Finding a magician is incredibly easy with the internet at most peoples disposal, however booking a good magician or mind reader is not such a simple task. In this day and age anyone can have a slick website or fancy brochure with testimonials, which in some cases have been provided from family or friends to give a false perception of quality. They are often part time performers who have minimal experience and are cheaper than most professionals which initially seems appealing, but think about it for a moment, would you go to a restaurant knowing the food probably wont be tasty, in fact it might even be past its sell by date. The truth is you wouldn’t bother, so why pay for someone to do something badly?
If a magician is charging considerably less than others it’s normally for a good reason as mentioned above, but do not think that cost alone will tell you if someone is good, there are a few magicians who charge quite highly but are not as good as their fee’s might suggest. There are no hard or fast rules about how much an entertainer will charge.
The most effective way of finding a good magician is with a little investigation and common sense. Imagine yourself in a music store, you are about to purchase a CD, would you buy that CD if you had never heard of the band before or heard their type of music? Hopefully you just answered ‘No’. Well the same applies to hiring a magician. Fancy words and magical poses are merely window dressing, you have to sample what you may be spending good money on and potentially exposing your friends, family or colleagues to. Sometimes meetings are possible, however very busy performers do not normally have much time to meet potential clients, so a good substitute is to see some actual performance footage of the artist. Try to avoid the solo performance to camera as this does not indicate how they may interact with real breathing humans. Ideally you want to see them performing in a live real world environment, this will indicate what you can expect at your event, function or party. If you like what you see and think your guests will truly appreciate the performer, you are on to a winner.
So to summarise, check credentials, testimonials and recommendations but more importantly see some live performance footage and decide if the performer will fit in with your event, guests and/or colleagues.
There is no valid reason in this day and age for a performer not to have even a basic trailer or showreel. Cameras are very affordable and editing a trailer is easier than ever before with desk top publishing and home editing software. If a performer cannot show you them in action it’s probably best to look elsewhere.
There is no simple answer to this question, the truth is there are so many variables, however as a very rough guideline you should expect to pay between £500 to £1000 for a good magician or mind reader for a two hour period. A good stage show performer will normally be £1500 plus. If you decide to book the guy off of the TV you could pay over £5000 quite easily and in reality they are no better than anyone else apart from having a familiar face.