Review: Inflated Ego by Paul Brook

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‘Inflated Ego’ is a strong opening stage effect that will help you to get more audience involvement during your show, build an atmosphere and get better reactions.

Six random people join the performer on stage and are given a different colour balloon to hold. After shuffling and mixing, the audience vote on which balloons should be popped and all but one of the balloons is popped based on the choices the audience makes. Inside each balloon is a piece of card with a word written on it. After each balloon is popped the person holding that balloon is asked to pick up their piece of card and try to guess at what the word is. Sadly, all of the guesses are incorrect but it creates some moments of amusement. The final balloon is popped and the message inside is read aloud by the person who was holding it. The message correctly predicts the final colour balloon that was popped and, as a kicker, informs everyone that the words that were in the balloons were actually a description of the person who was holding the final balloon.

You get the presentation, powerful secrets and subtleties to ‘Inflated Ego’ but there is also a bonus. This entire fifteen minute stage piece packs so flat that you can actually fit it inside a pocket. That isn’t hype, you can literally put it in a pocket. Making this perfect for the working performer who wants to save space, or the those wanting to make room for another larger effect that doesn’t pack flat. Don’t be fooled by the small nature of ‘Inflated Ego’ it plays huge. Six people on stage, lots of colour with the balloons, lots of tension with the popping and a whole lot more. Is it time to add even more entertaining fun to your mentalism show?


Over the years, UK mentalist/ psychologist Paul Brook has put up first class quality products and I’ve always been a big fan of his material. If you’re not yet familiar with his work, do yourself a huge service by first purchasing a copy of Alchemical Tools and spend a week just studying the gems within the pages of his wonderful book. Truly, if you’re serious about modern day mentalism, it will change your life.

Now, if you’re a corporate mentalist looking for something with audience interaction that plays big on stage… other than the standard chair test or typical performance stuff you’ve already seen others do at events… well, you’re in for a treat. Paul Brook’s Inflated Ego is an extremely clever routine that plays HUGE and packs very flat. Just how flat exactly? All you need are a couple of balloons, a pen, some paper, a pin, and you’ve got a tight 15 minute show material for stage right there.

As always in all his effects, Paul gives you a detailed walkthrough on what to expect and then the secret workings behind it, followed by further ideas and concepts (something I always appreciate because it addresses various thoughts that hit me as I go through the eBook, and it shows the clear depth which has been gone through to streamline and refine every step). The ad copy above, lifted from Paul’s online shop for fellow mentalists, rings true; Inflated Ego is a professional product put out by a creative artist with a lot of pride for what he lends his name to, and not merely sold for quick cash.

There’s just so much to love about it (besides the cover’s extremely clever homage to René Magritte’s painting Le fils de l’homme); Inflated Ego is well-structured, and makes a brilliant opener that will certainly inject positive energy to your show and get everyone pumped for more. It’s incredible how much audience involvement you can get with something that just involves minimal props. A fun time is guaranteed to be had by all.

Definitely worthy of a full 10 stars… This is certainly something I’d love to incorporate into my next stage gig, after tweaking some elements to make it my own. I’m excited by the possibilities because it is so highly customisable. I personally enjoy routines that inspire you to dream up variations that suit your own performing style & stage character, and Inflated Ego is delightfully one of those. This one is another solid gold winner. First class stuff!


Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this directly from the creator HERE![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”gp-standard-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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