What’s the difference between a Magician, Illusionist, & a Mentalist?

Mentalists, Magicians, and Illusionists - What's the difference?

We often receive emails and phone calls from clients requesting an illusionist to perform at corporate events & private functions, & in many cases this is simply not possible due to the rooms capabilities.

In 99.9% of cases though, the client requesting an “illusionist” has something entirely different in mind.

We thought we would take a moment to explain the difference to help guide you towards finding the type of entertainer you are after.

Illusionist Brendan live in action!

While the magic of which a magician performs is technically an “illusion” in terms of not being actual “magic”, the term “Illusionist” is used to categorise or describe an entertainer who performs with large props on stage and often requires one or more assistants.

Think of Copperfield style BIG presentations, including illusions such as levitations, cutting someone in half, or transpositions (disappearing from one place and reappearing in another).

Pros:

Grand illusion is highly visual and is an artform where, in most cases, language barriers are not an issue. Everyone can enjoy the visual spectaculars that are large scale stage illusions.

Cons:

Cost. In order for these shows to take place, you will need adequate staging, and in most cases adequate theatrical stage lighting.

Quite often these shows not only require the use of assistants, but also stage crew & technicians, adding to the expense, not to mention costs of freight if travel is involved.

Magician Liam Power

This one is fairly self-explanatory really. In most cases when we do receive emails or calls requesting an illusionist, a magician is in fact what the client is meaning.

Magicians are usually able to pack their shows into a few suitcases or small road cases. They vary greatly in terms of how their magic is presented. Comedy Magicians are quite popular, “Cardistry” experts are experts in playing card manipulation and will dazzle you with their visual displays of dexterity and card control, while classic magicians seek to awe you with their visual deceptions and story-telling abilities.

A good magician or comedy-magician can entertain on a full stage or a small stage (though many are best kept to smaller stages as they do not have the large illusions of which an illusionist has).

Comedy magicians will of course keep your audience laughing.

Some magicians have shows that can be performed everywhere, while some require specific conditions, such as an audience only directly in front of them.

The classic magicians usually cannot perform with anyone behind them. Obviously in most cases an audience will only ever be in front of the performer, but most will only perform if there is a wall behind and no one directly to the sides.

Pros:

Travel is usually relatively easy, as their shows often pack down into a few suitcases or a small road case.

Magicians are often solo, or use one assistant.

Cons:

Many of these routines have been seen before. There are a few exceptions who do create their own content and are unique as entertainers.

Australia's foremost Mentalist & Mindreader, phoenix the "Mind Guy"

“Mentalist” or “Mind-Reader” is a term used for an entertainer who performs in a similar manner to magicians, with the exception of rather than their hands being the dexterous tools for generating astonishment, they use refined mental skills & what is referred to as “Psychological Illusion”.

Mentalists perform absolutely mind-blowing routines that are ever-evolving. As their tools are not simply prop-based like magicians and illusionists, their creative canvasses are somewhat more broad.

A good way to describe a mentalist would be the end result if you were to cross a magician with a “psychic” medium, and the impact is quite powerful.

It’s worth mentioning that within the realm of “Mentalism” is what’s known as “Mental Magic”, which are essentially magic routines disguised as mindreading.

Each mentalist generally speaking, performs mental magic to a degree. If you imagine a sort of sliding scale between “purists” who are well-versed in genuine psychology & human behaviour, and magicians performing “Mental magic”, then all mentalists sit somewhere along that scale.

A good example of a good mentalist is one who performs hypnosis as well. They may not perform it in their mentalism shows, but at least you know they are not simply magicians performing only tricks designed to look like a mentalist.

Pros:

Can generally perform in any setting

More modern, astonishing and unique routines

Surpasses the general exception that everything is illusion by blending genuine psychology and mental skill with psychological illusion

Cons:

There are not many proficient mentalists in Australia

Unless dedicated production exists in the individual entertainers show, these shows tend to not be as visual. Some entertainers have adequate production, some don’t.

