Thanks to a lightning-fast wit honed through years of working improv, Baltimore-based comedian Tommy Sinbazo is one of the area’s funniest guys around and has kept those in the Washington D.C. region laughing since entering the comedy scene more than a dozen years ago.
His high energy, often off-the-cuff act touches on everything from relationships to childhood to crafting—and these days a lot about the coronavirus pandemic.
“You kind of have to incorporate that because COVID has changed everything,” Sinbazo said. “You can’t just get up there and tell your old jokes because they no longer apply to this new world we are living in.”
On Friday, Oct. 23, Sinbazo will headline a comedy show at Jammin Java, beginning at 9:30 p.m. The show will be inside with socially-distant tables.
“Being on stage is the only time I feel like I get to be me,” Sinbazo said. “There’s no restrictions on who I am and I love that. I absolutely can’t wait to perform for people and take their mind off of the world for a while.”
Also on the show are Erik Woodworth and host Rob Maher—two comedians Sinbazo has worked with regularly through the years.
“We are all part of Die Laughing productions where we do comedy murder mysteries on the East Coast and we’ve performed in five different countries,” Sinbazo said. “These are guys I have spent 13 hours on an airplane with and performed all over with, so getting to work with people I truly care about probably my favorite part of the job.”
Inspired by like-minded high-energy comics like Steve Martin and Robin Williams through the years, Sinbazo knew early on he liked to make people laugh. Plus, when was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up while in first grade, though he loved dinosaurs, he didn’t know how to spell “paleontologist” so he wrote down “comic.”
“That’s been my career trajectory ever since,” Sinbazo said. “My family used to perform as the Baltimore Raisins, a California Raisin troupe, and I’ve done lots of talent shows in school, which led to years of improv comedy and finally standup.”
When not doing comedy—and sadly the pandemic has kept him home much more than he would like this year— Sinbazo enjoys tinkering with things, and spent the last several months building a leather sling bag through a kit.
He’s also a certified CAD (computer aided design) technician, so he made some revisions to his bag’s pattern and learned how to do acid etching so he could put a brass plate on it when completed.
Sinbazo also found a stop sign in his neighborhood, and he’s been turning that into pieces of armor.
“I’ve been performing here and there. I do a podcast with five other comedians where we play the roleplaying game Pathfinder, and we do that over Zoom live so our listeners can join in and ask us questions while we’re playing,” he said. “We also started doing a spinoff show called LaughFinder Game Night, where we have a guest join us and we play games on Facebook Live.”
That podcast invites listeners to play along at the end of the show, and if the hosts get beat, the listener wins a T-shirt from the LaughFinder website.
As soon as stay-at-home restrictions started to get pulled back in August, Sinbazo headlined a show in suburban Maryland and has been doing a series of outdoor comedy shows over the last couple of months—sometimes in fields, sometimes in parking lots, and once over an overpass in Baltimore.
“A lot of the stuff I talk about today is how to stay busy during COVID, how to go to work, what people are doing with their hair, and things like that,” Sinbazo said. “It’s a new world we are living in, but you can still find plenty of funny things to talk about.”
As an English major in college, Backle noted she’s always been a writer and find inspiration for her songs from a “deep place of hurt.”
“It’s the way that I process things and words just come to me when I’m sitting down, playing my guitar. I don’t usually have control of what comes out—I’m just a conduit if you will,” Backle said. “I’ve been writing all my life and this last year it has come out in a lyrical way. This year has given me a chance to use my writing to connect with people and their hurt.”
Since touring isn’t an option right now, Azure Wolf is trying to stay busy on social media and will continue to do livestreams and outdoor events when they become available.
“With our livestream events, we try to get other local musicians involved because we know so many bands who are trying to get onto these livestreams and we want to give the community a way to hear great music and stay safe,” Backle said. “We really appreciate the love and support we’ve seen and hopefully we will continue to bring it!”