The Complete Guide to hiring a magician, illusionist or mentalist.
In this guide we cover everything you need to know to help you hire a magician for your event and make sure everything runs smoothly.
Search & Book Magicians Near You| Request a Quote | What Kind of Magician is Right for My Event? | Hiring a Wedding Magician | How Much Does a Magician Cost? | How Long Will They Perform For? | Venue Requirements | Booking Information
What Kind of Magician is Right for My Event?
If you want a sure-fire way to get people mingling at your event, we recommend hiring a Close-up Magician. These skilled artists perform amazing tricks, flourishes and illusions that will leave your guests in utter disbelief, using small objects such as coins, banknotes, keys, cups, balls, ropes and other small objects.
Close-up Magicians add a dynamic element to your occasion, as they generally work around the room performing to small groups of guests. This is a fantastic ice-breaker at events where guests don’t necessarily know each other. As they hear gasps of amazement from across the room, they will want to come and investigate!
A Cabaret Magician puts on a full stage show, complete with music, lights, a fantastic array of props and maybe even a glamorous assistant. Expect classic magic, escape tricks, levitation, objects appearing out of nowhere, others disappearing only to reappear transformed into something completely different. A lucky few will be invited to participate, to the delight of the entire audience.
For a spectacular show that will leave guests transfixed by the seemingly impossible taking place before their very eyes, hire a Cabaret Magician today. They are ideal for product launches or corporate party entertainment.
A Children’s Magician is experienced at working with groups of little ones. Their shows are designed to appeal to a younger audience, with colourful props and plenty of humour, mixed in with awesome tricks. They are a popular choice of entertainment for kids and are guaranteed to bring laughter and excitement to any celebration and you can search and book a children’s magician near you here.
At a birthday party, the birthday boy or girl will be invited to take part in some of the tricks and you can be sure that there will be plenty of laughs all round. Even better, you can relax and concentrate on other aspects of the party while your younger guests are transfixed by unbelievable tricks and illusions.
Children’s Magicians also work well at grown-up events too, as a brilliant way to keep kids entertained. Older children will also enjoy the show, and may even get a rare glimpse into how some of the tricks are performed, if the entertainer is willing!
Mentalist / Mind Reader
For something unusual and highly interactive, why not cause a stir and hire a Mentalist or Mind Reader. These magicians perform either on stage or for small groups, using telepathy and divination skills to make spooky predictions.
Mentalism has become hugely popular in recent years, thanks to television celebrities such as Derren Brown, and these performers will bend the minds of your guests, who will be dying to know how they make their predictions. Hire a Mentalist or Mind Reader for an experience that is guaranteed to be a talking point long after your event has ended.
Mentalists & Mind Readers amaze guests with their extraordinary mind-reading abilities, predicting which playing card someone will pick, anticipating what is inside an envelope and even guessing things about someone’s past that they didn’t even know themselves. This type of entertainment is a little controversial, which makes it the perfect ice-breaker!
This is a show where performers use astonishing skill and technique to change costume again and again at high speed, resulting in hilarious scenes, bordering on slapstick. Combined with music, rapid dance routines and exciting magic tricks, it’s fast-paced, fun and something the whole family can enjoy.
Quick Change Acts are fantastic for after dinner shows, private parties, corporate entertainment and any occasion that calls for glitter, sparkle and explosive energy!
Add drama and suspense to any occasion by hiring a Stage Illusionist. This type of magician performs elaborate tricks and daring illusions on a larger stage, often with the help of an assistant or two. Penn & Teller, Criss Angel and David Copperfield are examples of famous illusionists known for their mind-blowing stage shows.
From death-defying escapes to dramatic illusions, Stage Illusionists deliver spellbinding performances that will thrill audience members young and old, some of whom will even get to take part!
Booking a Magician for Your Wedding
Hiring a Magician has become a very popular choice with couples. What an excellent way to entertain wedding guests and add ‘a touch of magic’ to make your special day even more memorable. Guests of all ages will be delighted to see tricks right up close, leaving them astounded and impressed.
Wedding Day Entertainment
There will be times during the wedding day when the newly-weds are occupied with photos and other formalities. Hire a wedding magician to ensure that your guests aren’t left out, bored or unsure of what to do during this time. A magician can mix and mingle with guests and is a superb way to get conversation flowing.
Evening Party Entertainment
Most evening receptions involve music and dancing, with a live band or DJ to get the party started and keep the dance floor full. In addition to the party music you might want to book something special to complete the celebrations.
A Close-up Magician is an affordable treat to have roaming around during the evening, delighting reception guests with a range of amazing magic tricks and they can usually work happily in a busy, noisy room, or entertain guests in a quieter area.
Keeping the Children Entertained
And if you need more inspiration for your wedding take a look at our Wedding Entertainment planning sections where you’ll find plenty of advice and ideas, as well as everything from Wedding Inspiration Videos and Wedding Checklists to Wedding Ceremony and First Dance Playlists.
How Much Does a Magician Cost?
