Some time ago, I was showing some magic tricks to my brother. He is one of those people that does not like to be shown tricks often, and finds them dumb and boring. Before this time, I had shown him a few card tricks, most of which were "Pick a card, find that card". This time, however, I decided to show him Tagged by Rich Ferguson. If you are unfamiliar with the effect, a word from a book is chosen, and suddenly appears on the person's arm.
I performed the effect, and at the end when he saw the word on his arm, he was simply amazed. He said "Wow! I don't even want to know how you did that!" in a tone which showed he was greatly amused. Based on the reaction, I wasn't even sure if he was my brother.
Later that night, I asked him, "Why was that trick so good compared to the other tricks I had showed you? Why did you like it so much?" He replied, saying something I had never thought of before: "All the tricks I've seen you and other people show me, they are simply improbable. There is a 1 in 52 chance that you will find my card, or there are ways you can secretly shuffle the deck to get to the aces. But for that trick, you did something impossible. That's why I was amazed."
After thinking about what he said, I came to a stunning conclusion: Magic starts where reality ends. Doing an improbable effect may give you applause and "good job"s for a trick well done, but once an "impossible" effect is completed, it stops being a mere trick, and starts to become magic.
From this point on, I am challenging myself, and I encourage others, to select and make tricks impossible, as opposed to improbable.
I am certain that this revelation has occurred to a lot, if not most, magicians. Let this thread simply serve as a reminder to those who do not instill a sense of disbelief (with a positive connotation) into their spectators.
Thanks for your time, and I hope this is useful to someone.
Last edited by Joe Hadsall; 08-31-2009 at 01:30 AM. Reason: Changed title to reflect awesomeness