'Trailer Talk is on the Road'
Somewhere in the East right now, Sabrina Artel may be rolling down the highway, towing a cute-as-a-bug vintage travel trailer which doubles as a mobile radio studio. And when she arrives at wherever she is headed, she’ll park her 13-foot, 1965 Bee Line trailer, set up her microphones and recording apparatus on her dinette table and start slinging words.
Her “Trailer Talk” interviews appear on a community radio station in the Catskills, near where she lives in New York. The segments occasionally make their way across America via several national radio networks.
But, often, a big part of her audience is right outside her trailer, where locals park themselves in lawn chairs and listen via loudspeakers to Sabrina and her guests who peep through the windows to catch the live action.
Sabrina is a former actress who counts performances in L.A. and New York as well as a Budweiser commercial among her credits. But these days, it’s roaming the East, interviewing important folks and not-so-important folks, a job that captures her fantasy and satisfies her sense of wanderlust and curiosity.
She views the traditional media as big, controlled and out of touch with what’s really on peoples’ minds. Her guest list is a hodgepodge of the famous and not famous. If she’s parked at a political convention, it could be someone important: Senator John Kerry’s brother Cameron stopped by recently when Sabrina was at a Washington political rally, where she squeezed her pintsized studio between huge CNN and NBC trailers. Actor Rip Torn walked in one day after fishing a nearby stream. He told Sabrina that his movie contracts specify that if there’s a fishing hole nearby, he gets time off to give it a try.
Interviewing her subjects from inside her trailer puts her guests at ease. For most, it’s a new experience.
“This is the first time I’ve been interviewed in a trailer,” said political activist and author Arianna Huffington. Another time, broadcasting from a festival, Sabrina talked with the owner of a pot bellied pig named Egbert.
It boils down to this: If someone wanders into Sabrina’s tiny trailer while her microphone is ready for action, they’ll be invited to sit down and chat, while a lawn-chaired crowd outside listens in- and sometimes farther beyond via her segments in the Catskills and on other stations. For political activist Sabrina Artel, it’s immensely satisfying.
Sabrina is what’s known in the trade as an independent producer, which is another way of saying that nobody sends her a regular paycheck. She landed a $10,000 grant recently from the New York Council on the Arts but she needs a whole lot more, with gas being $3.25 a gallon these days. So Sabrina is looking for additional funding – to go farther down the road to learn what’s on the minds of Americans, and about other things as well – pot bellied pigs, for example.
Learn more about Sabrina at her website, www.SabrinaArtel.com