Updated: Jul 11
When it comes to planning children's birthday parties, one aspect that often stands out is the entertainment. A skilled children's magician can bring joy and wonder to the celebration. However, there's a wide range of prices in the market, and it's important to understand why quality entertainers come with a higher cost. In this blog post, we'll explore the factors that contribute to the pricing of professional children's birthday entertainers and why investing in their expertise is worthwhile.
The Cost of Experience:
The going rate for a professional children's birthday entertainer typically falls within the range of $350 to $500 for a basic show, and $500 to $700 for a custom show. While this may seem higher than some budgets, it's important to recognize the value that experienced entertainers bring to the table. They have honed their craft through hundreds of hours of practice, study, and rehearsal. By investing in their services, you're not just paying for a 45-minute performance, but for the years of dedication, practice, rehearsal, and ongoing professional development that have shaped their expertise. (Chris Hester has performed hundreds of Children's Shows across North Texas, including Allen, McKinney, Plano, Frisco, Dallas, Celina, Prosper, Wylie, and more, and has studied magic for 30 years).
Customization and Tailoring:
When you hire a professional entertainer, you're not simply getting a cookie-cutter performance. They take the time to script a show specific to your guests' ages, interests, and party theme. This includes selecting suitable music and magic routines that will engage and entertain the children. What works for a princess-themed party may not resonate with a group of Transformers-loving boys. By tailoring the show, the entertainer ensures a personalized experience that captivates the audience and creates lasting memories. Anyone can buy tricks at a magic shop but a true professional tailors the show to your specific needs.
Preparation and Equipment:
Behind every successful performance lies meticulous preparation. Once the show is scripted, the entertainer rehearses it to perfection. They invest time and effort in fine-tuning the delivery, timing, and special effects to create a seamless and enchanting experience for the children. On the day of the party, the entertainer arrives with a comprehensive setup, including a sound system, speakers, power strips, tripods, cables, an iPad, a wireless mic system, and a music controller. Their attention to detail and the equipment they bring contribute to the overall professionalism and quality of the performance.
Communication and promptness is another professional trait to look for when choosing a performer.
Quality over quantity.
Some performers have one goal. To get as many low paying gigs as possible. They make up for lack of quality with having a full calendar. Each party is another number, with cookie cutter performances and lack of skill. There's even performers in my area doing kid shows who aren't children entertainers, simply because the gigs are more prevalent. The last thing you want at your child's party is an entertainer who has no desire to be there, and is just going through the motions to pay the bills. One way to recognize this is to thoroughly review their promo kits, and ask what kind of tricks they will perform. If they sound like adult magic (card tricks and mind reading) they're probably not child show experts. Also, ask for a list of previous clients. (For example, Chris Hester has performed for Children's Health Dallas, Care Dallas, Rainbow Days, Allen ISD, Highland Park ISD, Plano ISD, St. Jude, and more). As a father myself and having performs hundreds of kid shows, I know what kids respond to. It's about creating laughter and fostering interaction. Skilled children's entertainers know how to engage and captivate young audiences through humor, audience participation, and age-appropriate content. They create an environment where children feel involved and excited, resulting in a room full of laughter and joyful screams!
Additional Services and Add-ons:
Some entertainers offer add-on services to enhance the birthday experience. These may include gift bags, souvenirs for the birthday child, special illusions like levitating the guest of honor or sawing a guest in half, food add-ons such as providing pizza and drinks, or even magic lessons after the show. Some performers even add party cleanup as an option giving you the ultimate, no stress party package!
These optional extras can elevate the party to new heights, creating a truly memorable and unique celebration.
If you receive a quote from a performer and it's substantially lower than others offering the same services, this could be a red flag. Remember, anyone can say they're a professional magician but there's generally no background checks and vetting occurring unless you're going through a lead generation site where performers are screened criminally prior to being listed (which most sites do not provide). One good thing to ask is what schools or children's organizations have they been approved to work for recently? Most ISD's require background checks to perform in the school. I usually have backgrand checks done several times a year in order to be allowed into schools during normal school hours. If they have no experience at schools or reputable children's organizations, then keep looking. Verified reviews are a great way to help vet your children's entertainer. Remember, you're bringing a stranger in to perform for your children, usually in your own home. Many performers do not even use their real name for magic so a quick search on their stage name may not yield anything out of the ordinary. Being in law enforcement for 17 years and spending 8 of those as a crime prevention specialist, I know the importance of keeping your family safe. Be vigilant and do your homework!
Hopefully this gives you an idea on what you can expect to pay when hiring a safe and experienced children's entertainer!