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Inner circle
1872 Posts

Profile of Daren
Dear all

as promised I said I would post a more detailed review, please do not be too critical I have tried my best to review as best I can

Shrinkage - a selected card visually shrinks in mid air right in front of your spectators eyes.

I say - this is brilliant, the visual aspect of this trick looks great, I keep doing this in front of the mirror and it really does look like the selection shrinks while throwing from one hand to the other, you can see this performed on the video demo. there are also different variations of this, using a stickman, portable hole, and a pip

Card to Anywhere - an ingenious method of vanishing a selected card to have it appear literally anywhere, card to bottle, shoe, window etc

I say - I have been having a lot of fun performing this, I have used this in a bar situation and it never fails to get a killer reaction, this is so easy to do but makes it look like real magic, killer!

Card to any number - is a very workable version of a classic effect, basically have two cards selected, replaced and lost in the deck, you then ask 1st spectator to name a number between 1-52, you then very very fairly deal to that number from the spread of cards, ask 2nd spectator for their card, their card ends up under a bottle or case, the spec who chose a random number finds their card at that position

I say - yes it is that clean, I have been doing a number of different versions of this effect, but this is the one I am going to use, very easy to do and a very powerful effect on the spectator, I love it!

Walk around waltz - matthews handling for the anniversay waltz

I say - I love this too, I do a lot of walkaround jobs where there is no table and this effect can now be done as no table is needed, all done in the hands without losing the powerful effect this effect can have on the spectators

Easy Deck Vanish - have someone peek at a card and say you will find the card behind your back, you turn around and as quick as that you are left holding their selection the rest of the deck has vanished

I say - this one really got me, very quick and straight to the point, ideal trick to do if you want to do a quickie for them

Repeat card to mouth - multi phased routine, card ends up in your mouth about 4-5 times, a few times even I got caught out

I say - I really like this also, always wanted a repeat card to somewhere, but didn't like the box, this one really plays big and again is really easy to do, and the kicker ending is great, my eyes nearly popped out of my head

x marks the spot - presentational idea for chicago opener

I say - I have been performing red hot mamma/chicago opener now for years and have made up my own presentation for this powerful effect, however, after seeing this version, this is the one I am going to use from now on, very funny presentation

MST - have a card selected and fairly replaced in the deck, no controls. you then say their card has jumped to the top, to prove to them you are confident it has risen, ask them to sign the back of the top card, show the card and it is the wrong selection and place to table, spread through the deck and remove their selection, to make the trick work you transpo the signature from the incorrect card to their selection which they can keep as a souvenier

I say - very hard to describe this trick in words, but a very very very powerful trick, I love this, just check out the reactions of this one when you buy this dvd from (plug!)

Sole selection - two cards selected and found, one found at the bottom of your shoe, the other is found as the rest of the deck has vanished

I say - can I really say again I love this, yes I can, this is great!

two person thought of card - two people think of cards as you spread the cards in front of their eyes, you reveal the selections with absolutely no fishing

I say - this is matthews version of the classic out of sight out of mind, I like this one a lot, if performed in the right setting this can have a killer effect on the spectators

Cards to pocket - does what it says on the tin

I say - you can see a snippet of this effect on the demo, card travels to your pocket, then again, then travels to your breast pocket, deck vanishes and then the selected card ends up in the zippered part of your wallet, absolutely great effect, the deck vanish really got me

mini me - essentially variations on the rub a dub vanish move, although not used as a vanish, rather than transpositions, changes, etc

I say - some very nice ideas

the time machine - essentially a variation of darwin ortiz's psychotronic card, but without the need for two decks, you use 4 blank cards for the vanish of the selection, very clean looking effect

I say - always wanted to do this effect at tables etc, but did not want to carry around the extra deck, now I can use this, I am very pleased with this

card out of wallet - a transposition effect between a spectators selection and your selection, they transpose with the card in your wallet and the card in their wallet/or hand

I say - I really like this, this is a variation I would say on darwin ortiz's routine pick up on south street, but without the need for the Mullica wallet

birthday prediction - have a spectator select a card a sign it, show it comes to the top a couple of times and prove to them you knew they would select this card as you show a prediction card in your wallet, with a different back, this proves out to be the signed selection!

