12 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HIRING A STAGE MAGICIAN
Hiring a stage magician can add a unique element to your event, transforming it from a run of the mill ordinary gathering into a truly unforgettable experience. However, to ensure a successful performance, there are a few factors to consider. In this guide, I’ve put together twelve essential questions to ask before hiring a stage magician, and split these up into:
- questions to ask yourself,
- questions to ask the magician,
- and questions to ask the venue.
To give you a head start, I’ll also include my answers to the ‘questions to ask the magician’ section, but you can also find out more about my stage magic here.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
WHAT IS MY BUDGET?
Understanding your budget constraints before approaching potential magicians is crucial. This will help you eliminate options beyond your range and negotiate more effectively.
It is important to be realistic about this though. While a quality close up magician, might charge from £450 for a few hours of walkaround magic, a stage magician is likely to be a lot more for a shorter show. The difference is that with stage magic, much of the work takes place in advance, while they are preparing at home. Also, they are entertaining a much larger group, which take a lot of experience.
The last thing you want to do is hire an enthusiastic amateur for your event.
For a stage magician you should be looking at at least £700 for a 25 minute performance to 300 people.
WHAT IS THE NUMBER AND MAKE UP OF MY AUDIENCE?
Different magicians cater to different age groups and preferences. To ensure the magician’s style will appeal to your audience, it’s important to know how many guests will be attending, and what the age range is. This is likely one of the first things the magician will ask you.
I often have clients who make enquiries tell me, "We’re selling tickets, so I don’t know how many people will be there." While that might be accurate, it doesn’t help me to prepare, so I have to ask a further question such as, “How many tickets did you sell last year?” or “How many are you catering for?”
As for the style of magician you might look for, you probably don’t want a children’s entertainer for your corporate awards night, instead you want someone cool, sophisticated and confident. On the other hand you might want someone with experience of performing for families for your summer family party, for example.
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE MAGICIAN:
HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?
An experienced magician that matches your needs will likely deliver a more engaging performance.
As mentioned above, there are hundreds, if not thousands of amateur magicians who might be very enthusiastic (and cheap) but severely lacking in stage magic experience. My advice would be to avoid this kind of cheap performer. Stage magic is not the same as close up magic, and many performers simply do not have the stage time to put on a professional level show.
DO YOU HAVE ANY VIDEOS OF PAST PERFORMANCES?
Of course, one of the ways that you can help to satisfy yourself that the magicians is of a suitable standard is to look at any videos they have. Here is one of my stage magic videos below, which should give you a feel for my style and how I interact with my audience.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REVIEWS OR TESTIMONIALS?
This is another way that you can be sure that the magician you are hiring is a quality performer. I’ve been performing for over 20 years, so I have collected hundreds of reviews. Here’s just one that relates to stage magic:
For our Anniversary Dinner, our president asked for a memorable, magical stage show, and that’s what we got! It was totally mystifying and just what we wanted. Ed was easy to deal with and professional from the first enquiry to the end of the show.
Roger Coopey, Coventry
WHAT ARE YOUR TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS?
Stage magicians often require specific audio-visual equipment, lighting, staging, and more. Knowing this beforehand means that you can get everything ready with your tech team, or hire anything that is required.
The great thing about my show is that it can be hired ‘fully-teched'. For all, but the largest shows, I can bring my own sound system with saving you one less hassle on the day.
On the occasions that I ask you to provide some equipment, then I send over a full technical rider, where all of my requirements are clearly laid out. This is also sent out well in advance so that if you have any questions they can be sorted before the event.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED FOR SETUP AND PACK DOWN?
This is crucial to ensure a smooth flow of events, and helps you to put the magician’s arrival into the schedule so you know when to expect them.
DO YOU HAVE PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE?
This is an important question that hopefully has a simple answer. Yes! Accidents are rare, especially when care is taken throughout the set up, pack down and during the show, but having insurance covers any accidents that might occur. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE VENUE:
DO WE HAVE THE NECESSARY FACILITIES?
Is your chosen venue able to provide the necessary space for the performance? And if they are providing staging or a PA system, will what they offer fit with the magician’s technical requirements / rider.
CAN OUR SCHEDULE ACCOMMODATE THE SETUP AND BREAKDOWN TIME?
Most magicians are flexible to your event but you might need to be mindful that the magician has ample time for setup and pack down.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS OR GUIDELINES WE NEED TO CONSIDER?
Some venues have guidelines or restrictions that could affect the performance, such as noise restrictions or rules about certain types of props. One thing that comes to mind is fire. I use a small flash, that is usually OK, and I can do the show without it, but it’s always worth checking in advance.
Hiring a stage magician can feel difficult if you’ve never done it before, but remember that the magician is there to help you. I know that in my case, I’ve done this hundreds of times before, so I would be happy to advise you on how you can make your event incredible. It does take a bit of work to set things up perfectly, but when that’s done the show is incredible and everyone has a great time!
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Get in touch today for an accurate quote or more information.
Let's work together to make your next event extraordinary!
YOUR INCREDIBLE EVENT IS
JUST A FEW STEPS AWAY
During a short phone or video call, we'll talk about your event and your initial ideas. Don't worry, if you're not sure. I've helped to plan many events so I can advise on the best use of magic and other events entertainment.
Once all the details are agreed, I'll send you a booking confirmation and ask you to make the first payment which confirms your date in my calendar. Then it's time to start looking forward to your big event.
I'll check in with you in the week before your event, and on the day of the event. All you need to do now is enjoy the magic, mind reading and conversational comedy.
07792 129 828