We had the good fortune of connecting with Mia Banks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mia, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
“The greater the risk, the greater the reward” — or at least that’s what I always heard, and that’s how I always thought about risks. In order to win big, you have to go big or stay on the porch. “Scared money don’t make no money.” I could go on and on with the quotes and cliches. As a Black millennial woman, still pursuing my life’s dream of becoming a nationally known on-air talent and beauty personality, I view risks as a necessary move on the chessboard of life. Risks force me to stretch my abilities, and each time I take a risk I learn more about my capabilities. Even when those risks are adverse, I still learn a lesson and better understand what is not meant for me. Risks have played a major role in my life and career. At the age of 18, I signed a basketball scholarship to a university I NEVER visited, and any college recruit knows that is a faux pas. I moved to Washington, DC to attend graduate school at Howard University because I felt led there by God, and I knew He would take care of me. Meanwhile, I had nowhere to stay until the week that it was time for me to leave home. All career moves, whether it be internships or jobs, occurred because I was willing to take a risk — something as simple as a follow-up phone call, or speaking up and asking for additional exposure. However, within the last 7 years, I lost my gumption and desire to take risks. I GOT COMFORTABLE, and that just isn’t my style. To be honest, comfortability cost me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a creative, I sum up my career as the human resource for all things beauty at the intersection of pop culture and current events. As an on-air talent, voiceover professional and beauty content creator I use my alluring voice, lively to creatively share information, evoke inspiration and enliven animation .
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a true southerner and Arkansas native, I would definitely take my best friend to see my folks because that’s the best food they’d eat on the entire trip. Breakfast at my house is a daily requirement and ritual. Then we’d drive 50 minutes to the capital city of Little Rock to hop on the trolley to view downtown from a tourist’s perspective. You can truly appreciate the downtown area a lot more when you’re not the driver. Lunch would be at one of the best restaurants in the city — Samantha’s Tap and Wood Grill. Having lived in major urban metro cities, this restaurant always makes me feel like I’m in another city, which is good for my soul occasionally. Then I’d head over to our SOMA District. It has lots of cute restaurants that would have great live music if COVID wasn’t a thing, and during warmer weather, it’s a great area for photos for the ‘gram. One cannot visit Little Rock without visiting Little Rock Central High School, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center located on the historic Ninth Street and the Clinton Library — all historic Arkansas landmarks. We’d finish the night downtown for drinks and light fare at Cache or the rooftop bar Agasi. Now, since this would be a week-long trip other restaurants that are required for an authentic Little Rock experience: Sims Bar B Que and Brewsters 2, both Black-owned restaurants that will always leave you wanting more. Additionally, a walk along the Arkansas River in the Downtown River Market will truly showcase the Natural State.
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?
I want to shoutout all of the women, especially the BLACK women, in radio who thought enough of my persona, personality, and passion to gift me an opportunity to grow in the radio industry. So many times women are viewed as catty, cunning, or cruel. I have never experienced this and owe my existence in this business to Black women at every stage of my career, a Black woman has covered me, and I am grateful. There are too many women to name individually; however, I will shoutout the most important woman in my life — my mother. She deserves all the credit for gifting my life and planting the desire at a young age to pursue a career where I could be paid to talk because that was always my blessing and my curse. My sister is also my encourager, social-media photographer and number one fan.
Artez L. Irvin – Dr. Epic Photography Jen Missouri Photography