Say hello to Mary John Frank : choreographer + director! She is a fearless + fierce lady creating movement for film. A bright Texas spirit, Mary John inspires us with her passion to live everyday with creative intention and with a work ethic as big as her home state. MJ spent seven years working in film production for big ole Hollywood studios before earning her Master’s in Dance from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Her background in filmmaking has given her another home for her choreography and her dance films are the perfect expression of Mary John’s vivid, playful + energetic world view. Her commercial spec for Converse as well as her films like EINSTEIN’S DANCE and ARLINGTON have received international praise. We are quite partial to this irreverent spoof of A Sound Of Music – THESE HILLS ARE ALIVE – below.
Favorite Southern saying or expression? Y’all.
Best meal you’ve eaten in the South is… Does Tex Mex count? If so, Ninfa’s in Houston is my favorite. Specifically their queso, flour tortillas, and steak fajitas. My grandfather’s BBQ, grilled pork chops are a close second.
What is your motto or mantra? Choose to see the beauty in things. This Mary Oliver quote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” speaks to this. I love that Oliver poses a question and her description of life as “wild” and “precious”. It reminds me that life is a gift and that we get to choose our attitudes how we want to spend our time here.
What is your idea of true happiness? Going with the flow.
What is your theme song? “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is the first song that comes to mind. I watched the film, The Wizard of Oz, repeatedly as a child and I still connect with it. To me, the song is about uninhibited dreaming, curiosity, and endless possibility.
Who is your modern-day hero? Malala Yousafzai.
What is something you recommend people try at least once? Adult ballet class. It is a humbling experience, regardless of level, and a beautiful reminder of our bodies capabilities. If ballet is not in the cards, my next recommendation would be queso!
Who inspires you? Why? At the moment, Jane Fonda and my mom. Jane Fonda for her talent and fearlessness. She is an activist, has a sense of humor, and also looks amazing in her seventies. My mom is a creative thinker, a thoughtful person, and is the most generous human I know (she also happens to look amazing, but that is not why she inspires me).
Thank you for inspiring us to listen to the creative spark, Mary John! Adult Ballet / Queso — here we come!