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natmagic
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Whit - you are missing the entire point - this has NOTHING to do with the music!! Please people - get over this point. It's stealing somebody else's piece of theatre!!!! Whit - would it be OK for me to dress up like a medicine man - do your medicine act but change a few words and call myself Pop. This is what has happened. It's got NOTHING to do with the music - that's just a small part of the entire piece of theatre that Russ created. Russ - I too am at a loss for words. I guess what Whit is saying, and I'm in shock, is that it's OK for people to steal other concepts - I'm horrified this has come from somebody who I had a lot of respect and admiration for. Whit - you spent so long creating your wonderful and brilliant act - that's exactly what Russ did. He spent a long time developing an act based around a piece of music, but he themed it with lighting, staging, a video wall - then after watching it on video Shawn decided he would do the same - he changed the trick but the overall 'piece of theatre' and Russ's creative concept he stole!! THAT"S what this is about. Don't get caught up in just the music - if you do then you too are missing the point. What message are we sending to our younger magicians who can watch an act and 'take' the concept. Sad day indeed for magic and if this is the message you are sending out then magic is indeed in a sorry state.

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 1:42pm
Whit - you use Saber Dance as an example. Let's use Lance Burtons act as another with his music from Vivaldi. Now, the music in his act is only PART of the entire package. Lance has created a moment with the street lamp, spot light, the mood, style etc. All those elements make for a great piece of theatre. If I were to take all those elements and perhaps do a card routine instead of doves, but have the same music, street lamp, look and feel everybody would instantly know that my inspiration was from Lance Burton. If I were to do this I would email Lance or try to contact him to get his permission. If he said YES then I would proceed - if he said NO then I would work on something else.

Russ created a very special moment and the music was PART of it - he combined it with video, a solo performer on stage using a particular piece of music, a stool etc. Shawn saw this on a promotional video tape of Russ doing it and decided to take it without asking. This is simply WRONG!!! Personally I feel Shawn should STOP doing this routine until he acknowledges Russ and that he did indeed get the inspiration after watching Russ doing HIS ATHEM routine. After all, we all acknowledge RUSS was indeed the FIRST to do it and others are now copying. Let's at least ALL acknowledge Russ created a very special piece of theatre that was HIS signature routine that somebody else stole.

I wonder what people would say if I started doing a Floating Violin act then entered FISM and won GOLD.
dfield
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I too think Whit is reading a completely different thread. This is NOT about music, and that has been brought up time and time again on this thread and everybody stopped talking about it, so not sure why, after reading this thread you would bring it up again?? I can only assume Whit you have not read this entire thread.
Please don't get off the topic. It seems some people want to try and move this away from the actual main point - let's focus on the real issue at hand!!

Tim - just curious - are you going to FISM in 2012?
cairo
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Like Whit I have read this entire thread. The real issue at hand is that Russ feels that Shawn saw his idea of doing a card trick to Shape of My Heart, and without asking his permission also did a card trick to Shape of My Heart. Shawn claims he never saw Russ' routine and that angers Russ. That's it.

Nat seems to think it has nothing to do with the music or Shawn saying he didn't see Russ' idea, but that the issue is the concept of doing a card trick to Shape of My Heart, solo, with a video, et cetera and that that idea is the exclusive property of Russ. If that's the case Nat, why did Russ say he would have no problem with Cyril - who does all those things to Shape of my Heart, if he came up with it independently?

So, the real issue here is that Russ is upset because he feels Shawn lied about seeing his routine before creating his own, not the concept as Nat thinks.

I like everyone involved here, but I think Whit is the voice of reason.
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I have so much respect for Whit, I really love his work. Now, he comes out with his post in this thread. Now I am disappointed him. He really does not seem to get the points that are being expressed here. This has nothing to do with Russ' claim to Sting's music. Not once has Russ put forward that proposition. This is about ethics or the lack thereof. Both dfield and natmagic have summed up the point nicely.
Ken Northridge
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Uhh…well…honestly I think Whit is spot on. And I expressed it like this in 2009:

Here is my question: Which one of these gentlemen asked for Sting’s permission to use his song? Why didn’t Shawn and Russ write their own song? Absurd questions to illustrate absurdity.

Beautiful music like this inspires creativity. I know there are others using this same piece of music for their original card routine. I know because I’ve seen them using it. So what! The music is just part of the framework, the backdrop, the setting if you will. How you tie everything together to evoke an emotional response is what makes a good performance.


