Finding the Perfect Entertainer
Let's face it, when you think of magicians you usually think of the ones who do kids birthday parties. Nothing wrong with that, but not all magicians do that sort of performing.
Over the years we have had the opportunity to put together some guidelinies which should help you in choosing just the right performer for you. In the long run you will be much happier if you find the right performer to meet your needs.
1. THE RIGHT KIND OF MAGICIAN FOR YOU
There are many different magic specialties out there. Find a performer with the skills needed for your event. Some magicians have only one specialty and some may perform several types of magic. Be sure to ask what they specialize in.
Close-Up or Strolling Magic is perfect for mixers before banquets, for weddings and receptions, for grand openings, trade shows, and occasions where a stage performance just won't fit. The intimate nature of the magic adds a wonderful touch to the event.
Stage Shows are referred to by magicians using different names: Stage Show, Illusion Show, Parlor Magic are the most common. Stage and Illusion shows are generally for larger audiences and may even involve Las Vegas style illusions. Parlor magic is a show for a smaller audience much like a private party in a home.
Children's Magic is a branch of magic using effects especially designed for kids. Be sure that the magician you're hiring will be suited for the age of your kids. There are big differences between ages 5, 10 and 15 and the selection of magic will be different for each group.
Comedy Magic is presented by a magician specializing in effects with comedy appeal. Lots of magic specialties contain some comedy but a good comedy magician will come closer to what you might expect from a good comedian in terms of comic value and material.
Silent Act. This might include things like doves and other magic set to music. This is ideal for cross-cultural audiences where many non-English speaking people are in attendance.
It is very true that you get what you pay for and magic is no exception. You would never think that a $5000 car might be similar to a $50,000 car. What you must remember is this: What you pay for a magician is normally only a small portion of what you pay for the meal at a banquet. Yet more people will remember the entertainment then they will the food. You often pay 10 times more for the meal than for the entertainer when in fact the evening’s program is probably 10 times more important than the meal. Consider the true value-per-person-attending when deciding on your entertainment budget.
3. PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS
A good way to select a magician is to request a promotional kit from every magician you're considering and compare them. Normally, the more professional the kit, the more professional the magician. Promotional kits may include brochures, photos, articles, testimonials, client listings and more. The more professional the performer, the more likely that a promotional kit will be available.
4. INTERNET WEB SITE
Everyone has a website these days. Look for the ones which are clean and easy to navigate. You don't want to waste your time hunting around through useless information. A web site can give you an instant look into the kind of magic the performer does which may help you make a decision. This may be especially valuable if you have a limited amount of time to make a decision.
Testimonials can give you an indication of quality. Some performers will give you contacts from previous performances. Others will not usually because they don't want to upset past clients with too many calls and maintaining their client list is a matter of confidentiality.
How long has the performer been practicing magic? Does the magician perform full-time or part-time? These factors may or may not have an impact on the quality of the performance. Some very young performers are often very talented.
While discussing your event you may get an idea for the customization skills of the magician. What kind of questions are they asking about the audience? Do they want you to give them "inside information" about the audience in advance? Not every act needs this kind of advance preparation but some performers like to add something personal in this fashion.
8. PERFORMANCE SPACE
Ask the magician what you will need to provide at the event venue. Such considerations as risers and platform, sound systems or lighting might be needed. Dressing room space may also be needed. Find out how much space the magician will need, as many of them use a large number of props. Also be sure to keep the space separated from others as many magicians props may be delicate and shouldn't be disturbed once set. Finally, avoid table settings which are tall and may obstruct audience views.
Most magicians do not have Agents, but using an agent will help you get a quality program. Agents will not take a risks on unknown performers. In essence they screen the magicians for you and can save you hassle in the long run. Using on-line entertainment directory services can help you arrange good quality entertainers.