Magic: Your Guide to Different Types of Bookings



Types of Magical Entertainment

An extract from my free guide to booking a magician. Link at the foot of the post.


When you start looking at magician’s websites you will notice most choices of types of magic.

Here are the most common terms and what they mean.

Illustates what reaction mix and mingle magic creates

The magic happens right in their hands. Amazing reactions.

Close-up Magic:

This happens very close to the audience, often in their hands. Close-up magic is also known as Mix and Mingle. The magician joins your guests. He moves around a cocktail reception or party, introduces himself to individuals, pairs or small groups. He then performs for about 5-10 minutes. Much of the magic happens in the guests’ hands, creating powerful reactions.


Table magic also known as ‘table hopping’.

This is for when the guests are seated at their tables, usually as part of a sit-down meal. They have a mini cabaret show just for them.

Teenagers enjoying table magic

Table magic is a great way to round off a meal.

The entire table can join in the fun. Much of the magic will be similar to close up but it usually it is slightly larger in scale so the entire table can see what’s happening and enjoy the fun.




woman smiling as her mind is read

Many magicians include some mind-reading in their performance.

Mind Reading also known as Mentalism.

Derren Brown has been the most famous of these in recent years.  

These magicians seem to be able to read the audience’s minds (mind-reading) and make impossible predictions (mentalism).

Some magicians specialize in this area and it is the only thing they perform. However, many magicians will include some mind-reading when they perform.

A mind-reading show is suited to a more mature audience in a quieter environment (this type of magic can’t compete with the DJ!)

Parlour Show

This is a show performed at one end of a room or in a garden. Everybody watches the magician together. The tricks are on a larger scale than close up. They will often involve members of the audience coming down to the ‘stage’.

Advice for anybody thinking of hiring a magician but worried their party is too small or that a magician won't take a one hour booking.

Parlour Magic: A show in your own home.

Usually, the magicians who perform close and table can provide a parlour show as well. These shows are the perfect complement to close up magic at a party as they bring the entire group together to share the entertainment.




Secret Room Show

These are relatively new to the magic scene and gaining popularity. The magician takes over one room of your house. Small groups of your guests enter for a 20-minute show. Afterwards they re-join the party on the promise not to reveal what happens in the ‘secret room’. This is a fantastic way to give your guests a magic show without having to stop the party.

It will require some preparation on your part in terms of organizing the groups and preparing the room. The magician will be able to advise on ways to do this.

Stage show

These perform a show created to be presented on a stage and watched by a large audience.

There may be glamorous assistants, special lightening, music and sound effects, a range of props.

However, a mind-reader will have a relatively simple stage set up.

two audience memebrs on stage with a magician

Members of the audience enjoying the limelight.

Unless you are a corporate booker, this is the type of show you go to rather than book for your party. However, there are magicians who perform shows for private events as well as corporate events. Highly Unusual are a good example.

This is an extract from my FREE booklet:  Magic Frank’s Simple Guide to Booking a Magician.

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