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February 2024 - Make 'Em Laugh: Sarina Ochoa



Sarina Ochoa at One-Liner Madness - Photo Credit: Diego Martinez (Instagram @car.maaaa)
Sarina Ochoa at One-Liner Madness - Photo Credit: Diego Martinez (Instagram @car.maaaa)

Switching from MMA to comedy doesn’t happen every day, but for Sarina Ochoa, it’s possible. Ochoa always thought she was funny, and after her second-place win at One Liner Madness, she thinks she’s on the right track. We sat down with Sarina to discuss who influences her comedy, why she loves being on stage, and what it’s like being a comedian in New Mexico.


At what point did you discover that comedy was your wheelhouse?

I discovered it a month ago when I made it to the finals at One Liner Madness. I suspected I was 'funny,' but recently, I've made conversationally funny into stage funny. But that event gave me the confirmation I needed.


Who are the comedians that have influenced and guided you in your career?

My friends and family. You get to be silly and funny with them anytime you talk to them. And you're around them so much you mold each other's senses of humor. But professionally, my dad showed me Pryor. And then I went down a rabbit hole. I got into Carlin, Bill Hicks, and Mitch Hedberg. Right now, I think there are a ton of great female comedians who are outstanding and hilarious: Taylor Tomlinson, Michelle Wolf, and Ali Wong. Those are a few.


In your opinion, what kind of connection do comedians need to establish with their audience?

I am so new to comedy. I don't even really know the answer to that question. I want to speak up there how I talk to my best friend - with that same energy and openness. I'm nowhere close to that right now. I don't have the experience, but I feel I'm getting closer. I think people can tell if you're being authentic or not. The more you are, the more on board they can get with you. Then you can feed off of that.

 

What makes comedy in New Mexico unique and special?

What I've learned so far is how awesome the scene is in New Mexico. It makes me really glad that I started here and not anywhere else. It's a supportive, solid community. Also, there are open mics every night, so you can get quite a bit of stage time for what seems like a smaller-ish city. There are some talented comedians here and a ton of women in the scene, and Queer women, too.

 

What are your aspirations in the field of comedy?

It would be great to make this a career, but I know it's hard to do. I have a day job, but all my comedic goals are microscopic. I guess it would be fun to write for TV at some point.


Can you share some of your upcoming comedy performances or gigs?

Hollow Spirits March 7th


Follow Sarina on social media at Instagram @thesarinaochoa

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