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Questions you may like to ask any prospective performer you are engaging are...
How long have you been a professional?
Some magicians may seem great on paper but as all know paper doesnít refuse ink. Experience is key in this industry so make sure they have cut their teeth.
Can I see you perform?
The answer depends on type of performer you are considering engaging. If itís a cabaret magician he may well work at comedy clubs where you can go and see him perform and close-up magicians often work at hotels, restaurants and bars as resident entertainer several times a week. If itís open to public then go and see them work. However if performer works mainly at corporate events, weddings and/or trade shows you may find it impossible to see him work live as these are closed events.
Have you got a brochure/video I can see?
Most professional performers will have promotional kits including photographs, video and brochure. A good promo kit doesnít mean they are a good magician, it may just mean they know somebody who works at a printing press. A cheap and tatty looking promo kit doesnít definitely mean performer is bad, but it does show a lack of professionalism and that is a warning sign. In this day and age some performers have no hard copy for promotional use as it dates so quickly so there website acts as brochure. If website looks like it was made from cut outs of magazines then they are not interested in making a good first impression. Would you trust somebody who didnít make a good first impression at your event?
Does price include VAT and any other charges?
When in negotiations donít forget to clarify if there as any other expense other than fee quoted.
What magic tricks do you do?
You should be able to gain a good idea of style of magician from any online or hardcopy brochure but if you want to know what kind of effects he/she performs Ė go ahead and ask!
Are you a member of any magic societies or performer bodies?
Many magicians will be members of different magic clubs around world. In UK most prestigious is The Magic Circle where there are only 1500 hundred members world wide and you have to perform in front of experienced peers to gain membership. Again in UK you will find many magicians are members of Equity performs union which is another sign of their professionalism.
Have you got any referees I could phone?
This may seem like a reasonable question but a lot of magicianís work mainly in corporate area and are not permitted to pass out contact details of their bookers. You should be able to see testimonials and letters from clients on websites/brochures. Of course best way is personal recommendation; ask friends if they have ever hired a magician.
Have you got public liability insurance?
This is crucial. The magician will be in close contact to your guests and maybe borrowing objects from them for effects. You donít want to end up with a magician who isnít covered!
I hope this all helps to give you a better idea of different types of magic that are available for you to hire for your next event and what to look out for when hiring.
I'm a 28 year old full time professional close-up magician in London, UK. I have been a full time magician for 5 years and I work at corporate events, banquets, balls, private parties and weddings performing magic all over the UK. London Table Magician