Hi, I’m Julianna Romanyk and I’m a 1st year Media Production student at Ryerson! When I’m not studying, you can find me reviewing comedy shows and interviewing comedians for Exclaim!, interning for Just For Laughs, and composing classical and jazz piano pieces. Or maybe you’ll just find me sitting on my couch, stuffing my face with noodles and watching Bojack Horseman or whatever other show happens to be my favourite at the time. Your chances are 50/50.
Ever since I was born at the end of December in 1996, I’ve had an affinity for language and creative arts. As a kid I wrote short stories, convinced I’d write fiction like my favourite author Roald Dahl. Around the age of 12, I begged for piano lessons, built up my courage to sing outside of a school choir, and wrote dozens songs, hoping to be a singer-songwriter or a composer for movies. Then, at 15, I found the thing I knew would be my career: producing comedy.
From the moment my family illegally got cable when I was 8 years old, I watched standup on Comedy Network as much as I could. I watched people tell jokes for years before I was old enough to even understand why most of them were funny. I watched dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of hours of comedy on YouTube. I went to comedy shows for years before I paid to see live music. I became a complete comedy geek, but as a kid I assumed it was just something I did for fun because I didn’t have the guts to be a comedian myself.
Then, in September of 2012, I was given the biggest gift of my life. I ran into the COO of Just For Laughs after a show at Comedy Bar, he saw something in me, and he gave me an internship on the spot. It changed my life. When I got home that night, I said to my Mom: “I know what I want to do with my life now. I want to be that guy.”
Ever since, I’ve been trying to pick up every skill I could possibly need to become a producer. I studied stage management in high school. I produced a few podcasts. I interned in artist management, publicity, production, marketing, and talent evaluation, and paid for all costs that working for free incurred by busking, freelance writing, and selling things at secondhand stores.
I’m determined to be a comedy producer. I was rejected by Media Production the first time I applied, but now that I’m here, I’m so excited to set my career in motion. I plan to do a concentration in Media Business and minor in Marketing, then produce standup for TV, be on the Programming Team at Just For Laughs, or become a manager of standup comedians after I graduate.