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Balancing act: Barrantes focuses talent on people

Billy Barrantes never takes his eyes off God or the ladder he balances on his face. He focuses on the goal.

“When I am balancing things, I am always looking up. If I lose focus of the object I am balancing, it will fall,” said Barrantes. “God is always reminding me that if I want to stand and not fall, I have to keep my eyes on Him.”

Barrantes came in second place in “ORU’s Got Talent,” showcasing his balancing skills.

Growing up, Barrantes was intrigued when he saw someone on television balance a broomstick. He decided to imitate by balancing smaller objects on his hands, feet and face. He discovered he had a unique talent and began exploring how far he could take it.

“I started doing a broomstick, and I balanced it in my hand, and eventually I put it on my chin,” said Barrantes. “I don’t know why, I guess it just fit, and it was good because I could always keep my eyes on the object.”

Barrantes finds it easy to balance objects on his chin because he can use his whole body to balance the object, rather than just the strength of his arm or leg.

“I never thought a lot about it, and eventually people started asking me ‘Hey can you do something else?’ and I started doing chairs,” Barrantes said. “I never went bigger than that before the talent show.”

To prepare for the show he watched videos of people balancing larger objects and felt confident he could try. After a suggestion from a friend, he began to practice balancing a ladder on his chin.

“People don’t realize that it is not that dangerous and not that hard. The bigger the object, the easier it is to balance,” he said. “Now when you think about weight it’s harder, but if it’s big and light, it’s better if it’s bigger.”

Barrantes premiered his ladder-balancing act at “ORU’s Got Talent,” and the students accounted for the largest audience to ever view his performance. He said the crowds made his act a bit more difficult.

“I had to make sure I was focused on the ladder and not on the people around me,” Barrantes said.

Barrantes can also juggle, walk on his hands, unicycle and do backflips.

“I like to experience different things,” said Barrantes. “I think you can learn something from everything you do, and nothing is impossible to learn.”

Outside of talent shows, Barrantes uses his talents to communicate with others and share the gospel.

He entertained people during his mission trip to Uganda last summer by balancing, juggling, standing on his hands and doing flips.

“Kids always love it. They love seeing me balance things,” said Barrantes. “And from there you can always bring it back to the gospel or the fact that God has gifted you with things.”

Barrantes is going on a mission trip to India this summer and will be doing children’s ministry.

“I will be using my talent a lot everywhere we go. Trying to entertain the kids, bring a message and tell them about Christ,” he said.

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