Generally dependant on an understanding of the English (or native) language.

Don’t forget that there are realms within realms as well. For example, Magicians also include Roving Magicians – Magicians who perform close-up miracles right in front of your guests faces and often in their own hands, as well as  Comedy Magicians, a blend of stand-up comedy and magic rolled into one.

 
If you’re looking for help with choosing your entertainment, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us today!
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Our Top Five Recommendations for Corporate Event Entertainment in Sydney

Looking to book entertainment for your next event in Sydney? Here are our top five picks for corporate event entertainment – and yes, they are all based in Sydney.

Obviously the type of event you are hosting will play a key role. Are you looking for after-dinner entertainment, or light entertainment from a roving entertainer to break the ice? 

These are our selections to help you find entertainment that will have everybody commending you on your choices.

The internet is often a tricky place to navigate when it comes to searching for event entertainment in a particular city as many entertainers will advertise as being in certain areas and then hit you with a travel fee to perform in the area you requested.

Each of these entertainers are based in Sydney. While they do work all over Australia (and the world), they are based in Sydney, so there are no travel costs associated.

So without further ado, let’s delve into these entertainment packages and get you the praise that you deserve!

Here are our Top Five ideas for Corporate Event Entertainment in Sydney:

Sydney Mind Reader & Mentalist Phoenix

Skill: Mind reading – Mentalist

Why: Absolutely MIND-BLOWING stunts, fused with sophisticated humour. Phoenix is highly adaptable and is a client favourite for gala event entertainment, yet has even wowed crowds at a Harley Davidson event.

A “Mind reader” sounds unusual at first, but funnily enough, Phoenix openly states he is not in any way psychic, and perhaps this is part of the reason why audiences are astounded with his shows.

If he isn’t psychic, then how on Earth is he doing this? We have seen him play a VIDEO filmed months earlier, where he showed the camera a lottery ticket with the exact numbers selected that the audience chose – Outstanding!

If you want your audience to talk about your event for years to come, this is your entertainer!

Offers: Roving, three choices of mentalism shows

Sydney Comedy Magician Jack Black
Sydney Comedy Magician Jack Black

Skill: Comedy Magician

Why: If you like classic one-liners, and audience participation with an unexpected twist, Jack Black has to be Australia’s hardest working and most popular comedy magician.

Jack is a seasoned pro and has been performing his craft for decades. Jack is also a favourite of corporate clients and is often re-booked again and again.

Jacks humour is witty and sharp, blended with a dash of insanity, and that seems to be just how a lot of his audiences love him!

Offers: Roving, Stage Show

Sydney Comedy Stage Hypnosis Show "Mind Games"
Sydney Comedy Stage Hypnosis Show "Mind Games"

Skill: Comedy Stage Hypnotist

Why: This was a tricky decision as we have already mentioned Phoenix, but in the ranking of our top choices for corporate entertainers in Sydney, we had to feature this show independently of his other shows.

Mind Games is another show by Phoenix, but this show is just SO different to his mind reading shows, and so popular amongst our clients that we had to feature it.

If you have ever doubted whether hypnosis is real or not, this show will make you a believer. 

There are plenty of questionable hypnotists out there who leave audiences bot entirely “convinced” of their abilities. This show is not one of those shows.

Furthermore, all care is given to those who do volunteer. There is zero humiliation in this show, yet Phoenix somehow manages to instead bring even more hilarity while having his volunteers end their evening feeling amazing.

Corporate clean and maximum hilarity!


Sydney Magician, Adam Axe
Sydney Magician, Adam Axe

Skill: Close-Up Magician

Why: Adam, originally from London, has to be one of our best close-up magicians. His skill levels are expert with flourishes and some of the greatest sleight of hand we have seen.

Adam is what you would call a wordsmith. He has a poetic way of enhancing the already astounding feats of which he performs with his spoken word which will take your mind to new places and boost the overall experience to a new level.

We have backed Adam since the day he landed in Australia after he was recommended by one of our entertainers whilst performing abroad in London and have enjoyed glowing clients reviews ever since. 

