Q&A – Jan Lefrançois-Gijzen

After a two-month hiatus, Jan The French-Dutchman makes his triumphant return to Automatic Improv! We couldn’t be happier to have our sexiest Canadian back. In fact, we’re playing the Canadian National Anthem in his honor. Come see Jan perform this Friday at 10:30pm at Fabrefaction Theatre!

Jan Lefrancois-Gijzen Automatic Improv

Name: Jan Lefrançois-Gijzen

Gender: Male

Age: 26

Species: Homo sapiens

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec (born); Cumming, Georgia (raised)

Favorite improv game? I love almost all improv games. However, if the game does not lend itself to scene work, I could do without it.

What’s your pre-show routine? On my way to the performance, I like to listen to the “Drive” soundtrack. If for whatever reason I cannot do that, I’ll do a “scene” in my car voicing every primary character of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Best suggestion you’ve ever received? For the improvised sci-fi format I did with Ground Control, we got the suggestion “RoboSocialWorker.” It was one of those things where all the improvisers AND the audience were on the same page immediately. It was just RoboCop with a social worker.

What makes you laugh? Surprise. My family. Genuine moments. I probably laugh hardest when I see new performers – I’m always cheering for them, and I get a vicarious joy from their first moments of success.

Jan Lefrancois-Gijzen as a cartoon.

What makes you cry? Well, these are all SPOILERS but:

  • Pixar movies – especially Toy Story 3 when the gang is in the trash furnace and they accept their fate… incredible moment.
  • That part at the end of Saving Private Ryan where Old Matt Damon is all like “did I do a good job?” Yes, Old Matt Damon. Yes you did.
  • When King Lear comes out carrying Cordelia.

What’s your theme song? “Ballad of a Thin Man” – Bob Dylan

What’s your motto? I don’t have a catchy phrase yet, but it’s something along the lines of “Aim to be better than your current best.”

Who are your influences? The meat of your humor comes from your family – the protein that makes your humor grow. Your friends are vegetables – they diversify your pallet, keep your sense of humor healthy and help digest the world with a laugh. The potatoes are your experiences – they contain the most efficient and accessible energy and keep your humor going. All other things – idols, television, film, books, etc. – are gravy. Delicious gravy.

Favorite fictional character? Well, I want to be Captains Kirk and Picard. Right now it’s probably Arya Stark. I’m a big fan of villains, in general – especially those whose motives are rooted in good. Macbeth!

If you were a professional wrestler, what would your ring name be and why? The French Imposition. No explanation.

What’s you biggest pet peeve? Open-mouth chewing.

Which celebrity do you want to punch in the face? I would like to meet Kim Kardashian, shake her hand, and say “I am amazed at how consistently boring you are.”

Are you a cat person or a dog person? Dog. I’m mildly allergic to cats, so YOUR LOSS CATS.

Jan is allergic to cats.

If you could play any sitcom character, who would it be and why? Well, I’m probably somewhere on the spectrum of Nick Miller and Ben Wyatt in real life. But if I could be anybody, regardless of type and ability, I’d love to have been Kramer.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Astronaut.

What’s your dream job now? … astronaut.

Drug of choice? Caffeine.

Most visited website? Besides the Google-Facebook-Gmail triumvirate, I’d guess Joystiq.

What do you do when you’re not improvising? Read. Always read. Read at least a book a month.

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