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Topic: The Secret Art of Monkey Business
Message: Posted by: Tim Trono (Jun 1, 2008 02:46PM)
I just watched Matthew Johnson's new DVD The Secret Art of Monkey Business. There is practical, solid, great material for the working performer in here. In particular, his new handling of the knife through finger (with great new ending handling) is superb and ,to use the over used phrase, "worth the price of the DVD". However, here if I just learned this one routine I'd feel I got my money's worth.


Message: Posted by: Andi Peters (Jun 1, 2008 02:58PM)
Tim's recommendation is good enough for me. I'm going to get it.
Message: Posted by: Tim Trono (Jun 1, 2008 03:24PM)
Originally when Matthew put out his knife through finger (it was in an old set of notes or an old lecture video) my buddy Dean Dill worked it up and was frying people with it. The new ending Matthew includes is really a fooler. This is a great piece you can do over and over. It is based on a Peter Kane idea but taken to a whole new level.

Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 1, 2008 04:05PM)
Tim, thanks for sharing the info as folks have been asking about this!

Matthew is a talented Magician from Canada. He works bars, restaurants, etc. I have some of his marketted effects and he knows what works. I think this is the first time we'll see him on video ( DVD ) so I think we're in for a treat.

Here's a video clip:[url=http://www.penguinmagic.com/specialorderproduct.php?ID=10406]MONKEY BUSINESS[/url]
Message: Posted by: Andi Peters (Jun 1, 2008 04:14PM)
When Chris speaks, I listen.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 1, 2008 04:22PM)
On 2008-06-01 17:14, Andi Peters wrote:
When Chris speaks, I listen.

Oh, thanks very much. I'm just like everyone else that loves performing magic that gets gasps, or other reactions that make you feel like you performed a miracle.

I have and use Matthew's Vanishing Card Case. The DVD says it's improved, so I'm very interested in that.

Penguin has a really good price on this and is also running some specials.
Message: Posted by: Tim Trono (Jun 1, 2008 10:33PM)
One of other things I forgot to mention... Matthew has structured all of the routines on this DVD so that they are set to go again. He talks about this at the get go as he obviously doesn't want to be off in the corner resetting during a paid gig. There are no far fetched techniques here... just strong, practical, usable material. I also liked the card on head, the card through bill, etc.

Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Jun 2, 2008 10:52PM)

Thanks for the kind words about my new release! This DVD truly was a labour of love and has been a long time in the making (as you know). I am happy with the end result. I too feel that the material is tried, tested and strong! (although I am a little bias)

Christopher can you PM me again at my new username (this one) as I had to change accounts as I lost the old login info.

I hope everyone enjoys "The Secret Art of Monkey Business" and if you have any questions I am only to pleased to help!


P.S. My favourite routine on the DVD is "Jack is Back" :o)
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 2, 2008 11:34PM)
Matt is going to send me his DVD for review ( thanks Matt ).

Everyone should realize while I don't know Matt personally, I've been a fan of some of his products for many years ( I still use them ). The DVD says there are product demos, so I know I'm going to like those effects.

As for what else is on the DVD I'll have to see. Matt said no strings attached on the review and I appreciate that.
Message: Posted by: immr1drfl (Jun 4, 2008 01:06AM)
Can't wait for your review Chris!
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Jun 4, 2008 10:42PM)
The DVD went out to Chris yesterday!

I chose to send this to Chris as I do not know him personally & I have never had the pleasure of meeting Chris, however he seems to like my effects and has supported me in the past by buying some of them. Chris is also a well respected contirbutor here at the MagicCafe so I figure who better to give honest critique! (Hope it's good! :o)

By the way Chris the $20.00 is in the DVD case ;o)

Message: Posted by: tattoomagician (Jun 7, 2008 05:48AM)
Hello everybody!
I bought this dvd and I am very interested in it. Good performance, simple but very effectives and direct routines. That's a great dvd with a sympathic magician who shows commercials and funny tricks, they are set to go again. I recommend this DVD for magicians practicing close-up. Good job Matthew!
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 7, 2008 05:57AM)
Cedric, thanks for the good word on this DVD!
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jun 7, 2008 09:53PM)
Hi All,

I just picked this up and can't wait to watch it. I've known Matt for a couple of years now and can attest to his "Worker" status. He's a full-time pro, crazy nice guy, and a superb performer. I'll be writing something up in the next couple of weeks fo sho.

Message: Posted by: Dick Barry (Jun 10, 2008 09:03AM)
Justed viewed "MONKEY BUSINESS". Excellent material and well produced DVD. I enjoyed everything he did. It is powerful magic, yet easy to do and well explained! Keep them coming Matthew! (I may be prejudice because he uses my RING FLIGHT.)
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 10, 2008 01:26PM)
Dick, everyone repsects and values your opinions. Thanks for letting us know!
Message: Posted by: mjdowden (Jun 13, 2008 09:22AM)
I had the pleasure of meeting Matt at a lecture he did here in the UK and he is a real worker, a fantastic thinker and a really nice guy.

I agree with Tim that the knife through finger is worth the price of the DVD alone. You won't be disappointed!!!
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 13, 2008 11:12AM)
I have the DVD and will post a proper review soon. But...the knife through finger is a gasper. It looks so real.
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Jun 17, 2008 08:29AM)

Great feedback from so many great magicians who I admire!

It truly is a great feeling when other magicians like your material. That's why I do this, it makes it all worth while :o)

Message: Posted by: Paul Romhany (Jun 24, 2008 03:57AM)
I just got off a cruise ship where I also performed a close-up show as well as my stage act. Prior to leaving I watched Monkey Business and learnt the Four Ace routine on there. I performed Matthews McDonalds Ace routine plus his amazing 4 ace production to start. This, in my humble opinion, is one of the cleanest and most well thought out four ace routines I've ever seen.

What makes it so great is that when you finish the routine, you can re-set in front of your audience and you are ready to move on to the next table. This is perfect for walkaround restaurants etc. Actually the entire DVD is perfect for any performer who works in the 'real' world because all the routines are instantly re-set.

All the routines on this DVD are fantastic and if you perform ANY type of close-up magic then you are going to get a lot out of this. Thanks so much Matthew for releasing this DVD ... it's one of my favourites!!
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 24, 2008 09:27PM)
I've been a huge fan of Matthew's work for many years. He marketed a few items that just appealed to the type of magic that I love to perform: fast and visual.

I'd never seen him perform before, so that was a great treat for me. He's funny, charismatic and has the skills. He's a full time performer and this DVD has routines designed to be visual, with quick reset.

It's Matthew and camera ( no audience ). David Acer and Richard Sanders have done this with their DVD's. When you're a performer of that calibre, you don't need a studio audience. Same for Matthew.

Yes I really like the DVD. It's only about $24 dollars and is filled with routines that work in the real world.

Lets' see. Oh , ya, GET THIS DVD. Why? Because you will find routines you will do.


Jack Is Back: A few fancy cuts and you cut to the four cases. Well...you cut to a four of hearts. But that card is taken off the pack and splits into the 4 aces. This is one of two visual 4 ace productions that Matthew has on the DVD that set you up for McDonald's Aces ( with he teaches in the bonus section ). I prefer this production because it's not difficult and has sort of a "magi in trouble" feel and you go into a killer routine( Mc Aces ).

Card On Head: You place a prediction card, face down on...your forehead. The spectator chooses a card and you say the prediction will be the mate to their card. Turns out it is there card. It's a two card transpo, but with the visual humor of the card on your head. I've used it and it gets laughs. It's an entertaining routine.

Improved Vanishing Card Case: A deck is removed from a card box and with a wave of the cards..the box vanishes. You can turn the fan over and no gimmick is seen. I have Matthew's original marketed version and this one is as it says..improved. It's much thinner ( slightly thicker than one card ). He gives a place to get the wafer thin magnets. You can use the dekc for other routines, or remove the jokers ( one is the gaff ) and go on that way. Your choice.

The Bonus routine for the Vanishing Card Case makes this a visual, fun routine. You remove the deck of cards from the box, oput the box in your pocket and..the cards are back in the box. You then vanish the box. Very nice!!

Ring Vanish and flash production: A borrowed ring vanishes and you reproduce it from a ball of fire ( flash paper ). I stopped using flash paper ( coward! ), but if you work were you use it, it's a nice routine.

Knife Though Finger: This is a beautiful illusion. You fold a playing card over your finger, the spectator holds a knife and slowly, you push down and the knife come through the card and your finger. and then you rotate back and forth and a penney size hole is made and you can see right through. The clean up is just as beautiful.

Flick Of The Lip: This is a four ace production based on a David Acer routine. The aces appear and you can go into McDonald's Aces now ( Which Matthew teaches in the Bonus Section ). A bit too hard for me, but looks good.

Bonus Material:

On The Ring Flight: A ring flight routine that Matthew constructed to avoid many of the problems that can occur with the effect. The patter that Matthew uses makes this a safe, worker.

McDonald's Aces: A PERFECT version for table hopping or walk around. This is fast. He uses 3 different vanishes with easy cleanup and reset right in front of them for the next table. Very cool routine!

MJ One Handed Triple Cut: I'm not a flourish guy. Just don't' have the chops for it. It looks fancy, but I'll leave it to the move guys to decide.

There's also a section on demos of 3 Marketted effects. Color Blind ( which Matthew sent me and is a killer color changing deck routine ). Drinks on Me and Six, which I have used for years.

Mathew is a full time performer and rarely relases material. I hope Because of that, this DVD isn't one that doesn't get allot of notice. It's just plain wonderful and I hope folks will get it and comment here on the Café.
Message: Posted by: Shawn Farquhar (Jun 27, 2008 03:37AM)
As true as I'm riding this bicycle and driving this very big bus ... I can't believe Matthew Johnson has released all these effects on a single DVD. In this day and age of releasing triple disc DVD sets or single effect DVD's, Matthew has chosen to produced a single DVD with nine solid and professional routines that can fit into any working magicians existing arsenal. To top it off he has added three more bonus bits which includes the wickedly cool MJ triple cut.

I especially like the improved vanishing card case (which was once marketed on it own), card on the head, knife through finger and card through bill. Heck I like them all.

Matthew is a great performer and thinker in magic and has offered us material that is amazing and useable in the real world. I have always loved the material Matthew performs and I am really impressed with "The Secret Art of Monkey Business".


Shawn Farquhar
Three-Time FISM Award Winner
Message: Posted by: Tony Chris (Jul 3, 2008 12:31AM)
I agree with Shawn on this 100% I really enjoyed watching Matthew at work and he certainly has a very personable approach to his magic. In other words, you will really like him!

The material is very clever and I especially like his thorough explanations. He definitely left nothing out in his detail.

His version of ring flight is simply amazing and I have already added the knife through finger in my close up performances as it fooled me good!!!

Very easy to learn material and extremely high on the entertainment value.

I hope he does a follow up volume to Monkey business as his magic is strong and very entertaining.

Excellent work!
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Jul 4, 2008 10:12AM)
Thanks for all the great comments guys!!!!

"The Secret Art of Monkey Business" was and is truly a labor of love and I am so happy that many of you have enjoyed the DVD and the effects on it.

I would love to hear from more of you that have the DVD :o)


Message: Posted by: jekyllandhyde (Jul 4, 2008 12:19PM)
On 2008-06-01 17:14, Andi Peters wrote:
When Chris speaks, I listen.

I usually do (thanks for taking the time to write Chris). Unfortunately, when anyone promotes Penguin Magic, I shut down.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 4, 2008 01:02PM)
On 2008-07-04 13:19, jekyllandhyde wrote:
On 2008-06-01 17:14, Andi Peters wrote:
When Chris speaks, I listen.

I usually do (thanks for taking the time to write Chris). Unfortunately, when anyone promotes Penguin Magic, I shut down.

It's not a Penguin Magic release. Order from someone else.
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Jul 4, 2008 05:21PM)
Hi Jekyllandhyde.

As Chris mentioned this is not a Penguin Magic release. I release this (and all my products) exclusively through Murphy's Magic Supplies who then release it to stores worldwide. I have no control over who buys and sells my products.

Hope this helps :o)

Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jul 4, 2008 09:00PM)
Penguin is in the barrel this week? Nice.

I just watched the DVD and while the editing was a bit off the material is pretty good. I really liked the card through bill. I've one question, did you publich the knife through finger in Genii a few years ago? I've been doing it on since around 2001 or so.
Message: Posted by: jekyllandhyde (Jul 4, 2008 10:16PM)
For the record...never thought or said it was a Penguin release. There are plenty of ethical places that get my business. Penguin is always "in the barrel" with me and a bunch of folks who will not support them. Enjoyed your other work Matt. Looking forward to this release.
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Jul 5, 2008 01:09PM)
Magic Santa - Glad you liked the material, sorry to hear you did not like the editing?. Knife Through Finger was never published in Genii by me. It was based on an idea by Peter Kane that he called "Finga Flinga". I believe someone else released a spike through finger some years ago. What I have added to the plot is the patter and the addition of the giant hole through the finger which is then restored right infront of the spectators. Knife Through Finger was also published in a booklet I released some years ago called "Mixing It Up"

Jekyllandhyde thanks for your kind words on my other products and if you get "The Secret Art of Monkey Business" I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again everyone for the very kind words :o)

Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jul 5, 2008 01:24PM)
My problem with the editing was only that you were cut off while speaking a number of times. Good solid material on the DVD throughout.
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Jul 5, 2008 02:44PM)
Magic Santa,

After a viewing the DVD again it appears that you are correct as a couple of times I am cut off while speaking at the end of an effect. As luck would have it (for me and the 300 copiese already out there)each of the times this happens the explanation of the effect is already over....phew!!

