…in the wild northern parts of the state of California there lived two boys. They didn't live together, or in the same place, or even know each other at all! One was older and lived in a place called Paradise. It was in the mountains and was filled with pine trees and old folks. His name was Craig. He had six brothers and sisters and he liked to draw, skateboard, and play soccer. The slightly younger boy lived in a place called San Jose. It was near a bay and was filled with computer whizzes and a 30 ft. statue of Chuck E. Cheese. His name was Ryan. He had one brother and he liked to listen to music, collect sneakers, and play basketball. Little did they know it, but one day… they’d be best friends.
~ 25 YEARS LATER ~
In the year 2014 the boys STILL had not met, but don’t worry, that wouldn’t last long! They were both now living in the cultivated southern parts of the state of California in a city called Los Angeles. It was near the ocean and was filled Toyota Priuses, palm trees, and actors. And as a matter of fact the two boys, Ryan and Craig were both actors too! But they didn’t have Priuses. (Their cars aren’t really important to the story.) Anyway! That year Craig and Ryan were both taking improv classes at the Upright Citizen Brigade Theater. Improv is a type of live comedy where you make up funny stories on the spot with no planning. It’s hard and takes a lot of practice… like skateboarding or basketball.
One day, a friend of Craig’s named Abby asked him to help her friend Ryan make a web series. (A web series is like a TV show, but it’s on the Internet and it’s usually not as good.) You see, Ryan had written a whole web series and Craig knew how to use cameras and microphones and edit videos. Craig said “Yes!” Ryan said, “Hooray!” Abby said, “Cool. I’m late for work!” After they made Ryan’s web series, the two boys (who are now men, by the way) said, “That was a lot of fun!” “We should make more things together!” And so they did. And one day Ryan said to Craig, “I have a crazy idea.” Craig said, “I love it…. What is it?” And Ryan said that he wanted to read children’s books on YouTube. You see, Ryan had spent several years in Los Angeles reading in Elementary Schools as part of a program called “Book Pals.” And Craig loved the idea because he had 15 nieces and nephews that lived far away and he missed reading to them. So one sunny day in 2016 they met at Craig’s house, set up the cameras and lights and microphones, and read their first book: “Corduroy” by Don Freeman. (This happened to be Ryan’s favorite book when he was a little boy. Before he collected sneakers.) They didn’t know exactly what their show would become, but they just kept reading! Over the next couple years the show changed and became better and better. They moved filming to Ryan’s house, they bought new shirts, and have now read over 120+ books!
The two men had other jobs. Ryan was an actor and writer who created other web series and acted in TV shows and commercials. Craig was a writer and director who directed videos and commercials. Ryan and Craig now work on many other projects together, but their favorite thing is reading books together. And now after two years of reading they have brand new dreams! First and foremost? To get Toyota Priuses. But the second is to make Storytime with Ryan & Craig a TV show! (A TV Show is like a web series, but on TV and usually a lot better.) They want to keep reading books but also…. have GUESTS and LEARN new things and SING songs! And do it all while staying true to their wild Northern California roots and love of comedy.
And so if you ever visit L.A. you might see Ryan & Craig roaming the streets Prius car shopping or playing basketball or doing improv…. but very likely holding a TV Network pitch packet in one hand and a children’s book in the other. And it’s ok to stop them and say hi because no matter what, they’re always looking for more new friends!