Choosing a magical entertainer.

Magic and its related performance arts have never been so popular. There are many performers available
so once you have decided to hire a magician how do you go about it?

What sort of magician are you looking for?

To avoid booking the wrong person for your event you need to be as clear as you possibly can about
your requirements.  There are many different varieties of magician and your performer needs to be fit
for purpose!

Magicians who can perform surrounded and on the move usually entertain small groups of people in
more intimate settings. They are usually specialists in
Close-up Magic and can be used to Meet and
guests at events and to Mix and Mingle with them. Similarly, Table Magicians (sometimes
Table Hoppers) visit tables between courses but entertain the whole table as a small audience.
These types of magical entertainment are excellent at Restaurants, Bars, Dinners and Product Launch
Parties. They are particularly effective at Weddings and Christenings or anytime where guests are
waiting to take part in a formal event.

Stand-up Magicians perform at the front of an audience but can differ widely in what they offer. For
Mentalists specialise in mind magic whilst Cabaret/After Dinner Magicians offer a variety
of small scale effects.
Illusionists tend to do more spectacular effects but use more equipment and
need space to work in. Many venues have a performance area which can be used to stage these types of
magical entertainment. Stand-up Magic is a successful format at Dinners, Weddings, Training Events,
Trade Shows and Private Parties.

Children’s Entertainers offer Shows, Games or Music - or packages combining these as the client
requires. There has also been a growth in demand for Magic Workshops since Harry Potter arrived on
the scene. Many children’s entertainers offer special Birthday Party Packages and themed shows at
times such as Christmas and Halloween.

Is the purpose that you have in mind pure entertainment or is the performance part of training or
delivering a message? Do you want comedy, intrigue, amazement -or all of these?  Considering these
questions will affect your choice of performer. You should bear in mind that some magicians are
specialists in a single area of magic but others will be able to offer a variety of formats.

Finally, whoever you approach, you should have the following information ready to allow a sensible
quote to be prepared.

Date of the event.
The type of performance.
Time and length of performance.
The Venue.
The Occasion.
Audience mix and number.
Special Requirements.

A professional entertainer or agent will advise on the feasibility of your requirements, and be happy to
recommend alternatives if they are unable to help for any reason.

How do you find a magician?

You could use an Entertainment Agency or Book Direct.

If you use an agency you are accessing a list of performers already known to the agent and you have
redress to the agent if things do not go well. All performers on the list will have Public Liability
Insurance and CRB clearances if needed. You are involving a ‘middleman’, and this will incur a cost but,
in return, you ought to get a very professional service.

If you wish to book direct there are a number of sources that you can use. Many clients prefer to hire
performers they have already seen themselves or have been strongly recommended by someone whose
taste and judgement they can trust.

Alternatively, the Yellow Pages, Thompson Local or similar local trade advertising journals will list the
entertainers in your area. This allows a speedy comparison of prices for the local entertainers who are
advertising. However, the internet is rapidly superceding printed advertising. You can search for
magicians in your area using your favourite search engine but it is much quicker to search dedicated

The most comprehensive alphabetical Magicians directory is to be found at and
this site also provides links to Corporate Entertainer and Children’s Entertainer Directories which will let
you search for performers by region. It also links to a large number of Magic Societies whose
Secretaries can point you in the direction of their professional members. Finally, the premier magic
society in the world, The Magic Circle, at  has a really useful Find a
Magician Page where professional performers who are members of the Magic Circle advertise.  There
are plenty to choose from and this page links to the performers’ profiles and contact details.

The same rules apply whether you want to use an agent or booking direct. You should expect a
professional service that caters to your exact requirements. Terms of Business should be clear and proof
of Public Liability Insurance and CRB Enhanced Disclosure available on request. Letters of Confirmation
should be clear and meet your complete specification. It is also important to find out what will happen if
the named performer becomes unavailable.

Good Hunting

Rick Tynan
Up Close and Magic

PS. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to
Contact Us.