It is always interesting with a DVD project of this size when a couple of gremlins sneak in.

I thank you very much for your comments and for bringing this to my attention. I always strive to make the best product possible and will certainly keep this in mind on future projects.

Thanks again for your time and your kind words,

Message: Posted by: Dean Dill (Jul 14, 2008 12:24AM)
Matthews fun personality and comerical effects make this DVD worth purchasing.
You can see that he loves the art and likes performing. That says a lot especially in the real world of performing magicians. When the audience knows that you love what you are doing it makes the magic that much more appealing.
Good job Matt.

I especially like his knife through finger. I have been doing a version for years. Matthews is a bit different and just as effective. I Like the card through bill also. He does a good job on this DVD.

Dean Dill
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jul 16, 2008 01:03AM)
Well, this DVD is just what I expected. Solid material that is ready for the real world, straight out of the box. I'm just trying to decide which one to do for [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewforum.php?forum=175&77]Magic Friday[/url]...


Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 16, 2008 02:08AM)
Jamie, Matthew's Ring vanish and flash production is eye candy and also his improved vanishing card case, which I've done since Matthew came out with a marketted version years ago, is also a fooler.

Those are perfect to smoke Angry Bob.
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Jul 18, 2008 10:22AM)
Hi guys,

Thanks for the kind words Dean! I do love the art, I have ever since I was a child. I consider myself to be a very lucky man. I am not a millionaire but I make a living doing what I love to do, how could you ask for anything more than that. On a side note, I don't make a living out of selling magic products but I am hoping "The Secret Art of Monkey Business" will change all of that ;o)

I look forward to hearing the feedback from Magic Friday Jamie. By the way check out Jamie's "Anything Is Possible" bottles (if you have not already) they are truly incredible (now why did I not think of that :o)

Chris I agree with you, "Ring vanish and flash production is eye candy. The reason it works is because it is sooooo easy to do but audiences love it. Who knew so much could come from so little. I love the vanishing card case too, it's been my little baby for years. I am glad the magic world finally gets to see it again after all this time.

Thanks so much guys for all your comments, I truly appreciate them and respect all of your opinions.


Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Jul 21, 2008 11:59PM)
Hi all,

I just received this PM from Charlie Frye and thought you may like to see it :o)

"Congrats Matthew on your DVD, not only in putting out such practical and visually exciting material, but also in coming up with the stuff in the first place. Very creative." - Charlie Frye

Thanks Charlie for the PM and for taking the time to send me the message, I am a HUGE fan of your work!!!

Message: Posted by: martini (Jul 30, 2008 07:42PM)
Greetings Guys;
If you do not already have this dvd, run out and grab it today!

I see a lot of magic every day, and it is very rare that you get this much high quality packaged in a single dvd. All of the effects are solid, workable stunners that will fit into anyones working program.

While the contents has been covered earlier, I have to say that for me the knife thru finger, and the Jack is Back with the bonus McDonald's Aces could have clearly been individual releases.

The insight on Ring Flight is like a one on one tuturial that can save you a lot of time and problems down the road. This is the type of material that you just do not find much today. If you do Ring Flight, then this section alone is priceless to you.

I am very impressed with the fact that each trick and routine ends with you being reset for the next performance. Do you know how much work that took to be able to present each effect that way? I would definately put this at the top of the list for Best DVD of 2008.

Matt is a thinker, and you can tell that he loves what he does, that is so rare to find today. I am now a huge Matthew Johnson fan and can't wait for his next release.

All the Best
Message: Posted by: A.G. (Jul 31, 2008 11:46AM)
Hi guys,
I wanted to add a quick note to some already great comments about this dvd.

I will tell you this dvd is a perfect example of a performer creating effects that are suited to the enviroment he works in.

There are allot of quick, visual, audience involved ( but not dependent ) effects on this dvd...if you work close up I guarentee you will use or get something , if not a few from this dvd.

