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Why does it cost so much to hire a Close Up Magician?

Updated: Jul 15, 2019


My name is Craig Petty and I am a magician. I have been a professional magician for over 20 years and I specialise in close up magic. I run a company called Slightly Unusual that supplies close up magicians to weddings and corporate events all over the UK. Over the last 20 years I have performed at thousands of events and supplied magicians to tens of thousands of events.

Over the course of the last 20 years there is one question I hear time and time again. This question gets asked more than any other question when I speak to prospective clients. The question is

“Why does it cost so much to hire a close up magician?”

The average cost of a close up magician is £300 however this figure can vary from £200 up to £1000. You might be wondering why hiring a magician for your event is so expensive. In this blog I am going to go through the different reasons why magicians charge so much and more importantly why hiring a cheap magician is the worst thing that you can do.

1. The fee a magician charges is not an hourly fee.


Your average magician will have spent years developing their skills, becoming the best they can be to entertain your guests. Most magicians will practice every day. They will practice moves, sleight of hand, routining and character development. They will spend a lot of time learning about staging, lighting, vocal projection and other performing techniques. They will be developing new tricks and scripting and refining existing tricks to make their performance the best it can be. The bottom line when you see the magician performing it is just the tip of the iceberg. A lot more time and effort has gone into making sure their performance is the best it can be. CLICK HERE to see why people hate magic.

2. You have to take into consideration tricks and props.


Magicians are always trying to create and develop new routines and tricks. It is vitally important that a magician keeps their act up to date, modern and cutting edge. A lot of the time this involves buying new tricks or props. New tricks can be very expensive. A magician could spend literally thousands of pounds on new props. In some cases a special pack of cards can cost £100 +. Magicians will also buy new books and DVD’s in order to learn new tricks and routines and again these can cost a lot of money.

3. There are other hidden costs as well.

I must spent about £10 a week on playing cards. It’s important that a magician is presentable and will regularly spend money on new suits and clothing. Then you have to consider travel costs such as petrol etc. There are other consumables as well that a magician will use in their act which have to be replaced after every performance. CLICK HERE to see the dangers of hiring a cheap magician.

4. Another cost to consider is the cost of marketing their business so that clients can find them in the first place.


This can cost a lot of money and also take a lot of time. Google adwords, PPC, the cost of running a website, Social Media Marketing, Facebook Advertising, Blog Writing, Content Marketing. This can cost thousands of pounds and literally take all day every day. Then you have the time it takes to deal with enquiries, speaking to people on the phone and by email. Then you have the time it takes to issues contracts, answer questions and deal with customer service issues. This can cost a lot of money and take a long time to do everything.

The key point to remember is that a magician is running a business. The time that a magician spends performing is normally the smallest part of their business. The actual performance is the end product and the thing that takes the time and effort is everything else that needs to be done beforehand. Think about buying an Iphone for example. The reason they are so expensive isn’t because of the materials that the phone is build from. It’s the thousands of hours of research and development that has gone into ensuring that the phone delivers exactly what the end user expects.

So next time you question the cost of hiring a magician simply remember you are paying for thousands of hours of practice which results in your guests experiencing the WOW Factor.

If you would like a no obligation consultation about having a magician or illusionist at your wedding I can help. I would be more than happy to go through how magic can work at a wedding and whether it would be suitable for you. Just contact me on 0333 301 3001 or CLICK HERE to access our contact form. Fill in your details and I will send you a quote out within the hour.



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