“A Day in the Life” with comedy producer and performer Susan Waycik

Having lived in more Canadian cities than most Canadians will visit in their lifetime, Susan Waycik is a one of a kind voice of a nation. A one woman force of nature, Susan’s journey across the country and back to become one of the hardest working local producers in Toronto couldn’t be called an underdog story, because Susan would never give you an opportunity to doubt that she will conquer anything she sets her mind to. 

Susan started her career as an artist with attending Sheridan Colleges Musical Theatre Performance Prep program, followed by an advanced degree in Music Theatre Performance from St Lawrence College. It was at St Lawrence that Susan first dipped her toe in the world of producing, spearheading first a cabaret series, with proceeds going to support Russian LBGTQ organizations, as well as a number of student outreach cabaret shows to showcase the talents of her peers. Highlighting the talents of lesser known and marginalized artists would become a theme in Susan’s artistic efforts. Her producing efforts during her time at St. Lawrence College culminated in a touring show celebrating Canadian artists and culture, Feels Like Home, which toured the Thousand Islands region of Ontario. 

Susan left St. Lawrence College with a diploma in Music Theatre Performance, but having been bit by the producing bug, quickly moved to Toronto and transitioned to her passion, and forte.

With a mission statement of creating opportunities for diverse audiences to have and hear their stories told, Susan founded her production company Waycik Productions within a couple months of moving to Toronto. She began with a world she was familiar with, producing cabaret shows, and her Generation Why? series, a trilogy of shows centered on popular music genres of the early 2000’s enjoyed three consecutive sold out runs from March to May.  

While following her passion for producing, Susan also landed a choice gig: managing social media for The Hogtown Collective, an immersive theatre experience about Toronto’s Prohibition era. Twice named the hottest ticket in Toronto, Susan headed social media campaigns for The Hogtown Collective for two years, overseeing 2 runs of the critically acclaimed Hogtown Experience, as well as two additional spinoff shows under the Collective banner, and honing her promotion skills that would lead to her being promoted to Assistant Producer, and launch her into the next phase of her evolution as an artist. 

In winter of 2018, Susan joined the then nascent Queer Comedy scene that was rapidly growing in Toronto. Changing hats again, Susan discovered a talent for performing standup comedy, that combined with her enviable networking prowess, saw her quickly allying with some of the biggest names in Canadian comedy, from Chanty Marostica to Andrew Johnston. Within 6 months of first performing standup, Susan was back at producing again, but this time producing Standup Comedy Shows; she created and produced Fresh Squeezed Comedy at the Grapefruit Moon, cultivating a loyal following of comedy fans and comedian fans of the room she created. 

Within 6 months of starting Fresh Squeezed Comedy, Susan was named head producer for the Queer And Present Danger series PRIDE at Comedy Bar – the first time a queer comedy show had held a residence at the legendary venue. This June, Susan is producing Laugh Riot at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, a large scale comedy variety show and the successor to Andrew Johnston’s legendary annual show Bitch Salad. Wanting to expand to a wider audience, Susan ended Fresh Squeezed Comedy in May 2019 to make way for her latest venture, Hey There!, a comedy showcase at The Shop 555 in Parkdale, every first and second Sunday of the month.

From the hallways of St. Lawrence College, to the top of the Queer Comedy scene and becoming one of the best independent producers in Toronto, Susan has become a beacon for everyone who works with and around her. Her rise is nothing short of meteoric, and shows no signs of stopping. 

Bio written by Brendan D’souza — a rising star in the Comedy community, and a dear friend (of 7 years) and colleague of mine.

Susan Waycik
Performing at my solo cabaret in 2018 — GBF: Gay Best Friend, an evening where I celebrated the gay men in my life my singing duets with them.
Susan Waycik
Performing at JFL42 as part of the Las Culturistas podcast, with hosts Matt Rogers & Dave Mizzoni
Susan Waycik
Running Fresh Squeezed Comedy at The Grapefruit Moon — the first Stand Up show I ever produced!
Susan Waycik
Celebrating with fellow comics/producers Karis Anderson & Brendan D’Souza who came by to support the first P R I D E show at Comedy Bar.
Susan Waycik
There’s always time for a greenroom mirror selfie! A few of the amazing comics we’ve been lucky enough to have on the P R I D E show: (L to R) Honey Bennet, Tracy Hamilton, Al Val, Cormac McGuinness & Sarah Ashby
Susan Waycik
A photo shoot done at Trillium Park with some of my fellow comedy folks; photo by Vong Show.
Susan Waycik
Me & QAPD’s Chanty Marostica introducing the first ever P R I D E show at Comedy Bar!

 

What ‘hood are you in?
Parkdale — and I LOVE it. That’s one of the reasons I started my new show at The Shop, because I love being a Parkdale resident so much. It feels like such a community within Toronto.

What do you do?

I am an independent comedy producer, who produces several stand-up and variety shows around the city. I’m also a performer, as both a singer and stand up comedian.
And, of course — because the arts can be tough when it comes to paying the bills — I also work full time as a Box Office Supervisor for a children’s theatre.

What are you currently working on? 

Currently I’m mainly producing 3 comedy shows:

I’m the head producer for “P R I D E” at Comedy Bar with Queer And Present Danger — every Tuesday night we have amazing line-ups of the city’s best queer comics.

I produce a bi-weekly show with my company Waycik Productions called “Hey There!” in my neighbourhood, Parkdale, at The Shop (under the former Parts & Labour), with a focus on LGBTQ+ comics and allies.

And lastly, I’m gearing up for a big comedy variety show with Queer And Present Danger and Waycik Productions at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, as part of their Queer Pride programming. The show is called “Laugh Riot“, and it’s happening on June 21st.

LAUGH RIOT is a comedy variety show featuring Canada’s Top Queer Performers. It’s celebration of us and those who sacrificed so much so we could laugh and live loudly and proudly today. Hosted by Chanty Marostica; Headliners: Kyle Brownrigg & Brandon Ash-Mohammed; Featuring: Meg MacKay, Brendan D’Souza, Tamara Shevon, Aidan O’laughlin, Honey Bennett, Bee Bertrand, Jas Irwin & Alice Rose + musical guests Kevin Wong, Chris Tsujiuchi & Natasha Buckeridge + a burlesque performance by Newfound Lad.

Where can we find your work?

To purchase tickets, or learn more information about Laugh Riot, visit buddiesinbadtimes.com/laughriot

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1758 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography