What’s the difference between a magician working at a charity event and a magician working at a corporate event or a wedding? Well, there is no difference in quality; a good magician may adopt a different style of engagement with each audience but the approach and delivery will be the same. So should I and other entertainers charge less for the same job just because we’re working for a charity?
Many fulltime professional entertainers, not just magicians, are frequently faced with this challenge and are asked the question “will you work for free?” It’s such a dilemma to decline charity work but all freelance actors, musicians as well as magicians have to protect their income – as any self-employed business person would appreciate. So to answer the question of “will you work for free?” – the answer is no. But, I’m pleased to say that there are solutions.
For example, if your charity is putting on an event at which you know a professional magician would add a bit of sparkle, then why not approach a local company and ask them to sponsor the act as part of their charity contribution? We magicians can incorporate logos and company slogans into our performance quite easily and we can even help with printed materials like playing cards which can feature a company logo and essential information about the charity on the back – what a lovely “take home gift” after a charity event; and they could actually be useful too if they feature the charity’s telephone number and website address.
It’s understandable that all charity event organisers are looking to keep their costs down because the purpose of their activity is to raise money, not spend it! However, it’s wise to be cautious and ensure that you are engaging a professional magician who will sprinkle the right amount of magic with aplomb and without risk.
Professional magicians, like me, not only have to keep our acts up-to-date to guarantee that we secure repeat business but, just like other businesses, we also have considerable outgoings; for example public liability insurance – an important investment should anything go wrong. Cutting corners may result in appointing an amateur magician who may invite risk and offer a lackluster performance which may result in guests less inclined to be forthcoming with their donations on the day and in the future.
I really enjoy working with charity event organisers because I can share ideas which I’ve picked up over the years from the various functions around the world where I have performed. I’m proud to be able to say that I’ve worked with the local Hertfordshire charity – The Isabel Hospice; further afield in London I’ve helped the Great Ormond Street Hospital team and, nationally, the NSPCC; all worthy causes where I can confidently say that I’ve added value and have contributed towards their fundraising without lowering the price of my work.
So, when you are organising your next charity event why not adopt my approach? And, rather than look for a magician who will work for free, invite a professional magician to add some considerable sparkle to your event without reducing his costs.
I’d love to help you with your next event and share more tips with you about how you might raise even more money, so do please get in touch so that I can check my diary and, hopefully, take your booking.