Draven Reviews: Celebri-Date by Sean Goodman

approvedTitle: Celebri-Date
Artist: Sean Goodman
Producers: SG Magic Productions
Retail Price: $39.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Notes:  If you don’t already own an Heirloom wallet by Alakazam Magic UK, then you’ll want to pick one up for this effect.

 

 

 
Includes:
•    DVD
•    Pocket Diary
•    Gimmick

Features:
•    Play All
•    Trailer
•    Background
•    What You Get
•    Basic Structure
•    Diary Only Routine (No Cards)
•    Preloaded Deck Routine
•    Jokers are Wild Routine
•    Heirloom Routine
•    Final Thoughts

Celebri-date is a wonderful bit of birthday magic in

Celebri-Date is advertised as a classically simple mentalism effect in which the birthday of your celebrity prediction matches perfectly with the birthday written by a spectator.  No markings, memory work, and instantly resets.

The effect comes with a DVD which explains how to do the trick, as well as a few alternative handlings for it, and all the props and gimmicks you’ll need.  The props are all well constructed, and should last quite a while.  The Birthday Diary is quite cool and gives you the ability to reveal the spectators star sign as an added kicker ending in your routine, but it isn’t necessary.  The gimmick can hide invisibly inside a normal deck of cards, but there are presentations that don’t require the use of the cards at all.

The basic handling of the effect was something I didn’t like.  You have to use a deck of cards in what may be the weakest justification for a prop use out there.  Having a spectator name a random card somehow jars your memory to connect that card to a celebrity name prediction which ironically matches the birthday written down by your spectator.  Thankfully there is other handlings that get around this (in my humble opinion) weaker presentation method.  You can perform Celebri-Date strait up without the use of a deck of playing cards, only using the diary.  Unlike the other versions, you can’t put the Birthday Diary into their hands right away, but I don’t see that as being too much of a problem.

There are two other handlings that are taught on the DVD that helps give some justification to using the playing cards in the routine.  In both of these routines the spectators selected card is revealed ala prediction style, to be sort of an added bonus mystery which is unrelated to the birthday reveal.  In one of these routines you utilize the Heirloom Wallet to accomplish the mystery matching prediction, and the other routine called “Aces Wild” does essentially the same thing but doesn’t use the Heirloom Wallet.  In Aces Wild the card you place on the table, in the video is an Ace, you explain to them that in your games Aces are wild there for the card technically IS their named card.  You then execute a little sleight of hand and switch out for their named card giving you a kicker surprise ending.

Celebri-Date is a fun bit of magic that has a lot of versatility in how you go about presenting it.  There’s a couple of things that you have to do in order to make it work but how you go about doing them is up to you.  Once you understand what those things are you’ll know what I mean when I say you can easily find a way to tailor this effect into your performance style.  Some people may like having the added mystery of a random playing card matching your prediction, but I for one just find any justification for using the deck of cards to weaken the plot.  I find the playing cards to be too disjointed from what it is you’re trying to do with the birthdays.

The DVD teaches the effect well, but doesn’t hold up well against other more professionally done ones.  The editing is shoddy as it clips and drops audio at the end of each segment and the volume is very quiet.  If you’re watching the DVD on your laptop like I do you’ll need headphones, if you watch it on a DVD player your TV volume will need to be turned up.  During the Play All option the Next chapter forward and backward buttons do not work.

Overall I really like this effect for a casual walk around setting.  Using someone’s birthday in a magic trick is a great way to establish an emotional connection with the audience and Celebri-Date gives you the ability to do that.  Also if you wanted to you can reveal the spectators star sign as well, as the Birthday Diary does give you the ability to do this.  This isn’t something that I always use when I’ve performed this effect but the times I’ve played around with it I’ve received some pretty good reactions from my spectators.  Give Celebri-Date a try, it’s well worth it!

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 7
The price is good.  The product holds up well under performance use, and the props are just fun to play with!  The gimmick is also invisible under use.

Teaching Quality: 7
This is pretty easy to learn.  There’s a lot of different ways you can go about doing the dirty work, and Sean only covers a couple of them.

Video & Sound Quality: 4
Sound is very quiet.  DVD editing is rough, and chapter forward and back buttons don’t work in Play All mode.

Overall Quality: 6
I like this effect a lot.  It’s fun to use, and I like the emotional connections I’ve been receiving by performing it for my audiences.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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