The 2015 Dallas Comedy Festival begins today, and while we're excited about it, it's also a time of remembrance as this will be the last festival at our current Commerce St. home. Dallas Comedy House owner/performer/teacher/all-around-badass Amanda Austin recently shared her thoughts about the event and its home for the last six years.
DCH: What will you miss most about hosting the festival at the Commerce St. location?
Amanda Austin: This sounds crazy, but I'll miss how packed it is in that tiny little space. While my face would lead you to believe I'm having a mild panic attack when the crowds are unmanageable, I actually love having everyone in one spot. Every year, out of town performers tell us they love how intimate the festival is, because we are all in the same place and you get to meet/party/play with all these fun, brilliant nerds. I think most of that comes from the great energy our awesome team of volunteers, staff, and local performers/students give off. But part of it has to do with the the space-to-bodies ratio.
DCH: What's your favorite festival tradition?
AA: Flip Cup. Because it's a fun way to end the festival. And we're splitting it up over two nights this year because of our insane show schedule. Also, I love prep day. Getting everything ready the day before: it's the calm before the awesome storm. And Jell-O shots. I love making Jell-O shots. Because I am an adult/business lady. Maybe I should say something not related to alcohol? OK! I love meeting all the people who travel from all over the country to come to the festival and seeing their dedication to the craft. It's inspiring to see that kind of commitment to travel for a festival.
DCH: What's your favorite backstage story?
AA: I don't know how many of these backstage stories I can tell you, because I don't want a record of them. But I will say this, and it's definitely something I'll miss about Commerce. It's not the most well-designed space. But that dumb area in the back by the one restroom with the couch and rug on the wall—and all those dozens of old paint cans and miscellaneous construction junk—that's my favorite spot. It's anything but a lounge, but some of my favorite talks and warm ups and pictures and stories all come from that spot. Damn. Now I'm crying on my phone. And so it begins.
(Jello image: Shiloh Armstrong)