The Fake Mess is a variation of
the 423 in which the pattern is distorted into looking like Mills Mess. This
is achieved by crossing and uncrossing a static ball underneath your other
arm during each cycle. The Fake Mess is much easier to learn and perform
than Mills Mess, but still looks fairly impressive to spectators.
To learn the Fake Mess, start with two balls in your dominant hand and one ball in your non-dominant. Cross your dominant hand over your non-dominant hand, and then make a throw toward the center of your body from your dominant hand. As you make that throw, uncross your hands and make a slightly more vertical throw from your non-dominant hand (this ball will be caught again by your non-dominant hand). With your non-dominant hand now free, catch the first ball thrown and cross your dominant hand—which should be holding a ball—underneath your non-dominant hand. Then, as the second ball is coming back down, make a throw from your non-dominant hand back toward your dominant hand, while simultaneously uncrossing your hands. Catch the second ball with your non-dominant hand and then cross your dominant hand over your non-dominant hand, catching the third throw.
Practice this on both sides. To run the full Fake Mess, just make another same-hand throw before you catch the last throw of the previous step. It is important to make sure that you are alternating between throws that don't switch hands (same-hand throws) and those that do switch hands. While performing the trick, the rhythm of crossing and uncrossing your hands can help guide your throws and hold the pattern together.