Jani is performing in Prophecy Fog
May 14 - 26, 2019 at The Theatre Centre
Jani Lauzon (Creator / Performer) is a Metis, Multidisciplinary theatre creator, a musician, director, and puppeteer. She is a five-time Dora Mavor Moore nominated actress, a Juno and CAMA nominated singer/songwriter, a Gemini Award-winning puppeteer, and an award-winning screen actress. She recently won the Toronto Theatre Critics Association award for Best Director. Jani is also artistic director of Paper Canoe Projects.
When did you first think of yourself as an artist?
My mom used to say that we are all artists. She was particularly creative, always making things, drawing. My mother and I sang together a lot. My biological dad played piano and was a visual artist. I watched them create. Guess I felt that everyone did that. It was a bit of a shook later on in life to realize that our family was unique.
Who helped you develop your voice as an artist?
When I moved in with my foster parents at age 13 I was blessed to have had an upbringing that pointed to the possibility, no actually the necessity, of being an artist.
When I left Cranbrook after high school my foster father told me: “no matter what you do, live your life creatively”. That was the foundation of my believing in my own artistic voice, that was then shaped by masters of their craft, people like David Smukler, Yoishi Oida, Richard Pochinko. I would also say that being a mother, primarily a single parent, taught me some valuable life skills and a way of looking at the world that has helped me become a better collaborator.
What’s something that’s inspired you this week?
The generosity of friends. I have a lot to be thankful for in that I am surrounded by a plethora of incredible, kind and generous people.
What’s your favourite restaurant in the city to visit?
I don’t eat out much, not on my tight budget, but I love to support locally and as an east ender I go to City Betty (1352 Danforth Ave) when I want to splurge. Farm to table menu, brilliant dishes and a great cocktail menu.
What do you want to see more of on Toronto stages?
A lot of my first training was in visual theatre. The days of Carbone 14, or the early days of Les Deux Monde, both from Montreal. I love theatre that is imagistic and avant-garde. It takes a different kind of practice and way of working though, which is hard in the way we develop English Theatre in Canada.