Beach Cities area and is directed by Julie Martin.

November 19 with Held2Gether

Second is our Tag Team Comedy show with our special guest Held2gether, Darren Held’s improv comedy group based in Long Beach. This show is rated Late Night, so you might want to leave the kids at home. This show is also $7.

Both shows start at 8 PM and are at the Mary Pickford Studio, 8885 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles 90034, through the generosity of the Mary Pickford Institute.

If you’re on Facebook, you can check out details of each show, RSVP, and invite your friends to join you for the fun: Family-Friendly Show w/Jump Start on November 12 and Tag Team Comedy w/Held2Gether on November 19.