Making Magical Memories

Tips and Advice on Hiring/Booking a Magician


Hiring a magician is not something most people do every day. For an event organizer, it is a fantastic way to heighten the experience.  As opposed to many other entertainment options, magic offers a personal connection to the audience, and is something rarely seen in person. Done well, it’s amazing, amusing, and memorable. Done poorly, it’s just a guy who bought a couple of plastic tricks a few weeks ago. But how does a party planner or event organizer choose the perfect magician for hire? What are the key things to look for? 


Style
It is critical that the magician hired works with the style of your event. A kid’s magic act probably won’t impress at a wedding reception. A large and formal illusion show won’t work in a living room or backyard.  The performer you choose should have confidence and be capable of tailoring the act to the audience and venue.  Some performers focus on just one style, while many can adapt to a variety of styles. Its important that the magician of choice is comfortable and successful in a style that is just right for your event. 

Experience
The choice of magician directly impacts the experience. It is important that the magician hired has enough experience to not only “do magic,” but to captivate, enthrall, and engage his audience. The experienced magician can also tailor his style and act to fit the needs of the event. An experienced magician will have performed many times under vastly different circumstances and should be able to advise how they can integrate with your plans to perform to the best of their ability for your event. Good questions to determine the experience
level of a magician include: 

  • How long have you been performing?        
  • What will my guest’s experience?
  • Tell me about your last performance?
  • Are you a member of any magic organizations? Listen for names like (SAM, Society of American Magicians; MAES, Magicians Alliance of Eastern States)


Be sure to listen intently to how these questions are answered. Is the magician confident, professional and informative?


Entertainment Value


Many people think that a magician is just someone who has purchased some props and tricks. This couldn’t be more wrong! Magic is all about entertaining interactions with people. Be sure that the magician you hire understands the concept of entertainment value and knows how to make you and your guests feel comfortable, engaged and entertained.



Strolling Magic
One great way, often overlooked, to add magic to your event is to have a magician perform strolling magic. This sort of close-up magic engages directly with guests wherever they may be. It does not require a stage, lighting, or sound system. Rather than adding extra time to
your agenda, it enriches the overall experience and ambiance. Strolling magic is ideal for:


  • Social hour prior to a main event        
  • After a wedding ceremony, before the banquet
  • Before/after dinner is served at various types of events (fundraisers, corporate functions, holiday parties, rehearsal dinners, etc.). 
  • Restaurants as table-side entertainment


While most guests enjoy magic, a few may not – an experienced walk-around magician will focus on the guests who are open to the entertainment ans leave other guests to partake in other event activities.


A strolling magician can often act as a roving MC to deliver announcements or other messages to the guests. 


Kid’s Birthday Party Magic


Birthday parties are all about fun for the child and often lots of work and planning for the parents. Hiring the right magician is a great way to make it a special day for the child while also making things a lot easier for the parent. 


Determine if your birthday party magician has any particular needs for space or equipment that your home may not be able to accommodate. Most experienced magicians will be adaptable as long as they know what to expect in advance. 


Find out if your kid's party magician will provide any free giveaways.


Get an idea of what they do to make the birthday child feel special.  


Ask if the magician does only magic, or whether other activities are included or optional -- such as balloon sculpture or organizing magical games. Both of these are interesting ways to not just "fill time" at a party but to actually add entertainment value for the children while making things easier to manage for the adult planners.  


Rates


The cost of hiring a magician are all over the map. It very much depends on the type of event, hours, location, and the experience of the magician, as discussed above. Determine your entertainment budget and have a conversation with the magician to be clear on what you will be receiving for your investment. Price is one important indicator of quality but it is not the only factor. Some lesser conjurors have large advertising budgets and pass that cost along. Many successful magicians primarily rely on word-of-mouth, and can pass
those savings along. 


Event Details:


When preparing to book a magician be sure to give as many details about your event as possible. Very often magicians get just
the basic question "How much do you charge?" As discussed in the other tips, to determine the right fit between you, your event, and a magician, you should be able to supply some basic information about the event you have planned. Typically, a magician would want to know:


  • What type of event is it?
  • What date is it?
  • What time will the magic begin? 
  • How many guests planned?
  • Where & what type of venue
  • Will the guests be seated at tables, mingling around, sitting in an audience?
  • Is there other entertainment planned?
  • Will there be a theme?


Promote the Magic


Magic is ideally integrated into your event promotion which increases interest as the date approaches.  Many organizers choose to promote the event on the invitations or flyers as something like “Magic Monday” or “An Evening of
Magic!” Others let guests in on it more subtly, simply with a line that indicates “Magician will be performing.” Be creative and leverage the magic into your promotional material. This is particularly helpful when booking a corporate magician.