Are you looking for that special “something”, you know, that “magic bullet”, the “thing” that everyone will talk about and gather into and stand should-to-shoulder around your trade show booth; for all the “right” reasons?
If you said yes to any or all the above questions, then you should call professional magician Anthony Ware. Mr. Ware can make your trade show booth famous — during the entire show.
Anthony is a professional trade show magician that knows the “psychology” required to “grab” hold and thoroughly entertain exhibit attendees while delivering your message in an influential, proficient manner.
You will witness traffic increases to your booth – Far more than you saw at previous trade shows.
For availability, please call (443) 414-2150
Everything You MUST Know Before Hiring a Baltimore Based Magician
Introduction If you are planning a special event and need some entertainment, you will have several choices. Entertainment for events can be created by a live band, dancers, Disc jockeys (DJs) or through the services of a magician. A professional magician is a good choice because they can ‘play’ (entertain) any audience, whether those above 60 years, teenagers, or young children. A good magician can customize the show so it becomes more original or more interesting to your guests. There are several types of professional magicians. In general a magician is someone who provides entertainment via ‘magic tricks’ (such as sleight-of-hand) for an event. They create interesting and entertaining interactive magic tricks for parties, celebrations, banquets, events, birthdays, balls, trade-shows, weddings and more. Magicians can also serve as your event’s emcee, offering announcements, introductions and interactions with the crowd. Professional magicians can work in the homes, companies, in clubs or bars, churches, halls, schools, etc. Magicians are able to come to a specific location to entertain. A professional magician arrives with their audio and visual equipment and can come to any venue to work. If you are hosting a special event, then you should look for a professional Magician. Unfortunately just about anyone can claim to be a professional magician. This happens to be an extremely popular job title, meaning that you will probably come across some amateurs pretending to be the real thing. There is a considerable difference between an amateur magician and a professional one. Depending on your budget and event, you may be able to get away with hiring a less-experienced magician. If, however, your event is very important you will have much better luck if you choose a professional magician. Not all professional magicians are created equal. Each magician will have their own style, types of equipment and costs. The ‘trick’ to finding the right magician for your event is careful research. Researching and interviewing a magician before you choose to hire them will help make sure that you pick the perfect one. Here is everything you need to know before you choose a magician. What Kind of Magician Do You Need? There are different types of Magicians and lots of different kinds of services they can offer you. Before you set out looking for a magician for your special event, you need to know what you are looking for. It is a good idea to make a list of what you want for your specific party, so that you can narrow down your search to magicians who can fulfill your needs. Are you just looking for someone to play some cute music, pull a coin from a child’s ear while wearing a bright-red nose at your event, or do you want an entertainer that knows their audience, can emcee (master of ceremonies)? A quality magician will encourage your guests to get involved and therefore make your special event more lively and most of all even more special! Is your event going to be a wild party, a sophisticated affair or a classy event? All of these factors will determine which magician you will want to choose. Some magicians can do it all: perform magic tricks everyone will enjoy, get people involved quickly and with sheer delight, announce special people and keep the party going. Some will simply talk too much and ruin the feeling of your event. Some magicians will teach everyone one or more easy to perform magic tricks. Others will offer interactive games, educational shows or corporate training lessons. It all depends on the individual magician and the skills they have. The style of a specific magician will be determined by their personality. You will want to determine in advance what atmosphere you are looking for so that you can find a magician with a personality to match it. You will also want to have an idea of the type of magic effects (tricks / illusions) the magician will perform at your event. Not all magicians can entertain every age group (though 99% of them tell you they can just to make a few extra dollars on the side). Do you want your event to be a fun, talked-about party, or are looking to impress older (mature) guests with more sophisticated magic show choices? You will need to find a magician who can cover your specific range of entertainment. This all means that you must be very specific with how you want your event to go. Knowing how you want your event to feel beforehand will go a long way in helping you find the right magician for the job! Finding a Baltimore Area Magician Locating a magician in your area is relatively easy. Odds are you will be able to find a few dozen of them without really trying. The best way to find a professional magician for your event is to make a list of