As today’s guest, Sandy Beeler, and I (Anthony Crosby) prepare to start the interview for this feature…
Sandy: Just so you know, I’m pretty boring!
Me: Oh, I doubt that; you don’t seem like a very boring person to me!
Sandy: Oh, trust me, I really am boring.
Sandy’s son, Ebin (aka The Bug) who was also present for this interview, passionately nods his head in agreement with his mom’s statement.
…Well, AAT readers, you can judge for yourselves after reading the rest of this article, but rather than boring, I found Sandy to be quite interesting. Heck, the night before we met up, Sandy got bleach in her right eye and still was ready to chat with me like an unapologetic champ! That’s not exactly the attitude of a dull person, to me!
As I previously mentioned, today’s featured guest is Sandy Beeler of Ruby Radio Corporation. There’s a chance you may not know her face but are familiar with her voice from her radio shows on Mix 96.7 and BIG Country 103.9 where she lends her talents as a producer and on-air personality! We’re going to talk with Sandy about the wild world of radio; however, let’s get to know the woman behind the mic a little bit first. Sandy, you’re on-air with Anthony Around Town; tell us about yourself! “I grew up in California and got here (Elko) when I was ten. My brother, my parents, and I came here with two hundred bucks and our suitcases; that was it. When we got here the city helped us get on our feet; thank God for them. My dad worked three jobs at one point, and he indwelled in me the fact that you have to work hard if you want to get somewhere in life. So, I’ve been working since I was about thirteen. I’m a jack of all trades; I’ve done everything. I used to work at The Commercial diner, Diana’s Fine Jewelry when that was still opened, and I even use to clean the courthouse. Fast forward to around 2010/2011, I saw a job ad for Ruby Radio working either the front desk or as a producer. I figured I could at least talk my way into the front desk; they gave me an interview, and I worked the front desk for like two months. One day, they asked me to do a commercial; I said ok, and they liked it. So, they put me as a producer for KZBI 94.5, and then I got my own show on BIG Country 103.9. What I really wanted was Mix 96.7. I gave myself a year to get on there; it actually only took me six months, and I’ve been there for almost seven years!”
Wonderful! Thank you for taking us down memory lane, Sandy. Now, let’s talk about what you get to do for work. What’s it like having your voice go out to hundreds of people in our city every morning and how do you approach having that kind of responsibility? “It’s the best. It’s like having a Facebook page that you get to say out loud every day! You’re able to wake up with people. There’s so much negativity around, but if I can be a little positive for somebody, I think that can be at least one step in the right direction for the rest of their day. If a story comes in that I want to share on the air, I’m going to put a spin on it so you (the listeners) can laugh and smile; that’s what makes me happy. For example, my purse got stolen one year, and I still had to go into work; I was so mad. The purse had my phone, credit cards, and everything! I calmed myself down, went on the air and was positive about it. I said that I hoped the person who stole my purse needed it more than I did! The phone was already cracked, I hope they have fun with that for as long as it lasts, and I hoped they weren’t gluten-free because there were a lot of crackers in there! I had one listener send me three dollars to help me buy another purse! I still have the three dollars; I keep them in the studio as good luck. I really am myself on the air. What you see is what you get; I’m not going to put on a show.”
You’re on the radio, Sandy. Therefore, people are going to know your voice maybe without having ever seen your face! Do people still recognize you when you’re out and about just by hearing you talk? “It happens all the time. People always say they thought I was going to be blonde or that I was going to be older. It’s weird, but I like it! I like when people approach me and tell me they listen to the show, but if I suck, they can tell me that I suck! It’s all good; let’s have a conversation!”
I’m glad you like conversations so much, Sandy because we’re going to keep having one! You’ve been at your station for seven years, what are some things you would tell someone just starting out in the radio business who eventually wants to do what you do, one day? “You have to get up super early. I get up at 2:30 in the morning every day! My show starts at five, but there are commercials and production things that need to get done before you go on air. It’s not like what you’d see on something like Howard Stern; that’s Hollywood, but it really is a lot of fun! We try to make our station sound the best it can, so we do put a lot of work behind it. Sometimes, if you feel sick or had a long night, you can go in not always wanting to be a people person, but you understand that it is your job. If you work as a waitress, you’re not going to be mean to your customers even if you may not be in the best mood. However, you get to have fun! You can go in and make fun of Justin Bieber, which is like my favorite thing to do!”
Who doesn’t love a good Bieber roasting? Good stuff! Now, you naturally stay involved with the community through your job, and you’re also personally involved with local groups such as Ghost Light Productions. Would it be safe to assume you truly do enjoy being apart this town of ours? “I like Elko! I think it gets a bad rap sometimes, but I like the people here; I always have. Like I said before, my family came here with nothing, and Elko helped us out. I raised my son here; he went to the same school I did. That’s pretty sweet. Elko has that small-town feel, and I appreciate that. There’s a lot in this town for people; you just have to look. That’s how I started getting involved with theater!”
Finally, Sandy, before we sign off, what do you want the readers of AAT and your Ruby Radio listeners to honestly know about you as they may be inviting you into their cars, homes, workplaces, and lives every single day? “I’m a normal human. You can approach me and talk to me anytime. I’m just a single, working parent; that’s all that it is. I am weird; what you hear on the air is me… just an exaggerated me, nobody is THAT awake at five in the morning! I was very shy growing up, so I’m grateful there are outlets for people like me to finally get their voice heard. I hope people, especially kids, aren’t afraid to be themselves! I was a weird/shy kid growing up who made her own clothes, and who nobody understood. When I grew up, I realized I had nothing to be afraid of; I could conquer the world! So, come by and say hi; I’m always around doing something!”
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See you around the radio dials, Elko!