How To Choose A Magician
1) Conversation Vibes
Although most people prefer to communicate by email, it is always good to have a short phone call with each magician. You can tell a lot about someone by having a quick chat with them. Not only will it give the magician a chance to convey what they can add to your event, it also gives you a chance to get an idea of the magicians professionalism and personality (which will form part of their performance).
2) Online Evidence
If a magician does not have a professional looking website it raises questions about how seriously they take their magic business. It is strongly advisable to look for evidence online that the magician you are booking is good. Evidence will mainly be client reviews and photos/videos showing audiences having an amazing time.
3) Consider Their Specialisms
You wouldn't want to book a magician for a corporate event if their website screams out they specialise in kids parties. There are different specialisms that magicians have. Some focus on stage shows, some focus on strolling close-up, some only perform with cards, some specialise in mind reading and hypnosis. Make sure you are getting the best fit for your event.
4) Magician Gig Counts
There are lots of magicians who perform as a side thing in addition to a full-time job. One of the best working magicians I know is part-time, but your chances of getting someone good are slightly higher if they are a full-time worker. Don't be afraid to ask a magician how many gigs they do a year and what sort of gigs they are (i.e. weddings, corporate, kids parties).
5) Public Liability Insurance
If a magician does not have public liability insurance then DON'T use them. It probably means that they hardly ever do paid gigs as lots of venues require this.
6) Price, Price, Price...
Lots of people will book solely based on a magicians price, but anyone who has travelled a long-haul flight in economy class will testify that you often get what you pay for. Whilst pricing is not the only indicator (some magicians do over charge) it is worth considering value as well. It will sometimes (not always!) be better to pay a little bit more and increase the probability of the magician being great.
7) The Magic Circle
This is a contentious one, a lot of people think that a magician who is a member of The Magic Circle is better than one who isn't. The fact is, there are some amazing magicians who are not members, and some who are members that are not great performers (and visa-versa). That said, if a magician is in the circle they have probably passed a membership exam performance, so it certainly is another VERY positive box ticked in their favour (FYI: I am a member).
8) Magicians Responsiveness
As events are time critical, you want to book a magician who is reliable and responsive, so a magician who replies to emails and returns calls very promptly is always a good sign.
9) Booking Procedures
You don't want to simply receive an SMS from a magician saying they will attend your event and take cash on the night... you want the paperwork in place so you know you are dealing with a reliable professional. So if a magician sends out booking confirmations, contracts, invoices, deposit requests etc. it is also a good sign.
10) Watch Them Perform
This is the MOST important factor when picking a magician and trumps everything. You would not book a band to play at your event without hearing their music first. In the same way you should ideally experience a magician performing before you book them. This is both to check their magic is good and that you like their personality/style (which is critical in a performer). Invite the magician to meet in a coffee shop and most will be happy to do so if they live nearby.
Of course, if you are looking for a magician for your event then I would absolutely LOVE to be that magician and provide an amazing experience for you and your guests. Please don't hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a quote or to discuss the different entertainment options.