Some people are shocked by how much it costs to hire a professional magician for an hour or two but the truth is that short performance time isn’t what you are paying for. Here are some of the things you are actually paying for when you book a magician.
Time Spent Practicing and Rehearsing
To be a high-quality magician takes countless hours of practice and rehearsal, usually starting at a very young age. I know my clients expect a high standard of performance; not just amazing tricks but amazing tricks performed in an entertaining way. To accomplish this I first have to learn the sleights and methods then put them together to perform a trick or a collection of tricks, build an engaging presentation around those tricks, video myself practicing and rehearsing and watch it back repeatedly until it is smooth and concise, test it out on friends and family then work it into my professional set. This is a continuous process with many tricks and routines being tried and tested. The weaker ones fall by the wayside ensuring that what clients get to see is as strong as it possibly can be.
Time and Money Spent Getting the Gigs
Practice and rehearsal is what takes up the second biggest chunk of my time. I’d love it to be what takes up most of my time as I really enjoy the learning and perfecting of new material but the reality is most of my time is actually spent selling my services. Whether I’m generating new material for my website and social media (like this!), or dealing with enquiries by email or phone, most of my time is spent on my laptop and mobile. And of course, a lot of my publicity costs money, whether it’s Facebook adverts, website maintenance, professional photos, showreel or third parties who sell my services, they all need to be paid for.
Props and Equipment
For stage shows there is a certain amount of equipment that is necessary, such as microphones etc, and even close-up magic requires props and of course the knowhow. Some magic props and learning materials are quite cheap, such as decks of cards or pieces of rope but most are REALLY expensive! That’s because what a magician is paying for isn’t the prop itself but information and secrets that have taken someone years of work to come up with. However, if you want a magician who is offering the very best magic, and not the same old tricks that everyone has seen before, it is necessary for the magician to keep up with all the latest magic products and that cost is passed down to the customer.
Insurance, PAT, DBS…
A professional should have public liability insurance just in case anything goes wrong. It’s something I’ve never had to use but something as simple as knocking a glass of red wine over onto someone’s wedding dress could cause very expensive damage. If you are looking to book a magician you should definitely check that they are insured. Magicians also need to insure their props and their transport. If they use any electronics such as a mic and PA system that has to be PAT tested and it reassures a lot of potential clients if they are DBS checked (it’s actually illegal to ask someone who isn’t being left alone with vulnerable people if they are DBS checked but you’d be surprised how often it actually comes up! I have an enhanced DBS certificate in case you were wondering). On top of this most professionals will be members of professional organisations such as Equity or magic clubs such as The Magic Circle. Most of this is a necessity to offer a professional service and comes at a price.
The magician needs to get to gigs which involves buying, insuring, maintaining, taxing and fuelling a vehicle. I’m sure most of you will know how expensive that is, imagine what it’s like when you do 30,000 miles per year as I do,
To be the best they can be a performer has to devote themselves fully to performing, they have to be a full-time professional, and a full-time professional has to actually live so the amount they make per week has to cover living costs such as food, mortgage, bills etc. This seems like an obvious thing to point out but you’d be surprised how many HUGE companies ask you to do gigs for free because it would be ‘good exposure’.
So, a few hundred quid for a quality performer doesn’t seem so bad now does it. It’s certainly true that if you hire someone for £100 there is very little chance that they will have spent the necessary time and money on the above to provide you with a high quality performance that looks great, is fully insured and safe. That doesn’t mean necessarily that the magicians who charge thousands are going to provide a better experience, it usually just means that they are better at marketing or they are happy to do one or two gigs a month rather than being out performing every week! I offer a professional, high quality experience at a reasonable price. If you would like a quote please get in touch on the contact details below. Also please feel free to like, share and comment. Thanks for reading.