Jay & Joss are award-winning magicians who have performed at hundreds of events worldwide. With over 10 years of performing experience, their act never ceases to astound, amuse and amaze.
There is no need to introduce them to regular readers of this site, a previous review of their Zoom show continually attracts a large readership. Very popular indeed!
If you have seen their online show already, you will definitely want to read to the end of this interview as they reveal an exciting show announcement is coming soon!
Thankfully when I approached them for an interview, they said yes, as I appreciate how busy that they are. The interview is a very informative piece and I am sure you will enjoy.
Jay & Joss consist of Jamie Docherty and Lewis Joss.
Links at the bottom of this post for more information and booking details.
Magic Seats: Thanks for joining us for a chat. Having seen you perform online, I am curious to know more. As established performers, what is the story of how you met and how you both started performing together?
Jay & Joss - (Jamie) Lewis and I have known of each other for a long time. We were introduced by a mutual friend in 2014 when I sold an illusion to Lewis. At the time, although we knew of each other, we weren't close friends - we spoke very occasionally, but I'd say we lost contact.
We bumped into each other again at a magic convention a few years later, and started to chat more - we quickly realised we were very similar in lots of different ways, and became close friends very quickly; talking daily, meeting up more and getting to know each other. Soon after this, we became a couple and started dating - not openly, but just to see how things went.
Lewis was based in Bedfordshire, and I was in Northamptonshire. We were both marketing for the same work in neighbouring areas and there were a lot of crossovers, so rather than compete, and risk ruining a friendship/relationship, we decided to work together. Fine Entertainments Ltd was born!
Lewis is very talented when it comes to design, websites, video editing and generally anything creative... all skills that I lack! Likewise I bring skills to the table that aren't quite Lewis' strong points - we work very well and bounce ideas off each other constantly.
While we were busy close up magicians, we were both passionate about performing on stage, and started working on a double act. We had lots of ideas, and Jay & Joss was born!
Magic Seats - It’s great that you formed the act and not many double acts tend to exist. As performers who are used to stage, corporate and cruise ships etc. how did you find the transition to performing via Zoom for your virtual shows?
Jay & Joss - We were actually very late to performing via Zoom. Naively, we were thinking that we'll ride it out, and everything will blow over in a few months and we'll be back to normal. Rather than focus on building, marketing and then performing a new product, we planned to focus on pushing forward with things for future live gigs, and making ourselves as prepared as we could be for when things go back to normal. Well we were of course very wrong. From March to October, our performing career included literally just a handful of live gigs between the two of us. With the warehouse and all of the bills that go with that, not forgetting our other regular monthly expenses, cash flow was quickly vanishing. We started to look at Christmas events, and it became very apparent that what would usually be the busiest month of the year would be virtual. We had to very quickly put together a Zoom show to survive. Luckily, we have a lot of tech in house, and already have our act ready to perform, for us, it was a case of turning the warehouse into a theatre and performing our stage show. We started doing the shows via Zoom, and were amazed how enjoyable they were! Genuinely, we've had the best few months ever! We're continuing to do our public Zoom shows every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, alongside private and corporate shows, and can honestly say we don't want them to end! Yes the atmosphere is different, and it can't be compared to performing live... it's a different gig, but that being said, we're able to perform our stage show (what we're really passionate about) with all the sound, lighting and pyrotechnics, with no travel, no set up, and on dates it suits us (mostly)! We've had the most stage time we've ever had. Performing our show multiple times a day has made us more slick, fluid, natural, and more confident in what we do. We make minor changes (to magic, performance and the tech) after every single show, and we'd like to think it's getting better with each show we perform.
Magic Seats - That's great to hear that it is going so well. As a double act, I personally feel that you have led the way for other artists; performing Zoom from a professional warehouse/studio setup. Offering ticket packages was particularly forward thinking, including premium packages that provide magic tricks and signed posters. What is next, anything else that you have planned?
Jay & Joss - Lots of people that have seen the show are eager to see a new show... which is great, but at present given the space we have in the unit, and the time/preparation that goes into setting up and teching a brand new show, we won't be able to offer a second magic and illusion show and be really proud of it.
Rather than offer something half heartedly, we're going to be offering a more intimate experience, performing a mix of close-up and parlour magic. Whereas the public shows we're performing at the moment are averaging between 100 and 250 people, this will be much smaller with no more than 40 screens, and will only be available to those that have seen the previous show. We're going to be announcing details of this over the next couple of weeks!
