Close up Magician or a Magic Show?

Close up Magician or a Magic Show?


Choosing the Right Show Type:

Most magicians perform magic close-up and from a stage. Which should you book? There are a lot of different factors you should consider. Here are a few:

The Venue

The venue may have the most influence on which show type you decide upon. If your venue is simply too small and lacks the space to gather all of your guests together for a show, then close-up magic is the perfect choice!

However, just because you have the space to do a show doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right choice for your event.

It may come down to:

The Type of Event

A magic show gathers everyone together and gives cohesiveness to an event. It will provide every guest with a singular performance and experience to look back on and converse about during and after the event. Shows also require a commitment to them, meaning guests will be asked to set their food, conversation, and perhaps drinking aside to focus on the show. Therefore it is vitally important that your guests are happily relieved of their need to eat and catch up with friends before the performance begins.

Close up walk-around magic, on the other hand, will enhance the event without necessarily drawing a great amount of attention to itself. The guests will experience more intimate performances which may be very different from other guests’ experiences. Because the entertainer moves throughout the event, guests are free to eat, converse, and drink as they please. However, as great as close-up magic is, each guest will not witness nearly as much magic as they would have if the magician had taken the stage- and the audience would have missed out on a great cohesive experience together.

Of course it may come down to:

The Number of Guests

Most magic shows can be scaled to entertain audiences of any size. Just be sure to communicate with your magician so that they know to expect an audience of 10, not 500.

Close-up walk-around magic is a little different because the magician will be entertaining in smaller groups. A good rule to follow is 100 guests per one magician per hour, although typically this can fluctuate up or down about 50 guests and be fine. Just don’t overtly break this guideline by booking a walk-around magician to entertain 25 people for 2 hours.

Depending upon the number of guests you are expecting, it may be clear that you will be needing a magic show, but…

It may come down to:

The Length of Your Event

Magic shows entertain more people, with more magic, faster!

Close-up magic is effective over time with entertaining everyone in a larger audience, but each group is seeing about 3-5 minutes of magic as opposed to a full show.

For longer events, you may want to consider booking your magician to do both close-up and a show! But…

That said, it may come down to:


Close up walk-around magic is typically less expensive than full magic shows. Why? Because shows require a lot more preparation, prop usage, set up, break down, transport, and work! Also, some magicians charge by how large the audience is, so this may also be a factor in boosting the price.

If you are on a shoe-string budget, close-up magic is probably the best bet!


Magic is a spectacular addition to any event! I hope this has helped clear up any questions you had concerning booking a close up magician or a magic show. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me!

Thank you for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Please comment below and link to this article!

I post new articles about magic every Monday and post daily tips from the masters of magic (#MasterTip) on my twitter (@HorsfallMagic). Follow along and get involved!


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