Visit a show, talk to as many breeders as you can, watch the judging and see which variety grabs you. Then find out more about it. You'll also need somewhere to house the mice, some tanks and supplies and some Maxeys to show in.
Selfs are more consistent in that you get a higher proportion of each litter that you can show, but competition can also be fierce. Marked varieties aren't what I'd suggest for a beginner as you need to breed and cull hundreds of mice to get something showable a lot of the time. Tans could be a good section to consider for a beginner as well. It all depends on what you like - you will have to look at these mice every day for years!
How very true, when I was showing it meant a five hour drive to get to a show, so you must first pick what variety appeals to you, as you will have to look at them twice a day and a fair poportion of the weekend cleaning out time.
I can tell you the progression, it will be that you cant wait for your first prize card, any colour and if the variety you have picked doesnt normally attract prize cards you will want to get a winning variety in as well. However competition will be fierce. I worked up to winning BIS at Bradford, the ultimate and many, many other best in shows at the time of the height of Jack Hartley and frank hawley, dek taylor and others. I made an awful lot of my winners, genetical knowledge is paramount, it does not matter on the show bench what the mouse is made of purely, does it match the standard is all that matters. My greatest pleasure was breeding marked mice, nothing can match that anticipation as the markings develop, and the disappointment !
I would like you to make one promise to yourself, you will be given /sold for very little money excellent starting stock. It is tru to say that 90% of all such stock supplied is wasted and ends up down the pet shop- make sure that if you do ever give up, that the stock is offered back to the fancy.