And I really, really like what Lee Hathaway wrote on the old thread also, especially the last paragraph:

How ridiculous, people arguing over something which doesn't belong to any of them. Shape of My Heart belongs to Sting and Dominic Miller who co-wrote it. Anyone else just fitted moves and flourishes around it. It doesn't take a big leap of the imagination to think that a well versed magician may hear some music about playing cards and think "hold on, I use music, I use playing cards"...Eureka!

Nobody other than Sting is entitled to claim ownership. If Shawn had ripped the routine performed to it, that's a different matter.

Interesting that a song which seeks to portray the utter pointlessness of war, disagreement, fighting and desire for wealth can in turn be the cause of such. Maybe if magicians spent more time listening to what Sting was trying to say, and less time throwing moves around HIS song to then claim as their own we wouldn't be in this situation.


There, that’s at least two people who agree with Whit. Its not that we are not reading the thread, we just see things differently. The way I see it, Shawn didn’t need to ask Russ’s permission to use the song, its not his song. It was a totally different routine that happened to use the same music.
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J.Warrens
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I didn't really want to come on here and say anything about this subject since I am a Vancouver magician where Shawn is from.

I personally know Reg Donnelly, and I know him to be a very kind and warm person. He has absolutely no reason to lie about any of this, and in our town, extending himself the way he has is more than cause to get one's head cut off, and lose a lot of friends.

He has nothing to gain by doing so. I'm not making a case in either direction, but I see that some have chosen to take Reg's account as "hearsay". I know that Reg isn't lying. This is a difficult situation for everybody in our town.

@ Ken Northridge: I think you're missing the point too.


Cheers,

J.Warrens
Ken Northridge
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I have a dove act. The mood and music are completely different than Lance Burton’s. But still, its a stage act, in a tuxedo, producing doves. Should I have asked Lance Burton if I could use doves in my act? Did I steal someone’s idea?
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Andrew Zuber
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Wow! It amazes me how far off topic some of these posts are. Am I missing something? I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. This is about Russ being upset that Shawn lied to him about where he got the inspiration for the routine. This has nothing whatsoever to do with legal issues, because no one is debating that! Yes, Shawn has the legal right to use the song. Yes, Russ has the legal right to use the song. Yes, anyone else who obtains performance rights may also use the song. Russ never said he "owned" the song. It doesn't matter if every magician on the planet uses the song in their act - that's not what the discussion is about. Start a different thread if you want to discuss mythical debates that aren't relevant to this topic.

THIS thread is about Russ believing that Shawn lied to him - and that's ALL it's about.
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Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2011-04-09 16:22, Andrew Zuber wrote:
Wow! It amazes me how far off topic some of these posts are. Am I missing something? I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. This is about Russ being upset that Shawn lied to him about where he got the inspiration for the routine. This has nothing whatsoever to do with legal issues, because no one is debating that! Yes, Shawn has the legal right to use the song. Yes, Russ has the legal right to use the song. Yes, anyone else who obtains performance rights may also use the song. Russ never said he "owned" the song. It doesn't matter if every magician on the planet uses the song in their act - that's not what the discussion is about. Start a different thread if you want to discuss mythical debates that aren't relevant to this topic.

THIS thread is about Russ believing that Shawn lied to him - and that's ALL it's about.

Then this is a stupid playground fight and these gentlemen should grow up.

People get lied to all the time.

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 6:51pm
I don't know what the law is in the UK or Canada, but in California, calling someone a thief, a criminal, or unethical in business is "libel per se," that is it is a broadcast or written publication of a false statement about another which accuses him/her of a crime, immoral acts, inability to perform his/her profession, having a loathsome disease (like syphilis), or dishonesty in business. Such claims are considered so obviously harmful that malice need not be proved to obtain a judgment for "general damages," and not just specific losses. These are generally easy suits to win.

This means that under the laws of my state, calling someone a "thief" or a "liar" in regards to business is most likely libel per se. I have heard more than one person make those kinds of statements on this thread. That is not very circumspect.

I suggest that people be careful about the sort of accusations that make unless they themselves have the ability to prove them in a court of law.

It is one thing to say someone isn't very original, or didn't do his own work, or many kinds of things. But someone has to own something for it to be stolen from them. If you cannot prove that someone had the right to something, you will not be able to prove someone stole it.

