What’s the NoHo motto? “NoHo in only as great as its people.”
It’s a treat for us to highlight North Hollywood folks doing something creative, helpful and, well, fun. Let’s give a big NoHo welcome to Rebecca and Tim from the NoHo Artist Den.
Rebecca Hanson, Tim Ryder and Trond of the NoHo Artist Den.
How did you come up with the idea of the NoHo Artists Den?
My wife (Rebecca Hanson) and I (Tim Ryder) moved to North Hollywood from Chicago a little over two years ago and were very fortunate to find a property with this weird tiny theater in the backyard! It was described in the listing as an “Artist Den” and when we saw it, we knew we had to do something with it. There were theater seats in there all ready to go! We just put a little bit of work into getting equipment and making it functional for a variety of purposes, then started spreading the word among our friends. We were both very active in the improv and sketch comedy scene in Chicago and a lot of our friends had made the move out to LA before us, so we knew there was a community of people who often need a space to do creative things. We thought The NoHo Artist Den could hopefully fill that void and be a good resource for people. It’s such a cool space – we just like to see people make use of it. Otherwise, it’s just us back there doing our laundry and that’s not very fun.
What can one do at the space?
A bunch of stuff! At its heart, it’s a cozy backyard theater, so it’s great for things like improv rehearsals, scene study, table reads, etc. With a little effort, we can also configure it in a variety of different ways. We have some lights that swing down and we hang a backdrop to film self-tape auditions. We can hang some sound blankets and set up our microphones to record podcasts. We also put acoustic tiles in the water closet to make our own voiceover recording booth! People have even rented the space to shoot sketches and short films. Pretty much anything you might need a creative space for, we can help with.
When did you open your space?
Almost exactly one year ago is when we officially branded it the NoHo Artist Den and started getting the word out to our friends.
Are you active in the L.A. improv community?
Here and there. We’ve done a few pickup shows with friends at Second City Hollywood and The Clubhouse. But we each did enough improv in Chicago for three lifetimes, so it hasn’t been a big focus for us since moving here.
What’s Mystery Science Theater 3000?
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K, to fans) is a comedy show that originally aired on Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel back in the 90’s. It started on a public access channel in Minnesota and was created by Joel Hodgson. The premise is simple and remains unchanged throughout its many incarnations: a guy and his robot friends are forced by mad scientists to watch cheesy old movies, so they make jokes in order to stay sane. It was brought back, thanks to a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, in 2015 and Rebecca and I wrote and performed on the two new seasons (currently streaming on Netflix) as well as a couple of the live tours. It was one of our favorite shows ever and a huge influence on us comedically, so to get the chance to work on it was honestly a dream come true for both of us.
What’s your favorite part about living in NoHo?
Honestly, as two lifelong Midwesterners, we appreciate how flat it is. There were a few apartments we looked at that we had to rule out because of the steep slope we would’ve had to park on. We’ve also found the Valley pretty easy to get around, not to mention the great local businesses and access to freeways and the Red Line! But mostly the flatness.
Thanks for helping to #KeepNoHoArtsy
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