As an experienced entertainer and mind reader over over sixteen years, I’ve been to hundreds, if perhaps thousands of venues around the globe. From Boston which is where I am located in, to Singapore which is where I perform for a few weeks each year, to many cities and nations in between. One thing that is common across all boundaries is the constant absence of information that the customer is faced with when scheduling live entertainment.
This can be averted (to some extent) because the vast majority of people have never booked live entertainment in the past and have no idea how it operates. They can be made to feel sorry for themselves and then kindly guided by the performer about how easy process could be. However, if you, as an entertainer, have a professional booker (e.g an employee of an organization that arranges every small and large event) There is no reason to excuse bad booking processes.
After speaking to several entertainer acquaintances from various kinds of entertainment, we’ve created the guidelines that every potential client must know prior to hiring professional entertainment.
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You’re looking to book entertainers for your party or event or anniversary. Graduation anniversary, graduation, etc. Whatever it is you’ll want to make it more exciting by having entertainment that is live and entertaining! The first thing you need to be aware of is that entertainers of every kind, such as fire eaters, magicians or live bands, require time to put together their performances. The majority of us plan our shows to fit your specific event, and it takes some time, and it will factor into the cost of the show. You should provide at least 3-4 weeks ‘ notice for a performer prior to making an appointment. This is the suggested timeframe for me. However, other performers need much earlier notice, and some may have an event booked with just two days notice. It is contingent on the schedule, current scheduling and flexibility, and, of all, of course the artist (or her). Our schedules are a bit erratic and completely unorthodox – we are able to perform throughout the night, day and into extremely early hours of the morning. Be aware that if you contact a performer day or two or three or four days prior to the occasion, they’ll likely be charged a bit more for the notice they give you. It can take the time needed to ensure that your party is memorable by creating custom routines like I do, or establishing the music set list or obtaining the required permits or licenses for more hazardous acts such as fire eating or sideshow stunts.
The entertainment you hire at your special event can improve the experience of your guests. If it’s live music or DJ, caricaturist or even a magician, these live entertainment can offer a truly memorable experience that guests can be able to share with their families and friends as they leave. You need to figure out the kind of entertainment that best fits your specific occasion. For instance: If you’re planning to get married in a golf course. If you have 200 people and a traditional setting (cocktail hour, buffet dinner dance, speeches, etc. ) Then you’ll need to decide where and when entertainment is necessary. If you’re interested in performing magic and mind-reading, which are incredibly common at weddings, it is advised to incorporate it into the reception to perform what is known as “strolling” or “walk-around.” The performer strolls around the cocktail hour performing small, intimate tricks and routines to smaller groups of people. This gives guests a more intimate experience that is often lost with an entire performance. This also reduces the monotony of these parts of the show. Magic and mind reading, or the occasional light tune can make a huge difference. Think about the kind of event you’d like to have, then sketch out your idea, and then consider which areas make it most sense. Perhaps a complete comedy mind reading program after three days of a corporate retreat? Or maybe you’re celebrating the birthday of your child and you want an entertainment plan to keep the guests entertained? A balloon and magic for children show is the perfect choice for this. Read my previous post on Magic & Mind Reading for Adults and. Magic for Children, for more details.
This is without doubt one of the primary aspects that any prospective entertainment buyer should be aware of. It is important to know that each performer, regardless of whatever their opinion, is charged differently. Fire eaters will be charged differently than a juggler or clown. Mentalists will be charged differently than a magician, and stilt walker. It is based on the way they regard their time and their expertise.
Have at a minimum an concept of what you’re hoping for in entertainment. Do not be afraid ask a performer if is able to stay with your spending limit. Be realistic and think about the event and the kind of picture that you wish your guests to bring with them home and then try to come up with an idea of how much you’d like to invest in achieving the desired image. We will not be offended by putting a price on your budget. We’ll simply be polite and not say anything or recommend someone to stay within your budgetary limits.
Entertainers generally know each other and bounce around quite often. We are almost always aware of the price our peers and rivals are charging. The more distinctive the style of performance and the more unique the performance, the less performers. If you’re able to afford $200 to pay for a full-length hypnosis session, you may be interested in a different kind of entertainment. The majority of hypnotists do not leave their homes for less than a triple amount. If you’re able to afford $5,000 for entertainment, then you’re part of an entirely different category of entertainers. We’ll talk about that in the future.
The Country Club – always an ideal spot for a walk in the park, and mind reading or even a complete show. The majority of people are dressed well with formal dinners, and seeking the most sophisticated type of entertainment. This is not the most appropriate spot to play a chainsaw.
Usually dedicated to bachelor/bachelorette parties, adult birthdays, company buy-outs, holiday parties and practically any event you’d book to have some serious fun! It is usually very noisy, packed, and there’s a lot of alcohol flowing. This isn’t the best occasion to host an interactive palm reader or a an entire magic show. Instead, consider an evening of strolling entertainment and live music or even a group of dancers.
