For One Pirate Magician, Losing a Leg Gave Him a New Lease on Life

Jim Light was just another North Carolina business owner when his life changed forever. Seventeen years ago, the successful head of a local construction company was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. While Jim escaped the accident with his life, he was forced to undergo a partial amputation of his right leg which was damaged beyond repair. Jim had no choice but to close his construction company after that fateful day in June of 2000.

But that wasn’t the end of Jim’s story. In fact, it was just the beginning. It was during his recovery that Jim was inspired to become a pirate magician. “I decided I was going to become a magical, motivational, peg-legged pirate,” Jim shared when recounting his tale of becoming Captain Jim. “My wife thought I must still have had a concussion.”

Captain Jim Is Magic, Facebook

Two years later, Captain Jim emerged with a peg-leg prosthetic and a motivational message that he shared through performing magic. His mission? To use magic and his own story to help others find their way through “troubled waters.” He tailors his shows to fit each audience, from parties for small children to major corporate events. “We’ve got great children’s programs,” Jim said in an interview, “but really, the older you get, the more you get out of what we got.”

Today, Jim’s rowdy crew of entertainers offers a wide variety of choreographed performances that include close-up magic, stilt walking, juggling, hula hoop and fire dancers, and holiday-themed shows. He even has a couple of parrots that hitch a ride on his shoulder from time to time. “All those who have seen him perform clamor to get him for their next event,” said one satisfied customer. “For those who don’t know about him, they’re missing out.”

Jim credits an early love of magic and entertaining coupled with his will to never give up for bringing him through what could have been a devastating and crippling tragedy. “The accident unlocked a hidden door in my mind,” Jim said, “and I realized I couldn’t give up. I envisioned using my experiences to help others navigate through troubled waters. I think I was meant to do this.”

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