Recently I performed at an event alongside another magician. A magician that I had never met or heard of before.

Now, I thoroughly appreciate that any performer, the magic they perform and their style of performance is subjective. I get that.

This magician was absolutely terrible. 

He probably goes down as the worst magician I have ever met. I’ve met a lot of magicians too.

All too often magicians are heavily critical of other performers and often this emotion is envy or insecurity. Having said that, I feel my resentment towards my “colleague” was thoroughly justified. This magician was absolutely terrible. Almost, without sounding contradictory, astoundingly terrible.

The actual magic he performed was simple and with no skill on part of the performer. Surprisingly it wasn’t his actual magic that I grew to dislike. It was the magician himself. He was unprofessional, telling me on one occasion “I’m going to do as little magic as possible this evening as I’m not feeling in the right mood”. He was defensive and not at all personable. His personal hygiene was non existent- dirty hands and fingernails, not to mention the odd attire and body odour. His props looked battered and, what’s the word….grubby?

It goes without saying that he was sold as an “additional extra” by the company running the casino tables after the meal and by no stretch of the imagination was he a professional magician.

So, why do I actually care less? The problem is that for every event or table that magician performs at, he damages the reputations of magicians everywhere. There are so many truly brilliant magicians performing today who constantly get rejected, and told “I don’t like magicians” , by guests at events. The reason 9 times out of 10 is that their perception of magic is based on a terrible close up magician they saw once.

I genuinely wish there was a distinction between a guy that does a couple of card tricks and a “Magician”. Lumping us all together simply isn’t fair…..

So what’s the lesson? The lesson is to only ever book a magician you have seen footage of, up to date pictures and reliable testimonials. Either that or go on recommendation. Better still go with someone you have seen before, if possible.