Before you hire a magician you want to know whether they are any good, whether they are going to actually add value to your event rather than take it away. Here are my tips for hiring a quality magician.
The first thing people will look at is price and they automatically assume that the more expensive a magician is the more amazing and entertaining they are going to be. This really isn’t the case! Don’t get me wrong you definitely shouldn’t go for someone who’s just going to do it for £100 and a bag of chips but if someone is charging £1,000 they might just be really good at marketing rather than really good at magic. My advice would be to make price your last consideration when deciding who to book and look at everything else first.
The website should be clear and have photos and videos of the magician actually performing for real people. It should have at least a few reviews (more on those later) and if they are a corporate magician there should be some examples of companies they’ve worked for in the past. It should also mention if they are Equity members (which is the sign of a real professional), whether they have public liability insurance and, if they are a stage performer, it should mention whether their equipment is safety tested. Magicians might also mention if they are members of the Magic Circle, while this sounds impressive it just means they are members of a magic club which is open to amateurs. It does mean they take their magic seriously but it is still no guarantee of quality.
International, Award Winning Magician
These are words that magicians throw around like confetti. There are SO many awards out there that the phrase ‘award winning magician’ is practically meaningless. Don’t be seduced by it or at least ask what the award is and how they got it then decide whether it’s impressive or not. As for ‘International’ most magicians will have done some work abroad at some point but others might have families which could restrict their international opportunities, it doesn’t mean they’re not as good as the ‘international’ magicians. In fact just because a job is abroad doesn’t mean it’s better than the jobs in the UK. There are plenty of acts slogging round hotels and resorts in places like Turkey or Spain who could call themselves international but are only just scraping a living.
Reviews and Recommendations
If you get a recommendation from a trusted friend or family member then that magician should definitely go to the top of your list. The next best thing is online reviews. As mentioned earlier a magician might have reviews on their website which is great but how do you know you can trust them? They might have just written them themselves or cherry-picked the best ones. You should look at their Facebook page if they have one (and if they are a full-time professional they should) as well as reviews on Google or on services like Trust Pilot. These reviews are almost guaranteed to be from real people and they are beyond the magician’s control so you are more likely to get an accurate and unbiased reflection of their work.
A professional magician should also have an active social media presence with fairly regular updates of what they are up to with photos or videos from events. This definitely isn’t one of the most important things but a quick scroll through their timeline helps give an idea of what kind of events they usually work at and whether they are right for your event. Hopefully they’ll also have at least a few videos on YouTube or similar either posted by them or by other people which again give a reflection of the type of material they perform and what type of events they are used to.
If a magician seems like they just want to talk to you by email the chances are it’s because they aren’t a confident person with strong social skills. Confidence and a likeable personality are vital for any performer but especially for a magician and particularly if they are working close-up. I would recommend you look for a magician who is happy to talk to you on the phone, over Skype or even in person. You will get a much better idea of their personality and if you chat over Skype or in person you’ll be able to see a sample of tricks and routines, see how they look in real-life and get a feel for how entertaining the magician is really going to be. Also I think it’s the quickest way to get things sorted, you can get more done in a five minute conversation than in days of emails!
Of course the best way to make sure you are getting a great magician is just to book me! I offer premium quality magic at an affordable price, I have regular repeat bookings and bookings from recommendations as well as nothing but five-star online reviews on Facebook, Google, Bark and Poptop. If you are interested drop me an email or give me a call, I’m also happy to Skype or meet in person if you’re within an hour’s drive.
If you can think of other ways to assess the quality of a magician or if you think my criteria are wrong, please let me know in the comments. As always please like and share, and remember: If you lend someone £20 then never see them again, it was probably worth the money!