Tips for Booking Entertainment | Carisa Hendrix | Award Winning Magician, Circus Stunt Girl & Fire Eater | Calgary & Edmonton

Tips for Booking Entertainment

Hiring Magicians for Grown-ups – Corporate Magic Shows for Adults

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in Articles for Performers, Blogs & Vlogs, Tips for Booking Entertainment Leave a comment

When some people think of a magician, the image that immediately comes to mind is that of a lanky teenage kid in an ill-fitting top hat doing tricks for kids. Although I myself have seen a number of these performers, I have also seen rooms of adults gasping in wonder at the spectacular magical talents of quality corporate magicians who create a tone that is ideally targeted to adult audiences.

Are Magic Shows a Good fit for Adults?

Well, yes and no. The distinction is that Adult magic shows are a good fit for an adult event. However, it can be difficult to know whether you are booking the correct style of performance. Magic shows can be a wonderful mix of comedy, audience participation, and amazing magical acts, if the performer is well suited to their audience. A good magician who caters to adults will create a show specifically designed to thrill your crowd with impossible feats and strong visual moments of magic. For corporate events, these types of magicians are often a better fit than other forms of entertainment because they play big even on a small stage, and they tend to be incredibly flexible even in the changing circumstances of a live event.

Tips for Booking a Good Magician

Ideally, you want to start with recommendations from friends or family members who have hired a magician they liked in the past. If no one has a recommendation, an entertainment agency will be able to offer you a list of qualified performers who will best fit your needs. As a last resort you can use google, but be warned. It’s easy to put together a professional looking website with stock images these days, so make sure your entertainer has good videos and nice photos of their show being performed in front of crowds of happy adult crowds.

Hopefully, this information will help you decide if you should consider a corporate or comedy magician for your next event, I think you’ll be happy you did.

Contact Our Event Management Team

We can help answer a variety of questions to provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice for your event.


6 Tips for Booking a Fire Show / Fire Dancers

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in Articles for Fire Performers, Articles for Performers, Blogs & Vlogs, Tips for Booking Entertainment Leave a comment


If you are looking to make a big splash at your next event, you want something high energy, dramatic and fun. Depending on your theme a fire show might be the perfect answer – but where do you start? I am a fire performer with fifteen years of experience in the industry, and I’m here to offer a little help in planning your big Fire Show with all the necessary safety measures.

6 Tips on hiring fire performers

1. Get a recommendation

If you are lucky, one of your friends or family will have hired a fire performer in the past or know someone who has. It’s worth asking around to find out if someone might have a lead on a good entertainer in your area; recommendations are most likely to lead you straight to the best talent.

2. Permits & liability

Who is responsible for making sure the venue and the performers have their permits and insurance in order? You are! If your fire dancers are any good, they will likely offer to do the legwork for the permitting and talk to the local fire prevention authorities on your behalf. They have the experience and the knowledge in this area so let them take care of the red tape, but make sure you get a copy of all the documents. Many states and provinces have fines for performing with fire and without an open flame permit and you could be on the line for big money if you get caught. Better safe than sorry.

3. Minimise Distractions and Maximise Focus

No matter how good the performers might be, if your guests are distracted they might blink and miss the show. Fire shows are stunt and trick based so if you look away for a moment, you are likely to miss something amazing. Do your best to make the experience a good one for everyone by making sure there are no visible distractions around the performance area and that the performers are given a proper announcement to help direct the attention of your guests to the spectacle about to begin.

4. Check Out Your Performer

It is reasonable and recommended that you ask your fire performers for proof of insurance, a safety plan and references. Not only does this give you added peace of mind, if they have these documents on hand it is an indicator of an experienced, professional, full-time performer who is likelier to give you a quality show.

5. Googling for Performers

Anyone can put together a nice looking site in minutes these days. Don’t be fooled by stock photos and website templates. Look for lots of pictures and videos of your performers doing their show in front of many different audiences. Look for awards and quotes on the website, and make sure this is not their first rodeo. You don’t want to accidentally book a newbie for the price of an experienced professional.

6. Read the Safety Plan

Your fire performer should provide you with their safety requirements. This will include information like fueling systems, the distance the performer must be from the audience and whether you will be asked to provide a fire extinguisher on site. If you have agreed to these safety requirements and don’t follow through, the performer may refuse to perform. That’s no fun for everyone, so please read the safety plan and the performers requirements.

See? Easy!

That’s it! Fire shows are beautiful and impressive, making them a great choice for many galas, festivals, and corporate events. However, they can be dangerous if performed by inexperienced amateurs. These steps will help protect you from liability and harm and make sure you get the most out of your artists.


A Moral Dilemma – Article Published in Vanish Magazine

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in Articles for Magicians, Articles for Performers, Tips for Booking Entertainment 2 Comments

There is no denying that the history of entertainment includes some really messed up stuff. Sure, we’ve had our Shakespeares and Mozarts; but at various times, we were also gaga over gladiator battles, cockfights, bear baiting, and the cringe-worthy tradition of blackface and minstrel shows.

