• Hiring a Magician for your Virtual Event

  • August 17, 2020

  • The world today

    Social distancing is a part of our world nowadays, and it is has put a bit of a halt on all our plans. Office parties seem like a distant memory, large gatherings are now illegal, and we all miss a bit of human contact. We can't take part in the events we all know and love, whether its grand gala events, weddings, private parties, or any other event! That's not to say the magicians among us are taking this lying down! The magic circle is still in operation, though like everyone else these days, it has taken to living a new life in the world of Zoom meetings and get-togethers. While it certainly is not anything close to the real experience of getting together and enjoying everyone’s company the way we used to, it is as close as we can get to having everyone in the same room.

    Now, I do not know about you, but I can’t bring myself to take part in another online pub quiz. I am just not a fan. I love trivia, but I liked pub quizzes because of the atmosphere, getting out of the house and giggling with my team as we failed miserably to succeed at taking first place. Zoom just does not offer the same benefits. So, what do we do now?

    The problems with online Magic

    I have always been a huge fan of magic; obviously, it is my job, after all! And I have always been reserved about doing magic in front of a camera, because of well, camera tricks. We all know about editing, camera cuts, CGI, stooges and every other “trick in the book” that can be used to create the illusion of recorded magic. When magic happens to you, right in front of you, there is no easy explanation to “explain away” how the effect was done. So it must have been real magic! Online magic though opens the door to all those possibilities I just mentioned, meaning the impact is drastically lessened, leaving us with a slightly more hollow feeling, rather than that sense of disbelief we know and love from a great magic performance.

    The solution? “Live” online magic!

    Performing magic to a camera, when our audience is not in the room with us, will always present problems because we can still cling to some of the seemingly obvious possible explanations as to how it is done, but a lot of those can be circumvented with a live performance. They cannot all be removed, but enough to leave an impression certainly can be. Effects can be altered to suit the times. Rather than having a spectator pick a card that the magician doesn’t know, instead, a card can be named, and the effect performed in such a way as to incorporate the fact that the magician knows the card. Because the camera is closer and controlled by the magician, you as the spectator can often end up seeing things from a perspective you were not able to in the past. I perform most of my shows now to a camera in front of me, face on. However, when I do a card effect, I change the camera angle so that the audience gets a top-down view of the cards and my hands. For a close-up magic show in person, the closest people might have been able to see this angle, but now, even if I am performing to fifty, or five hundred people, everyone can see very clearly.

    The advantages of an online magic show

    No matter how many people are in the audience for an online show, everyone has the best seat in the house, and there is no fear of missing something because you're in the “cheap seats” or because you’re sat at the wrong angle. Every word can be heard clearly, and everyone has an equal chance of getting involved. Admittedly, no one is going to get on stage, sorry folks, but if a magician needs a volunteer, then they can jump in easily, without having to “faff around” getting on stage from wherever they are sitting.

    What kind of magic is even possible over the internet?

    Almost all magic is still possible. I mean, pickpocketing is out of the equation, but mindreading? Sleight of hand? Large- and Small-scale illusions? They can all be done! If anything, it is easier for us as the performer to plan a larger variety of effects since they can all be incorporated into the show!

    What events are good to include a magician in?

    Any event! But of course, I would say that I am a magician! Seriously though, any event can include a magician in. A corporate meeting where you want a change of pace for your participants, or just to break things up a bit. Birthday parties for all ages, depending on the magician of course. A seminar for your employees to show them how to approach problems like a magician. Perhaps it is an online meal or party with friends and family, and you want a bit of after-dinner entertainment? All of these are possibilities and a great chance to get something a little bit different for your event!

    Choosing your magician

    If you’ve made it this far, then the last decision to make is who you want to take part in your event. You’ll want someone with some experience doing online shows, or who’s price reflects their lack of experience. Somebody with a suitable style for your event, you don’t want a kids clown at your corporate event. And you want a professional speaker if you’re doing a seminar or a workshop, teaching and performing are two very different skills after all!

    The best way to establish this sort of thing is with a bit of research and to have an honest conversation with the magician you’re interested in. If they’re good at what they do, then they will be able to point you in the direction of the right person for the job, if they aren’t up to the task that is. If you need some more thoughts on this, I would have look at my blog post on Hiring a Magician for your event, even without physical contact, a lot of the same rules apply!

    If you have an event in mind, or even if you would like to ask a few questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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