Game Shows for Corporate Events
Live Game Shows for Corporate Event Entertainment

Skill: Corporate Game Shows

Why: Unique, fresh, different, familiar, FUN! These are just a few of the words used to describe the corporate game shows when it comes to event entertainment in Sydney.

Where to start with the game shows…? Well, firstly audience participation is often key a fun and successful event, and these game shows can include a much higher number of participants than any other form of stage show entertainment.

Your guests are the stars of the show in this hilarious, fun-filled entertainment package, which means that everyone is instantly engaged and invested. 

You can even include some of your own questions, which could feature company, brand, or product information, or simply questions with information on a co-worker, thus forming a team building sort of element to the show.

If your event has a theme, then these guys are experts in bringing a theme into a performance. If your event is simply an end of year form of corporate entertainment, then you can stick with the set format of general knowledge, multiple choice, audio clip questions, and their famous comical challenges.

What we have found most impressive about the game shows is that clients seem to book them year after year. One client has booked them six years running, with another client on their third booking.

If you are planning multi-city events, then the game show teams can really help you save money as they have branches in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

And of course..

There are a myriad of bands and musical groups we could mention, and we will do so on a separate page, but for now, we wanted to focus on feature shows and engaging visual and experience-based event entertainment.

Contact us today to discuss your event or to learn more about any of these Sydney-based amazing corporate entertainment packages. 

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Corpoprate Christmas Party Entertainment

Our Top Five Corporate End of Year Entertainment Ideas

Our Top Five Entertainment Recommendations for your End of Year Corporate Christmas Party

It’s Christmas time again… Well, time to plan ahead for Christmas anyway, and you’re in charge of booking entertainment that will end a year at work, bring about a world of fun, and say thank you to your staff and colleagues… 

So where do you begin?

The first thing to consider is your venue. Is your office Christmas party to be held in your office, or are you holding a gala event in a ballroom?

Harbour cruises are another popular option for end of year corporate events, so which sort of entertainment will suit the mood, and also be conducive to your event venue?
 

We thought we would take a moment to list a few of our most popular event entertainment options and list a few suggestions within each category.

 

Performance Platform: Stage or cleared performance space area

Timing:
* Seated (gala style) events: After-dinner entertainment (Between mains & dessert or after dessert)
* Events with no meal service: After speeches (if speeches are occurring)

Why:

At the end of a year, as the festive season is in full swing, everyone just wants to have a laugh
and feel good, and few shows will have your audiences in stitches like a quality comedy
stage hypnosis show.

It is understandable from years gone past with certain hypnotists performing skits that are
embarrassing or humiliating. 

Therefore, you may take a step back from comedy hypnosis shows from fear (& rightly so) of volunteers being humiliated and your event turning into a disaster.

Corporate Event Hypnotists - Squeaky Clean, Professional Shows

 

Fortunately, not all hypnotists are like this. The turn of the millennia saw changes in how popular hypnotists operated on stage. 

With a new generation came better ethics, more highly trained hypnotists, and shows that focused on making those volunteers feel like rock stars.

Don’t get us wrong, there are still plenty of those hideously creepy hypnotists out there, but there are also astounding entertainers.

On the East Coast of Australia, we have the comedy stage hypnosis show Mind Games by the “Mind Guy” Phoenix. 

This show is about as corporate clean and friendly as you could possibly get. 

Hailing from a background in mentalism and toying with human behaviour and entertainment psychology, Phoenix’s show will have your audiences rolling in the aisles wishing they had come up on stage, all while those on stage are having the time of their lives.

Part of the art of stage hypnosis is being able to fill the seats on stage by instilling confidence in a crowd. Phoenix is an expert at this, ensuring your Christmas party will be extremely memorable for the right reasons!

Matt Hale is our hypnotist on the West Coast of Australia in Perth. Matt, much like Phoenix, focuses on a feel-good experience and handles his audience of volunteers with care.

