Mills’ Mess

Mills’ Mess is a trick that was originally invented by a juggler named Steven Mills. Mills’ Mess is a visual display that makes the balls seem as though they are riding back and forth on an imaginary wave. In order to even attempt the Mills’ Mess you need to have the three-ball cascade perfected which means you should be able to perform at least fifty consecutive throws in one go with the three ball cascade. It is also helpful if you can perform the under the arm, reverse cascade, and reverse cascade with crossed arms.

Each ball has its own pattern that it follows throughout the entire trick. The Mills’ Mess simply puts these three patterns together and performs them one after the other in a constant motion.

Ball One

mills step oneThe first ball is thrown from one hand to the other while your arms are crossed and then caught after the arms are uncrossed and then crossed again. The ball is thrown toward the inside of the arms with the hand whose arm is on top of the cross. Once the ball is thrown toward the other hand which begins on bottom the arm on top uncrosses and then crosses again underneath. Continue this pattern back and forth and you have the first ball’s pattern.

Ball Two

mill's mess step 2The second ball is thrown while the arms are uncrossed from one hand to the other. It is caught by the other hand, which should be the hand on top of the cross, just as the arms are crossed again. The second ball is then thrown after the arms are uncrossed again just as you go to cross your arms. This is the easiest pattern out of the three for most people to grasp.

Ball Three

mills mess step 3The third ball is thrown while the arms are crossed by the hand on the bottom unlike the first ball which is thrown by the hand on top. It is then caught by the hand on top of the cross without moving the arms at all. Then the arms are uncrossed and then crossed again. Once the arms are crossed again the ball is back on bottom and is then thrown to the hand on top again.

The Finale

millsmessEach of these patterns should be practiced individually while you are trying to learn Mills’ Mess. Once you have the patterns down on their own start practicing them together starting with pattern one and two only and ending with all three. Mills’ Mess is more difficult than it looks but rather stunning when performed correctly. Once you have the trick in your arsenal you can begin astonishing audiences of all ages which this illusionary tidal wave.