As a rough guide, prices for a Close-up Magician will start at £450 in the UK ($450 in the U.S. and 500€ in Europe). Stage Magicians charge a bit more than Close-up Magicians as they have more elaborate props and a longer set up time. Prices for Stage Magicians start at £550 in the UK ($550 in the U.S. and 620€ in Europe).
As with any entertainer, prices will be slightly higher at busy times such as Christmas and New Year and high-profile performers with extensive experience will cost more. For a celebrity magician, you can expect to pay at least £5000.
We advise paying for a reputable Magician who can be relied upon to deliver great entertainment as the focal point of your event. See our Essential Tips below for information on booking terms and conditions.
Magicians spend years studying and developing their technique, and they never stop working on their craft. They pay for teaching materials and courses. Then there’s the cost of props, equipment, marketing, costumes and travel. Magicians need to factor in their costs when setting their fees.
A professional Magician is a highly skilled technician who must be able to perform with confidence, keeping the audience glued to their every move. This takes years of practice and is the reason why an established, experienced performer can charge more than someone who is just starting out.
Magician prices vary in our Entertainment Directory, so we recommend taking a look through our easy-to-use directory, to search for an act in your area. You can then use the Contact form to message any act directly and request a free, no-obligation quote. Can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Just fill in our Request a Quote form.
How Long Will a Magician Perform For?
The length of magic and illusion acts varies a lot, from an hour-long stage show to a captivating trick or stunt that last just a few minutes.
A Close-up Magician will usually perform for around two hours straight, working their way around the venue and ensuring that every guest gets to enjoy some magic. The amount of time they spend at each table or with each group will depend on how many people are there.
Many Magicians have set routines of different lengths and they will also be happy to adapt to your requirements, so feel free to discuss what you would like them to do at your event.
Venue Requirements for Magicians and Illusionists
When choosing your venue, it’s important to consider the type of event you’re planning and what space and set up facilities you’ll need.
The main thing to think about here is the number of guests who will be attending your event and what they will be doing (standing, sitting, eating, dancing). The venue owner will usually be able to give you a rough guide on capacity..
Unless you’re hiring a Close-up Magician, you’ll need a floor or stage area with room for a table and props. It’s best to discuss specific requirements with your chosen Magician when booking as these will vary depending on the act and the occasion.
A cabaret magician with a table for props and a fairly traditional routine won’t need a huge amount of space, and will usually perform on floor level with the audience in rows or seated at tables. A feature-length, spectacular stage-show, complete with stunts and explosions, will require a stage and a lot more room.
Equipment & Set-up
Close-up Magicians do not generally have a lot of equipment or set up requirements, if any. They carry their props in their pockets (and up their sleeves) and move around from group to group. They will usually arrive around 30 minutes before they are due to start performing, to smarten up and prepare.
Cabaret Magicians will usually need between 60 and 90 minutes to set up and get ready, depending on how many props they have. Stage Illusionists are likely to need at least 90 minutes to set up, as their shows are more elaborate and large-scale.
Magicians will provide all of their own props and equipment, and may have their own PA system and lighting but it’s best to ask them if there is anything they need, and let them know what facilities are provided by the venue.
Some magic tricks involve fire or smoke effects, so you will need to get permission for this from the venue and make sure they won’t set off smoke alarms.
Whatever the venue, large or small, indoors or outdoors, your Magician will need a flat, dry and suitably-lit area in which to set up and perform. If their act relies on electricity, they will also need a safe supply, including 13 amp power sockets near the stage area.
If your venue is outdoors, make sure the act is aware of this. Some acts may not be able to work outdoors, particularly in certain weather conditions.
If you’re hiring a magic act that uses a lot of props and equipment, make sure there is a parking space as close to the performance area as possible. This will allow them to unload and set up more easily.
While your performer may not be expecting the luxury of a fully-fitted dressing room, they will need somewhere private and away from the guests to get changed, prepare and and relax in between sets, ideally with a mirror.
A small lockable room or back office is often sufficient. Magicians will not want anyone seeing how they set up their ticks!
If they use live animals such as parrots, doves or rabbits as part of their routine, these will need a clean, safe space where they can be left when not on stage. Always check with your hired magician what backstage requirements they have.
How far in advance should I book?
Popular Magicians get booked up months, and even years, in advance. Friday and Saturday nights are busy times and Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve get booked up well in advance. So, for the best chance of getting your first choice of act on the date you need them, get your booking in nice and early!
We have plenty more information about the practicalities of booking entertainment on our FAQs page, where you can find everything you need to know about Deposits & Travel expenses | Cancellations | DBS Checks | Performer Insurance & Risk Assessments .
How can I find and book a MAGIC OR ILLUSION ACT for an event near me?
We pride ourselves on being one of the only entertainment directories that doesn’t act as an agent between acts and customers, so you deal direct with your chosen act and there are no added booking fees to pay!
Using Entertainers Worldwide, you can search and browse hundreds of types of Magic or Illusion Acts! Search now to find a Magic or Illusion Act for your event or Request Multiple Quotes from a selection of Magic or Illusion Acts – complete this form – this is a free service.