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Chris Van Vliet Is Reforming American Entertainment And The Way We Fish!




While he may be originally from Canada, Chris Van Vliet has made America his home for the last ten years and has 4 Emmy Awards to his name and has seen his fishing gear company land onto the Inc. 500 List as one of the fastest growing companies… not bad at all!

While his company WOO! Tungsten has been changing the fishing industry, his personality chatting with mega stars on-camera is what has won him a following of millions of fans.

We spoke to Chris one-on-one to learn more about his life, career and how being a Canadian in America is going during these pandemic times.

1. As a Canadian who is now here in America telling stories through your online channels, how do you feel your interviews/videos have helped reform Americans?

I’m a very proud Canadian and very grateful to have been born and raised in Canada but I’m also equally grateful to be able to call the US my home for the last 11 years. I think the idea of human connection is so powerful and since the start of my career, the interviews that I’ve done have always been about connecting people. When talking with celebrities or athletes on my podcast Insight with Chris Van Vliet, I think of myself as a bridge between fans and the stars, since I’m a fan myself! I approach these interviews from a place of genuine curiosity and if there’s a question I’ve always wanted to know the answer to and the only person in the world who can answer it is sitting right in front of me, I find a way to work it into the conversation. For example, I’m a huge fan of both the Rocky and Rambo movies, and Rocky Balboa is always giving such great advice to everyone. So when I had the chance to interview Sylvester Stallone I asked him what kind of advice that Rocky might give to Rambo if they ever met.

2. Why is social media, YouTube, etc. so important to the way people are influenced today?

It’s all about attention and these days, our attention is focused on our phones more than on any other type of media. Next time you’re standing in line, watch everybody in front of you. The first thing they do is they pull out their phones looking to be entertained. We now have on-demand entertainment in our pockets, rather than on a screen in our living room or at the movie theater. Because of that, I think that the days of a television network or a movie studio dictating who can and can’t be a star are fading away since someone can make a video in their bedroom and reach millions of people at literally no cost at all.

3. How much prep work goes into your adventure-type videos and interviews you do with various celebrities?

It all starts with an idea and for me I wrote down all of the things that I had on my bucket list. Some of them are absolutely ridiculous and dangerous adventures, and others are actually attainable. From there we see what’s possible to pull off and who might be up for it. If I’m already going to go skydiving or bungee jumping or swimming with alligators in my everyday life, we might as well bring a camera along with us to document it!

4. What advice would you give to those wanting to start their own YouTube channel or podcast?

The first and most important thing to do before you start is to ask yourself why you’re doing it. What is driving you? As soon as you can get clear on that, it will make it a lot easier to move forward and find your niche. Secondly, make sure to always bring value. Bring value to your listeners or viewers and if you happen to have guests on your show, make sure to always provide them with value. From there, just start. Don’t wait for the right equipment or the right logo. Just start and figure everything out as you go.

5. With more people heading online and to streaming services during the pandemic, what other trends do you see happening in 2021 and beyond?

I think it’s only going to continue to grow! This last year was completely unprecedented but I think that those who pivoted and pivoted early were able to really capitalize on it. There’s a lot of opportunity out there, but it takes a lot of courage to bet on your ideas. I mean, can you imagine if you started a face mask brand or a QR code business in March of last year when we were told this would only last 2 weeks?

6. Away from the entertainment space you are also an investor / business owner. Your company WOO! Tungsten recently landed on the Inc. 500 list, proving that businesses in the outdoors space are striving these days even through the pandemic. What tips can you give to other business owners right now, and what has your company been doing do you feel that has allowed it to strive?

We actually created a shirt at the start of quarantine last year that read “Fishing Is Essential”. Not only is it a fun phrase, but it’s also true. When every other form of entertainment like cinemas, concerts, amusement parks, restaurants, etc., were closed, the one constant that remained open (at least in most locations) was the great outdoors. My business partner Aaron Anders and I have been fishing our whole lives, which is why we founded WOO! Tungsten. When Covid started closing everything down, we leaned into the fact that more people were enjoying activities outside and we had a massive sale as our way of acknowledging our fellow fishermen during that tough time.

7. Anything exciting coming up for WOO! Tungsten this year you can touch on?

We have a few new products that we are working on that will be announcing later in the year. The exciting thing about that is that I get to test those products, which is really just an excuse to go fishing.

8. If you could change just one thing in this world, what would it be?

I think that if we were all just a little nicer to each other, the world would be an infinitely better place as a whole. Too often we make assumptions about other people when we have no clue what is really going on in their lives. A little bit of empathy and a little bit of patience goes a long way.

9. What’s next for you personally in 2021?

I think the next step for me is to just keep taking steps. While I’ve set some big goals, it’s important to keep taking those baby steps along the way and celebrating the little wins as they happen!

10. What is the biggest difference between living/working in Canada where you are from, and here in the United States?

The biggest difference between my hometown, Pickering, Ontario and where I live now in Los Angeles definitely has to be the weather. No offense to Pickering, because I love it and I love all my friends and family there, but I am not the biggest fan of shoveling snow but with that said, I’m happy to do it when I visit my mom and dad for Christmas every year.

With a Ph.D. in environmental science, Tracey has intricate knowledge about things that have been going around in this particular domain. While working as a professor, she also contributes highly-informative science and environment news for USA Reformer.

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