It's been two years since I first received The Imaginary Ball from Matt, and I thought that I should
share some of my thoughts and observations.
I'll include a brief review, then I'll move on
to some of my thoughts after using TIB for a year. After careful consideration, my overall rating is
5/5 stars. (Disclaimer: Matt did not send me an early review copy; I purchased it. I am unbiased in
I'll first discuss the surrounding aspects of his release. This includes
service, formatting, writing style, etc.
Service: Matt was quick to reply to my questions
through email. Back near the beginning of the release, he had an extra idea--an addendum--that he
sent out to people after they purchased TIB. Now, it's included in the PDF or new video download. As
soon as I asked him for it, he responded (exactly) 7 minutes later with his ideas. He was also
willing to chat and answer my questions that were unrelated to his release (what his creativity
process is, how he creates his effects, etc.) His interaction with customers has always been
amazing! (Just a quick note...TIB works exactly as advertised. No false advertising.)
Formatting/Writing Style: The Imaginary Ball document was formatted in Matt's standard easy to
read format (effect description, intro/history, full presentation acted out, method description and
explanation, additional thoughts and ideas, credits, and an addendum) with clear pictures. His
writing was easy to understand. The descriptions of the main effect, the main principle, and it's
applications were laid out in a logical manner, and his ideas flowed together nicely. He was
thorough enough to give you a complete grasp of the material, but left enough open to encourage
creativity. Near the end, proper and accurate credits are included.
The next aspects that
I'll cover is the effect itself, applications of the main principle and gimmick, and some details
about the gimmick.
Effect: Structurally, the main effect is clear and direct, which is
great. I think TIB's biggest strength is its originality in premise. Spectators haven't seen this
Before the purchase, I was concerned that TIB used dual reality and I wondered if
the spectator experiences the same thing that the audience sees. Matt assured me that it was amazing
for the spectator as well, and he was right. In fact, the effect is made even more amazing when the
spectator goes back into the audience and discusses the effect with his/her friends/family.
Earlier, some people mentioned that it was not strong enough to be a stand alone effect.
Personally, I believe that the contrary is true. TIB is powerful enough to be a stand alone effect.
However, I believe that it would be strengthened if it were performed to lead into a PK touch
routine (as Maddy suggested). Its best position in an act is near the beginning as an opener, or as
Maddy suggested, to be performed to lead into PK touch routines. I've opened one of my shows with
TIB for a couple months now. I use it to display the power of imagination, and how fun adults can
have if we try to use it. I explain that over time, as we grow up, we seem to lose that imagination.
After I perform TIB, I encourage my audience to use their imagination and enjoy the show instead of
trying to work out the methods in their heads. Have fun and be kids again! To me, I have noticed
that they seem to be more involved in the show compared to when I don't make this introduction.
Applications of the main principle and gimmick: Moving on with the review...The main
routine isn't where all of the value lies. Near the end, Matt describes a method in which the
spectator can feel the exact moment a thought is thrown into their head. I use TIB as a cheaper
alternative for Yigal Mesika's Electric Touch. For those of you who don't have The Imaginary Ball,
the ability to make an intangible thought tangible is powerful. The "thought throwing" effect can be
applied to many effects, and is easy to incorporate into performances. It gives a little kick to the
presentation. My favorite application is a little idea that is included and briefly explained at the
end of the ebook...It took a couple months before I realised how clever this really was. He doesn't
go into much detail, but it's a devious method for forcing colours, playing cards, coins, etc. After
a few months of thinking, I took the underlying concept behind his force and created a system out of
it. This system allows one to perform a drawing duplication without ever seeing what's drawn on the
paper. Spectators can think of cities, countries, cars, restaurants, sports teams, iconic landmarks,
or anything you can come up with and draw their created scene all on the same paper (or draw it in
their head they want). Then you duplicate it. This routine isn't included in his book, but he left
his ideas for everyone to expand on.
Gimmick Details: The gimmick is extremely cheap to
make. I guarantee you already have the supplies around your house. If you don't, it can be picked up
at the dollar store. Smile The gimmick is easy to make as well, and not hard to carry around. I make
about 20 performances worth of gimmicks and carry them around in my pocket...If you guys do walk
around, the ability to do that is a plus. The gimmicks aren't cumbersome, so TIB is easy to use. You
end clean, too.
After using it for a year, I found that it's a strong effect. People
really enjoy it. I promised that I would give my thoughts on TIB after using if for a year but I'm
tired haha. I think I've weaved them through the review, so I'll close by saying: This is highly
recommended. It's worth the money, and you'll use it. After you're done reading it, try to create
your own uses for it. I promise that with a little creativity, you'll get a little more use out of
this than advertised!
5 of 6 magicians found this helpful.
Just like most mentalism, performance is key here. Matt has released yet another really great effect
that's cheap, portable, and requires very minimal setup.
easiest homemade gimmick ever made. I'm talking 1/100 of a penny per gimmick.
Relies on your ability to perform (which could be a con depending on how you perform, but
I LOVE that!)
Going from magic to mentalism, I feel like the "secret" here is
very gutsy. Granted, when you perform it the right way, everything is hidden, they don't expect
anything, but it still just feels wrong.
Lighting can make or break it.
All in all a
solid effect, and one that I've had fun with in the past.