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LMB Talks Life & SURVIVOR With Contestant and WEEN Co-Founder Sabrina Thompson
(Cues Destiny Child’s Survivor Anthem and in walks Sabrina Thompson)
If you watch the hit reality TV show, Survivor, which is now in it’s 24th season then I am sure that you have taken notice to WEEN co-founder and high school teacher Sabrina Thompson.
Being a true Southern Belle born in Wilson, North Carolina, Sabrina Thompson is no stranger when it comes to tackling challenging situations and dealing with large amounts of egos and personalities. So it’s no surprise that after being approached accidentally by SURVIVIOR producers, Sabrina Thompson, took a chance and decided to take a break from her duties over at WEEN (Women In Entertainment Empowerment Network) and teaching to be a contestant on Survivor.
LMB was able to catch up with Sabrina, who took time out of her very busy schedule to speak with us and we got a chance to find out what it was really like being on a show like SURVIVOR.
What experiences in your life do you think prepared you for the survivor challenge?
Nothing could ever prepare you for the wildest television show on earth, SURVIVOR; however, I’d have to say teaching & being a former television producer. As a teacher, I have to manage an array of personalities without showcasing anger. I have to lead by talking AND by listening. I have mastered the art of directly addressing a situation or laying low and letting it simply play out and allow a student to vent. I am always building up a kid’s ego and self-esteem while simultaneously critiquing them. During SURVIVOR you always have to read the strangers in which you are interacting with and anticipate their next move.
Also, I knew I’d have to rely on the public and persuasive speaking skills I learned while being a television producer.
How did you find out about trying out or auditioning for survivor? How does that process work?
I promise this was all designed by God to get me on the show this season. Apparently, the show producers were researching information on another woman who they wanted to be on the show and her name happened to be Sabrina Thompson.! Every time producers performed internet searches using the name, my picture and bio would appear more often instead of the other Sabrina. They read my info, loved what they saw and emailed me. I instantly thought it was a joke, but later found out it was true. I went through with the regular protocol of creating a 3minute audition tape, crossed my fingers and headed out to Los Angeles for an audition. A week later I got the call saying I made the show!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about signing up to be a survivor competitor?
Whether you are creating an audition tape or get picked as a castaway, play the game closest to how you live each day. People respect authentic behavior and personalities. Also, pay attention to EVERYTHING but only absorb the information you need to help you advance or else paranoia will set in. Aside from that, it’s a total and complete toss up!
Have any of your daily habits changed after living off the land with barely the basics you are accustomed to everyday?
YES!!! I only order the amount of food that I will actually finish. I value everything down to ice cubes in my cup. I will always say a word of thanks and grace even if I’m am eating hummus or a bowl of cereal. I am super grateful for toilet paper even if it is one-ply. Before the show I had a real phobia of germs; however, now I am not as peculiar towards people who may exhibit bad manners. I still correct them and tell them they are wack for not covering their noses or mouths, but it doesn’t get under my skin as much as it use to.
You seem like you are following your heart in a lot of ways from teaching to being the co-founder of your non-profit, WEEN. How do you balance it all and what’s next for you?
I haven’t mastered balancing it just yet. My personal life has taken a backseat because throughout my twenties I was a workaholic. One of my mottos is “work smart now and play hard later.” Hopefully, my playing days are not so far away.
I really want to get my jewelry line, beanpYe on QVC or HSN. I have had the company for seven years now and I’d love to take it to the next level and mass produce it so I can make money in my sleep! J
Also, I’d like to start a family within the next 2-3 years or when God places an amazing man in my life that “gets” me and travel the world together.
Lastly, years ago I bought a domain called teentravelsociety.com. It is a reminder of my long-term goal of opening up my own travel academy for underprivileged teens in the United States to travel the world and learn various languages, build orphanages, culinary skills, traditional customs and compete in mini SURVIVOR type team building exercises. I want to leave a legacy of mentoring women and sculpting the younger generation to be humanitarians and critical thinkers through the elements of traveling and social service. I am confident that if God placed this on my heart that it will come to fruition. So I pray one day, people can log onto teentravelsociety.com and see my dream is now a reality.
Be sure to check out Sabrina on Survivor: One World, Wednesday nights on CBS @ 800pm EST.
*Lastly, WEEN co-founder & Vice Chair, Sabrina Thompson, is still hanging on as a contestant on the CBS hit show, SURVIVOR! The next episode is next Wednesday, April 18, 2012 (8pm ET/7pmCT). In a few weeks, CBS will run a commercial during an episode to have America vote for their favorite player. The vote from America does not determine the overall $1 million dollar winner of the show, but “America’s vote” will determine who wins an extra $100,000 on top of any monetary prizes each contestant will already get…just as a “favorite player” type vote. WE NEED YOU TO VOTE! Why? Well, she is doing a great job representing women on the show PLUS a nice portion of the prize money will be donated to help flourish the WEEN academy. For more on the WEEN academy, please visit http://www.weenonline.org/academy/.