You are looking to hire a magician or mentalist for your event, and the first thing you are wondering is “how much is it going to cost?”
Let me begin by saying that I’m getting that question a lot these days, and if that is the biggest question looming in your mind, then I’m probably not the person you want to hire.
Fees for entertainment between magicians, mentalist, and other variety entertainers can be as varied and diverse as the individuals themselves. However, most of us determine our fees based on a number of elements that are common to most events and programs. The following are some questions you should be prepared to answer to get the best quote for your event:
What type of program is it? (Private party, after dinner corporate event, charity fundraiser, etc.)
How long are you needing entertainment for? (30 minutes, 1 hour, several hours, etc.)
Are you looking for a stage show, a walk-around performer, or a show in your living room?
Where is the event taking place? (the venue, city & state, etc.–the performer you are seeking may not be located in your home city)
How many people are expected to be in attendance? (believe it or not, it takes a whole different dynamic to entertain 20 people than it does 200, even with the same show)
As a rule of thumb, I recommend to many people who inquire about fees when putting together a budget for their events to figure AT LEAST somewhere between $10-$20/person in attendance, plus travel and lodging expenses where applicable. This is merely a guideline, and is mostly applied towards small-to-mid-sized corporate events who are hiring local, professional entertainment. For walk around entertainment, $200-300 per hour is not uncommon. Many professional performers sometimes have a bare minimum fee of $500 or more for any single event (private or corporate), while more famous and experienced professional corporate entertainers fetch fees of $5,000 or more per event. If any of these numbers seem way out of your budget, then you are likely not in the market for hiring a top-notch, professional magician or mentalist.
If you are having a small private party of only 10 or so adults, I still recommend budgeting between $300-600 for a local, professional magician or mentalist. Once again here, I’m speaking about adult party entertainment and not children’s entertainers.
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