UPDATED: 24th JULY 2018
There are a few things that magicians hold secret, including the answers to the usual questions, such as “how did you do that?”, “Where did that go?” and the ever popular, “Why do you have a photo of my mum in your wallet?”
The biggest secret professional magicians won’t tell you though is a doozie, and probably quite unexpected (ain’t that always the way with us magicians?):
The tricks we perform don’t really matter
They really don’t.
In fact, I’d go further than that by saying that most magicians are doing exactly the same material, but I’d also suggest that this isn’t a bad thing.
How many magicians have you seen in your life? If you’re one of the 27 people on the planet to have seen a real-life magician, how many of their tricks can you remember – I mean REALLY remember, to the point that you could describe every detail?
I’d happily wager a McDonald’s Happy Meal on the fact that you could book the same magician for your Christmas party and still be amazed by the same effect you saw last year.
The tricks don’t matter.
If you’re after a band to perform at your wedding, your probably looking for a specific “style” of music, rather than an exact matching of setlists. It’s not about the specific tracks (though you may have some specific requests for meaningful songs), it’s how the music makes you feel that counts.
If you’re booking a DJ, you might book him more for his lighting rig, his dancefloor or because, after chatting with him, you get a good feeling about him.
And THIS is what counts. It’s not the tricks, it’s the magician.
When you’re booking a magician for an event, you obviously want to know that he’s going to be able to amaze your guests, that should be a given.
That’s the easy bit.
You’ll also want to know if he’s funny, insured, polite, replies to your emails, will be suitably dressed, able to interact with all of your guests/clients/family, is reliable, has appropriate paperwork and booking agreements in place.
In short, you want to know if he’s a PROFESSIONAL magician.
Recently, I’ve had two phone calls that sparked this post. The first was from a lady who was looking for a magician for her wedding and said she had booked someone for a works party and liked the idea of using a magician again. I asked her why she didn’t contact the same magician again (aren’t I awesome…trying to talk myself out of work?). She told me that although his tricks were good and fooling, “he didn’t look at us once…he didn’t really say anything or make us laugh..“.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to book a magician who is hilariously funny or anything, but, more than likely, you’re booking a magician because you want a happy atmosphere at your event, with everyone smiling. Magic is not guaranteed to do that on its own – it needs a decent performer to bring it to life. It needs someone who is comfortable approaching people of all ages, building rapport and being able to make them laugh.
It’s not just about the magic; as a magician, you have to be likeable, fun and friendly.
The problem is, you only realise this AFTER the wedding magician you booked has bored your entire family.
You may have perfect wedding guests, but even their patience will be tested by a bad performer.
Obviously, the best way to guard against this is to see the magician live, either in person or in a video on his site. If you can’t do that, phone up the magician and talk to him. You’ll get a good feel for how he interacts with people and his personality in a short phone call. Is he the kind of person you want to spend ten minutes at your Aunt Margaret’s table without you worrying about him making an inappropriate joke?
(Having said that, I have enjoyed plenty of moments where Aunt Margaret has been the one making the inappropriate jokes!)
The other call I had was from a bride who was getting married in three weeks and had booked a magician over a year ago. She said that she asked the magician about paying a deposit – he said he didn’t need one, nor did he need to use a booking contract or any form of paperwork (you can probably see where this is headed).
You’ve guessed it – when she made a call to check everything was OK, the magician had magically managed to double book himself and was suddenly no longer available!
Magicians who offer you a cheap cash price for an event, without a booking contract, is just one phone call away from cancelling on you. It’s why they can afford to offer cheap prices – they have no obligation. Very often, it’s also because they don’t have the appropriate insurance in place, or indeed other overheads that professional entertainers have.
Insurances and a performing agreement are the very least requirements professional magicians should possess. Also, the process of booking a magician should be as easy and hassle-free as possible. You should expect to pay a deposit and receive a booking agreement that secures the date. If you’re organising a party or event, the last thing you need to do is constantly worry about whether an act is going to show or not!
A professional (magician) knows this and is a safe bet for your next event!
So, by all means, ask magicians about the magic they perform, but make sure that all of the PROFESSIONAL boxes are ticked too.
Having a bit of a “do”?
You should book a magician to come round and entertain your guests.
No, you really should. Not only will your guests be laughing and having a great time, it allows you to sit back and get drunk at the bar (if that’s your thing!).
*** OH NO! I BET THIS IS THE BIT WHERE HE TRIES TO GET ME TO BOOK HIM! RUN! ***
I can get your guests laughing and having a fabulous time at YOUR next party.
“Thank you for helping make our wedding day stress free and being exceptionally entertaining“
“He was hugely entertaining, with a real sense of mischievous fun! Our guests loved him!“
TELL ME ALL ABOUT YOUR EVENT AND I’LL TELL YOU HOW I CAN GIVE YOUR GUESTS A FABULOUS TIME AND TAKE THE STRESS AND PRESSURE OFF YOU!