Magic Seats - That sounds fantastic. I will definitely be booking. When I attended your show, I received my signed poster. I love collecting magic related memorabilia. What are your most priced magic collectables? Do you each have anything particularly special that you both treasure?
Jay & Joss - We have lots of signed photos/posters and props that we love, but for us we much prefer memories. Being a couple that both love magic, we much prefer to treasure the memories associated with doing or watching. For instance, we go to Magic Live and make full use of the time spent in Las Vegas - we watch multiple shows a day (mostly magic and Cirque du Soleil) and are in awe by everything we see! We're huge fans of Cirque shows, and will do anything we can to see a show (sometimes more than once) if there's one close by! As well as watching with our jaws on the floor, we also learn so much from watching Cirque shows. The characters, the costumes, the lighting, the staging, the theatre, the story telling... it's just another level! To experience these things together, to be inspired by them so much, and the tingling feeling we get when watching them is more memorable than anything else.
Magic Seats - My wife loves Cirque du Soleil as well. I will have to go one day! With so much that you have achieved, what has been the highlight of your careers to date? Any special moments performance wise or opportunities that have opened up?
Jay & Joss - Looking back at things we've done so far, we're really proud of what we've achieved in a relatively short space of time. We've travelled the world performing on large cruise ships, had a couple of TV performances, and performed at some really lovely venues alongside some big names. Honestly, we don't think we could say we've got a career highlight as of yet. We've got lots of exciting plans for the future and we've only just scratched the surface of what we want to achieve in our career - We'd like to hope many more nice things will happen, and our highlights are yet to come.
Magic Seats - I am envious of your travels, particularly the cruises! Your show is very family friendly and attracts many children who no doubt will be interested in performing magic themselves. Were you always encouraged when you were younger and wishing to pursue magic or did you find resistance from others (careers advisors etc) who perhaps felt “you should get a proper job” etc? lol (those wanting to crush and stop your dreams!)
Jay & Joss - Growing up, both of our families were extremely supportive and although encouraged us to have 'fall back' options, were more than happy to do all they could to help and give us the best chance to achieve our dreams. We couldn't have asked for more really!
(Lewis) From the age of 10 to the age of 18 my Dad used to drive me over an hour once a month to The Magic Circle to attend the Young Magicians Club (The Magic Circle's Youth Initiative) where I'd meet with like-minded people my age and learn magic! That was where I was lucky enough to be picked to work with Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee for a remake of 'Wizbit' and although the TV show didn't take off as planned, those were great experiences which I wouldn't have had if it wasn't for my family taking me to the Magic Circle every month.
(Jamie) Very similarly, from an early age my Dad used to take me along to The Wellingborough Magicians Club, where because of my age, he had to become a member too. We'd both learn magic, and practice together at home!
(Both) We watched magic shows (live or on TV) when we were younger, and always said 'we'd love to do that'.
Often after shows, we get some really lovely messages from parents saying their children have recently got a magic set but it's been thrown in a cupboard, and they now want to find the set and be a magician - it's genuinely really lovely to think that the tables have now turned, and we may have played a small part in inspiring a small number of children, to keep practicing and maybe even become a magician one day too!
Magic Seats - Wizbit brings back a few memories, except I remember the original! Lol.
When Covid eases... do you have any future plans that you can share for live performances/touring? Or other plans, perhaps lectures etc.
Jay & Joss - We've got a brand new show in the pipeline that we've been working on over the past year. There's a lot more tech, a lot more magic and a lot more meaning with this show - it's what we imagined us performing when we started Jay & Joss, but we're getting to the stage where it's finally coming together, and the aim will be to take it on tour. There's still a lot to do before it's ready, but it's something that we'll certainly be doing in 2022.
Performing our stage show so often at the moment has brought back the excitement, the adrenaline, and the passion we both have as stage performers. It's made us think hard about what we want to focus our time and energy on, and we both really want to shift our gigs to doing more stage shows.
Magic Seats - Thank you so much for chatting with us. It has been really interesting and hope to see your future online and theatre shows very soon!
To book for the virtual show, visit the Jay & Joss website below for the latest show dates that are constantly updated. Most weeks, show dates and times are Thursday to Saturday.
For a spoiler free review of the show, you can read here.