I moved to Illinois right before the start of my freshman year of high school, so I didn’t know anyone else when the year began. In an effort to meet people and make friends, I auditioned for the school plays and speech team. Eventually, the casts and teammates became a second family to me, but at first, it was intimidating… especially because the upperclassmen were so incredibly talented and I was… well… a freshman. I’m sure you had that feeling about seniors when you began high school and joined a team of some sort.
At my school, we did three shows a year — twelve over a person’s high school career. One of the seniors who helped make my transition into the world of theater a smooth one was Katie Rich. She was the lead in the plays, made the cast laugh with everything she said, and never made me feel underappreciated even though I had small roles that first year. Katie was the only senior in her class who had acted in all twelve shows. That may not sound like a big deal, but for us theater people, it was a badge of honor.
At one of the last cast parties we were at together, Katie realized I was the only freshman who had been in all the shows that year (meaning I could potentially act in all twelve by the time I graduated). She pulled me aside and made me promise I would keep acting in the shows. Being in front of an audience is a frightening experience, but it had influenced her for the better, she said. Hopefully, it would have the same impact on my life.
I was just stunned that she was talking to me.
In any case, it meant a lot and I kept the promise.
Katie was (not surprisingly) also brilliant at improvisational comedy, and she’s now part of a traveling troupe with The Second City (the birthplace of every famous comedian *ever*).
The Chicago Reader puts out a “Best of Chicago” list each year and one of the categories is Comedy.
Would you consider going to this page and filling in Katie Rich’s name for Best Improviser? It takes all of three seconds and you don’t have to fill out anything else 🙂
***UPDATE***: (From Julia)
Make sure you go to the “Final Step” link near the top to confirm your vote when done (assuming you’re not voting in the myriad other categories). Just clicking the “submit & continue” button doesn’t actually finish your submission, it seems.
Take my word for it: Katie deserves the recognition.
If you get a chance, check out her website, too.