JR Bourne has become as well known for pranking his castmates as he has for his role in MTV’s Teen Wolf. But when he’s not busy making people laugh, he’s working to make people smile through a wide variety of charity work.
Over the years, Bourne has worked with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and an arts organization called Inner City Filmmakers. Most recently, he took an 11-day, 1,100 mile motorcycle ride for charity in Kiehl’s LifeRide for AmFAR.
We had a chance to talk with him about the incredible charity work he’s doing.
Dustin Clendenen: What inspired you to start the #Howl4ACure campaign for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation?
JR Bourne: There was a new app being launched called BidChat that would allow people to raise funds and awareness for charities that were dear to them. Upon their initial launch, Max and his brother Charlie Carver suggested the company launches their first live chat with a few of the Teen Wolf cast members. Cystic Fibrosis being close to the boys’ hearts as well, and knowing the help we’ve gotten from the cast in the past with previous fundraisers for CF, they asked if the charity attached be the CF Foundation. I of course was thrilled and we all agreed on it. Charlie and Max then came up with the #Howl4ACure as a fun way for our fans to show their support and participate in raising awareness and money for the CF Foundation.
DC: Why is the work of the Inner City Filmmakers organization so important to you?
JR: I took part this year by sitting with the young participants and talking to them about auditioning and working with actors in their upcoming projects. We then went through a mocked up audition for each one of their short films. Myself playing the actors auditioning and them learning how to conduct themselves as needed to help them make their final casting decisions. I had no idea how challenging and fun it would be to play a 16 year old, a 10 year old, a mother, and with more ease, a father. Being able to pass on any knowledge I’ve acquired over the years in this business to our young artists of tomorrow is truly satisfying and rewarding. Art and the expression of it, is one of our oldest forms of communication and interpretation. The encouragement of that being done as truthfully and authentically as possible, is at the core of the importance of programs like this. So grateful to have been involved.
DC: Have you been a biker for long? How did it feel to use this passion for charity for AmFar?
JR: I’ve been riding for only 10 years. [I] started when I moved to LA and I’d get so jealous when my friends would take off for a day ride through the canyons. I don’t like being left out! I never imagined though that I’d be involved in the LifeRides for AmFar. It surpassed anything I could have imagined it being. Cruising around the US with an incredible group of people, doing something I love AND raising awareness and funds for such an important cause is what it’s all about. Although it might feel like work at times, fundraising efforts should be life changing for all involved in all formats. Creating experiences like this and for such causes like AmFar are what life’s journey should consist of.
DC: You’ve been able to channel many of your personal passions and hobbies into charity work. What advice do you have for our readers who want to make a difference in the world?
JR: Make your fundraising efforts geared towards experiences that will change the way you and others see things in the world. You’ll enjoy the process more and so will everyone who participates, or retweets, re posts, or simply just sees the work you’ve done. If our intentions are clear and truthful from the start, then that energy will be attached to our work and touch the individuals who it’s shared with. Win-win.