potential choices, then do a little bit research to weed out the less-than-perfect ones. There are many places that you can look to find a professional magician who operates in your local area. Here are a few choices: • Recommendations from friends and family You probably already know someone who has used the services of a professional magician. Anyone who has thrown a party with entertainment has probably used a magician. Ask for referrals from people you can trust. Ask your friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers or anyone else if they have ever used a specific magician or entertainment company before. You can also ask places that frequently host special events, such as churches, dance halls, school, trade-show exhibitors, or synagogues which magician they prefer to use. Ask your source if they were happy with the service they received. Ask them if they would recommend this specific magician to you. You can even ask about the cost of a specific magician. Good recommendations are often hard to find, so if you are able to find someone who can highly recommend a specific magician you may want to hire that person. • Online searches You can also use the internet to find local magicians. A simple Google or Bing search will probably yield a few dozen results. You can start by typing in “magician” plus your zip code. You can also try something like: “magician company” to see how many companies operate in your region. There are other online sites that you can use to find magicians. The local online classified website known as Craigslist is a good start. • Traditional advertising It is possible to find a local magician through traditional advertising techniques. Traditional advertising refers to newspaper ads, TV commercials, radio spots, banners, flyers and even signs. In general, the better and more expensive the advertisement is- the more successful the magician is. But it is not advised that you choose a magician based solely on their advertisements! Use traditional advertisements to find potential choices for your list, but be sure to do your research before you make your final decision. • Online magician directories There are a few online magician directories that can provide a list of regional magicians. Some examples of online magician directories include GigMasters (www.GigMasters.com), Gig Salad (www.GigSalad.com) and ThumbTack (www.ThumbTack.com). These sites allow you to browse by location or event type to find local magicians. • Online party service directories Online party service directories will help you locate more than a magician for your special event. These are directories that offer all kinds of party service companies, including tent rentals, linens, bakers, flower companies, DJs, party planners and of course, magicians. Examples of online party service directories include All Time Favorites (www.alltimefavorites.com) and Party Pop (www.partypop.com). • Online consumer review websites Online consumer review websites are a very helpful way to find local magicians because you can read reviews from previous customers. This gives you a chance to find several magicians in your area who already have a number of positive reviews from satisfied clients. A good online consumer review website is Angie’s List (www.angieslist.com). Once you have looked through all of these sources, you can compile a list of potential choices. You can have as many potential choices on this list as you want, but it is recommended that you have at least 5 magicians to choose from. The magician that you choose will play a very significant role in your special event, so you need to take the time to make the very best possible decision. There are a lot of factors that will go into your choice. It is recommended that you do some research on each magician on your list of potentials, and then compare each choice to determine which will be the best option for your event. Individual Magician or Entertainment Company? The first thing you have to determine when looking for a magician is whether you want to go with an entertainment company or with an individual magician. There are advantages and disadvantages to both choices. Your choice will depend on what you are looking for in a magician. Entertainment Companies An entertainment company can be a company that solely supplies magicians, or it can be a booking agency or talent agency. The advantage these companies provide is that they will be bonded and licensed to operate in your state. This means that if anyone is injured at your event because of the magician, the company will be held responsible for it. Entertainment companies also have access to a lot of equipment, possibly including equipment that a lot of individual magician’s may not have. The disadvantage to using an entertainment company is that you do not know which specific magician they will send to your event. The success of a magician will depend so much on their individual skills, their attitude and their presentation, so you want to make sure you know exactly who will be handling your event. Also, an entertainment company will only pay the specific magician they send to your event a part of the total cost you pay to them. This means that you won’t know what you will be paying your magician. The best way to use a entertainment company is to find out the specific magician that will be at your event, and to interview that specific magician to make sure they have the necessary skills to make you happy.
You can also lay out exactly what you want from your magician in contract form.
