In my short time so far as an Improv student at DCH, I've maintained that the best way to prepare for stage time, is to just sit together, share a meal, and shoot the breeze. There's something nice about sitting around with your fellow performers and talking about nothing of consequence that just gets the juices primed and gives you that feeling of "everything's going to be alright".
This is why, starting with our first level 1 showcase, I've always invited my classmates to join me for lunch/dinner for a couple of hours before the showcase. The event is always intended to be no-pressure and no commitment. Drop in when you get there, bring family and friends, and let's just relax in comedy fellowship as we celebrate the end of a term and the show to come.
For our level 2 showcase pre-show, I chose AllGood Cafe. Admittedly, I initially chose the location for its proximity to DCH. I'm the type of person that would rather be an hour early than 5 minutes late, and something about being 2 minutes from where I need to be just makes me feel at ease. As I've eaten there over time though, I've found more reasons to return; reasons that lead me to choose it again for our level 3 showcase, and probably all of our future ones (I think it is safely tradition now).
First off, the food is pretty amazing, with the Pasta Pomodoro and Grilled Cheese with Roasted Green Chilies being favorites when breakfast isn't available. If you are lucky enough to get there while breakfast is still served (before 3pm), then you are in for a treat! Breakfast at Allgood Cafe is no joke. The pancakes and bacon beg to be eaten!
When it comes down to it though, my favorite thing about AllGood Cafe is that it is a genuinely laid back, casual space that perfectly matches the chill, relaxed vibe that I'm looking for before a show. The space is roomy, with records and posters for musical acts adorning the walls. The view looks out on Main Street, a welcome urban change of pace for people like me who live out in the Farm to Market roads of Forney. The staff has always been nice, sweet, and attentive. There's almost always a handful of locals around, sharing a meal and stories. Everything about the room says, "kick up your feet, sit a spell and enjoy a bite".
I now have great memories of crazy stories with Donald and his girlfriend Katelyn, Adam making crazy faces, and Quinn and I matching wits on movie references. WIth my classmates feeling more and more like family as we learn and grow together, this feels like a wonderful family meal; a welcome respite from the world before we take the stage together.
Josh Schneider is a level 4 improv student , movie geek, and software developer. You can find him at the Jam just about every Tuesday night!