Roy Janik's Many Worlds

February 1, 2017


Valerie Lopez


Richard Goodwin


Our first come­di­an from the rur­al town of San­ta Fe (Texas, not the oth­er one), Roy Janik is a pow­er­house on the Austin improv scene. Janik (“Yawn-ick,” not Jan-ick.” Don’t tell his fam­i­ly he says it that way.) has an inter­est­ing comedic pedi­gree. While grow­ing up, he was fed a diet of Mys­tery Sci­ence The­ater 3000. He didn’t find his pas­sion for per­form­ing all at once, but in a series of for­tu­nate events lat­er in high school and while doing col­lege radio. 

Janik holds a Mas­ters Degree in Com­put­er Sci­ence, which almost went anoth­er way. He hit a major turn­ing point in his pro­fes­sion­al improv career with his ini­tial per­for­mance in Mae­stro at The Hide­out The­atre. This ear­ly suc­cess, plus a press­ing need to guar­an­tee the future of The Hide­out The­atre, drove a rapid involve­ment, respon­si­bil­i­ty and ulti­mate­ly co-own­er­ship of the the­ater where he first got his start.

Com­e­dy Wham Presents: Roy Janik

Not only did The Hide­out troupe lead Janik into a new phase in life, it also turned out to be the set­ting where met his future wife, local mul­ti-faceted improv/​artist/​actor Kaci Beeler(-Danger). Janik takes Valerie Lopez through the fairy tale of how it tran­spired, and how it ties into his very fam­i­ly-like ties to the improv group. 

I am blown away by the breadth of Janik’s cre­ativ­i­ty and depth, as he and Valerie dig into some of his ongo­ing shows like Par­al­lel­o­gramophono­graph (“PGraph”, for brevity’s sake, and timid spellers). Based loose­ly on con­cepts found in Haru­ki Murukami’s nov­els like The Wind Up Bird Chron­i­cles, the for­mat and flow of the per­for­mances are fascinating. 

When not on stage, Janik, leads improv class­es, some of which turn into gate­ways to fes­ti­val appear­ances for the per­form­ers. This has tak­en the troupe across the world — from Cana­da to Lon­don and on to Spain, with more on the horizon. 

I could go on for days about Janik’s work, but it’s in your best inter­ests to get out and catch him and his troupe at The Hide­out The­atre. In addi­tion to PGraph, check out the many spe­cials and ongo­ing shows like Squir­rel Bud­dies, improv class­es for kids, and more. Be sure to check out Roy Janik’s web­site as well. 

Roy Janik