Individual Magicians There are also both advantages and disadvantages to hiring an individual magician. All of the money you pay an individual magician will go to them (and their employees). This means that you will know exactly what you are paying for. However, you will want to perform a good deal of research on an individual magician to find out if they have the skills, equipment and back-up plans to make your event successful. Some individual magicians can provide all of their own equipment, while others may not. Some individual magicians are insured for liability and others are not. These are all things you will want to find out before you make a decision. It is possible to find a great magician using both of these methods. The most important factor to your success will be your research of your potential choices. The more research you perform- the better chance that you will find the right magician for the job! Potential Problems Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong if you hire the wrong magician for your event. Odds are this event is very special to you, and the magician choice you make could mean the difference between a perfect event and a ruined one. Here are some things that could go potentially wrong if you make a poor decision: • Horrible show and service Just about anyone with a deck of cards, a few coins and some speakers can claim to be a professional magician, but that doesn’t mean they can produce a professional-grade show. Without professional-grade equipment and an experienced magician your event’s entertainment could end-up embarrassing you and your guests. Also, it takes a lot of knowledge and skill to make a magic show entertaining, something that not all magicians will possess. A great magician will know what types of tricks to perform, when to say the right lines or perform the best magic tricks, how to ‘play’ (entertain) to a specific crowd, when to speak and when to shut-up. All of this knowledge comes with experience. A less-than-experienced magician could end-up performing the wrong tricks and or jokes offending your guests or generally ruining the atmosphere. • A lack of accountability It is important that your magician shows up and does the job they agreed to do for the agreed upon price. If you hire a low quality magician you may not receive this amount of accountability. Some magicians may not bring the right types of equipment, or the right types of clothing, or they may do a poor job. Their hired employees (assistants) may not act appropriately. In short, without a good contract you could end up paying for a low-quality job. High-quality magicians are responsible for the work they produce and can be held accountable for it. • Not showing up on time It takes time to set-up all of the equipment required for a magic act for any event. All of this equipment must be set-up and ready to go before the event is supposed to begin. If you hire the wrong magician they could show up late or worse- not at all! • No back-up plan All event magicians must have backup plans. What if it rains? What if a speaker blows? What happens if their props get forgotten at home? Will they still be able to create the atmosphere you want for your special event? High-quality magicians plan for problems. They have extra equipment and are ready to deal with potential problems. Low-quality magicians leave you out of luck when something bad happens. • Being overcharged You will sign a contract with any magician before you hire them. This means that you will have to pay the magician if they fulfill their contractual obligations, regardless of whether or not they did a good job entertaining your guests. If you choose a low-quality magician, you could end up feeling like you have been overcharged for their services- and no one likes that! Because of the risk of these potential problems, it is vital that you choose a high-quality magician for your special event. High-quality magicians are professionals. They take pride in what they do and consider their presence at your special event to be an honor. Good magicians want to do a good job, not only so that you will help enhance their reputation and their business, but also so that they can locate future business through your guests. The best way to determine whether or not a potential magician is a high-quality one is to perform your research and to interview each candidate before you decide to hire them. This means checking up on their reputation and asking some very specific questions. Choosing the Right Magician Once you have your list of potential choices, your next step is to begin researching the reputation of each one. There are several ways to do this. You can ask for a list of previous customers or for testimonials. If the magician has a website you can look for offered testimonials or references. These are previously satisfied clients who were so happy with the service they received that they were willing to leave a good recommendation for others. You can always call the potential magician and ask for some references. If possible, always check up on a magician’s references. Another way to find out more information regarding a specific magician’s reputation is to look on online consumer review websites such as Angie’s List. Keep in mind that it may be impossible for a magician to make every customer 100% happy, so 1 or 2 negative reviews may not be that bad. Stay away from any magician who has several negative reviews posted about them. You can also check to see if the company or the magician has any complaints filed against them with your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau. Avoid any magicians who have formal complaints lodged against them. Once you have determined that a specific magician has a good reputation you will want to find out more about their style. As you already know, a very large portion of a magician’s skills will be determined by their personality. Many magicians’ websites will have samples of their previous work that you can watch or listen to. This will give you a good idea about their specific style and what types of skills they can present. Look for a magician who can match the type of event style you are looking for. Just because the magician hasn’t performed your specific type of event doesn’t mean that they don’t have the skills to do so. By now you have a good idea about the reputation and style of each potential magician on your list. The next step is to call each one and set-up an interview with them. Only by interviewing potential choices will you be able to get the full amount of information that is required to make the best possible decision. You should set up an telephone or in person interview with your potential magician and then come prepared with a list of questions specific to your event. Questions to Ask a Potential Magician Interviewing potential magicians will give you a chance to find out more information about them before you hire them. Here are some general questions you can ask a magician to find out more about how they operate. You should also ask any questions that are specifically related to your event. 