We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Vance and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Night Heron Media’s mission is to teach Texans about our culture, history, arts and lifestyle, and we seriously believe in that concept. We feel that learning about your neighbors, understanding their experiences, knowing where we came from. is the type of education that makes people better citizens. Our history and culture is filled with an incredible diversity, yet most people only know a portion of it, and often, what they’ve been taught has a giant dollop of mythology on top. We hope that through our videos and books, we’ll have the chance to expand some personal horizons.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve taken a winding path, and I hope that continues. The turns in the road give you the best view sometimes. I worked for almost two decades as a professional stand up comic and had my own band, too. My eighth and ninth books will be out in 2022, and I’ve produced, written and directed seven feature length documentaries. I’ve authored historical markers, and I got a giant mural project created and funded in the heart of downtown Houston. I’m proud of all of those things, and I’m ready to double that work output. Night Heron is all about arts and creativity. Like everyone else, we need healthy support, so we hope to have lots more people join our journey.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My time is split between Houston, where I grew up and a place in the country about two counties away, so my outlooks have been expanded. I do think that our food options are the very best in the United States, so I’d want to show off some diversity. You’ve got to start with authentic Tex-Mex. (Every time I’m out of the US for any length of time, that’s the first thing I want when I come back.) I like the BBQ places that are in small towns, the kind of joint where you come out smelling like wood smoke and the meat gets served on butcher paper, so that’s on the itinerary. A healthy helping of good old Texas ice houses which are getting tougher to find, so we might need to range outside the Loop for that one, too. As long as we’re doing that, about three dozen Gulf oysters on the half shell seem in order. In between, some walking through downtown will get us ready for the next meal. I think the Rice campus and Hermann Park are gorgeous, so we’ll check that out. An Astros game is a favorite, or Rockets, if that’s the season. And then I’d show them some of those countryside places like up near Round Top and down at Brazos Bend State Park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We’d like to recognize the millions of Texas with undertold stories. There’s something to learn from everyone, so here’s wishing you all a random conversation with someone who can bring something new into your life.