Last week I discussed the importance of whether you want a close-up or a stand-up magician, how long you should hire a magician for and whether or not you need to hire a specialised children’s entertainer. This week I’ve got three more things you should consider if you want to get the best out of your magician.
This list, as with last weeks, is as applicable to weddings, corporate events, Christmas parties, birthday parties or any event you’re considering hiring a magician for. There’ll even be some relevance if you’re booking any other kind of wedding entertainment.
What Else is Going On
Before you book a magician you need to consider when you want them to perform; at the drinks reception or the meal? After the meal? Or at any other stage throughout the event. It’s important to think about what else will be going on at the same time. If you want the magician to perform during the meal then it’s important to know that most magicians don’t actually perform when people are eating – the audience is just too distracted by the food and the waiters aren’t impressed at the added obstacle! Instead, they tend to perform for a table or two between the courses. This dramatically reduces the number of guests the magician can get round in the time given. What I’ve found is that I tend to be able to perform to two tables after the guests sit but before the starter is served, one table between the starter and main course, one table between the main and the dessert and any remaining tables after that.
Another big thing to consider is whether there will be a band or DJ on at the same time. While some magicians just perform magic silently, the best have well scripted routines that include lots of humour and byplay with the audience. If there’s loud music or a band encouraging people to get up and dance then it becomes difficult for people to properly engage with the magician. Also, if the tables are large then it becomes nearly impossible for the magician to entertain the whole table at once without resorting to shouting – doubling the time it takes to get around all the guests. It might be worth considering having the magician earlier in the event – that way you’ll get the best out of the magician and the guests will appreciate the entertainment more.
Price VS Quality
With magic you often get what you pay for. If you get a price quoted for an event from five different magicians you could well get five different prices! Often, one or two will be far far lower than the rest. While you might luck out and get an excellent magician, you are more likely to be unsatisfied with the quality of the service. That’s not to say you should instantly hire the most expensive magician, you will get a variety of good magicians for different prices – for example, I’m far from the priciest magician you can hire but I have always left my clients happy. My advice is to hire the magician that fits your budget best. If you are looking for a top tier entertainer with decades of experience you will have to pay for it, but if you are just looking for a magician to add something special to your event there’s no need to go overboard and spend several grand! Just be wary of those who offer their services at suspiciously low prices.
Enjoy the Performance
You’ve booked a magician, great move! You’re guests are going to see something totally different. Make sure you see it too. If you’ve gone to the effort of hiring someone, take the time to see them in action. So many event organisers get caught up with making sure everything runs perfectly on the day that they forget to sit back, enjoy the food and wine, and see all their hard work pay off.
Most magicians also have special “top table” tricks that require a lot more effort to perform that they reserve for the person who’s hired them and the group they are with – don’t miss out on it!
Well that concludes the second set of things to consider when hiring a magician. If you feel I’ve missed anything please add it to the comments! Another post on hiring magicians will be up in the near future. To know as soon as the it’s up you, follow me on facebook or twitter.Harry Guinness is a professional magician based in Dublin, to hire him, or for more information, go to www.HarryTheMagician.ie.
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