How to Hire a Magician FAQS
OK, specifically this is about hiring the magician, Ed Sumner (that's me) but feel free to use these questions to inform yourself about other magicians and performers too.
If you've never hired a magician before, then you may have a few questions about what's the best way to go about it. What should you ask to make sure the magician you hire...
- will be a good fit for your event?
- has the skills and experience to perform as a magician?
- will turn up at your event?
- has contingency plans in place in case things don't run as expected?
And I'm sure you want to know, how much does it cost to hire a magician?
Well, on this page, I'll answer all that and more by going through a few pre-purchase questions I often get asked. There's a fair bit to read here, but I hope it is all useful to you.
I hope you find this useful in helping you to make a decision. If you want a more in depth answer, have a different question or if you simply want to find out more about my magic and entertainment then feel free to get in touch.
I'm on 07792 129 828 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email me here.
About the magic
Hiring a magician can be difficult if you've never done it before. You might wonder whether they have the skills to entertain your guests. To answer this question I need to ask you a few questions.
Do they have photos and/or videos on their website?
Magicians might appear similar but look a little closer. You'll see for example that my website is packed with videos and photos from live events. They're not just photoshoots of me holding props! If you want your guests to have as much, if not more fun, as you see in the pictures across my site, then it's probably worth us having a chat.
Are they experienced?
I've been performing magic since 2001 and it has been my main source of income since 2010. In that time I've learnt exactly what's required in order to create incredible events entertainment. In fact, I've solved many of the issues that someone starting out hasn't even considered yet.
Do they have reviews?
I've also got multiple five star reviews on Google. You can't get that many without being at least a little bit good! You can read them all by clicking below.
If you're still unsure, let's talk. It won't be a sales call. Instead it will be a way for us to get to know each other. I'm confident that if you talk to me (and that really is the best way to get a feel for someone) you'll be satisfied I know what I'm talking about.
If there are going to be children at your event then, of course, I am more than happy to perform for them, and / or make balloon models for them. Just let me know in advance so I can bring these extra things with me. I understand that when you are having a family event, you want the whole family to be entertained.
If, however, you're looking for a magician for a children's birthday party or for another event where children are the main focus then this site isn't the right place for you.
I am based in Staffordshire, and although, most of my work is in Birmingham, Nottingham, Shropshire & Staffordshire, I live in an ideal location to access most of the country.
In fact, I've performed across the whole of the UK, and Internationally. There might be an extra charge for events further afield, and a per diem for international events. My clients tell me it's worth it to them to hire a magician they know is a quality act they can rely on.
Yes! I have a list of trusted event suppliers that I've met at events over the years and I would be happy to pass their details to you. If I can make your event planning easier in just one more small way then I will be happy too.
In fact, even if I don't know anyone who specialises in live bubblegum art (or something else equally obscure and wacky) then I am well connected within the entertainment industry and I can usually get a contact for you to start looking at.
I can also easily source multiple magicians either for large events, or where you want to add two different styles of magic, for example, maybe you want to hire a magician and a mind reader, or a close up magician and a children's magic show performer.
The booking process
It’s never too early to enquire about your event, especially for the busiest periods - weekends, July and December.
To give you an idea, most clients book about six months in advance. Some book up to two years in advance, especially if they have a specific date that can't change, eg. a wedding date.
Having said all that, I sometimes have a space free. You may be lucky that your event fits neatly in to a gap in the calendar. It's always worth getting in touch to ask. And, if I'm not available, I'm very often able to recommend another high quality performer to you, so you still benefit by reaching out to me.
Yes, of course. I usually perform only a small number of public access shows throughout the year, as most of my performances are for private events. We can, however, meet for a coffee if you want to speak face to face before booking.
This might mean travelling towards me, as I have to keep these meetings local.
Another option that is very popular these days is a virtual meeting / video call. If you're interested in that, just let me know and I can send you a link to book directly into my calendar.
By the way, you are welcome to attend any of my public events and the best way to find out about them is to follow my social media at https://facebook.com/edsumnermagic
While I do have a few set packages, it's impossible to say which one would suit you best, or if something bespoke would be a better option. That's why it's always best to have a quick conversation, either by phone, video call or through a few emails.
When you contact me, I'll ask just a few questions which will allow me make some recommendations based on what's worked well in the past, and of course provide you with an accurate quote for your event.
Magicians set their prices based on experience. Most people get a pay rise at work. It's the same with magic. It's always going to be more expensive to hire someone who's been performing for decades than someone who only got started a year or two ago.
As such, it's likely that a cheaper magician is less experienced. They might be happy simply to have a fresh audience to practice in front of.
If you're happy to take that risk, that's fine. However, you probably don't want to do that for events where you only get one chance to get it right.
I'm long past the practicing stage. When you hire me, you get a polished performer you can rely on. I know instinctively how to get the most from your guests and how to make sure your event is the best it can be.
I'm not the cheapest, but I'm confident the price I set is fair. I know it is because I perform at that price regularly and continue to get great feedback, as shown below.
Read more in this blog post about why I don't match prices against other magicians here.
Much of hiring a magician is about the personality of the performer. Do you want this person at your event? I honestly believe the best way to get a feel for someone's nature is to speak to them. A phone call only has to take 5 or 10 minutes but it will save you hours of emailing around.
Another very important factor is experience. This comes down to reviews, photos, and videos, but again... if you speak to those on your shortlist, it will become pretty clear, pretty quickly whether they know what they are talking about or not.
I also offer the option of a video call so that you can see me and ask me anything about your event. There's no obligation to book. It's simply there to help you figure out what would work best for your event.
It's a simple process.
Get in touch and tell me the details of your event. It's really useful to know:
- venue address and postcode
- number of guests
- what the celebration is for
I'll reach out to you and explain what I provide and what would work best for your event. We can even set up a short video call if you want to go through a few things in more detail.
Once you are happy to go ahead I'll send you a link to a short form so that I can collect any other outstanding details and your contact details.
And then, I'll email you a booking agreement as a PDF document for you to check the details and pay the booking fee.
Once you've confirmed that everything is correct and paid the booking fee, you're booked in and can start looking forward to your event.
Of course, if you get stuck at any stage you can always reach out to me on 07792 129 828.
Finally, I will always get in touch with you a few days before the event to touch base and double check everything.
I have not missed a show yet. However, if due to unforeseen circumstances I can’t attend your event, I have a list of excellent magicians who can provide cover. I'll ask one of those to step in on my behalf and provide similar suitable entertainment for you. Of course, you'll be kept up to speed on the whole process throughout.
This is an important question if you are looking to hire a magician. I'm so glad you are interested in this one. I carry public liability insurance organised for me by Equity (the performing artist's union). This gives us both peace of mind, in the very rare chance that something unfortunate should happen. If your venue needs to see my insurance certificate, just let me know, and I'll send it across to you, or to them directly.
"The professional manner in which he took the booking and ensured he knew exactly what was required is a credit to him."