Today you just need to do a quick google and you get a huge lists of entertainers but not only is it easy to find an entertainer but its also easy to become one and create a fantastic looking website including lots of photos. So how can you tell the experienced professional from the part time “professional”.
Here is a quick check list!
Not the subject matter:
It’s easy to get a picture of people screaming and reacting to the most basic of tricks! So let’s look past that!
Is everyone engaged! First rule of being an entertainer is being engaging. Even more so as a magician, is what you are doing being engaging. A simple lack or politeness or personal appearance can soon disengage an audience so look at everyone in the photos. Are they all watching intently (obviously barring sipping a drink at the photo moment etc). or are some members of the group looking away or on their phones even. If its a performance at a table, look around and in the back ground are the tables nearby looking over to see what is happening? If a performer is capable of creating an atmosphere or presence in the room then this is a tell tale sign!!
If i am performing for a table I always make sure that I am involving the whole table, not only does this make guests feel important but also creates a fun experience and atmosphere in the room.
Where is the venue:
Its often easy to spot a nice venue! Its probably safe so say good performers will always be found in the best venues! Look again at where the photos are taken, is the performer regularly working in exclusive corporate environments, beautiful 5 star wedding venues or are they performing in local pubs restaurants, local social clubs or even on the streets! Alternatively not even working at all, perhaps photos taken while selling themselves that one time at a wedding fayre??
A quality supplier and quality environment will often be found together!
The old saying that appearance is everything! Again looking past the obvious and look at the magicians attire. Is it loud and probably more suited to a childrens show, is it a little dated. (ties and waist coats with playing cards on looked great in the 80s!) I believe that the performer should suit the environment and if they need a special waistcoat to get noticed then this might be a reflection on their personalities.
I often choose a smart, tailored black suit and tie for most events. This allows me to fit in whether its a Black tie dinner or a more casual event. Its recognisable that I am a magician without being gereish and its also smart!
I’m a big Apple / iPhone fan! ( Despite what people might say about the company) The best part for me is when I buy a new Apple product it’s the box it comes in. Straight away before you see the product the packaging tells you its going to be good!
How many gigs have they actually done?:
Often several good photos come from the same event so having a few photos from the a handful of events across the website is acceptable. However, if all the photos are from the same event…does this performer really work at all the events they say they do? Or maybe once they have finished their day jobs they might not have the time to chase down the photos and marketing.
Are the photos of the same thing! We all have our favourite trick. Personally it’s the ones that I have taken a long time to develop with hours of performances. However I know that whatever I perform its has to engage and get “that” reaction regardless of the trick. A photographer will hunt down that wow moment, is it the trick or the performer getting the reaction! The trick and reaction in many of the photos on a website might be telling you more than you think about that performer!!
An experience professional will have truly done 1000s of events and at most event these days there are photographers. So it is fair to assume that the photos a performer is using are the best ones available at the best venues! (if they really care about their business or appearance!)
So next time you look at that guy thats given you a bargain price and some photos and videos of an audience screaming in amazement, take a little time to look at the bigger picture!