A magician is always a great choice when it comes to booking entertainers for a special event. If you have decided to bring the element of surprise through an illusionist or magician, you may need resources on the process of finding and booking a magician. 

You can always go through an entertainment company which is usually the best bet; however, you can also do your own research by using the internet or word of mouth, especially if you know someone who has used a magician at a past event. Before you do anything, though, consider a few factors and read below to get these top 6 tips for hiring a magician. 

Here Are Some Tips for Hiring a Magician 

First things first — ask yourself why you want to hire a magician. While so many other entertainers can perform during your event, it is essential to understand the why. Answering this question will help you navigate the nuances of booking the right magician for your event. Trust us — there is so much more to booking a magician than Googling “Magicians near me” and going with the first choice. 

1.  Consider the Different Types of Magicians

Entertainment Exchange has the honor of hosting a variety of magicians, including world-renowned mentalist Alain Nu and mentalist Dick Steiner; however, there are so many different types of magicians. Here’s a list we pulled from Amit Kalantri

  • Cardician: Performs only magic tricks which use playing cards.
  • Magician (Illusionist): Performs all kinds of magic tricks which look like the skill of a hand and uses a variety of magic props
  • Mentalist: Performs a wide range of tricks which look like the skill of a mind
  • Escapologist: Specializes in freeing himself from the confinement of ropes, handcuffs, and chains.
  • Clairvoyant: One with the ability to gain information about an object, person, location, or physical event through extrasensory perception
  • Psychic Entertainer: One who is a clairvoyant but goes beyond to entertain by speaking to the souls and energies from other worlds.
  • Mindreader: An entertainer who can supposedly find out what another person is thinking.
  • Hypnotist: One who artificially induced trance state on people resembling sleep, heightened susceptibility to suggestion and control them within limits for entertainment.
  • Bizzarist: One who is a magician but uses storytelling and wordplay to a much greater degree, and less emphasis is placed on the manual dexterity of the performer or the complexity of his equipment.
  • Mnemonist: One with the ability to remember and recall unusually long lists of data, such as unfamiliar names, lists of numbers, entries in books
  • Mathemagician: One who uses mathematics in order to perform otherwise seemingly impossible feats.

Understanding the differences between each type of magician aligns with another consideration—the guest list.

2.  Consider Your Guest List 

Based on the list above, you will now see why some magicians are great for kids’ parties, but others may be more appropriate for an adult party. After many years of performing, most professional magicians have created acts or experiences that cater to different audiences. Still, it is always nice to hire acts who have the opportunity to perform in the areas they’ve mastered and not in areas they have had to adapt or “make work.”

Your guest list will help you to determine the type of magician to book for your event. If most of the guest list consists of children, then a kid-friendly magician would be the ideal way to go. If you are hosting guests that aren’t particularly fond of animals, hiring a magician that incorporates animals into their act would not be ideal. 

Don’t Forget the Venue

It is also important to consider the size of your guest list and whether your venue will accommodate a magician who has an entourage or brings large props. Some magicians perform illusions that are better received when performed on a stage or in a backyard. In most cases, people book venues based on their guest list, but please consider that depending on the type of magician you choose, you should also consider the venue type and size to give your guests the best possible experience. 

3.  Do Your Research and Compare  

Typically, you wouldn’t buy a car without researching and comparing different vehicles — even before you hit the lot. The same principle should apply when you are in the process of booking a magician. We’ve already established being aware of the different kinds of magicians that best fit in various settings. We have also addressed the consideration of the different types and sizes of venues. 

Once you’ve set your mind on the type of magician you want, you should start exploring deeper information about that type of magician and whether there are entertainers that provide this type of experience in your region. Your research should also include gathering price points, performance times and availability, client reviews, and video demonstrations. From there, you can compare your results to get a clear picture of each option.

The Magic is in Your Budget

We cannot stress that having a set budget in mind throughout this process is vital, especially during the research stage. Here’s why: If you hire a magician within your budget but they live outside of your region, they may have a travel fee that bursts your budget. We don’t want to deter you — distance does not have to stop you from getting the magician you wish to if your budget permits, but you need to consider this alongside your budget. 

Don’t Work Alone

You do not have to work alone during this research process. You can utilize people you don’t know for honest feedback if you have cut down your list to a few specific acts. You can Google “reviews on magicians in {insert your city}” and see what comes up. Past customers will often offer reviews and recommendations on Google Review or other review boards and group sites. You can also enlist the help of your friends and family and ask them if they’ve used a magician before. Use your resources! 

4.  Ask for a Background Check    

If you are looking into a magician for a children’s event, you will want to hire a magician on the “up and up.” Many magicians encourage audience participation which means they will be hands-on with guests under the age of 18. For these reasons, when you speak to a potential candidate, make sure they can produce a valid background check. 

An official background check shows that they are trustworthy and speaks to their level of professionalism. A magician who makes sure they stay up to date with their background check must be serious about being safe in their craft and is a professional you would want to consider hiring. 

5.  Pay Attention to Experience  

As we’ve already mentioned, doing your research is very important when looking for a magician for an event. We want you to avoid fraudulent entertainers because It is effortless to go on YouTube, look up a few “How To” videos on magic, then buy props and a costume on Amazon and call yourself a magician. 

To ensure you are receiving a certain level of professionalism, ask questions. Here are some sample questions:

  • How long have you been practicing magic? 
  • Why and how did they get started as a magician?
  • How many events have you successfully booked and executed? 
  • What is your magic specialty area? 
  • What keeps you motivated to do this type of work? 
  • What should I expect from the performance? 

The answers to these questions should give you a good sense of how experienced and skilled your magician is and help you decide whether or not to hire them.  

6.  Consider Insurance    

No one is perfect, and even the most experienced professionals can make a mistake. Some mistakes are preventable, and some are just freak accidents. The level and quality of the magic performed might be hazardous, especially with more intricate or experienced magicians. In any case, mistakes are never intentional but can cause detrimental consequences. The last thing you want during a special occasion is having something go wrong, and not only have your event ruined but now also pay unaccounted costs to cover any damage that occurs.

Consider hiring a magician with their own liability insurance so you can be sure that you, your guests, and the magician are covered if something wrong happens. Also, if your event is taking place in a venue, consider getting your own special events insurance (in most cases, venues require this type of protection when you are booking the venue). It’s not a good feeling when something goes wrong with the event that can put you in a financial bind, but it is reassuring to know that you have insurance to help out or cover the cost of any unforeseen damages. 

Contact and Connect 

Once you’ve done your research and decided which magician you plan to hire, you should talk to them to better understand who they are as a performer and what to expect. The internet will offer you basic facts that are easy to look up, but it is always good to talk to the magician or their agent directly. 

The questions we listed above are a great conversation starter to get a sense of the magician you will hire and their dedication to their craft. You want someone passionate about what they do and someone that desires to give you a fantastic experience. Moreover, communication shows the magician that you care about their artistry and want to develop a relationship. These six tips are a great way to ensure that you’re getting the best magician who fits all of your needs. 

References:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/entertainment/illusionist-alain-nu-visits-the-washington-post-office/2018/02/28/e9a804a8-1c83-11e8-98f5-ceecfa8741b6_video.html
https://dzmagic.com/tips-for-hiring-a-magician/
https://www.thebash.com/articles/tips-for-hiring-a-magician
https://www.joeskilton.com/advice/tips-hire-magician/ 

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