Effect: Losing Control Artist: Lee Asher Link: http://www.leeasher.com/store/online_downloads/losing_control.html Retail Price: $13.99 USD Learning Difficulty: Easy Notes: This is a down-loadable PDF file with embedded video links. Connection to the internet will be required to take full advantage of the teaching potential of this product. Includes: 1 PDF Download with embedded video links The Effect: The magician shuffles a deck of playing cards, a card is selected. It's shown to the audience for clarity, and then pushed back into the deck slowly. With a snap of the fingers, the card appears back on top of the deck. There is no pass, no awkward movements, no tell tale sign of a “move” being done at all. This is just one possible presentation of “Losing Control” from Lee Asher. Losing Control is a beautiful card control technique designed to move a selected card to the top of the deck. It's direct, slick, efficient, and economical. Initial Reactions: For such a direct utility move the PDF download is beautifully done. Lee has gone above and beyond to insure that the instructions on this PDF are direct and to the point. Just off the first glance at some of the topics he covers in the PDF it would appear that he's thought of just about everything you'd need to know to perform this move. Everything from its history, to its theory, to practical application, and instructions. I also like the photos (of which there are over 20) that are included in this PDF. They are well shot, crisp clean images, that help you visualize what the instructions are asking you to do. When I think about card technique, and the skills a card worker should have, I think it's critical for any card worker to master the controlling of a playing card to the top of the deck; as this principle is used in many card plots. For this purpose most of us bust our knuckles with hours of long practice to master the “Pass” technique. I'm frustrated that those long hours of fighting with packets of cards could have been circumvented if I had this product sooner. Lee's “Losing Control” is a very slick and very deceptive card control that I think everyone stands to learn something from. Performance: It doesn't take too long to learn how to perform Losing Control. I was surprised at how fast I was able to pick it up. I would consider myself an able card worker of average skill, and I was performing the moves with only minimal practice. The deceptive motion that you'll perform when you bring the two halves of the deck back together was perhaps the hardest for me to get down as it was a timing thing, but again, with a little work I got it to look smooth. One of the nice things about Losing Control is that it has multiple applications. This technique could be applied to any card to what ever plot, billet switching, business cards, Mem Decks (as it doesn't disturb the deck order), envelopes, and more. Really it just depends on your creativity on how you apply it. Lee does state in the instructions, and I'm keen to agree with him that this shouldn't be used with Ambitious, as it really doesn't make the best use of this wonderful technique. Instructions: The instructions for this utility move are very well written, and are available in PDF format. Though I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to print these out if you seriously needed a physical copy. The instructions contains over 14 pages of detailed information ranging from the handling, presentation, theory, background, and even details on the cards that Asher uses in the PDF. It's safe to say that Lee leaves no stone unturned when presenting this material to you. One of the benefits of paying for magic PDF downloads is the ability to fully utilize the computers power for delivering learning tools to you. This PDF also has links embedded in it which will allow you to download five short, but nicely filmed videos of good quality to help you learn the move better. These videos takes the guess work of “Well I think my finger is suppose to move here, while at the same time the deck does this” out of traditional learn by manuscript magic. Practicality: This is a utility move, and thus since it can be applied to many different effects, is very practical. Anytime you need to control a card to the top of the deck (or from there to another position) this is a beautiful move that is very natural looking, and deceptive way of accomplishing that task. This just doesn't look like a fancy “move”. If you take the time to learn this move it will be a worker for you. Over All Opinion: The move is ballsy. I had to watch the video twice to understand its deception. The first time I watched the video my eyes were too trained on what my hands were doing, so I missed the point. I failed to see the deception, and my eyes just followed the card to it's final position. However; the second time that I watched the video I wasn't watching it to learn, I was watching it for performance value, and that's when the deception took me. At full speed the movements were fluid enough that I had failed to catch it completely. This move is simple, direct, and most of all works. You just have to be willing to commit to it. Overall I like the concept, and I would certainly recommend this PDF to anyone who does card magic. When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Performance Practicality and Over all Quality. Product Quality: 8 I think the product is of great quality. You certainly get what you pay for. The price is fair, and the product is something that you'll be able to use through-out your magic career. Teaching Quality: 8 Lee does an excellent job teaching this effect. The instructions are well written, the photos are clear, and the videos are short, and directly to the point. Performance Practicality: 8 This is a very practical effect. This utility move can be applied to many routines. Over All Quality: 8 I love it! This is a great move to have in my arsenal, and one I think everyone would do well with learning.