At easylaughs, Sunday means rehearsal and after rehearsal means nachos. The nachos weren’t always hot, though. I blame Europe. Back in the day, low rent Doritos with a side of guacamole from a tub and tomato-like, super sweet salsa is what Amsterdam called nachos. My American ass knew better. Europe was no good at (Tex)Mexican food.
And yet, and still, and but….after rehearsal, I needed those Europe Nachos in my life. I laid layed down neural pathways from easylaughs to improv rehearsal to nachos to job well done. The reward of nachos (and beer) after a couple hours of hard improvising made the Europe Nachos taste delish. I dipped that fake-Dorito into that red stuff and it was lekker. easylaughs actors, coaches and guests would go to town on those Europe Nachos. We left no crumb behind.
Then one day, the Internet shared the concept of hot nachos (…HOT NACHOS!) with Europe. Europe Nachos 2.0 came with cheese, Euro sour cream (crème fraîche) and HEAT, in the form of jalapeños and FIRE. It just occurred to me that we call nachos hot when the nacho already implies the heat. easylaughs got so used to those frio nachos that I needed to forge a new neural pathway: easylaughs to improv rehearsal to hot nachos (...HOT NACHOS!) to you are an improv god, you deserve better, you earned hot nachos (...HOT NACHOS!).
The need to consume nachos after rehearsal fed itself. We had discussions, strategies about which chip to select, we helped each other separate chips from their gooey, cheesy restraints, we realized what kind of nacho people we were, some liked the guac-side, some lived under the dollop of crème fraîche, discarded jalapeños were slurped up by jalapeño people. I am jalapeño people. One serving was not enough, we started ordering 2, sometimes 3 servings. If we knew rehearsal might take longer and the kitchen could close, we dispatched an envoy to Crea Cafe to order hot nachos (...HOT NACHOS!), enough for the whole group and on the table ready when we arrived.
If nachos weren’t available, if we couldn’t eat them after rehearsal, it was as if rehearsal never happened. The time before the after did not exist. All the yes-anding, the active listening, the collaboration, all gone, poof, in the blink of a ‘sorry, the kitchen is closed’. We regressed to eating cold nachos, yuck, gross, eww. The neural pathway: easylaughs to improv rehearsal to borrelnootjes was having a hard time establishing itself. Borrelnootjes don’t make me feel like an improv deity, hot nachos (...HOT NACHOS!) do. The improvising we do during rehearsal works up an appetite. This appetite cannot, will NOT, be quenched by borrelnootjes.
I don’t really eat nachos anywhere or anytime else. If I eat nachos on another day for a different purpose, it feels dirty. The nachos start to taste like Europe Nachos again. COVID-19 stole much of my smell and taste, but it could never sever the bond between me and my hot nachos (...HOT NACHOS!).