When looking to hire a magician for your event, you may have several choices. I am not the only magician in the area. This means that as a consumer, you have the ability to “shop around” for the magician that is the best value. I did not say “best price” because, with entertainment, you get what you pay for. Let us look at what you should look at when booking a magician.
The price of a magician is important. First, you need to know what your budget is for the event. Are you looking at spending $50-$100 on a magic act, or $1000-$5000 on a magic act?
Price is based on several things with a magician. When I first started doing magic, I would charge about $75 for a magic show and about $25/hour for walk-around or restaurant work. I charged this because I was new, somewhat unsure, and not as experienced. As I performed, learned more, and grew in my act, I started charging more. I charge more because of the experience I have put in, making me more valuable, the equipment I have purchased for my show, the amount of time it takes me to get ready which includes preparing props, packing equipment, making sure everything works, travel and more. I try to take everything into consideration while giving a quote.
As I said previously, when I was just starting out, I charged less. Now that I have experience, I charge more because my expertise is more developed and I have a better understanding of how to make your event great. A less experienced magician will have a weaker show, less developed professional expertise, underdeveloped audience
management skills, and be overall a weaker entertainer.
Entertainment is a skill that takes years to master and is something that continues to develop. I have been performing for eight years and have been in several unique situations, seen my handful of good and bad shows, and have dealt with a diverse group of people and events. I have also performed my show for a variety of audiences and am always making my show better than it was the day before.
Working with a magician may be a long term deal. From booking to performing, to future performances with you, a magician may be a person that you call back on over and over. You need to make sure that you can get along with your magician. A good magician should make you feel comfortable with their abilities as well as make it clear what they can do for you and how they are going to make your event successful from their side. If you call a magician, meet a magician, or correspond with a magician and he does not make you feel welcomed like a friend, you may need to find someone else. Personally, when working with individuals interested in booking my act, I want them to know every detail about what I need as well as wanting to know every detail about what they need. It is not a one-way street, there needs to be a connection to make the event seamless and stress-free.
It is also a good idea to determine what kind of magic you want to see. I perform stage shows, walk-around shows, and a close up show and will do my best to adapt to a theme, environment, and any other needs that the client wants. Although I do my best to modify my show to fit your event, there are some things I do not, or cannot do, which is why clear communication is needed.
Booking a magician for your event may feel like ordering from the Cheesecake Factory.
There are so many options, things that can go wrong, and things you need to decide for yourself. Remember, first, decide what your budget is and know if it is flexible. A good magician may run you as much as $5000 dollars for their act or as low as $100. With these prices comes different experience levels, personalities, and adaptability. Take time to talk to the magician you are hiring and see what they can do for you and what they need to perform.
Good luck and happy hunting!
Chris Wheel – Upstate New York Magician