It is proper Portland SPRING, and love is in the air. You’ve reactivated your Tinder/Grindr/HER, you’ve shed your winter layers, and you are ready for love and/or action. Good for you! But before you scamper off into the brutal wilds of online dating, remember: DO NOT GO IN WITHOUT A PLAN. Don’t let a good date (hypothetically) turn into an expensive night of bar hopping and a series of escalating dares that ends in losing your purse and crying in a Lyft.
Follow Artpunk Club’s Essential Guide to the Perfect $20 First Date for a foolproof plan to survive even the most brutal of dating landscapes.
STEP ONE: Meet for Coffee (in a Location with a Tactical Advantage)
Meeting for coffee is the universally agreed upon Perfect No Presh First Date. It’s not athletic, requires no special skills or shoes, and gives you time to scope each other out and feel the vibes, but without the pressure of making conversation through an entire meal if the chemistry isn’t there. The key here is to choose your coffee shop wisely. Common Grounds is a cozy coffeehouse straight out of our dreams of the 90s, complete with sofa, baked goods, and wine by the glass. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL.
Common Grounds is also host to Defunkt Theatre, in a speakeasy-style setup that’s gonna bring us right to…...
STEP TWO: Make Your Move
Okay, it’s been half an hour. You’re vibing, it’s clicking, and if you have one more sip of coffee you’re going to vibrate off your chair. Now is a great time to casually mention that HEY there’s a theatre in the back of this coffee shop, and HEY the box office opens soon, and HEY we should see if there are tickets available. It’s scientifically proven that people who will casually and spontaneously see theatre are more sexually intriguing than those who don’t, so you can see what a power move this is. You’ve also been drinking coffee for the last thirty-nine minutes straight, and this is a really good way to keep your date from leaving while you excuse yourself to the bathroom.
STEP THREE: The House is Open
Theatre always feels like an occasion or a splurge, but Defunkt’s shows are all PWYC, and they mean it. I’ve seen multiple people buy $5 tickets right at the door on the night of the show. Fair warning: Defunkt is an intimate space. As you can imagine, with a setup this sweet, their shows do sometimes sell out. But! If this night is going half as well as I think just might be, well then that’s your second date sorted, you lucky devil.
STEP FOUR: Choose Your Own Adventure
Well, the show’s over, and you’ve experienced it with someone you kinda want to make out with. We can’t tell you where to go from here--we’re not that kinda blog--but hey. You’re the kind of person who will casually and spontaneously see theatre. You got this.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: In the event that your date sucks (weird and rare I know, but it does happen?), you are still fifteen feet from seeing a dope play, and I bet they still have lemon bars in the pastry case.
Defunkt Theatre is currently showing Brilliant Traces (an Artpunk Club calendar pick for next week!), running through June 8th.
Check out the Artpunk Q+A with director and star of the show, Elizabeth Jackson, and if you'd rather snap up your seats in advance, they are still PWYC, and you can reserve them right here!
If you do take a first date to Defunkt (or another Artpunk Club pick!), we would love to hear your date story for an upcoming project! Email your story (good or bad!) to firstname.lastname@example.org