Dai Vernon's Brainwave effect has been one of the greatest pieces of card magic ever since it was first introduced in Annemann's Practical Mental Effects 75 years ago. But as with any great effect, there is always a price to pay, and with Brainwave, it is that the deck cannot be handled too casually. There have been a number of variations of the Brainwave effect, and Ship Deck is yet another. (Not sure where the name comes from... seems like a weird name for this deck, but the methodology used in the effect is much better than the name!)
Here is the effect as seen by the spectators: Magician shows a deck of cards. He removes the four aces, and these are shown then placed facedown on the table. The spectator is asked ot name any value, other than Ace. The choice is truly free, any value from two through King. Say she names SIX. Now to randomly choose a suit, the spectator picks one of the facedown aces. She is allowed to mix the facedown cards first, in case she thinks the magician may have arranged them in some sort of psychologically-influential order. She mixes them and touches one of the four cards. (Again, free choice of any of the four cards). Magician turns it face up to show it's suit -- let's assume it is the CLUB. The magician slides the chosen Ace into the deck, and puts the other three Aces on top. After re-iterating what has happened, and how the spectator has freely determined the SIX of CLUBS, the magician ribbon spreads the deck on the table and one card is faceup in the middle -- it is the six of Clubs. The kicker comes when the faceup card is removed to show it has a different color back!
See. A lot like the classic Brainwave, but note how the deck is ribbon spread on the table, rather than through the hands to reveal the reversed card. Much more dramatic and less likely that spectators think some manipulation could occur as the card is revealed. The selection process of the card is not as direct as the original Brainwave, but is still very fair, free, and open.
Ship deck is a worthy addition to the Brainwave variants, and it will fry your magician friends who are familar with the classic version of Brainwave. But it also has strong impact for lay audiences, which is what really matters, of course.
There is one secret procedure that occurs during the routine -- not really a sleight, but somethign the magician must accomplish to effect the final revelation. It is easy to do with a small amount of practice and well-covered by misdirection in the routine.
Gimmicked BLUE BACK BICYCLE deck included.
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