1. What kind of equipment do you use? Do you own your equipment or do you rent it? Remember that professional magicians use professional-grade equipment. Avoid a magician who uses a few worn-out magic props and some cheap speakers. If you do not know anything about audio equipment, here are some names that you should listen for: -Denon -Gemini -Pioneer -JBL -Mackie -Rane -Electro-Voice -QSC -EAW These are professional grade brand names. In general, it is better to hire a magician who owns their own equipment over one that rents it for each event. Also, ask the magician if they use a wireless microphone, since they are much better for outdoor venues, trade-show floors, noisy home parties, large banquet halls toasts and announcements. You may also want to ask about lighting or a back-drop. Many professional magicians will provide lighting and or a nice back-drop for the event. Lighting / back-drop effects can drastically alter the mood of your event and can include something simple like ambient color lighting / bright back-drop. It is up to you if you want these kinds of lighting / back-drop for your event, but it is always good to ask. 2. How much experience do you have? A magician who is new to the ‘game’ may still be able to do a great job, but experience counts for a lot. A good magician knows how to read a crowd, alter the mood, get people excited and how to make the event great. An experienced magician will also know how to handle sudden changes or unexpected problems. Expect to pay for experience, because it really does matter. 3. Do you have a back-up plan for emergencies? Again, you will want to know what your magician plans to do if it rains in the area where the show is to take place, the power goes out, one of their speakers blows out, if their microphones lose battery power or the wind knocks over their props. What securities do they have in place to ensure that the magic show won’t stop entirely? Do they bring extra equipment / props with them? What do they plan to do if the weather becomes a problem? Many magicians won’t work outdoors with their own equipment-so you may want to know about this in advance. Look for a good back-up plan in a magician. Look for someone who is prepared for any contingency. 4. Are you familiar with all types of entertainment? Not all magicians can entertain all age groups. Some magicians specialize in specific genres; while others can ‘play’ (entertain) to any crowd. The type of music you want to play at your event will determine what kind of magician you will need. It takes a good amount of skill to be able to please a group of people consisting of various age groups. You certainly don’t want to alienate a part of your party! A good magician has enough experience to ‘read’ a crowd and determine the proper balance of different types of entertainment. 5. Do you offer ‘clean’ humor? Many of today’s popular jokes are not friendly to the entire family. If you are worried that curse words or maybe sexually based jokes in a magic show will alienate or insult some of your party guests, make sure your magician has a ‘squeaky-clean’ show. 6. How many magic tricks / illusions will you bring to my event? It is always a good idea to know how many magic tricks or illusions a magician will be bring to your event. Just because they have access to thousands of effects doesn’t necessarily mean they will bring thousands of effects that day. Fact is, a true professional magician can entertain any audience with only a couple magic tricks / illusions due the fact they are a professional entertainer 7. Will we be signing a contract? The answer to this question should always be yes! Be sure to sign a detailed contract with the magician you choose for your event. Make sure that this contract details the date of the event, the time frame in which the magician will be working, the amount to be paid and anything else that is specific to your event. Also, make sure the contract clearly states any extra fees and costs, such as labor fees, gas, tolls, tuxedo rental fees and more. You don’t want any surprise costs and fees to appear. Look for the words “total cost” or “final price”. Always get a copy of the contract to take home with you and review it before you sign it. Again, a truly professional magician will (usually) give you an all-inclusive price! 8. Do you carry liability insurance? This may not be 100% necessary for a magician to work at your event, but it certainly helps. Liability insurance would cover the magician if anyone was to be injured during the event as a result of the magician or their equipment. Some venues (such as hotels, convention centers, etc.) may require that a magician carry a ‘certificate of insurance’ to be able to work on their property. 9. Will you be at there on the event date? This seems like an odd question, but you may be surprised to learn how many magicians will send a friend, colleague or employee in their place. Therefore it is a good idea to confirm that the magician you are hiring will indeed be the one who will show up at your event. This is especially true if you are using the services of an entertainment company or talent agency. Also, you may want to double check what other employees (assistants) may be coming to event. 10. What special requirements will you need to work my event? Sometimes a magician will have special requirements relating to their equipment, such as certain electrical requirements or space for their equipment / show. If they do it is a good idea that you know about these special needs in advance, so that you can coordinate with your venue. This is also a good time to make sure that the magician is aware of any special needs regarding your event. For example, if it is outdoors or if you have a very large number of guests attending. This will give the magician the chance to make sure they have the right amount and type of equipment to do the job. It is best to avoid any surprises on both ends! Yes! A professional magician will attach these requirements to their contract (agreement) which is known in the entertainment industry as a ‘Rider’ or ‘Rider List’ 11. How will you and your crew be dressed for my event? You will want to know in advance how the magician and their (assistants) employees will look on your special day. Most of the time they will wear black, but it is good to know in advance in case their outfits don’t match with your event’s theme. For example, if the magician and their crew are wearing jeans at your formal wedding, it may not look good. Professional magicians do not need to be told these things – they usually share this during your initial telephone call and or email. 