Tim Marston, fire performer
Tim Marston is a fire performer. With his company, Juggling Inferno, he performs at events all over the UK and worldwide.
I grew up in Cockermouth in Cumbria. I now live in Kendal, also in Cumbria.
What job do you do?
I'm a fire performer. I also run a crew of performers, which involves finding them work doing fire and circus performances.
The majority of my work is my solo fire show. I perform this at weddings, parties and events.
I also perform group fire shows with the other Juggling Inferno fire performers. We've performed our show at lots of different events, from student balls to viking festivals!
What previous jobs in theatre have you done?
I’ve been working as a fire-juggler for several years. Before that I was an electrician.
What qualifications do you have?
I have an NVQ electronics qualification.
What do you do at work?
There's no such thing as a typical day – and that's a great part of my job in itself.
If I’m at home, I train, and then work on marketing and admin.
"I love seeing the amazed faces in the audience."
If I’m performing, the day usually involves a long drive to an event, then setting up for a show, doing the show and driving home.
The travelling can get tiring, but performing is my life. I love it, and I know I'm very lucky to be able to do it for a living.
As well as the performing, I also run How To Sell Your Act, which is a website and book I wrote. The aim is to help other performers to generate more work. This site takes time to run, so I'm now busier than ever.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Lots of things! I enjoy showing off my performance skills, going to great events, and being part of the backstage environment.
I love feeling that I'm good at what I do, and seeing the amazed faces in the audience. The applause is always a great feeling.
I especially like doing shows for kids. It’s a privilege to be able to inspire them.
Personal expression, being my own boss, creativity and artistic freedom are all things I get a lot of and really value in my work.
Helping find work for my fellow performers is also a great buzz.
And the worst thing about the job?
Financial insecurity and the travelling are minor hassles, but because I love my job, these things are easily dealt with.
How do I get into theatre?
My advice would be:
- Never, ever give up
Work hard. Then work even harder. Then do some more work. Never give up an opportunity to perform.
- Stay focused
Listen to advice from those more experienced than yourself, but never lose track of your own personal goals.
- Develop business skills
Good business ethics will go a long way in the long term.
- Don’t take rejection personally
Don’t be too full of yourself, but don’t be too hard on yourself either. If things work out, and other performers are jealous, take it as a compliment.
- Set up realistic goals
Don’t forget to enjoy each little success. Accept the fact that you might have to make some sacrifices to gain rewards.
Tim is part of our theatre experts panel. Ask Tim a question about working in theatre.