Interview: Justin Franzen

franzenWhen you find out someone has friends in common with you – friends that are some of the loveliest people in your life – you feel an instant connection and camaraderie with that person. Such is the case with Justin Franzen, who shares in common with me a few friends who are some of the most wonderful people, including the recently interviewed John Langen. Justin isn’t too bad himself either, with his down-to-earth personality, impressive improvising and hilarious positive spin on “Yo Mama” jokes.

Meet Justin Franzen.

What is your name?
Justin Franzen

How long have you been a non-vegan?
My whole life.

Why have you decided not to be vegan?
I think my parents really decided that I’d be non vegan. Ever since I was a kid, I ate animal products and never thought twice about it.

Is it hard to be non-vegan in such a progressive, hip city as Denver?
I actually find it very easy. I’ve eaten at City O’ City and Watercourse and learned that I’m not missing out on anything. It’s not that I mind vegan food, but you telling me a vegan gravy is as good as normal gravy is straight up bullshit.

Where do you get your protein?
Jamba Juice and various other meals.

What vegan food do you fear you’re missing out on as a non-vegan?
Quinoa salad. I hear that it’s really good but it just never has looked appealing to me.

Do you eat fish? You eat fish, right?
I’ve flirted with eating only fish. I love sushi and I prefer cooking with fish since it’s not as greasy and it makes me feel fancy. If fish was the same price as marinated fajita steak, I would eat fish a lot more.

Are there any animals in your life, such as pets or funny neighborhood squirrels? Tell us a story about them.
I have two cats and I love the shit out of them! I think the funniest thing is not a story but a trait of theirs. They are the sweetest cats to each other but only when I’m not around. Almost every night I come home, they are laying together and the second I open the door they stare at me like two teenagers I just caught fondling each other. Then they run to opposite sides of the room like nothing ever happened. Also, whenever they are bad, I grab them and put them under a blanket with me and I call it “The Cave of Infinite Snuggles.”

What do you do for fun besides eating meat and dairy?
I love improvising, I play video games. I have some awesome friends, and we just go somewhere and get weird. I like watching Project Runway, and I really like going to museums alone.

Do you have any upcoming projects you want to plug?
I have a show at Deer Pile every Monday at 8:00 pm, called Sh*t Your Pants Awesome Improv. I also perform in a show called The Couch on the fourth Friday of every month at 9:00 pm. It’s improvised therapy and it’s a riot. I’m also also in a show called Franzen and Phillips the second Saturday of every month at 7:00 pm. That’s probably the hardest show I’m in, but I love it! I’m in Megaperson vs. Humanoid; that’s the first Saturday of every month at 7:00 pm. It’s an improvised Sci-fy Movie! It’s so dumb fun you can’t help but love it. I’m also in Late Night Playtime With Ultra Sex Laser the first Thursday of every month at 11:00 pm. [Editor’s Note: All shows without locations listed take place at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, where Justin runs a five-level long form improv program.]

Make up a question of your own and answer it.
Do you think Riverrun will hold up against an attack from The Nordes?
That’s a very tough question. The Nordes are a very proud people and difficult to fight. Luckily I’m a wood elf and have been practicing my alchemy. If I’m able to create potions and learn a few more words of the Dragon Language, then I think we stand a good chance.

Song: Supersonic by JJ fad
Recipe: The Best Vegetarian Gravy

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