Even though Rick is a working actor living in L.A., his roots go back to the farm in central Illinois where he grew up. As a young boy Rick sang and performed with the Carrollton Community Chorus and at church. His family even performed together as “The Singing Halls” but Rick never considered acting could be his job. It was just fun. When he left for MacMurray College he was planning on being a veterinarian, but after auditioning and getting cast in a show he slowly began to grasp the fact that this could be his career.
“I remember when I went home and told mom and dad that I wanted to be an actor. I thought they would try to talk me out of it. Instead, my mom was thrilled. She'd always hoped I would do something with “the gifts God gave me.” Dad was a little more subdued but supportive, “Well, you’ve always had a knack for that kind of thing.”
Rick started his acting career in Chicago where was a founding member of Chicago’s Improv Institute. From there he got hired into the touring company of the world famous The Second City. After his stint in the National Touring Company he opened two main stage shows, “John Paul Sartre & Ringo” and “Catch 27”. Second City was also where he met his future wife, Laura Hall. Laura was the Musical Director for the touring company, and even though dating a member of your cast is not a good idea, they became an item and got married after a short dating period of seven years.
During those Chicago years Rick enjoyed a wave of commercial work that put him in the financial position to buy the farm next to his family’s farm back in Carrollton,IL. “Buying Bill Stone’s farm back home was the best career decision I ever made,” Rick recalls. “It makes enough money every year that I’ve never had to take a second job to support my acting career.”
Rick and Laura moved to LA in 1991, planning try it out for a couple years. Twenty-seven years later they're pretty sure they're going to stay for a while.
In LA Rick has been a series regular on the improv-based TV show “The Factory”. He played Agent Johnson on 27 episodes of the hit Disney show, “KC Undercover”. He’s been seen on many other television shows including “NCIS”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “24”, “Key & Peele” and “The Middle”. In his role as the vet on “Seinfeld”, he was deemed by The Huffington Post as delivering “the funniest line of the entire series”. He has been seen in commercials for AT&T, Centrum, Sabra Hummus, Volkswagen and many more. He's also been in the films “My Fellow Americans”, “The Thing Called Love” and “Three Fugitives”.
Rick loves writing and telling stories about growing up on the farm in Central Illinois. His one man show, “Pigboy”, enjoyed successful runs in L.A., Chicago, and across the Midwest. It was chosen for the HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, where the New York Times described his performance as “spellbinding.”
Rick has recorded a cd of several of his stories and turned one of them, “Slice of Pie”, into a short film, The movie has had a successful run of the film festival circuit, winning numerous awards. Rick is still writing and performing his stories and is currently working creating a new one man show .
On a return visit to Chicago a few years ago, Rick performed in productions of “The Second City's Romeo and Juliet Musical” and the lead role in “A Flea in Her Ear” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
In Los Angeles Rick performs with some of the veterans of improv from Second City, Groundlings, and Comedy Sportz in Immediate Theater. He also shares his years of improv knowledge by teaching Improv Music workshops with his wife, Laura Hall (Whose Line is it Anyway), all over the world. The teaching gigs also provide a chance to perform with some of the most talented improv teams around. Rick continues to use his improv skills as a host/presenter at meetings and corporate events, to help him handle whatever gets thrown at him.