I truly advise people who do not understand these sorts of issues, to tread carefully in your statements. That is just being smart and professional. Use words like "in my opinion," or "it seems to me." Directing an attack such as I have seen on this thread at an individual is more serious and more risky than some seem to realize.
Dan Bernier
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The laws are like that here to Whit. A couple of posters here think that a witness acoount is considered fact. I'm not saying the witness is lying, but we don't really actually know if he is telling the truth. I heard of one character reference given about the witness, but the reference comes from someone I do not know personally enough to establish if he is a credable reference for another person we are to apparently believe because he is a witness, is automatically telling the truth.

I wish things in life was really like that. I can easily prove without a doubt that God exists then, because I am a witness to Him being real. It would be considered as a fact just simply because I am a witness. Smile

I also think it has to do with Russ wanting to give his side of the story, and vindicate himself from the accusations Shawn made in his interview on ReelMagic Magazine, (If you haven't already got your copy of the hottest and most controversal issue to date, buy it today! In fact, why not get a subsciption?)

I think Russ doing that here on the Café (public forum) was a bad idea. I still haven't taken sides, and to be real honest I see no benefit to any party as to if I do choose a side or not. I don't know any facts other than what people are saying.

I'm with Whit, Ken, and the others who share the opposite view. Take away the music and what are the similarities between the two routines that one can make claim to. Russ performs card flourishes, Shawn performs an ambitious type routine. The words of the song are what both performers perform to. Showing a diamond when Sting sings the word diamond, etc.

I understand why Russ would be upset by believeing that Shawn got the idea from him, but truth be known, magicians constantly get idea's from each other. I know of many magicians who like watching other magicians promo tapes, etc. Magicians don't even buy secrets anymore, we buy routines, and idea's. We take those routines and idea's and make them our own by styling it after our own personality, or character. I

Yes, theatrically one might be able to say that the routines our the same. However, theatrically I've seen many magicians rip each other off then. How many people perform the Linking Rings like Vernon did? How many dove magicians theatrically look similiar to Lance Burton's shows? How many young vibrant teenagers are out their trying to emulate Criss Angel?

I do not support blatant copycats, or one person stealing another persons routine. I do not condone lying either. If Shawn is guilty of anything, it lying about not getting the idea from watching Russ's promo tape. If Shawn lied then that is his demon to wrestle with.

Russ should of just made a statement to one of the magic media outlets. I'm sure Koz would of had Russ be interviewed for ReelMagic magazine to give his side of the story. I've never personally met Koz, but I know for a fact that he is a great guy!.
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Tim Ellis
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Natmagic: "that's exactly what Russ did. He spent a long time developing an act based around a piece of music, but he themed it with lighting, staging, a video wall"

Russ uses a video wall? This is new information.

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 7:31pm
J Warren: "I personally know Reg Donnelly, and I know him to be a very kind and warm person. He has absolutely no reason to lie about any of this, and in our town, extending himself the way he has is more than cause to get one's head cut off, and lose a lot of friends.

He has nothing to gain by doing so. I'm not making a case in either direction, but I see that some have chosen to take Reg's account as "hearsay". I know that Reg isn't lying. This is a difficult situation for everybody in our town."

Hi J, I've never met Reg and I'm sure he's a nice chap, but you are right when you say "extending himself the way he has is more than cause to get one's head cut off."

He's chosen to go to Russ and tell him that Shawn copied Russ's idea. Why he chose to do that, who knows, it's definitely going to get him off Shawn's Christmas card list whether it's true or not.

Shawn denies what Reg says and suggests that he may have him confused with another magician.

So, it would appear that either Shawn is lying or Reg may be mistaken, I don't see how both can be true.

My point is that it's one man's word against another.

One side example - years ago when I had applied to join a local magic club, my application was rejected. Why? Because two members stated that I couldn't join because they had restraining orders against me. A ridiculous and outrageous claim with no basis in truth. But those members were accepted at their word, nobody even asked them to present proof, and the allegations spread like wildfire throughout the magic community with people asking what terrible things I must have done to have earned a restraining order.

Back to the case at hand:

Reg may be telling the complete truth.
Shawn may be telling the complete truth.

Without evidence we don't know and, as Whit pointed out, to say otherwise could easily result in a libel case.
markparker
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Reading over the latest posts I think it is time to put this thread to rest now. It keeps getting off track time and time again and going round in circles. The story is out and everyone can make up their own mind.

This whole music issue seems to excite some into posting irrelevant ramblings. When and wherever Russ has performed his routine, the Venue or Tv company would have paid the PRS fees so lets clear that one up, as legally that is all fine.

