Jasper Blakeley – “Nobody likes journalists and everyone loves magic.”

When Jasper Blakeley walked into the cinema room, the undeniable excitement of having a once fully working journalist now turned stand-up comedian and close up magician was clear to see. (to me it was anyway!) Previously working for the likes of Real Radio and the Pepsi chart, his engagement or well his over used movements, quick speed of speech and his endless amounts of laughter, I soon began to think why he hadn’t become a comedian a lot sooner. After being let off from Real Radio to look after his young children, he explained that his current standing was that through the means of CONFIDENCE.

I mean I struggle with confidence the same as the next person, especially looking someone straight in the eye. I guess I get all flustered thinking ‘ah they can see my brain working, do I have a turn?’ Confidence issues are something I struggle with massively. Therefore I was intrigued to hear what he had to say.

Starting off, it was all about contact, from eye contact to a firm handshake. I always get really awkward when people go to  shake my hand. Like their going to think my palms are too sweaty or they’ll notice my peculiarly small hands. (Not even kidding I have the hands of my 4 year old niece.) Therefore after giving us a demonstration with a fellow student. The importance of the pause gives management the stance of authority apparently. (I can’t help but notice it in my boss’ handshake now.)

Being on-time apparently shows intelligence and respect. Something I completely and fully engage with. There is nothing worse than turning up late for anything.

1)   for the upheaval of changed plans

2)   for the embarrassing stroll through the lecture theatre to find your coursemates. Only to fall up a step and end up sitting on your own in the third row red with embarrassment. (I know it’s happened to me!)

“Try not to surround yourself with negative people- they’ll drag you down, suck you in, and this effects your success”

His point on negativity really hit home for me. He described to us the importance of avoiding negativity. I am the first person to be negative about something. I will admit that. Therefore his view on negativity in the media industry was really interesting. The media industry is near enough always seen as negative. (Especially since the whole Leveson inquiry and the News of the World scandal). I remember telling a local in the pub I work at that I was studying Journalism, his response to me was that I was training to be a life ruiner. The nature of news is inevitably negative but Jasper went on to say that our attitudes don’t have to be. In response to my ‘life ruiner’ comment, I turned around to the gentleman and explained that Journalism is an industry that relies on the people, for the people and Jasper reminded me of just that. Negativity will ruin your success in the industry.

He then went on to say that ‘you have to do things for free’. Work experience and internships are key to success in the media industry. Luckily enough for me I did a lot of work experience before even beginning my degree. There is so much competition in the industry nowadays that you need to stand out.

Jasper believed strongly in “making a decision, even if it’s the wrong one.” I guess commitment to the job at hand and your future career is better than not making a decision at all. Initiative is key.

“If you don’t love what you do, do something else”. It’s to this statement that he reminded me of the attributes my mother always taught me. Simply, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing or where you are going with your career, there is no point in doing it. Enthusiasm is the key to making it whether it being your career or in everyday decisions. Happiness it definitely the soul of success. Happiness does not bring the money on the table, however it does make you appreciate what money you do bring in. Money is most definitely not the be and end all.

He ended the lecture with Talent. Finding what you’re good at. I understand, finding a talent is probably the hardest thing to find. There’s always the question, am I being modest? Vain? Although enthusiasm, happiness and dedication get you places, talent is what separates you from the rest. Find what you’re good at, use it to your advantage and take on the world just like Jasper suggests!




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