Most likely the most popular venue for family celebrations including graduations, birthdays, and private holiday celebrations. There isn’t the same amount of excitement similar to what you’d see in a nightclub. These events are usually full of friends, family members and kids. Everyone is familiar with each other and feels very at ease and not afraid of having a laugh at times. An ideal time to be the services of a magician! Or even personal tarot readings. It’s definitely a good time to have an experience of mind reading.
The goal is to utilize your space to its fullest potential. You can imagine the scenario in your head using the entertainment in your mind. If it appears like it’s possible to work take it on. It’s likely that you’re right!
As performers, we all strive to give the highest quality entertainment with the most value for money. The prices we offer are different and vary depending on the services we provide as well as where we live and the amount of equipment we need to move and more. The customer should be aware that there’s a lot more involved in the booking process on our side than you may believe. It could include arranging our materials, writing contracts as well as invoices and riders, traveling there and back to the event and setting up, dismantling and packing up at home; packing at home, resetting our equipment, sending emails; calling calls, making changes to schedules as well as social media and many more. What customers see is only a fraction of the tasks that performers complete for one booking. The rest of it is incorporated into our costs as well. Keep this in mind If you reside in the northern part of Maine and really want the face-painting artist who hails from New Jersey at your party.
However, just because you can price shop doesn’t mean that you’ll receive the most effective show at the lowest cost. Additionally, the most expensive artist isn’t necessarily better than one who is charging half or less. The choice you make should be determined by recommendations, referrals or skills, as well as your budget. Many people cannot afford to hire Aerosmith. As an example, suppose you’re looking to hire a children’s magician for your birthday celebration. If you’re in New England, the rough costs for booking a magician range from $250 and $500 for an hour-long show. It is also possible to include additional features such as balloon animals, teach-a-tricks, or magic gift bags. If you’re offered prices of $100 or less! You should carefully consider the quality of what you’re receiving. Check out videos, talk to past clients, look at for the authenticity of their websites and marketing materials, etc.. Make sure you do your research! You wouldn’t buy 100 socks for $1.00 wouldn’t you?
This is a difficult section for buyers. Many entertainers particularly those who are just beginning their careers, will embellish their resumes with famous names in order to attract attention. Of course, in many cases, they’re not 100% correct. However, that doesn’t mean they’ren’t excellent performers, they’re simply trying to gain some attention. However, the majority of professional have resumes with hefty resumes that are 100 100% legitimate. You’ll usually be able to tell from observations who’s in the right place and who’s not.
The best way to determine if you are a good fit is by looking up testimonials, recommendations videos, reviews and video demonstrations. Every magician or mentalist worth his name will share an online video that shows a small portion of their show as an introduction. This is the most impactful material that will make the crowd go wild. I’d be wary of a performer that didn’t have at the very least some sort of footage even poor quality one. This is 2014, after all. we all use smartphones with cameras that are better than cameras on handhelds only a few years ago.
I’ve discovered that the most effective method to book events is via word-of-mouth or my website, which has links for my YouTube channel.
Like referrals as opposed to. resumes can be difficult to define accurately. For a brief definition the true worth of a performer’s performance is based on the following factors: the quality of his or her performance and manner of conduct (courteous and respectful of client requirements, polite without being unpleasantly friendly or too familiar and so on. ) and dress sense/style and the distinctiveness of the show. These are only a few examples , and they include several other aspects that you’ll be able to observe after hiring entertainment. It is important to note that price was not an element of the total value. The amount a performer is required to pay for an event is based upon the arguments I made in the previous paragraph, and point 6. You won’t know the value of the artist until you’ve engaged them to perform. Perceived quality is something we look for when we go through the artist’s websites, bios, photos video as well as social media pages and more. We can tell if we are interested in the artist within the first few minutes or, in most cases, a lot quicker.
It is important to realize that what you think is valuable can completely derail your efforts. There are artists who have spent thousands for top-quality websites, promotional materials and search engine optimization or promotional films, however when you actually see them live, you’re immediately struck by how unprofessional they are. It happens often particularly among the young generations of actors. The right software for editing videos and perfect keyboardist can transform anyone into a star. Don’t allow the perception of the performer decide the choice of whether or not hire them. Make use of this information to refer to what you could (not always) be expecting when the show commences. Concentrate on reviews, referrals (from genuine people) as well as media articles and suggestions from family or friends who might have booked shows previously. The most effective advertising strategy for a performer is word of mouth!
