So you are Thinking of Booking a Magician?
Well that makes you an excellent person 🙂
To help you decide, here are some thoughts…
Booking a magician to entertain your guests is a great way to ensure that everyone has the best of times – and isn’t that the whole point of the day? As you probably know from having a play with a magic set at some point, magic is hard to do well. It takes thousands of hours and a dedication to practice and continued investment in props, books and tricks. So Magicians generally do charge quite a lot of money per hour for their time – because like any good work of art you are paying for the years of dedication and experience…
A great magician knows how to fill the lulls during photos, keep guests entertained between courses, and break the ice when the evening guests arrive and get everyone laughing and having fun.
I have been a professional Magician for over 10 years, and it is my full time career – so I have seen what often works best for hosts. Here are my three top tips on how to ensure you get the maximum entertainment and value out of your magician.
1) Choose the Right Type of Magician
We are a varied bunch! It can be confusing, so to simplify for now, generally magicians fall into three main categories.
- Firstly there are Children’s Entertainers – perfect for kids birthday parties, or for entertaining all the kids at once with a kids show at a wedding. Larger than life and colorful and brilliant with kids. This is one of the most challenging types of magic to do (really!)- so make sure if you are planning a kids party that you book a specialist (NB I’m not a specialist kids entertainer).
- Secondly – A Close Up Magician – I put myself in this category (although I also regularly do parlour shows and stage magic). Close Up Magicians are perfect for all ages at weddings, parties and corporate events and trade shows. They will perform ‘strolling magic’ or ‘table hopping’ magic for guests – (table hopping just means moving from table to table performing for guests). Having a magician at your trade show can be an amazing secret weapon to ensure people stop at your stand and notice your wonderful product or service.
- And finally Stage Magicians – you have seen them sawing someone in half or disappearing from one box and appearing somewhere else or doing hypnotism and reading minds. If you have a big event (and your own stage) then this may be the type of magician you are looking for. I have a stage show that includes world class magic and stories about our wonderful universe, science, biology and magic. But I don’t do ‘big box’ illusions (yet!).
2) Timings and Numbers of People
Make sure you book the Magician for the right amount of time, and at the right time for your event. As a rule of thumb, for walk around style (which is most common at weddings and parties), a magician can entertain about 60 people in one hour with close up magic. So if it is a small gathering, a one hour booking is probably enough time.
Any more than 60 people (or if you all really love magic and want to see lots of magic!) it makes sense to go for two hours +. For more than 150 people you may look to have more than one magician. So let’s assume you book for 2 hours. You can expect the magician to turn up 30 mins early, and a good magician will often stay on for another 30 mins to ensure everyone has been entertained if necessary. At weddings it’s common for a magician to be booked either for the wedding breakfast (this is actually the main meal – only called ‘breakfast’ as it is the first meal that the married couple share together), or for when the photos are happening & /or evening guests start arriving. Bear in mind that a magician will find it difficult to compete with loud music, so earlier in the evening works best.
At parties – having a magician there after everyone has arrived (and before the dancing gets going!) is perfect.
3) The Right Standard
With magicians, the old adage ‘You get what you pay for’ is generally very true. A great magician will have invested 10,000 hours in practice, and will have also invested a great deal of money to ensure that not only is their magic first class, but also they turn up early, dressed to impress and with a big smile. If you shop around for the cheapest magician, beware that they may be cheap because they have not yet put in the time, or invested in themselves fully, and they may not meet your expectations on the day. For a great magician you can expect to pay anywhere between £350 and £2000 for two hours. If you want Dynamo it will probably be more like £20,000 🙂
So to sum up, the most important consideration is ensuring you trust and know that you are booking a great magician. It is worth reading their online reviews, checking they are full time professionals, and making sure they have full public liability insurance too. Discuss your entertainment needs with the magician – they will help you to decide when during the day to book them, and for how long. Finally, make sure they are the right type of magician and a perfect fit for your event. A children’s entertainer may say yes to a booking for an executive Black Tie Ball or wedding, but it is likely not what they will be best at.
I hope this has been helpful, and wish you every success in planning your next amazing event. Make it a Magical One!