Booking a magician isn’t something most of us do every day. The following is provided to help those thinking of hiring a magician for an event find one who will meet their needs and give a great show. Of course, many of these tips are universal and could be used when booking any type of entertainment or event related service.
1- Prepare: Ask yourself some basic, but important questions.
Why are you hiring a magician? Entertainment is usually top priority, but do you also need your magician to deliver a message, draw people to a trade booth, stimulate conversation, or even emcee the event? Magic is unique in its flexibility and can be used to address many of these issues.
Who is your audience? It is important that the magician you hire is appropriate for the audience you wish for them to entertain. Most magicians specialize in certain markets or audience types, so your best bet is to get a magician who focuses on the type of event you are planning. For example, I turn down dozens of children’s shows every year since my magic is geared for adults and corporate functions.
What are the details of my event? Typically, magicians need to know the date and time of the event, the city it will be held, how many guests you are expecting, the type of the event, length of the performance, and also what type of performance you are interested in. These don’t need to be set in stone at this point in time, but a rough idea is necessary to get the ball rolling.
Do I need a stage show or a walk-around magician? Most magicians offer both a stage show and close-up walk-around magic (also called mingle magic). Both are great, and can be used together, but some events are better suited to feature one or the other. Which would you like?
2- Research: A simple Google search of “[your city] magician” will provide a great starting ground. Once you are on potential websites look for the following:
Are they appropriate for my goals and audience? You should get a good sense of this right away. If you are planning an annual banquet for your company, a homepage featuring a clown with a top hat probably isn’t what you are looking for. However, a slick website with a clear client focus and a magician dressed in a nice suit might be more up your alley.
Do they have pictures and videos? Perhaps the most important thing to pay attention to while watching videos of professional magicians is how the audience is reacting. Understand that, while video is better than nothing, the only real way to get a feel for a particular act is to see it live. Therefore listen to see if the audience is laughing, applauding, and just having a good time. You don’t want to book a magician who’s act looks good on video, but is boring to see live.
Do they have references? Check for client testimonials, past client lists, even letters of recommendation. Make sure that testimonials praise not only the act, but also how the magician conducts himself (or herself) as a professional. This is important because you need a magician who you don’t have to worry about showing up late or forgetting details.
3- Contact: Email or call the magician with the details of your event. Here are some tips here:
Be detailed. Unless it is a children’s show, most magicians customize show packages or set prices based on a matrix of several different factors. That is why it is important to have a good idea of the details of the event before you contact the magician. Without this information, professionals simply cannot provide an accurate quote, and you may miss out on booking the performer.
Don’t waste time. If the magician doesn’t reply to your email or voice message within a day or two, cross him or her off your list. If this person cannot afford to pay attention to his business, how much good do you think his act will be?
Book, and book early! Trust your instincts and book the magician if everything feels right. While it is important to research and take time choosing the best performer, waiting too long may mean that you miss out on booking the magician for your date.