Calvin & Craig: A Microcosm
I met Chris (he’s Craig - I’m Calvin. Get it?) performing with the New York team of the National Comedy Theater. The very first time we performed together in a show, I began with some sort of clipboard bit - the details here are fuzzy at best, but it was a character status move, basically. I established myself as somebody busy and important - the kind of person with a clipboard. I was saying something to Booth, and kind of blustering about (I do not remember feeling as though it was going particularly well) and he stood there for a bit and watched me, and then, slowly and confidently, he reached his finger up to my face, said “BOOP” and gently pushed my nose in.
I don’t remember the rest of the scene, or even the rest of the night. I remember that for the first time since I’d started improvising professionally, this guy managed to completely surprise and disarm me, and I was left devoid of tricks, cliches, tropes, habits, and even normal adult behavior. For the first time in years, I had to improvise. It was the greatest gift I ever received as an improviser, and I haven’t let him stop getting on stage with me since.