I know this sounds crazy, but its true. Tricks are worthless. Thats the bottom line right there.
Now, I know some of you are like "but without tricks I cant be a magician!", and this is true. But you can still PERFORM. Actors and comedians are good examples right there, and magicians use both acting and comedy in their tricks (at least the good ones). Jay Sankey, for example, is also a stand-up comedian as well as a magician.
But we do tricks anyway, despite the fact that we dont need to. But they dont have to be good. Heres an example of a trick most of us have probably thought of but discarded because we thought it wasnt good:
You show somebody the two of diamonds. You turn it over and place it in their hand. You magically pull off one of the pips and display that it has turned into the ace of diamonds.
This trick only requires a DL. As the magician, we think its stupid because it has one sleight involved and requires no misdirection at all. But what it does require is PATTER. With the right amount of patter and emotion, this simple trick can become a miracle. Try it. Rub the card really hard, make it look like you're making a great effort to do this, really milk the presentation. Dont overdo it though, or else they get bored and suspicious. But dont just snap your fingers or wave your wand or whatever, that makes it too simple. Really act with this one.
The same goes for more complex tricks. Ambitous card, for example. Dont just snap your fingers! I like to move the deck upwards every time, saying it gives the card 'upward momentum' so it comes to the top. Come up with your own ideas, mess around, see what gets better reactions.
INTERACTION is another key element. Lets go back to the two of hearts trick. You let THE SPECTATOR hold the card. Have them rub the two and talk about how the ink doesnt come off. For the Ambitious Card, you let THE SPECTATOR sign a card. Try and let them take the deck. Let them put the card in the deck. It makes them fell more connected with the trick, and makes your magic seem more, well, magical.
Well, thats my first essay. Hope you liked it, and actually try the trick with the two. You'll be VERY surprised. And remember, DONT JUST SNAP YOUR FINGERS!