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Who amongst us is not fascinated by the art of the magician? Who has not been astonished and awed by their skills when performing magic tricks which leave us truly baffled and unbelieving? Professional magicians are invited to entertain at events such as birthday parties - for all ages - which clearly shows their popularity. Why? Simply, because we love to believe that magic really does exist, and the entertainment value of a magic show never fails.
A magician is a multi-talented performer whose entertainment skills and tricks have the ability to confuse and question our factual beliefs and reasoning of the known world. A magician is also known as an illusionist, as he creates scenarios which appear to be factual but are really very cleverly designed tricks. Who has not been astounded by acts such as cutting someone in half on stage and then putting them back together with no apparent ill-effects, making someone disappear and then re-appear in an entirely different location almost instantaneously, on-stage levitation, “mind-reading” (often using the audience as his subjects) and, of course, the famous card tricks and relocation of various objects.
We all know that the magician is performing exceptionally skilled and sometimes personally dangerous tricks, but convince ourselves that magic is involved when we can find no rational explanation for the illusion. We surely all remember the incredible illusionist David Copperfield, who made the Statue of Liberty “disappear” during one of his most famous tricks. No wonder he has been named the Magician of the Century!
A good magician wears many different hats, as he is an actor, illusionist, storyteller and often a humourist, able to build up suspense within his audience to draw them into the magical scenarios he creates on stage. Nonetheless, a magician works mainly through trickery achieved by sleight of hand, speed, skill, experience, suggestion, imagination, misdirection, manipulation and showmanship.
His act may include various stage props built specially to accomplish particular illusions, and many stage magicians have one or two trained assistants on stage with them to perform certain parts of their show. In previous years, magicians were mysterious and rather haughty characters whose acts were carried out with a serious demeanour and in near silence, which added to the whole belief of being part of an elite and secretive clan. Nowadays, magicians add a lot of humour and sometimes clever foolery to their acts to keep the audience, and children in particular, fully engaged in the act. After all, involvement is the intention for such magicians, and both children and adults of all ages love an entertainer who makes them laugh whilst being tricked into believing that real magic is happening right in front of them.
Magicians are definitely making a comeback as professional entertainers, and a steadily growing number of these special people are beginning to advertise their services. Before committing to any particular magician, be sure to ask around amongst your friends and acquaintances for recommendations. While word of mouth is usually a favoured method for finding entertainers, magicians who are very popular and well-known have their own websites and it will be easy to check their client lists and online reviews, which are guaranteed to give honest feedback. Uptasker is a valuable and informative resource when looking for the styles and previous shows of various magicians, as well as online reviews.
Speak to your intended performer and ensure that his act is suitable for the function and audience you have in mind. Ask about his clients and, if possible, contact them directly to discuss the performance and reaction of the audience to the act. Always make your expectations clear and agree fees and any requirements the magician may have for his act well before the function, so that you are not caught unawares at the last minute. It might also be wise to arrange some form of backup entertainer with the magician, if possible, should he become ill and unable to appear on the day of the party, especially if children are involved.
When choosing a magician for your next function, think of the audience you are planning to entertain. If it is a children’s party, a magician who brings fun, laughter and participation into the act would be an ideal choice. For more discerning adult functions, it would perhaps be better to choose an act which challenges the mind of the audience. For a function or party full of entertainment, fun and participation with the promise of pure magic, you could not do much better than hiring a magician. For more tips, see our magician articles.