Don’t Take My Advice

The first piece of advice anyone gives upon hearing you want to perform for a living is to “Make sure you have something to fall back on”.

I recommend you ignore them immediately.

If you REALLY do want to spend your life living in relative poverty and freedom while searching for unquantifiable and entirely insecure success, just accept it’s going to be hard and get on with it.

The moment you’re putting more effort into your second choice than the life you dream of, the dream dies and the back up plan becomes your first choice.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for education. The best performers usually have some other great passion or area of expertise besides magic and it’s that combination which makes them interesting. If the only thing you love is magic, the chances are you’re  going to be a bad magician.
If however, you love music, movies, marine biology or whatever else – combine that love with magic and you may just find the brilliant and original act that propels you to the moon.

Education is important. Knowing how to research, the practise of writing things, memorising facts and bodies of text, good grasp of language and a voracious curiosity will all help you on the road to becoming the best performer you can be.
It’s a good trait you should never lose and continuing to be an autodidact throughout adult life really will serve you well.

BUT, training to be a chartered account because your mum and dad said you should is unlikely to end with you becoming a pop star.


This blog is titled ‘Warning: Bad Advice’ and it’s up to you to decide if I’m giving it or talking about it. All I know is that ‘making it’ (whatever that means) as a performer takes determination, singular commitment and an ability to keeping moving forwards even when all the road signs tell you to turn back.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve the things you want. Chase your dream and don’t give up. Accept that it’s going to be hard and get on with it.

Surely the adage is true that it’s better to fail trying something you love than to succeed at something you don’t care about.

So “Here’s to the fools who dream, crazy as it may seem. Here’s the the hearts that break, here’s to the mess they make.” – LA LA Land.

Go on, get started. I’ll see you on the moon.


Mark James

Right Decision, Wrong Decision Road Sign




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