A North Texas woman took a big leap of faith to start Dallas Comedy House, which became so popular that their new, larger location opens this week.
Ten years ago, Owner Amanda Austin left behind a very comfortable life and took a Texas-sized leap of faith.
"I quit my job, sold my house, cashed in my 401K, and started a comedy club," Austin said.
The story of DCH, much like the improv shows it puts on, has always been rooted in a bit of chaos. Austin always dreamed of owning her own business, but was never quite sure which direction it should go.
"My dad even said, wait, it's gonna present itself to you," Austin said.
It came when she started taking comedy classes -- something she'd signed up for simply because it sounded fun.
She was hooked on comedy from the beginning and discovered it's what she truly loved to do.
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So not long after having just scratched the surface of improv, she decided that's what her new calling in life was going to be.
"I was just ignorantly excited and blissful and thought it was going to work out," Austin said. "So I wasn’t scared. I didn’t know what to be scared of at that point."
And it turns out, she had nothing to fear.
DCH instantly found fans and creative people looking for an outlet. And a decade later, it's still thriving.
On any given night, you can find an improv, sketch, or stand-up show playing there. And they offer comedy classes to people of all ages and skill levels.
New Location in Deep Ellum
The Dallas Comedy House will celebrate its grand reopening Friday night at its brand new location along Elm Street in Deep Ellum.
Austin and her team felt the pressure mounting this week, as they race to make sure everything will be ready.
"I just took a shower in the mop closet" laughed Austin. "So it's kind of like chaos now."
But she remains confident it will all come together.
Austin says their new space will help them continue to grow. The main stage inside the new DCH building can seat 126 people, whereas their old theater only sat 85. It also brings the DCH stages and classrooms under one roof for the first time since it's inception; classes used to be taught in a separate building further down the street.
Austin has also added a large outdoor patio/biergarten, a podcast room, a writing/event room and an expanded menu, like a new signature dessert that you wear more than eat.
"So now that we’ve got this huge patio and biergarten, you can buy a pie in the face for $69," Austin said. "And you can pie one of your friends in the face and then we’ll put their picture on the pie wall."
Suffice it to say, things have turned out alright for Austin.
"I think if you really believe in it, there’s no reason you shouldn’t [go for it]," said Austin. "You only live once. So give it a shot."
The new DCH open seven days a week is located at 3036 Elm St.
Go here for more information about upcoming shows and comedy classes.