One hundred years ago this month, the magician P.T. Selbit ushered his assistant into an upright wooden box, sealed it, laid it flat, and got down to business, sawing the box right down the middle. The show, according to magic experts, was the first time a performer ever sawed someone in half. Why has this trick survived, when so many others haven’t? If you ask magicians, NYT writer Alex Marshall spoke with six — they eventually land on one answer. “It’s just the simplicity of it,” said Mike Caveney, a magician who’s writing a history of this trick. “Magicians say a good trick is one that can be described in a few words, and ‘sawing a lady in half’ is very few words,” he added. As for being the assistant, “When you’re doing it you’re not a passive person,” one magician said. “It’s claustrophobic, and quite noisy, but such fun!”
” i believe your reality is what you make it, what you choose to see, and what you choose to allow yourself to do.
there are possibilities all around you – magic all around you – no matter what situation you’re in.”
Story credit: Alex Marshall, NYT- Image credit: Nolan Pellitier