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Meet Mariam Sobh: The New Host of All IN

Indiana Public Broadcasting's daily talk show, All IN, has a new host starting this week. IPB’s Jeanie Lindsay talked with Mariam Sobh ahead of her All IN debut, to learn more about what she brings to Indiana and what’s next for the show.

Jeanie Lindsay: If you just want to start off with a little introduction of your life, that would be, that'd be perfect, I think.

Mariam Sobh: So I was born in Boulder, Colorado, and moved all over the place because my dad's a professor. And then I ended up in Chicago for work, and that's where I've been ever since.

Lindsay: You've done a very wide range of things in media, from news to acting, comedy – specifically the comedy piece, I wanted to hear about, I guess how that got started specifically.

Sobh: Because I like performance and doing that kind of stuff on the side, I realized that I would have stage fright sometimes, like if I want to sing in front of an audience or perform something. And so I thought, you know what, let me take an improv class, and that could probably help loosen me up, and I just found that I really loved it.

I never thought about really doing stand up per se – that just seemed so daunting to me, and I realized when I finished all of the improv stuff, that it's always so hard to get a group of people together to do stuff. And then I just found through doing shows and practicing and going to open mics and doing stuff like that, I started to kind of find my voice that I feel like I had pushed down for so long.

It's just a great release to come up with material based on your experiences or observations and have people laugh at it, then you're like, 'OK, now I can move on.'

Lindsay: What has shaped that, and kind of guided you in that trajectory of your career and creative pursuits?

Sobh: I think I'm just a very stubborn person when it comes to people telling me 'no,' I can't do something – so then I try even harder. 

I just have this need to be creative, and learning, and growing all the time. I don't know, maybe it's a bad habit. I don't know if it's a good habit; it's just something that is part of me. 

I feel like I like to find things that challenge me. So it's like, 'OK, I'm doing stand up, right, but what can I do, that's even more challenging?' So then I did a one woman show. This was pre-pandemic, like, right before everything shut down.

I never really had a set plan like, 'I'm going to do this, then I'm going to do that, and I'm going to do this,' because I learned that when I tried to do that, you know, I end up disappointed because I had these ideas – and not to sound so negative – but like all these doors kept closing. And it was like 'this isn't meant for you.' 

So I was just like, you know what? I'm going to just keep challenging myself and growing and enhancing my skills, and eventually something is going to open that can see me, for me.

Lindsay: I'm curious, I guess what pulled you down here to take on this role?

Sobh: I think it was just fate to be honest. I happened to see the position posted and I was like, 'oh my gosh, this is the perfect fit,' like something that I've been looking for all this time – a position like this. And now I feel like I'm ready for something like this. It just popped up in my feed, and so I was just like, 'oh my gosh, this is fate.'

And then it was perfect because it's literally next door and you know living in Illinois for 20 years, we went to Indiana a lot.

Lindsay: What sort of things are on your mind stepping into this role in terms of the direction you want to take it and what you want to do with it?

Sobh: Well, I think what's awesome is that the groundwork has already been laid out, so with that already set with the foundation already there, I'm just really excited to build on it and create something that's innovative that makes radio 'cool' again and gets audiences to really want to be part of this conversation. 

I'm really looking forward to getting to know people more, getting to know the state, and so if anybody ever has ideas or pitches or just wants to talk about something, I'm always an open door.

You'll hear Sobh on your local IPB station starting Monday, March 15.

Contact IPB News reporter Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz. You can find All IN on Twitter @AllInIndiana or on Facebook.

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