Take the mystery out of throwing a great party. Magic will make the event. Whether they’re young or old, bright-eyed or cynical, guests get a kick out of this party entertainment. John Carlson of Johns Magic (a highly rated Thumbtack pro) got his first magic kit at age 12, and has loved the art since then. A former New York City police officer, he spent over 20 years on the force before transitioning into his current role as a magician and ventriloquist who performs at children’s birthday parties and family events in the New York City and New Jersey area.
John’s got the chops to talk magic. He’s performed at major events including the annual White House Easter Egg Roll for former President Bush and has entertained stars such as Tony Bennett. Here he shares some of the tricks up his sleeve when it comes to hiring the perfect magician.
Who typically hires a magician?
Most of my requests come from parents—especially mothers—who want to hire a magician for their children’s birthday party.
What happens after someone books you online?
Once the quote is confirmed online, I communicate both by phone and email with my customer prior to arriving at the party. I arrive at least twenty minutes early and make suggestions as to the best place to set up the magic show. Once everything is ready to go, the parents bring the children in the room and have them sit up close to catch the action.
How long is the standard party appearance?
Typically I am at birthday parties for about one hour or longer. Although each event varies a bit, my shows start off with the magic, and then ventriloquism, and it ends with the magical appearance of a live bunny rabbit.
What do you love about doing magic?
My favorite part of the show is when the live bunny rabbit named “Oreo” appears. It’s wonderful to see the looks of excitement on the kids’ faces. It has also been fun performing for the children of celebrities such as Norman Reedus from the Walking Dead, The Cake Boss, Natalie Morales from the NBC’s Today show, and many others.
Any tips for hiring a great magician?
- Anyone looking to hire a magician for the first time should do their research and make sure they are getting the best.
- Watch the magician’s online videos! Make sure the videos show the magic tricks from start to finish, so you get a feel for their skills.
- Read all their reviews, good and bad.
- Ask the magician if he or she has insurance.
- Investigate how long they have been in business, and ask if they offer a 100% Guarantee.
A few more ideas…
Make sure your magician has experience with your type of event. If it’s a children’s birthday party, make sure they’re great with kids. If it’s a wedding or adult party, make sure their style is engaging and appropriate. Some magicians have a dark feel to their show, some are comedic, and others are playful and light. Find what works for you.
For a wedding or large party, consider requesting mix and mingle magic. This up-close magic is where the magician walks through the reception or party, doing short tricks for a small group of guests at a time. You don’t need a stage, and it adds a little extra life to your event.
Anyway you cut the deck, a magician adds serious sparkle to your next event.