When you hear the word magician, what comes to mind? Most likely a man pulling a rabbit out of his hat at a child’s birthday party. But magicians are much more than just entertainment for kids.
Magicians make great additions to any adult party — from corporate events to cocktail parties and even holiday get-togethers.
Before booking a magician for hire it’s important you consider a few things.
Take hold of your sense of adventure as we cover five tips for hiring a magician for your next party.
1. Understand the Difference Between a Professional and an Amateur
Your automatic first thought when finding a magician to hire is, “I don’t want an amateur.” But it’s important to understand what the actual difference is between an amateur performer and a professional.
Professional performers make a living off of their art or talent. Professional magicians don’t have a day-job — they live solely off of their income as a performer.
Amateurs, on the other hand, generally have another job and practice magic as a creative outlet or side-gig on weekends and evenings. Just because an amateur magician has another career doesn’t mean they’re any less talented.
In fact, amateurs are often very passionate about their work since they do it for the love of magic, not for money. If you’re working with a budget for your party, you may want to hire an amateur whos’ rates are lower.
On the other hand, professional magicians have more experience and practice, which makes for a more polished performance. Just remember, professionals will likely charge more for their talents.
2. Consider the Event and Audience
Different types of magicians and illusionists work best for different crowds. When looking for a magician for hire, be sure to consider the type of event you’re hosting and who’s on the guest list.
If your party has a mix of adults and children, a traditional magician who caters to kids and crowds of all ages would be best. When planning an adults-only party, opt for someone who performs card tricks and other up-close magic (more on this later).
Chances are, employees at a corporate party won’t want a performer decked out in a top hat and cape. Instead, hire a professional who is a well-rounded entertainer.
The best magicians for adult parties are both fun and playful, without being over the top or inappropriate. Think of it as clean, clever humor.
3. Check Reviews, Referrals, and Videos
Similar to hiring any other entertainment like a live band or DJ, you want to see the magician in action before committing. You can achieve this in a variety of ways.
Ideally, attend a performance where you can see first-hand how the magician interacts with the audience. Pay close attention to how the audience responds to the magician as well. Are they receptive and engaged or bored?
If you’re unable to attend a live performance, as the magician to provide video examples of their work. If they don’t have videos available, this may be a red flag that they’re not serious about their business.
It’s always recommended you check online reviews before hiring any performer, contractor, or company. Head to the Internet and see what others are saying about the magician.
The reviews themselves aren’t the only important factor to consider. See how the magician responds to any negative reviews. This says a lot about their character, personality, and professionalism.
You can also ask friends, family members, and co-workers for referrals. Whether they’ve hired a magician for their own party or attended a memorable event, ask those you trust for recommendations.
4. Don’t Overlook the Logistics
Aside from the magician’s credentials and personality, you should consider some of the logistics. These include cost, insurance, and experience.
The price of hiring a magician will vary greatly depending on several factors. First, the magician’s rate will likely reflect their experience and popularity. In demand magicians that are booked for months in advance may charge more than amateurs still trying to make a name for themselves.
When budgeting for a magician, keep in mind that while you do get what you pay for, some amateur magicians are extremely talented. You might get a good deal on a great performer.
Other factors that impact cost include whether or not the performer has to travel to your venue and the audience. Children’s parties might be cheaper than a large-scale corporate event or banquet.
Insurance is another factor that many people fail to consider when looking for a magician for hire. This may or may not matter to you, but it’s worth asking.
Some magicians carry their own insurance which covers any accidents that might occur during their performance. If you hire an uninsured magician, you may be responsible for any injuries or accidents that occur on your property.
5. Close-Up vs. Stage Magic
There are two primary types of magic that you can choose from — close-up or stage magic. Some performers offer both services or a mix of the two during a single performance.
Stage magic is best for large crowds and children’s parties. Stage magic is more dramatic, uses large props, and is easier for large groups of people to see. If you’re looking for a “wow” factor, stage magic makes a big impact.
Close-up magic is more appropriate for small and intimate groups. It’s important that everyone can see the step-by-step process of close-up magic tricks. This might be difficult if you’re in a large group setting.
If you’re planning a large-scale event and still want to incorporate close-up magic, ask the magician what props they use. Some performers have close-up cameras and a screen to display their hands and the trick in real-time.
Magician for Hire: Things to Consider
When you’re researching a magician for hire there are several things to consider that some people overlook.
The type of event you’re hosting, the type of magic you want, and the cost can all impact your decision — and your budget.