I say - this is great, it looked like matthew had a tough group of lads for this one, but at the end they loved it, very powerful effect, open to different variations

I think that is about it, I think this has to be one of the best dvd's out there, there is some killer commercial routines on this disc and have really happy with my purchase, I have added a number of routines to my act, those being; Card to Anywhere, Card to Any Number, Walk Around Waltz, X Marks the Spot, MST, Sole Selection, Cards to Pocket, Birthday Prediction, Time Machine, Repeat Card to Mouth, Shrinkage.

So that is 11 routines I am using all the time from one dvd, I think that should be conclusive proof that this is a great one

very highly recommended!
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Profile of nicd
Thanks a lot for the review!
I really liked the trailer footage and now I guess I'm gonna put it on my wish-list.
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Profile of FlippingWonderful
Now this is a brilliant DVD, pretty much everything on it is 100% commercial and you will want to do some of this at your next gig. There is nothign particularly difficult on here if you are familiar with a deck of cards and I would rate this up there, if not beyond, a Pot of Jam for good quality magic.

If there is one thing I wasn't ahppy with, it was he filmed this at my local bar and now I feel I can't perform there as everybody will be comparing me to him.
Doc Eason
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Aspen Colorado
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Profile of Doc Eason
I love this dvd set.

I sure don't need any more card tricks but this is full of practical, not extremely difficult, VERY commercial routines. The live shots are great, they really give you an idea of how these routines play to real people. Very strong, very clever, I love it.

Doc Eason’s Rocky Mountain Magic

PO Box 50 / Basalt CO 81621
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Simon Shaw, Suffolk, England
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Profile of Bananafish
Can I say something? Smile

Party Animal by Matthew J. Dowden

How Much: Ł28

What You Get:
2 DVD’s

The Short Review
With recommendations from Doc Eason, Gregory Wilson, David Acer, Joshua Jay etc. It was hard to ignore this one, but did it live up to it’s hype?

Yes it did.

The Long Review
What? You want more? Can’t you just take my word for it?

People buy Magic DVD’s for different reasons. My guess is that if asked the primary reason would be “To learn new effects and sleights”. I would add it is actually “To help make you a better performer”, either way this DVD really delivers on both accounts.

The DVD is a mixture of live walkabout/table performances and the standard explanations. I believe it works on all levels, so you will get something out of it whether you are merely a hobbiest, a semi professional looking to do more close-up work or even if you are already a full time professional magician,

The Live Performance
Let us remember this wasn’t the usual L&L studio audience (god bless them all). There were no shouts of NO WAY! just for saying hello, this was as close to a real world situation you could get to (bearing in mind there was a film crew present).

I found it refreshing to see that at some tables he was given a hard time. I say refreshing, I don’t mean I was pleased that he was given a hard time, I mean I was pleased to see how a professional copes with these situations and doesn’t let it fluster him.

For me there is as much to learn from watching a full time professional like Matthew working as there is from actually watching the explanations so this was a favourite part of the DVDs. There is no doubt (in my mind) that he is an extremely funny and entertaining performer. Maybe not my style exactly, but there is much to learn from watching nevertheless.

If I was to guess I would say his influences where from the likes of Greg Wilson, Doc Eason, Oz Pearlman to name a few, but to be honest mentioning these other performers does him a disservice because he is and will remain, Matthew J. Dowden.

The Effects, Sleights and Principles
Matthew has had some of his work published in both Genii and Magic magazine so not everything was totally new to me, however reading an idea in a magazine and seeing it in action are completely different, so my eyes were opened to a few things I have dismissed before .

I am not going to go through all the effects as you can get that from reading the Website blurb, but I will briefly cover some of my favourites. I will add that there is material for everyone. There are some nice very easy effects and some suited to the more experienced cardician. All sleights are explained in detail (even the Elmsley).

One of his published effects is “shrinkage” and seeing it performed really brought to life how powerful the magic is. It would be a great way to end a whole number of routines.

