The Bourne reality
Eighteen-year-old Reuel Bourne took everyday and serious happenings that influence people’s lives in Barbados and presented them in a poetic package that rocked a large crowd at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex Gymnasium with rib-splitting laughter last Saturday.
Representing his home parish St George in the talent section of the Spirit Of The Nation Show, the Queen’s College industrial engineering student had the audience in his hands, building them up to total abandon as he recited Pointing Fingers.
Weekend Entertainment caught up with Bourne and asked him why he got involved in the performing arts.
“Well, my aim in life is to touch all the genres and last year I did dance at the Dancefest finals, so this year I tried something different and it was poetry.”
He said the piece Pointing Fingers came from the very strong influence of his dad.
“My dad has a very analytical mind, so going down in the car early with him on mornings we would sit and listen to the news. Hearing him brings across to me some of the things that were going on, inspiring me to think about a piece that would go along that line.”
Reuel said, however, it was not until his mother came with the creative side that the use of words to create impact came about, “and with the combination, that is why it came off as such a hit”.
One of the popular lines in Pointing Fingers: If de Bs fighting with Ds and the Ds fighting with Bs, what is the problem if me and my goons want to fight down in the Orleans?
Reuel speaks highly of his parents “as the biggest influence on his life right now and they inspire me to do many of the things [I do]”.
“My mother is an excellent performer – a dramatist and poet who performs at the National Festival Of Creative Arts (NIFCA) and at Parish Talent [contests].”
It was not only his mother and father who inspired Reuel. His 12-year-old brother Shane Bourne, who is also at Queen’s College, is quite an actor in his own right, given his lead performance with Mustardseed Productions in The Sleeping Bride at NIFCA this year.
“The competition in the house is very tough. For a youngster like [Shane] and with that sort of projection, he is really hitting it on.”
With such talent in Barbados, what does it mean for Reuel in the future?
“Along with schoolwork I think that there should be some extracurricular activities. As long as performing is my extracurricular activity, it should be something that I should stick with,” he said.
How does he see the future of performing arts in Barbados?.
“Once you put yourself to it, you can do it, but I think a lot people are afraid to come out onstage. To psyche myself for the performance on Saturday, I give thanks to my mother. I prayed a lot before [performing] and my mother was there for me straight through the competition.
“To have her there at the finals backstage was a great help to get me pumped and ready to go onstage.”
Sharing his views on his peers, he said his mother always questioned why he was a big 18-year-old and still so close to her.
“I would prefer to go out with my mother, to my friends’ any time – that is just the sort of relationship we have, but I would say there is hope for my peers.”
He does not throw caution to the wind, though, when he is out alone, but since he became president of his youth ministry at church, he tries to evangelize to his peers to get them into the church.
He said his outreach has helped him to understand them much better.
“It helps me to see that they are normal people and they have challenges. If you approach them in the wrong way, they may jump out at you – but if you try to talk to them and not down to them, [they are okay].”
After performing to such an appreciative audience last week Reuel might find it have difficult walking the streets, because everyone will be pointing fingers – at him.