Laurel Burns is a veteran in Bermuda’s education, entertainment and culinary industries. Born into the restaurant business, she fell in love with food having full access to Green Lantern’s homemade hamburgers, fish and chips, and her nana’s infamous coconut custard pies. Green Lantern was her first job, but she was drawn to the field of education, became an early literacy specialist and after 20 years she’s currently a Mentor teacher and professional developer. As a teenager, she became part of Bermuda’s entertainment scene through the Youth Theatrical Road Show and then in numerous plays under the direction of Patricia Pogson-Nesbitt. Now she spends her time doing event and stage management for local concerts, Destination Dockyard, Made in Bermuda Nights, and whatever else comes her way. She is a graduate of Spelman College and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Board of Education, and has volunteered with the Mirrors Programme. Three things she believes makes everything better: tea, wine, and “breathing helps.”
1. What is your favourite Bermudian tradition?
Bermudian holidays in general are always special. Cassava pie at Christmas; kites, fishcakes and hot cross buns on Good Friday; and Cup Match time in Bermuda. Cup Match is probably my absolute favorite. Every year I order close to 20 loaves of bread from The Cake Shop – most of which are marble bread – and get up at dumb o’clock in the morning to catch Lindo’s Devonshire which opens extra early. There I buy the ingredients to make my infamous sandwiches – especially the fresh roasted turkey. I get my jumbo eggs from WindyBank and make the the egg salad mix the night before. Last year I worked at the Chronixx concert so I got home probably after 3am. All I know is that I had to make sandwiches for 4 different camps (#traditions), look cute, and leave home by 7am because I also worked as the floor director for the live broadcast of the game. When I’m not directing I enjoy sitting off in my family camp catching up with friends and watching the game (#teamSomerset). Those two days are always the best – fun, family, friends, food, and fashion. What more do we really need?
2. Where is the best place for a fish sandwich?
I’m definitely a Woody’s fan but in recent weeks I’ve had the fish at Island Kaddy. There’s definitely a new contender in the runnings.
3. What’s the most Instagram-worthy place in Bermuda?
I’ve found the view from The Loren breathtaking on a Bermudaful day.
4. What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Everyone needs a mental health day. And it’s okay. This was said to me over twenty years ago when I first started teaching. Fast forward to 2019 and the conversation around mental health is more prevalent than ever. We often focus on physical health and ignore caring for our mental health. Sometimes that looks like taking a day to disconnect from everyone and everything just to give yourself a brain break.
5. What do you like most about yourself?
6. What do you like least about yourself?
I’m an over-thinker
7. What keeps you up at night?
You mean what doesn’t keep me up. How to support the teachers I work with, the next event I’m executing, or the next project I’m working on.
8. What’s your favourite thing to do on Sunday?
Sleep, Netflix and chill, or a Sunday Funday with friends. I go so much I love to have downtime on a Sunday – to the point that I rarely make time if I have to attend a function on a Sunday.
9. Do you ever get island fever?
Definitely. When I first came home to teach I had to get off this rock every break that we got. Now, with full blown adulting responsibilities, I’m happy to travel at least twice a year.
10. Loquat or Bermuda banana?
Loquats for sure!
11. St George’s or Somerset?
12. What are you reading right now?
Personal – I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi; Professional – The Impact Cycle by Jim Knight & Nuance by Michael Fullan
13. What podcast are you listening to right now?
Jesus & Jollof by Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji and also Luvvie’s Rants and Randomness
14. What is your guilty pleasure?
Is red wine considered a guilty pleasure?
15. What is your biggest phobia?