When I was starting in magic, I did a lot of self-working tricks. Unfortunately, most of the self-working tricks I did were the same ones that everyone else did. And 50 years previously. So there's no buggering Uncle, PEdo teacher, or big brother, that didn't know how it was done. Yes, I probably did the 21 card trick, I don't remember. And I probably did some spelling deals. But I also did others with stacks that I thought no one else had heard of.
But they had.
So for the first few years I equated self-working to bad.
Later on, I discovered a lot of other (truly wondrous) effects, like OOTW and Gemini Twins. These are tricks that I still perform regularly. They are masterpieces of our art, and I feel should be studied and performed by everyone wanting to progress. In fact, I'd like every snotty-nosed XCM worker to be forced into presenting (i.e. not showing off) these effects in a way that doesn't involve the phrase "check this move - totally sick, blud". To my mind, no longer is self-working equated to bad.
But when I hear some magicians talking about them, why is the comment "self-worker" always preceded with the words "it's ONLY a"? And always followed with the emphasized rendition of "BUT".
Whisky Tango Foxtrot?
Self-working is not an apology! So stop apologizing for it!
By saying it's self-working isn't like saying "I ran over your dog, BUT he's no longer in pain". Self-worker is the method, not the presentation. The effect on the audience is same regardless. Have some respect for the art and what it can do. Even I managed to do it...