There are exceptions to every rule, but the simple fact that those exceptions exist doesn't mean that the rule is wrong or useless.
So you stick a Tossed-Out Deck between a Strait-Jacket Escape and a Packing Crate Escape. If it works for you, then I suppose it works for you. Without seeing your script, I can't comment as to why.
But the fact that you stick a TOD between two escapes is simply proof that it can
be done, not proof that it is a good idea. Almost anything is possible
. The simple fact that you can
do something is not in itself an indication that you should
. Nor does it conflict with the idea that replacing the TOD with something closer to an escape could provide a stronger sense of focus and continuity to the act.
Generally speaking, sandwiching a mentalism effect between two escapes is not a good idea. In itself, it suggests
a lack of focus, structure, and clarity of persona. However, maybe your presentation works... or maybe you're fooling yourself. It's hard to say without having seen the performance.
This might not be easy to grasp, but the fact that the audience applauds is not necessarily an indication that what you did was good or that it couldn't be improved by being changed.
"Performance rules" can be broken. I've done it, and I'll likely do it in the future. But the important thing is to first learn the rules and understand why they are rules and what the concepts underlying those rules are. Only then you can reach beyond them.
But in a forum like this, where most of the members are beginners or beginners who think they aren't beginners, it's best to emphasize the rules rather than pat yourself on the back for breaking them. This is especially true with what we're talking about here because, as you've suggested, making it work is largely about careful scripting and strong presentation, whereas the reality is that scripting and presentation skills are few and far between in "magicians" at the level of most members here.
In your post, you made a very interesting statement, and you need to think carefully about its implications:
If I can make my rope tie, straight jacket, packing crate escape, or whatever funny, then it comes off as the same thing I've been doing the whole show.
What you're suggesting is that comedy is what binds your act together. There's nothing wrong with that per se, and in the corporate world, "Funny is money." But you should know the risks. Be careful here, because you can end up being perceived not as a magician or an escape artist, but as a comedian who includes magic and escapes in his act. If you just want to be a funny guy, then, theoretically, you can replace your TOD with slipping on a banana peel and falling on your butt.