Famous 5: John Burns
Meet John Burns, an entertainment lawyer, corespondent to CNN, MSNBC, Aljazeera and more. He has negotiated the contracts of some of our favorite A-List entertainers and you can find him discussing legal issues with regard to pop culture on multiple stations and programs locally and nationally. He is an active voice in the DC community, with a particular passion for mentoring and inspiring at-risk youth. We had the opportunity to find out a bit more about this star on the rise.
The question on everyone’s mind- what’s it like working with A-list celebrities as clients?
I love my job because I am able to blend all of my interests (law, media and journalism) and make a living doing it. In terms of working with celebrated individuals, it is like working with most anybody else, sometimes it can be a great working relationship while other times it can be more challenging. However, I really enjoy the access and experiences that my position has been able to afford me.
You’ve lived all over in places like San Antonio, Boston, and London. Why DC?
I think DC provides a great balance of small town feel with big city resources, opportunities and network. DC is also incredibly unique in the sense that young people are able to really thrive because there are so many great opportunities that you can’t find in any other city.
Tell us about the ICON to ICAN Charitable Organization. What inspired the idea?
I have always been a passionate advocate of causes that support children and provide resources to children in need. I joined forces with three other like-minded individuals, including my brother, to create the ICON to ICAN Charitable Organization because we wanted to assist children dealing with unimaginable circumstances and provide them with positive reinforcement. The ICON to ICAN Charitable Organization offers a multitude of different programming focusing on providing disabled and children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions with mentorship and various resources. Our mission is to provide mentorship and empowerment programs for disadvantaged and disabled youth to help them overcome physical, social and economic barriers. Our marquee program, the ICON Experience, offers children who are disadvantaged and disabled the chance to meet and spend time with their ICON. ICON TO ICAN coordinates funds and facilitates the meeting because we believe that providing a platform for suffering children to meet their ICON provides them with significant motivation, encouragement and inspiration that they CAN overcome their current situation and also be an ICON to others. Meeting their ICON not only uplifts and improves the morale and outlook of children dealing with severe illness and disabilities but it makes their lives better. In addition to the ICON Experience, we also provide mentorship, achievement & enrichment and reading programs.
We couldn’t help but notice your impeccable style. Do you have any fashion icons?
Yes, I certainly have style icons. I would define my style as Wall Street with a west coast twist. I get inspiration from the likes of Lenny Kravitz and Kanye West but also embrace the swagger and sophistication of Tom Ford.
You’re a man on the move with a lot of irons in the fire. What’s next for you?
I have a lot of really exciting television/radio/media opportunities that are in the pipeline where I will be featured on various national networks and media outlets providing my point of view on the latest entertainment legal stories as well as general news stories. I also have a couple potential television hosting opportunities that might come to fruition. In addition, I am really excited about launching our new speaker’s series on November 21st in San Antonio, TX entitled ICON TALKS. The goal of the series is to inspire, engage and entertain attendees and I will be hosting and moderating the discussion with our featured icons Brandy Norwood and Omari Hardwick. The theme of the discussion will be “From Success to Significance” and we will examine the lives of these two prominent individuals as we engage the audience on this dynamic topic. The proceeds of ICON TALKS will be used to fund our non-profit, the ICON to ICAN Charitable Organization, whose mission is to offer a multitude of different programming focusing on providing disabled and children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions with mentorship and various resources. I am also very excited to continue to expand my legal practice and take on new and exciting clients and cases.