Name: Joshua Morris
Income: £55,000 to £72,000
Occupation: Circus performer and entertainment agency director, Bristol
I was initially drawn to a career in the circus after I discovered performers earn a lot more than actors. I also felt there were more avenues to go down with circus; acting felt a lot more restrictive.
In my first year of studying at Bristol circus school Circomedia, I co-founded Circus Uncertainty, an entertainment agency, as I quickly realised that’s where a lot of the money goes. We provide performers for events such as corporate circuses and weddings. The company took in £350,000 last year but most of this went to the performers. Profits are reinvested in the business rather than taken out as a salary.
Last year I earned £72,000 from freelance circus performing, which involved international events and long residencies. The previous year I made £55,000. Circus work can be up and down. But I’d say I work 60 to 80 hours a week on average.
It feels weird to be earning that kind of money as I’m from a working class background in Barnsley. And it doesn’t feel like I earn that income. I certainly don’t act like I have that kind of money. I invest every single penny I can back into my businesses – this year alone, I’ve spent about £15,000 on juggling equipment and another £22,000 on an LED piano. I’m also starting to teach performers how to be better with money. I ran the first course in October and turned over £10,000. But we made no profit as the course was very costly to run and a lot was spent on online marketing.
I believe in a minimalistic lifestyle. I don’t believe in lavish things and having a lot of clutter.
I rent a three-bedroom house in Bristol and I lease out another room to a fellow circus performer. Originally I had the biggest room, an en-suite costing £500 a month, but I spend so much time on the road I thought it wasn’t worth it. Instead I’m in the smallest room, which is tiny and costs me £250 a month.
I’ve just bought myself a BMW 535d M Sport. It’s about 10 years old and cost just under £6,000. I spend most of my time on the road so I thought I might as well treat myself to a car I love. It wasn’t very expensive but my insurance alone is £2,500 a year because of my age.
I have a property up in Barnsley that I bought more than two years ago for my mum. She was struggling with bills and I thought if I bought a house then she could just pay me the mortgage, which is £375 a month.
I spend a ridiculous amount on food every month. I can’t remember the last time I cooked; I’m never at home. I’m always in hotels and all sorts of accommodation while I’m performing at different venues across the country. I buy dinner out and order takeaways – I eat a lot of unhealthy food. When you’re on your feet, it doesn’t matter. I spend about £700-£800 a month on food. I don’t have breakfast or lunch; instead I’ll just have a really big meal after a show. Generally I’ll have three or four pints of beer a day and spend £300 a month on booze.
I have a few savings accounts including an Isa which I used to help buy the property. I’m a long-term shareholder and like to invest in big companies such as Google, Apple and pharmaceutical businesses along with some cryptocurrencies. I’ve also been buying shares in a lot of cannabis companies. I try to invest between £200 to £1,000 a month.
My aim is to buy a new property every five years – that’s my general rule of thumb. I’d like to buy in Bristol but the property market here is pretty ludicrous at the moment. I plan to buy on the outskirts of Bristol and then London, hopefully. This seems like a better retirement option than a pension at the minute.
Money is something I became interested in when I was in my late teens. It think it stems from coming from a background where money was always at the back of our minds. I just want to be prepared and to help others. When I was younger I looked at the wealthy people in the world and wondered what they were doing differently. It made sense to start holding money in stocks and shares, work hard and take big risks.