I am sure I am alone in this, BUT, I think Card on Forehead is by far the Gem on this dvd. No sexy methods here, just a commercial plot that audiences can follow, understand, and talk about... when you watch it, put your self in the audience shoes and try to imagine how impossible this looks...

As many of you know I am somewhat selective in my work, as I really feel that allot of magic we are drawn to as magicians ...is complicated and not so audience friendly... But this dvd, I like.

This is magic for your audience.... that pays you.

all the best,always,
Andrew Gerard
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Aug 5, 2008 09:46PM)
Hi Guys,

Thanks again for your nice words re "The Secret Art of Monkey Business"!

Martini I am very grateful for your kind words and I am right with you for DVD of 2008! To be honest I am a little bias though, so I don't think I get to vote on that one :o)

Andrew, I love "Card On Head" too! To be honest I was not sure how the magic world would take this effect as it is so simple in method. I know it works in the Real World as I use it all the time but I was not sure if the method would be pretty enough for magicians. It is so great to hear that someone like yourself saw it for what it really is :o)


Message: Posted by: Review King (Oct 9, 2008 08:49PM)
It's been a few months since Matthew released this DVD. I started watching it again this week and it's a wonderful DVD. Very powerful routines that work in a variety of venues. I love DVD's, such as this one, that are as good or better than when you first watched them.
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Oct 14, 2008 02:59PM)
Thanks Christopher!

Very kind words and I am truly glad you are still enjoying the DVD! That's why I do it, trust me when I say it's not to make money :o)

"The Secret Art of Monkey Business" represents about 8 or 9 years of work, that's a long time for only 9 routines! It's great to hear that so many people are enjoying the DVD!

It won't end there folks! I have many more things in the pipeline that may see the light of day in the next year or five ;o) For now just working as a magician and enjoying life :o)


P.S. Don't forget, if you have any questions regarding the DVD I am more than happy to help!
Message: Posted by: MagicBrent (Oct 15, 2008 09:15PM)
Is the card on forehead similar to Michael Finney's routine?
Message: Posted by: Judah Vee (Oct 15, 2008 10:01PM)
No, its completely different. I just got this DVD and I have to say there are a few things I will be adding to my arsenal!! I like Matts stuff as I have been using SIX since it came out!! Well done Matt!!!
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Oct 18, 2008 02:09PM)
Judah Vee,

Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed the DVD and some of my other products!

As Judah Vee mentioned my Card on Head is not at all the same as Michael Finney's routine (except for the card being on the head of course ;o)

Message: Posted by: Shodan (Nov 14, 2008 04:54PM)
Just a quick post to add to the pile of praise that "The Secret Art of Monkey Business" has recieved. Not only is the DVD full of great, solid, real world material but Matt was quite happy to help me out via PMs with my questions regarding what I'd need to create the improved vanishing card case gimmick, as this was the primary reason I got the DVD in the first place. The trick certainly didn't disappoint and I'm having a lot of fun playing with it and routining it.

As far as the rest of the DVD goes, I was very happy with the material. I liked the card through bill and knife through finger in particular and the thoughts on the ring vanish and production could be just what I was looking for to finally build a routine around "The Ring Thing". Great material from a real worker - highly recommended!

Message: Posted by: Gordyboy (Nov 16, 2008 12:15PM)
This DVD received a very positive review in the most recent edition of Magic magazine. Since I was very impressed with another of Matthews DVDs I recently purchased (Color Blind) I figured I'd give this one a go as well.

I have to say that this is great material for just about anyone. Since Matthew is a professional performer and this material is stuff that he performs, it shows that it works for someone at that level. For me, what I liked is that everything (and I mean everything) is very well explained so even a beginner can understand it and with some practice can start performing it. None of this "use your favorite method..."
Message: Posted by: mattjohnson (Nov 19, 2008 12:47PM)
Wow guys!!!

I don't know what to say, except thank you so much!

It is such a great feeling to have posts and PM's coming in from all over the world from magicians who like my work.

I thank you all for choosing to spend your hard earned money on my DVD and for taking the time to post your thoughts.

By the way David (Shodan) and I had a long PM chat re: the workings of "The Improved Vanishing Card Case" before he bought the DVD. As I have mentioned before I am more than happy to answer your questions or concerns if you have any. I want everyone to be happy (before or after) they purchase my DVD!



P.S. Thanks for the kind words Gord! It was a treat getting a great review in Magic Magazine....thanks Peter!