During my many years performing magic I have had many surprises and obstacles thrown in my way; from having an illusion that I was in almost topple me face first off the stage and into the audience, to having a man in a terrifying clown costume repeatedly interrupt my close-up magic! However, there are some difficulties that are easily avoided. Here’s six things you SHOULDN’T do if you are having a magician at your event.
1. Have another act at the same time
I’ve been to a few close-up magic jobs where they’ve decided they’re going to have a singer or a band on the stage at the same time as I’m going around showing people tricks. This is a bad idea for two main reasons: the singer is likely to be very loud which makes it very hard for the magician to perform and it is rude to the singer for a magician to be going around encouraging people to watch them and ignore the singer! Background music is great but having an actual act at the same time as a close-up magician is bad for the magician bad for the act and ultimately bad for the audience.
I’d also add having a loud DJ who’s trying to get everyone to dance at the same time as the magician is a bad idea too as again they are likely to be so loud the magician struggles to communicate, they also like to turn the lights off so people will struggle to even see the magic and they want people up dancing not sat watching tricks. Again, background music is fine but if you want a magician at the same time as the DJ have a separate room for the magic.
2. Ask a close-up magician to look after the kids for half an hour out of the blue
Not all magicians are kids’ entertainers and they certainly aren’t nannies! Personally, I’m happy to perform in a separate area with the kids for half an hour but let me know in advance so I can bring appropriate material. I’ll also need another adult in the room with me for insurance purposes. However, a lot of magicians wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this (understandably I think) and to have it dropped on them unexpectedly is really unfair.
3. Have a jam-packed venue
A packed venue for a stage show is great, if they’re all in seats and it’s sold out that’s what every entertainer wants. A jam-packed venue for close-up magic is not good. If everyone is elbow to elbow there is no room for a performance, the magician is constantly getting out of other people’s way and trying not to bump into anyone or spill their drinks. A busy venue is great but if it’s going to be properly packed so there’s hardly room to move stage magic might be a better fit than a close-up magician. Personally I’d probably go for a music act or a good DJ.
4. Fill the stage with instruments
If you are going to have a band as well as a stage magician on the night make sure that the band knows there is a magician on and that when the band have set their equipment up there is still room for the magician. Holiday parks are usually the worst for this. If the magician doesn’t have room for their props and the volunteers they get up onstage, and they are constantly worried about knocking someone’s guitar over, they can’t be expected to do a good show.
5. Have half the people in the room with their backs to the stage
A lot of events use round tables so I know it’s hard to have everyone facing the stage but at least make it so they can easily turn their chair around and ensure that they are facing the right way by the time the show starts. On a related topic, if you’re going to have a close-up magician going around the tables maybe try and avoid having a massive centre piece that completely blocks the view of the people on the opposite side of the table.
6. Have any surprises
A good professional magician will generally ask all the right questions before the event so there are no surprises but sometimes there are things that should be mentioned by the organiser that the magician might not think to ask about, things like: a PA system isn’t allowed to be used, half the audience are deaf or blind or we want you to walk out onto an ice rink in front of thousands of people and have an ice hockey shoot-out with our mascot (all actually happened without prior warning)! If there’s anything you think might affect the performance please make sure you mention it to the magician. Also, if the magician is relying on the DJ for use of his PA system for music and mic please make sure the DJ knows in advance as this will affect how they set up their system. The best idea is to give the magician the DJ’s number, or vice versa, so they can actually chat and sort everything out beforehand.
If you avoid all the above points the magician will be able to perform to the best of their ability and make your event a magical and memorable one. Of course, it’s also important to get the right magician so if you’d like to book someone who knows what questions to ask to ensure your event runs smoothly and has dealt with all kinds of difficulties and surprises please get in touch through the ‘Contact’ page.
Can you think of anything else that should be avoided if you have booked a magician for your event? Let me know any of your thoughts in the comments. As always please feel free to like and share and remember: there are twice as many eyebrows in the world as there are people!