Why you should vote for St. Louis –

“The entire history of improvisational theatre was balanced on a pinpoint there in St. Louis. It was one of the most amazing things that ever happened in world theatre, a creative experience unmatched perhaps on the planet. There’s never been anything like it.”

Del Close (from “The Compass“)

St. Louis is in the middle of a Renaissance…an improv Renaissance. If you’re not familiar with St. Louis’s part in the history of Improv, I highly recommend that you click HERE for a bit of back story.

In the past few decades, St. Louis has been reclaiming this history. And now the national improv scene is starting to recognize that. Three St. Louis improv organizations have been nominated for INNY Awards. The INNY awards are awards for excellence in Improvisation.

I’m nominated for an award as well, but I’d like to shine the light on two other nominations that are perhaps even more important than my own.

Firstly The Improv Shop. This school and theater has been nominated for Best Training Program. In addition to training and showcasing the homegrown St. Louis talent, The Improv Shop just opened a new program called The Road Show which welcomes out of town acts to their home stage at The Tin CanThe Improv Shop recently celebrated a 2 year anniversary and has become a new focal point for Chicago’s top longform acts.

One of Chicago's top acts, "FELT" plays at The Tin Can

The Improv Shop has made it possible for Longform Improv to flourish in St. Louis, and of course The Improv Trick is very proud of that achievement because many of our students and teachers participate in The Improv Shop.

Secondly K.A.R.L. Improv is nominated as Best Collegiate Improv Troupe. If you’re not familiar with them, you should know that they’ve already garnered some great attention. Such as…

Official Selection at the Southern Illinois Improv Festival
Official Entry at the National Collegiate Improv Festival
Official Selection at the St. Louis Improv for Charity Festival

So much great work has come out of this group and I’m sure there are even better things yet to come….starting with this nomination for a national award! K.A.R.L. Improv represents some of the best of the nation’s college improv talent. Very few colleges had an improv troupe when I went to school, which is one of the reasons I return every year to teach at my alma mater, Central Methodist University. K.A.R.L.’s focus on improv at the college level will allow their graduates to be ambassadors for the St. Louis improv scene as they move forward in their improv careers.

And my nomination as Best Coach is quite an honor, but my work as a coach and teacher in St. Louis is only possible because of the hard work of everyone at The Improv Trick. I’m in LA most of the year and can’t hope to provide classes myself year-round. I hope you’ll honor six years of hard work on their behalf by voting for me as Best Coach.

So, if you’re an improviser who wants to help celebrate our mutual history, or a St. Louisan who is proud of our part of this international community, I hope you’ll vote in the INNY‘s as follows:

The Improv Shop – Best Training Program

K.A.R.L. Improv – Best Collegiate Improv Troupe

Bill Chott – Best Coach (The Improv Trick)

And the next time you’re out and about in St. Louis, support the St. Louis Improv scene. Take a class, see a show, and laugh LOUD!

Published by billchott

Bill Chott is currently appearing in Marshall's Miracle, a family film about a courageous dog who survived hardships to triumph as a therapy dog. For five years he was on the Emmy-Winning Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place. Originally from St. Louis Missouri, he is a member of his high school's Hall of Fame, a Broadway Award winner for his work in I Love Lucy Live on on Stage, and the winner of the INNY awards for Best Improv Coach. He attended Central Methodist University and trained in Improvisation at The Second City. There he worked with such comedy powerhouses as Tina Fey, Steve Carrel, Stephen Colbert among many others. Bill starred on The Dana Carvey Show, does cartoon voices on PBS, Saturday Night Live and in film, he appeared in Galaxy Quest, Dude Where's My Car, and he was a lead role as Thomas, the Special Olympian who brings home the bronze in the Farrelly Bros. film The Ringer.

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