Russ is not claiming card manipulation to music is his idea that would be ridiculous. Russ created the shape of my heart routine using card manipulation to the lyrics of the song way before Shawn created his routine for close up.
It always has been a simple case of Shawn not having the decency to credit or contact him about his 'version' after watching Russ on tape back in the day...very simple and could have been sorted out years ago without all of this going on now. I showed this out of interest to someone that knows nothing about Russ, Shawn or Magic. Her response after watching the video of the interview was "that guy is not telling the truth there is something very weird and uncomfortable about him" I would suggest you all do the same and see the response you get.

Understand this thread came about because of Shawn and the very questionable statements on the reel magic interview.....Every man has the right to stand up for himself so Russ did the only thing he could by making his calm composed video in response. Magicians tend to follow the more 'known' people and hang on their every word so I fully understand why Russ responded.

This may appear petty to some but it has come to a head recently and people should know the full story and make up their own minds....it will never get resolved on the Café...that is a hard fact.

To those that feel the need to continue this thread please just go back to the topic.

Thanks

Mark
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Dan Bernier
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Quote:
On 2011-03-30 00:39, Tony Curtis wrote:
Could someone explain why the Shawn Farquhar & Russ Stevens thread has already been locked? I would have thought that taking into account the ethics issues raised all parties concerned would have been allowed to freely state their case.

Tony Curtis

This, I take it would be the topic, considering it was the first post.

Where do you believe the thread first got off topic? Smile

Quote:
On 2011-03-31 00:04, markparker wrote:
Russ' point here and always has been is not about Shawn doing the close up routine as I am more than certain if Shawn when he sat down with the magician in Canada and watched the promo tape which Shawn I know for a fact! payed for half of the PAL conversion, containing the SOMH routine and had asked at that point if Russ would mind if he created a close up ambitious card routine using the music 'as he was very influenced" by watching this...Russ would have said sure and thanks for the compliment...however that has not been the case and Shawn has taken this route to stand by his misguided pr stating it was his idea from the outset.

Personally I think its a pride thing with Shawn and he knows he is wrong to claim this as his original concept and as it has gone on for so long to admit now he did what he did would expose his years of story telling and discredit some of his accolades...and lose face of course!

Russ tried to sort this out for years with him and for Shawn to go on camera like this recently says a great deal to me. His whole body language was wrong and in my experience when someone over explains is such flawed detail like the whole VHS subtitle thing which amazed me. Leon was not released on VHS until 1995 the opening of the movie in cinemas was 18th November 1994 so no way was the VHS even out...if you are going to talk BS at least do some research first Shawn...to me it says a lot. The heartfelt 'we where poor back then' story didn't cut it with me.

I will state I am not biased on this whole issue its just facts that I know from first hand. Yes I do know Russ and he does not know I am writing this post until he sees it here.

You have to liken this to a remix of an old music track....the re-mixers contact the original source for permission and then credit accordingly if they are ethical.

Shame on you Mr Far fetched for taking your years of lies to another level just to keep on top in the eyes of others while trying to stomp on Russ' reputation.

Make up your own minds..I know what the truth is.

I'd say it was this post that first derailed from the original topic. Wouldn't you agree. Smile
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Gordyboy
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No Markparker, you state what you think it has "always been a case of" and like many others have gotten it wrong. I respect Russ and understand where he's coming from, but this is a simple case of Russ accusing Shawn of viewing his tape and basing his routine on Russ's, and Shawn denying that he knew anything about Russ's routine until well after he created his.

That's it. That's the bottom line.

My opinion is that Russ truly believes what he's saying, but I believe Shawn. I base that on the fact that in the past 5 years I've gotten to know Shawn and what kind of person I judge him to be. If I'm wrong, then I apologize, but all I'd be guilty of is poor judgement or being fooled. If you and others are wrong, then you are guilty of slandering someone (or maybe libel, I'm not too clear on that and really don't care enough to research it) and it's a much more grievous error. What if Reg is wrong? What if he did supply Shawn with a copy of the tape and Shawn never watched it?? (I have a couple of boxes of tapes I've never watched, I really don't know what's on them).

The movie came out in 1994... it came out in 1995.... it had subtitles.. no, it had closed captioning... blah blah blah.. that's just people making a bunch of noise and using faulty logic to come to a conclusion. Shawn has never disputed that Russ created his routine first, so there is no need for people to keep saying that Russ did it first therefore Shawn is guilty. By making my judgement that I believe Shawn, it is in no way intended as a negative comment about Russ, yet we have people making more noise about what an ethical person Russ is. Nobody is disputing that so it does nothing to further the conversation.

