Magic has long been a reliable form of entertainment for corporate and fundraising events, but it has been re-invigorated in the last few years, and one of reasons for this is because of the exposure magicians have gotten from TV appearances, particularly on America’s Got Talent.
In the course of the shows 14 seasons, two magicians have won first place, three more have come in second or third, four have been finalists, and thirteen magicians have made the semi-finals (or top 12—the structure of the show has changed a couple times.) AGT has featured innovative, modern magicians doing innovative effects, using new methods and techniques. Season 10 (2015), in particular, was a banner year for magicians, when three made the finals—Piff the Magic Dragon, Derek Hughes, and the Clairvoyants.
Another show that has raised the profile of magic and magicians in the public eye is Penn & Teller: Fool Us. As of this writing, Penn & Teller are working on a seventh season, and each season has featured fifty magicians. Successful performers on the show, such as Mac King (two appearances), Ben Seidman, Rob Zabrecky, and Handsome Jack (also two appearances) aren’t just showcasing innovative magic to try to fool the dynamic duo, they’re also showcasing their comedic abilities and performance chops.
The demand by the event market for magicians featured on these shows has increased in the last few years. TV appearances can create a perceived celebrity value, without the costs. And event planners—who used to see magic as “old school entertainment”—now realize that this new era of magic can offer dynamic, exciting entertainment for corporate events.
Tips on Hiring a Magician
However, you have to be careful when you want to hire magicians that you’ve seen on TV. Just because magicians on these shows can create mind-blowing 3- to 6-minute segments, it doesn’t mean they have the ability to do a 45-minute show. Some of the most successful of these “TV magicians” have almost no experience performing live.
If you’ve seen someone on TV that you like, ask an experienced entertainment agency if they can obtain footage of a full show. And ask them which performers can deliver in the context of a live show. Good on TV does not always translate to good in a live environment. Get quotes on the performers from previous clients.
Also, make sure you get the right show/performer for the right crowd. Are you producing a theatrical show in a serious setting or do you want a comedy club vibe for a rowdy crowd, looking to blow off some steam? In other words, do you want Colin Cloud and the Evasons or do you want Dave Williamson and Lucy Darling?
There are a number of magicians, such as Bill Herz, Jason Bishop, Chad Long, and Tom Pesce, who specialize in live performance, corporate events, and theatrical shows who can make your events spectacular and memorable. Know what you want, and let an entertainment agent make it happen for you.
You will enjoy the best America’s Got Talent Magicians.
Author: Bill Herz For the last twenty years Bill Herz has been wowing audiences of all kinds and all sizes around the world. From Fortune 500 companies to lavish private affairs, Bill Herz has decades of experience transforming typical meetings and gatherings into events that will stay memorable forever.
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