The selected card is placed face up on the top of the deck and is then tossed into the spectators hand. By the time it hits the spectators hands it has shrunk in size. This doesn’t look like a trick, it actually looks like magic.

And as if this wasn’t enough he talks about several variations. I particularly like the one where one of the pips from the 5 of hearts is shaken off.

Reapeated Card to Mouth
Yes I know. Not that old trick again, but read on. The thing I really loved about Matthews version of this "classic" Slydini-esque piece of Magic is the routining that allows it to be repeated over and over again.
I reckon that all magicians should learn how to perform this effect as it teaches so much about entertaining and misdirection.

Two Person Card to any number
Two spectators each select a card that are then both lost in the deck (The cards, not the specators. That would be silly). The cards are spread on the table. Spectator 1 names a number and that number is counted to. The card is removed and found to be her card. Spectator 2’s card is seen to be under a bottle/glass that has been on the table all the time.

What’s not to like. It s another classic of magic, that involves two spectators and there cards ending up in impossible locations. Another trick that is not just very entertaining but will teach you to become a better magician.

The Walkaround Anniversary Waltz
The Anniversary Waltz is likely to already be in most working magicians repertoires. If nothing else because it is the perfect wedding trick. So many I know save it just for this occasion and yet it is such a great trick it should be performed more often and Matthews handling allows it to be done in the hands of the spectator making it much more workable for a number of real world situations. A powerful trick indeed.

Card to Anywhere
This wasn’t an effect as such, although effects were taught and demonstrated, but more like some great ideas for using of a move that most experienced magicians would know already. If you didn’t know the move in question already then you have an extra special treat in store. If you did you will kick yourself for not thinking more outside the box with it.

Sole Selection
This is another of Matt’s own effects that uses two spectators. I like these multi spectator effects as it helps get the whole group involved.

Two cards are selected and lost in the deck. One ends up on the bottom of the Magicians shoe, and the other one is the only one left as it would appear the whole deck has disappeared.

These sort of effects are real workers because they appear like Magic and not just tricks (haven't I said that before?). It also introduces some of Matthews fantastic ideas for Deck Vanishing that always get the "What the..?" type of reaction that we all strive for.

Apology from the reviewer
I do apologise dear reader, because the intention never was to write such a long review. It’s just there is so much I wanted to tell you about, and yet I really feel I have hardly started or done it anywhere near the justice it deserves.

There are so many other effects and moves on the DVD that I loved. I seriously could have gone on to review them all. “X Marks the spot” for instance is particular strong but if I don’t stop now I never will.

There have been many questions as to who this DVD is best suited to. Beginners? Intermediates? Professionals? Personally I have no hesitation in recommending it to everyone.

England has some great new close up talent coming through the moment so it is fantastic to see DVD’s by people like Matt Dowden and James Brown on the shelves next to the likes of Wilson and Pearlman.

Bottom Line
The Bottom line is I really do like it. I thought I would, but sometimes we get disappointed when we think that. I wasn’t disappointed.
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Inner circle
1515 Posts

Profile of matt.magicman
I have to say this dvd is well up there with the best
entertaining to watch, aswell as jam packed with lots of very usable material
thanks matthew!!!!!!!!!
in flames
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Profile of in flames
Thanks for the review guys. I'd have to say Party Animal and Christopher Williams Bright Ideas are the DVDs I'm watching the most right now.
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Allentown, PA
903 Posts

Profile of JohnCressman
This is a great DVD set. The effects are well thought out and very commercial. I'm dying to find the time to practice them, since they are so viable in many walk around situations.

Some simply aren't my style, but the others are pure genius.
Christopher Williams
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Portsmouth, UK
4454 Posts

Profile of Christopher Williams
On 2007-05-21 01:34, in flames wrote:
Thanks for the review guys. I'd have to say Party Animal and Christopher Williams Bright Ideas are the DVDs I'm watching the most right now.

Glad you like my DVD. Any favourites from it?