I agree, time to close the thread, the entire thing could have been summed up in a few posts.
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markparker
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Well boys looks like you have made up your minds.

You both are obviously friends of Shawn and in my opinion are blinded by that so no point getting into a bun fight with you both...kinda pointless getting you to see past your rose tinted spectacles anymore.

Gordyboy your post contradicts itself and avoids the errors of Shawn wonderfully. Please don't PM me again with this following fluff

"If I'm wrong then I apologize, but I don't think I'd have much to apologize for other than making a bad judgement, and if I am wrong it's not a grievous error, but I do think that if you're wrong it truly is a grievous error.

I realize you've known Russ a long time, and I'm not disputing some things you're stating as fact. I will accept as fact that Russ was doing his routine prior to Shawn creating his. I will accept as fact that Reg got a tape of Russ's act, but it does bother me that now Reg doesn't step up and confirm that he shared it with Shawn, so that comes under question. So I don't think anyone is disputing those things I just said I accept as fact.

As far as Shawn's story about that old movie on VHS, and the subtitles etc.. I haven't answered because I simply have no answer. I have no idea. I don't know when it was released on VHS, I don't know when Shawn really saw it or exactly when he came up with his routine (1994, 1995??) and I have no idea how or if subtitles work on VHS.

I have numerous routines that I honestly couldn't tell you what year I began developing. I'd be within a year or two, but if my feet were held to the fire I couldn't be sure. But then again, I'm an amateur and none of my routines mean as much to me or to anyone else.

If Shawn really did see Russ's act, then I agree 100% that the correct thing to do at that time would be to contact Russ. If it were me, I would contact Russ, tell him how much I enjoyed his performance, tell him I have some ideas to take it a bit of a different direction and ask for his blessing to create my routine, and then give him credit for the influence (I think there's a better word for that but it escapes me at the moment)."


Maybe get Shawn to come on here and make his case directly to Russ regarding his Reel Magic interview
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"You both are obviously friends of Shawn and in my opinion are blinded by that so no point getting into a bun fight with you both...kinda pointless getting you to see past your rose tinted spectacles anymore."

Let's not resort to "us vs them"
natmagic
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Thank you MarkParker for being the voice of reason .. and bringing common sense in to this debate.

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 11:42pm
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Whit Haydn
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Being the first to use a pop song to a magic trick, even the same magic trick, does not give you any rights at all. Anyone else can do any magic trick, even the same one, to that same music. To imply anything else is to interfere in the musician's right of commerce. Buy exclusive rights, have your own original music done for you by less well-known musicians--that is helping other struggling artists.

If you create a masterpiece to someone else's music, then just know that anyone else who wants to try can attempt to create a masterpiece to the same music. You must either buy EXCLUSIVE rights to a piece of music, or accept that others might use it RIGHTFULLY in the same way.

Otherwise, David Copperfield might claim exclusive rights to doing magic to music that illustrates the lyrics at all.

Unless Russ OWNS the rights to the staging, scripting, special lighting, card plot, or music, or general "feel" of the piece, then even if Shawn took all of that from him, it is not theft, and Russ has no complaint, because nothing was taken from him that he owns.

I don't know if this is the case, and if it is, then I feel sorry for Russ. His hard work didn't pay off the way it should have. Next time don't build you house on sand. Buy exclusive rights to your music, or have original music commisioned.

These kinds of fights are useless and bruising and eventually worthless. Spend time on making new magic.

I have no dog in this fight, and I am sure that those who care whether or not someone told a lie will continue to debate and offer proofs until something is settled. Nothing ever will be, and if it is, it won't mean squat.

"To the loser goes the hang-ups, to the winner go the hangers on." -- Phil Ochs
Tony Curtis
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Quote:
On 2011-04-10 00:35, Whit Haydn wrote:
Being the first to use a pop song to a magic trick, even the same magic trick, does not give you any rights at all. Anyone else can do any magic trick, even the same one, to that same music. To imply anything else is to interfere in the musician's right of commerce. Buy exclusive rights, have your own original music done for you by less well-known musicians--that is helping other struggling artists.

This has nothing to do with the Shawn Farquhar & Russ Stevens thread here.

Tony Curtis
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I was under the impression that the issue concerned a video tape and the story as told in the most recent interview(s) - not the music from the end of a movie that's in English.
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