12. What is your fee? Will you be requiring a deposit? It is impossible to give an accurate representation of how much a high quality magician will end up costing you. Remember that with magicians you get what you pay for. In general you should expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $1000 for a high quality magician, and in many cases, even more. Make sure to find out what the magician will be charging you and what exactly you will be getting for that price. You will also want to know in advance how much of a deposit your magician will want. Most magicians will want a deposit of 20-50% before the event and the rest of the balance either during or after the event. All of this information should be clearly spelled out in your contract as well. 13. What time will you be showing up for my event? How much setup time will you require? When will you be leaving? Again, this stuff should be spelled out in your contract, but it is always good to ask ahead of time. You can ask this question during the interview process- it doesn’t mean that you have to hire that specific magician. 14. Do you take requests? Some magicians will take requests and others will not. What you are actually looking for when you ask this question is an answer that tells you that the magician is willing to do the event however you want them to. After all, you are the one who is paying and it is your special event. Look for a magician who is flexible and who is willing to do your event how you want it. Note: Though a professional will take request such as if you are having a specific theme they may wear the theme clothing or play music that reflects your theme however a professional magician will always customize their show to meet your needs. 15. Are you available for the date of my event? Obviously it will do you no good to hire a magician who is not available to work the day of your event, so this is something you will want to ask them in advance. Incompetent magicians many times will overbook or not have a calendar in front of them when they agree to perform for your event! Tips for Hiring a Magician Here are some additional tips that you should be aware of when looking to hire a magician. • If you have special requests for your magician make sure to give them to them as far in advance as possible. • Try to avoid giving your magician a laundry list of people to recognize during their show. Instead, try giving them specific names of key people such as the CEO, birthday child, HR director, activities coordinator, etc. If there are any tricks or jokes you know they do — that you absolutely DO NOT want them to deliver, make sure your magician knows about this in advance. • When choosing a magician for an event try to keep in mind that they will be entertaining for everyone’s enjoyment, not just your own. Professional magicians know how to entertain a diverse crowd. • Don’t assume anything when it comes to your magician. Don’t assume that your magician knows when to start, what to say or what type of audience you will cater to. Make sure they understand if they are supposed to be interacting with the crowd or if they will be just performing visually stunning magic tricks. Give clear instructions about what you do and do not want. Get everything in writing too! • Don’t be afraid to ask for references and be sure to check up on them! • Always meet with your magician in person or on a telephone call before your event. You wouldn’t host an event without seeing the venue or hire a caterer without tasting their food, so why would you hire a magician without meeting with them or investing some time talking via telephone first? During your meeting / call make sure to communicate what you are looking for in their services. • Remember that since you are paying- you are the boss. Always treat your magician with respect and allow them to do their job, but make sure you get the type and quality of service you are looking for. Tell them what is required, what is wanted and what you expect. • Pay your magician on time. They are professionals and they expect to treated and paid as such. • Find out in advance if certain things will cost extra. For example, some magicians will charge for extra lighting, additional meetings, requested time extensions, giveaways, emceeing and more. • Sometimes a magician will ask to allow “observers” or people you don’t know to watch them work. This allows the magician to use your event as an audition. If you do not want strangers observing your special event, make sure the magician knows that they cannot invite observers. • Make sure the start and stop times for your magician coordinate with your venue, especially if the venue charges by the hour. For example, if your venue charges by the hour for its ballroom, you don’t want to have to pay for an extra hour just because the magician has to set up in it. • Is the magician background checked? • There are no legal standards or licenses required by law for magicians, so you are on your own for hiring one. Always do your research and interview potential candidates before you choose one. • If you hire a magician and they do a great job for you, offer them a recommendation, a positive testimonial and financial tips are also nice! • Remember- with magicians you will get what you pay for. Checklist for Hiring a Quality Magician Figure out how your event will go. Determine what style you want and how much interaction (emcee) skills you want your magician to have. Have a clear idea of what you do and do not want. Make a list of potential magician choices using recommendations, online searches, directories, advertising or any other method you want. This list can be as long as you want, but it should have at least 5 potential choices on it. Check up on the reputation of each magician on your list. Use online consumer review sites, testimonials from previous customers, information from your local Chamber of Commerce or BBB or from the magician’s website. Weed out any candidates with less-than-perfect reputations. Schedule an in person or telephone interview for all remaining candidates. Ask specific questions. Get a sense of the magician’s style and skill level. Find out everything you want to know, including if they are available to work on the day of your event. Choose the magician that best fits with your event’s requirements. Sign a contract that details everything about the job, including the total cost.
Enjoy your event and the skills of your expert magician!
Conclusion If you take the time to research and interview potential magicians before you choose to hire them you will vastly increase your chances of picking the right person for the job. Experience, skill, style and personality are all important traits of a successful magician. Find a magician that matches the style and theme of your event and you will probably have a great time!