There is a nightmare scenario that plays out at corporate events here in Las Vegas and all over the country; it’s the number one fear I hear from my clients when they hire a magician. If you’re considering hiring a magician for your event, you probably have this same fear right now.

Your company’s next big event is coming up…

Maybe it’s an awards banquet. Perhaps a customer appreciation event, or just a party to attract new clients. You’ve been put in charge of planning the entire event, from finding the venue, contacting vendors, and hiring the entertainment. You want this to be an event that stands out and remembered by everyone who attends. It’s crossed your mind that for a fun and unique twist, perhaps you should hire a magician. But, could this be the decision that ultimately ruins the event and costs you your job?

Imagine this scenario:

it’s the night of your event. The decor looks perfect, the music starts to play and guests begin to arrive. And right on cue, your magician shows up to stroll throughout the crowd and entertain everyone with close-up magic. You watch from afar, and await the magician to stroll to your group. Finally, the magician makes his way over and begins his act for you and your table. Everything goes well at first, but then, he makes a flirtatious remark to one of your VPs, and you can tell she does not take it well. You tense up, but you can tell it’s all part of the act, so you allow him to continue. He performs another trick and remarks about a hot-button political issue hoping to get a laugh. You look across the table and can see tension in your top client’s face. Sweat begins to form on your forehead as you realize that everyone at the table knows you planned the event and chose to hire this magician. A few awkward jokes and cheap magic tricks later, and the magician leaves your table and the event continues on. Everyone at your table looks around at each other silently, all thinking the same thing: WHY would you hire that magician?

This cringe-inducing, real life scenario tends to be the topmost concern expressed by my clients when they plan to hire a magician. If you’re currently thinking about hiring a magician for your event, you probably have this same concern right now.

Your concerns can probably be broken down into 3 questions:

-Is the magician going to embarrass or offend my guests?

-Is the magician going to make political comments or jokes?

-Is the magician going to do ANYTHING that will end up getting me fired?

The answer is… maybe!

You really are taking a risk when hiring a magician. We’ve all seen the videos of magicians messing up the “Russian roulette” spike trick, and accidentally slamming an audience member’s hand onto a metal spike (and if you haven’t, just Google it. On second thought… don’t. It’s as bad as you think). If not that, we’ve definitely all seen someone make off-color remarks in the wrong crowd. Of course you don’t want these things to happen!

How I prevent this:

For my corporate groups, I have a few checks in place to make sure these situations NEVER happen. First, I don’t perform any magic with spikes, or needles, or things coming out of my mouth or generally anything that an audience member would consider “gross”. On top of that, any jokes or comments that involve politics, flirtation, or hot button issues are immediately off the table! My corporate act is safe enough to perform right in the HR office, which is why my clients know they’re safe when they hire me.

Ask the right questions!

Before you hire a magician, you should always, always ask what the “rating” of the humor and content will be. For some events, an R-rated comic is a perfect fit! However, for your corporate event, this probably isn’t what you’re looking for. Be sure to make your expectations for the cleanliness or rating of the humor to be absolutely clear to the entertainer you hire. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions either: will there be any cussing during the performance? Sexual innuendo? References to politicians or political issues? You might also want to ask what the most “adult” portion of the show will be. If the magician or entertainer leaves you in doubt as to whether their content will fit your guidelines and vision for the event, don’t risk ruining your event and reputation! Looking elsewhere for corporate entertainment will be much easier than looking for a new job.

There can be cause for concern when hiring a magician for your corporate event, but I hope that I’ve been able to bring some clarity to you for your decision making process.