Recently, I was interviewed by GigMasters.com. They were looking for some insights to help guide clients in booking entertainment for all kinds of events. I thought it would be useful as kind of a “How To Hire An Entertainer For Your Holiday Party”. This is Part 1, please enjoy and spread it around if you like.
GigMasters: What should a client consider when looking to hire an entertainer for their event?
Steve Barcellona: First thing, always look at testimonials on GigMasters website and the performer’s website. Do they have any video testimonials? If the performer has glowing recommendation from past clients that is a pretty good indication that they have a quality act.
Second, clients should always match the performer to the event. What kind of event is it? Is it an awards banquet, holiday party, conference or is it a children’s party, school assembly. Some magicians are great at children’s birthday parties, some are great for family events, and still others excel at corporate events. Clients should always look for the specialist. A lot of performers like to think of themselves as an “all occasion performer” not many are great at everything. I would hate to hire a general practitioner when I needed a brain surgeon.
Also, you should watch their video to get a good idea of who they are.
GigMasters: What questions should a client ask a Comedy Magician that they are considering booking?
Steve: Clients should get a good idea of what kind of act the perfromer has. Are they a stage performer? Do they perform close up? How does what they describe fit in with what you have planned? Always keep in mind that it might be worth it to adjust a bit if what they describe sounds like it would be really something special.
Also, they should always find out what kind of audiences the performer has worked for in the past. Are they groups like yours? How large? Are they events like yours? Most importantly, what kind of questions is the performer asking you. Does it seem like he has done this before? That is pretty important.
Gigmasters: Once a client books you for a performance, what details should be discussed prior to the event?
Steve: I always get all the details down on paper in the form of an agreement. It is nice for you and the client to see everything in black and white. That way there can be no misunderstanding. It is always nice to meet the event planner earlier on the day of the event. That way you know exactly where to set up. You can also handle any last minute changes together.
Oh yeah, make sure the performer has a good GPS’able address. You would be surprised how often people take for granted that there address is on the map!
GigMasters: Please tell us – when did you get started with magic, and why do you do perform?
Steve: I have been performing magic since my teenage years. My mother worked for a publisher and she brought me home a couple of magic books. Once I showed a little interest she kept bringing more. And so began the spoils of a misspent youth! I took a short break from performing to work in the corporate world, but I realized that life is too short not to do the things you really love to do…It just happens that I like to lie, cheat and keep secrets. (My wife hates that joke)
GigMasters: What kind of gigs do you usually book?
Steve: I do a lot of corporate and association events. At banquets I usually perform strolling magic during the cocktail hour as a mystery party guest. Then I do a really funny comedy magic stand up after dinner show. It is the kind of thing you would see in a comedy club, but clean, PG13. I also perform at hospitality suites and trade shows and some private parties.
Part 2 coming soon…