Ask anyone who performs how many times they’ve received “great publicity” in exchange of performing for no cost. This is commonplace to us all frequently. I myself am asked by a client to play for no cost, at least once per week. Nine times out of ten I am required to turn down the opportunity. For performers who are new to the field, they could take the booking, even though it’s not a pay-per-view. They’re hoping for “flight-time” or time in the presence of a live public to perform, rehearsal material , and become comfortable within their area. This is completely appropriate and ought to be offered to new or aspiring performers. But an entertainer who is professional such as an entertainer, magician or juggler, or even a human blockhead, would probably not be willing to give a free performance in exchange for an advertisement within the newspaper, publicity for free or food.
Most of us perform in full-time jobs. We perform as solely performers, and we want to be compensated for our time just as you would expect to get paid for the place you perform. You’ll probably be rude to an artist when you offer them advertising in exchange for cash that they use to pay for bills or buy food. You’ve already have found us, so the promotion is already in place, right?
When it comes to the work that is donated the situation is a different situation. For me at least. Be aware that I’m not speaking for ALL people working. Every person is unique and is structured differently. Some people may not be in agreement with the ideas presented in this article , and that’s perfectly acceptable! Contributing our time to an organization is something which many of us are proud of. Each year, I give at minimum 10 hours of my time for various charitable organizations around New England. They are the ones which are dear to me, like For example, The American Cancer Society, Horizons for Homeless Children and The American Red Cross. I am a huge fan of donating my time to these groups and having a small portion of making an impact. We entertainers are filled with emotion and huge hearts, and we are thrilled to see the joy on the faces of people who might be depressed or grieving.
Be aware of your circumstances when you offer your event or performance to an artist with minimal or no cost. If it’s a cause we believe in and have the time to accommodate it in our schedules, we would be thrilled to offer it. If not, not take it personal and remember that we must do our best and earn as much money as is possible to keep training people all over the globe.
Contracts, Invoices, Agreements, Riders
The tedious details of booking many documents, agreements and invoices that nearly all performers require are crucial to the quality of their performance. Contracts are a must for performers to have and we’ll use them from the smallest event to the biggest occasion. Many of us have been through the process of “being burned” on bookings due to the lack of an agreed upon contract in place. We quickly learn (well the majority of us do) and apply the rules of contract for ALL bookings, including the time-based bookings that are donated. Don’t be offended when your child’s magician needs the signing of a contract to perform.
The majority of us keep meticulous records of each project we undertake. Contracts, invoices, and emails are all necessary elements for taxes as well as marketing strategies and overall tranquility. I personally need an invoice, contract along with a performance-related rider to my show. A majority of the provisions in my contracts do not have to be applied to every show. But, most often they will apply. If we request an area to sit at or plugs to be plugged in and windows closed, or that we are in shade when performing outdoors be aware of these aspects that determine the overall quality and effectiveness of our shows. We are able to perform in all locations under the most favorable conditions, however some entertainers cannot perform in a venue that is not licensed (such for those working with dangerous or explosive objects) or outside in a tent without a water-proof space. It’s all common normal. The DJ you chose to DJ your daughter’s wedding may not be able to sit in the the sun for five hours, with many extension cords across your event. Make sure you plan your event accordingly, and it is sure to be a great success!
I’m sure I’ve discussed this before, but it’s crucial to be aware of what you’re paying for when you book an entertainer. Keep in mind that we’ve spent many years learning how to ensure they look professional when the time comes to perform. Many of us live away from the venue and must travel quite a distance to reach the event. I drive around 35,000 miles each year to perform and fly about forty thousand miles. We are spending a lot of time in traffic, airports and cars! The fees we charge are formulated by us on the basis of what we think our performances are worth. This includes years of experience, transportation between the venue and home and all work we put in prior to the event as well as the kind of event it is as well as how popular and sought-after we are. Cheaper does NOT mean better!
Paying Your Entertainer(s)
I’d say I’ve waited at least two years of days to be paid for certain occasions. It’s not the case anymore. It’s unacceptable to force a performer to wait more than agreed time for payment. Like I mentioned before that we are full-time entertainers, and expect to be paid prior or right after the performance. The shows we perform are each unique shows and none is exactly the identical (at the very least, as mentalist). What you’re getting is a truly unique experience. One way to look at this is this one: If you were to work for a whole week and your boss asked you “Sorry, but would it be okay if we paid you in three weeks for this week?” It is likely that you would drop your sh*t. This is exactly what we feel like when we are waiting to be paid for our services. We were at the right time, did our work professionally and are expecting to be paid in full.
It is standard to pay the entertainer prior to the beginning of their performance. We usually require a security deposit in some form in addition to our agreement or invoice that we have that we have signed. The ones who don’t need an advance payment (well it’s a good idea to) should pay in complete upon the date of your celebration. Be aware of this when you hire entertainment to your next event. Your entertainer will not only be grateful, but they will also ensure that you have an party a great success.