With all the progress we’ve made moving toward nobler forms of theatre, with almost no forms of animal torture at all, we tend to think of ours as an era of modern entertainment. Look how progressive the theater has become! we think, while buying Hamilton tickets on our smartphones and basking in the air-conditioning and free wifi at our local Starbucks. Truly this is a golden age and we pat ourselves on the back for all the ways we are far superior to generations past. Yay!

Although we have certainly come a long way, it seems to me that there are still some aspects of theatrical entertainment that are stuck in the dark ages. Let me tell you the story of an act I saw recently:

The performer walked onstage and introduced a little pill. He told the crowd that anyone who took this pill would be compelled to do anything he asked. To add even more intrigue to his plot, he stated that volunteers would likely be unable to remember what happened to them while under the influence of the drug. “But trust me,” he said, “it’ll be fun.”

A young woman from the audience was brought to the stage and given the pill. In an instant, she became visibly drowsy and disoriented. The performer guided her through a series of increasingly embarrassing stunts, including the revelation of personal information, private fantasies and even the performance of simulated sex acts. The audience was encouraged to laugh and cheer. “This is fun,” the performer kept saying, but I couldn’t help feeling deeply uncomfortable.

The show concluded with the volunteer sobering up, confirming that the pill had indeed made her unaware of anything she had done during the act, and she was unable to recall her actions. With that, she was sent back to her seat to a round of applause. The performer then pointed out that the entire show had been video recorded and everyone should buy a copy, joking that “It would make great blackmail material.”

I think most of us would agree that this act is morally dubious, to say the least. A volunteer under the influence of a powerful drug that removes their ability to consent should not be made to discuss private information, do embarrassing stunts, or perform pseudosexual acts. This show, which encourages friends, coworkers, and strangers to point and laugh at someone made vulnerable and then taken advantage of for the amusement of the crowd, should not be sold as entertainment.

Now take a minute to reread the description of the act, but replace that little pill with hypnosis. If it’s not okay to remove someone’s consent with a drug, then why should it be okay to do it through hypnosis in the context of a magic show?

The first hypnosis performance (or hypno show) I ever saw gave me an icky feeling I couldn’t explain, a sort of unsettling anxiousness in the pit of my stomach. Maybe it was just that particular performer or the burrito I’d had for lunch, but it made me question what I was being asked to see as entertainment. After speaking with many theatre people, magicians, and even a few psychologists who’ve had similar experiences, I realized that this sort of act falls into a moral grey area that we have avoided talking about in the worlds of magic and variety arts.

The narrative a hypno show is selling to the audience implies by its nature that it is acceptable to “make” someone perform embarrassing or sexual acts for the enjoyment of a crowd when that person is in a state of suggestibility similar to that created by drugs or alcohol — which, of course, it is not. The idea that these shows are usually marketed to colleges and universities is even more unsettling, considering the recent focus on educating students about the importance of consent in an effort to address the very real threat of date rape. I vividly remember as the entertainment director for ACAD (Alberta College of Art & Design) being inundated with promotional material from hypnotists with quotes like “I’ll have your students humping the walls.”

Whatever the moral implications, hypnosis is a fascinating phenomenon that reveals some amazing things about the human mind, and it’s certain to wow crowds. I can see why people would be drawn to it, and I would even call myself an advocate for science and research in this field, but is it appropriate to sell as a comedy show?

I should clarify that I am talking only about the NARRATIVE of a hyno show, whether the effect it has on people is real for the people under it’s influence or not is not the issue we are discussing here. Is the narrative hypno shows sell to crowds about consent appropriate or even socially responsible? Is it okay to imply that toying with the minds and lives of audience members as a form of amusement us acceptable?

Perhaps I’m missing something or maybe all the hypno shows I’ve ever seen have been outliers, but it seems to me that this form of magic is inappropriate, both in its implications and in its practices. I would argue that we should be having more conversations like this, discussions about the moral implications of what we do as performers. Let’s begin to ask ourselves about the true impact of the fantasies we create onstage, the messages we send to our audience, and how those ideas affect people in the long-term. And maybe, just maybe, we can agree that it’s time for hypnosis to go the way of the minstrel show.


Fire Bug 17 : The Science or Fire with Tedward

Posted on by Carisa Hendrix in Articles for Fire Performers, Tips for Booking Entertainment Comments Off on Fire Bug 17 : The Science or Fire with Tedward

Host Carisa Hendrix & Special Guest Tedward | The Science or Fire Show Notes: We talk about and review the resources available to fire eaters, recipe look and talk about the discrepancy between fuel names in different countries. Ted settles the debate with Isopropyl alcohol and white gas. What kind and size of fire eating torches should […]