The Imaginary Ball is an interesting experiment in psychic game of catch between the mentalist, a spectator, and an imaginary ball.
When it comes to interesting mentalism ideas Matt Mello is a creative force to be reckoned with. The Imaginary Ball is an interesting routine that requires very little set up and leaves room for a lot of acting and character development. It’s almost diabolical in method too.
The effect is simple. You bring an audience member onto stage and set up the premise of playing a game of imaginary catch with an imaginary ball they’ll create with the power of their own mind. After a run through of the process, and a little conditioning of what you expect them to do you blindfold your spectator and repeat the experiment. Amazingly a second after you “drop” the imaginary ball their hand snaps closed in time to “catch” it!
The PDF is a quick read and after spending a few brief minutes with it you’ll know everything mechanically you’ll need to do in order to make this routine work. And while the mechanics are simple there is a lot of room for playing around with this. You’ll need to make a gimmick, and as a magician you probably already have everything you need in your magic drawer. Making the gimmick takes two minutes or less, and it can live in your pocket or close up case without taking up hardly any room.
This effect is a brilliant effect that should be used as either an opening piece to a mentalism act or as a segue into a mentalism act. However I have to say that as a standalone piece it does not hold up nearly as strong as some other mentalism tricks by itself. It’s an interesting curiosity, but it just doesn’t pack as much power as it does when book ended by or supported with other mental power demonstrations. I think that maybe the one reason why people will miss out on how effective this bit can be. This is certainly an effect where the performer is what does all the work, and not the magic apparatus.
Overall I have to say that this is an interesting bit! I don’t have a full mentalism show that I currently perform but if I did I would open with this. Matt has created an interesting effect with this that takes place in both the theater of the spectator’s mind who is assisting you, and the minds of the audience who are watching.
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, Readability and Overall Quality.
Product Quality: 7
Good price, good material, quick read, and plays for a large audience.
Teaching Quality: 8
For a PDF file, Matt explains things well enough, and includes a couple pictures which help further explain how to construct the gimmick.
Over All Quality: 7
I loved it. If you do a lot of mentalism then you’ll find this to be a useful effect to use. If you don’t do a lot of mentalism then the full potential of this routine may not be something you’ll be able to use to the fullest potential.