Copies of the limited edition 'MindPlay' still available
Review King
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Eternal Order
14446 Posts

Profile of Review King
I have always felt if you got a 19 DVD set and there was one effect that killed, it was worth it.

This set has that and allot more. Matthew's take on the Anniversary Waltz allows it for strolling and in the hands ( no table needed ). FANTASTIC!

He does a move using the Erdnase Color Change that I have never seen and it is incredible. If you palm cards and do card to wallet, this is a killer move.

He has an incredible, charismatic performing style ( which the demo does show ).

Incredible DVD set!!!

Details are here:
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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Profile of SamChak
Dear Magician Fans of Party Animal,

Looks like Party Animal is already getting some great feedback within the Magic Café community and some have even nominated the DVD as one of the Best DVDs 2007.
It influences me want to get hold of Party Animal in order to perform real work in a real world setting.
From the reviews, Mini Card and Blank Cards are required in Shrinkage and The Time Machine. I have already include Mini Deck in my order item list.
Other than that, do I need any other special gaffed cards to perform some of the routines explained in the DVD?
Because I'm living outside US, that's why I need to buy all other necessary gaffed card or special gimmick in this order.

Please PM me as you may not want to tip off the methods.

Thank you for your advice.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."

~ Albert Einstein ~
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)
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Round Rock, Texas
99 Posts

Profile of AmazingKeithy
Time Machine may end up being one of the overlooked gems on these DVDs as I do not believe there is a demo segment for this trick. I have been working on this effect and am very excited about the premise and the potential response.

Weakness: No real rationale for the blank cards coming near the top of the deck. Will just have to be creative here.
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Biarritz France
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Profile of xaboom
You need one double faced card that you'll leave to the spectators for one of the tricks.
Review King
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Eternal Order
14446 Posts

Profile of Review King
Party Animal is a must have. I can't say enough good things about it. I watch it before I do a show as it inspires me.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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1487 Posts

Profile of ixnay66
I'm sold Smile
Ross W
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Profile of Ross W
The annoying thing about the rave reviews this dvd is getting is that more people will see it and do the stuff!

I'm so used to watching dvds and thinking, "Yeah, not bad - but just not for me" (at best!)

I'm so NOT used to watching dvds and saying, "Yeah! I'll learn that! AND that! AND that!"

A lot of it is stand-up, which suits me. A lot of it is within my technical capabilities.

Best dvd I've bought in ages.
Twitter: @rosswelford
Bobby Forbes
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virginia beach, VA.
1523 Posts

Profile of Bobby Forbes
Great set of dvd's. Very usable material. A bunch of great ideas as well. Was very happy with them.
Tim Jahn
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South Florida
911 Posts

Profile of Tim Jahn
There have been quite a few threads on this set here for the last few months with almost everyone giving rave reviews. I am no exeption. This set is wonderful.
Mathew is a member here and if you have any questions I'm sure he would be happy to awnser a PM. I myself have asked him a few things and he was always more that happy to discuss and awnser any questions that I had. That's really saying something as far as I'm concerned. Not many would do something like that.
Hes a fine and polite young man and I wish him the best in any future endevors.
If you don't have the set and you love walk around with cards I highly recommened picking it up. He has some great coin stuff on the set as well.

Andrew, (ASW)
The effects on the DVD and lecture notes are far beyond your abilities. (They require mastery of the mechanic's grip.) It would only break your heart.
Darwin Ortiz.......(This post has got to be in my top 5.)
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Profile of immr1drfl
This is why I love the forums so much good information and helps me save money by making smart purchases like party animal!!! Thanks for the reviews fella's.

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Profile of mjdowden
Just thought I'd pop into the thread and say thanks once again for all the nice reveiws and kind comments!

Its really flattering to hear that people are still enjoying Party Animal and getting things from it.

I've been working on some new routines recently which I think you guys might like. Once I have enough to warrent another DVD I'll let you know. I know Alakazam are keen to do another one so it probably won't be too long.

I'm thinking of including some bonus things on there where I show people my presentation of some marketed effects. I will have full permission of course, but I just think I have some ideas that people might enjoy.

Anyway, thanks again

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