Matt is one of the busiest hypnotists on the fringe festival circuit in Perth and is a crowd favourite with his comedy hypnosis shows.

Both of these hypnotists come highly recommended and have received glowing reviews from our corporate clients.

Performance Platform: Stage or cleared performance space area

Timing:
* Seated (gala style) events: After-dinner entertainment (Between mains & dessert or after dessert)
* Events with no meal service: After speeches (if speeches are occurring)

Why:

As there is only one company offering corporate game shows, this is quite a direct one. Game Shows Australia holds the performance rights to their classic game show formats, and boy do our clients LOVE them!

Aside from simply being so much fun, the game shows are able to include a number of company or theme-specific questions. 

As a result, this means that you can have questions pertaining to the festive season, or you can have questions about your co-workers or even humorous events that have occurred in the workplace throughout the year giving you the ultimate customised show.

The fact that the show is comprised of your colleagues, your audience will instantly be engaged and focused on the show, eagerly awaiting what comes next.

The ability to divide an entire crowd into teams not only engages everyone but is a fantastic and indirect team-building tool.

You really do feel as though everyone has been included, and so will your audience. One of our clients even booked the game show for six years running!

These shows are filled with fun questions, quirky audio clips, and professional hosts to guide your end of year event to success.


Performance Platform:
Feature Shows: Stage or cleared performance space area
Roving: From cocktail style events to private residences – Anywhere!

Timing:
* Seated (gala style) events: After-dinner entertainment (Between mains & dessert or after dessert)
* Events with no meal service: After speeches for feature show, or upon arrival for roving shows

Why:

We couldn’t have this page without featuring our beloved magicians, illusionists, and mentalists as they are more often than not, the chosen entertainers for corporate Christmas parties and end of year events!

Versatility here is key. You will note that the venues of which they can perform are quite vast. 

In saying this, we recommend this quick definition of the difference between illusionists, magicians, and mentalists to save you time when choosing.

Some of these entertainers offer both roving and feature show packages, meaning that for gala style end of year dinners, you can entertain your guests upon arrival with roving magic as an ice-breaker, and then dazzle them with the feature show after the mains.

This is a great way to stick with that theme and have your audience familiarised with the entertainer before they even walk on stage, which builds rapport and allows for a free flow of entertainment.

These entertainers are also quite versatile in where they can perform.

Obviously, there are a vast array of these entertainers, and choosing the right one is paramount to the success of your end of year event.

We are always happy to recommend the best and most suitable magicians, mentalists, or illusionists for your festive season event.


Performance Platform:
Feature Shows: Stage or cleared performance space area

Timing
:
* Seated (gala style) events: After-dinner entertainment
* Events with no meal service: As suits your preference

Why:

We probably don’t have to go into too much detail here, but a good band is worth mentioning. Nothing tops off an event more than having a band play live while your guests dance the evening away.

Once the meals, speeches, feature shows, and proceedings are complete, your guests just want to let their hair down and cut loose.

We have some fantastic corporate event bands who are experts in their field, ready to get your audience on the dance floor.

Perhaps the mood calls for a more low key band playing in the background, or perhaps you want the classics played loud and proud. Either way, we have an assortment of brilliant corporate bands on offer.

Performance Platform:
Feature Shows: Stage or cleared performance space area
Roving: From cocktail style events to private residences – Anywhere!

Timing:
* Seated (gala style) events: Post dessert/speeches
* Events with no meal service: As you desire.

Why:

DJ’s also don’t need too much of a mention here as they are quite self-explanatory, but seem to be a constant in the world of end of year functions or corporate Christmas party entertainment.

Of course, DJ’s are also a more affordable option than having a band play at your event and are therefore perfect for smaller events as well as larger ones.

Contact us for a quote on local DJ’s who can see your guests party into the night.

And don’t forget side-show style entertainment throughout the evening such as photo booths, virtual reality arenas, and casino-style gaming tables, which will all serve to bring your event to life!

Contact us today to discuss your event or to learn more about any of these Sydney-based amazing corporate entertainment packages