Casanova, You're doing the right thing by asking questions now.
Start practicing now, regardless of instruction or tools. Play around with what you can, a non-fire staff or practice poi, juggling balls, whatever, and find what works best for you. Then, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. You will find people willing to teach, and the way you meet them is by going to fire jams, working with anyone you can, taking opportunities. You only get better with practice.
Find a group (or groups) that is applying for performance in the great circle, ASAP, and get in contact with them. Some are going to turn you down if you are a beginner, some will be open to taking on newbies. This is just a matter of the level of skill the groups are looking for, Don't get offended. OregonRed & I have run the Oregon Fire Conclave for a few years now, & the approach we take is to welcome anyone, regardless of skill level, as long as they are willing to commit to rehearsal & practice. Not all groups are like this, but if you show some dedication, you can get in.
If you wind up joining a group, be prepared to rehearse as much as they want. There are a limited number of groups allowed into the great circle, and all of them must audition. That's why most groups start rehearsals around January. This is also why most Shins (the head of a conclave performance group) get really annoyed when people contact them a week or two before the burn wanting in.
In a way, joining a conclave is like joining a second theme camp: you get what you put in.
Red poses the query, what is your ultimate goal? To spin fire or to be one of the cool kids in BRC? Both are awesome, but the joy of fire overall should be what drives you.
Best of luck, PM me if you have any other questions.
M*A*S*H 4207th: An army of fun.
I don't care what the borg says: feather-wearers will NOT be served in Rosie's Bar.
When I ask how many burns, I mean at BRC.