Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

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Matt Sedlak
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Matt Sedlak » August 7th, 2009, 1:49 pm

Wow. Magicians will find a way to nerdrage about nearly anything. That the two routines are different is hard to dispute. They are in two completely different categories of magic! Basically what was borrowed (if anything) was a presentational element. But magicians do that all the time. How many of us, including top professionals, borrow bits or lines from others (albeit usually with permission). It is a part of magic so I don't see it being a problem with it being a part of magic competitions. Of course people can disagree but they should do so in private. What benefit does it have to air it publicly? If anything I would be flattered than an idea of mine made it into a FISM-winning act.

I have to side with mrgoat and Mr. Kaufman on this though. The acts seem rather uninspiring to me although I like it even less as a close-up piece. Close up magic at its best seems unscripted and spontaneous. Performing it to music where cards are produced to coincide with the naming of them just screams of cheesy scripting. To focus on it seems even worse. Of course, competition magic is a different breed altogether so who knows. All I can say is that it's not for me.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 7th, 2009, 2:14 pm

Are folks asking to get credit for the "lord, privy, seal" gag ?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BRollRebus
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on August 7th, 2009, 2:15 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: added a link for those who forgot the term.

skmayhew
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby skmayhew » August 7th, 2009, 2:17 pm

mrgoat wrote:No offense meant to either party, but am I alone thinking both of these routines are cheesy and corny?



I'm with ya on this, mrgoat.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 7th, 2009, 2:42 pm

"nerdrage"? I've never heard this term before, which probably just means I'm old.
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby jamesdixonmagic » August 7th, 2009, 6:09 pm

Chris
I like your point about putting up different music. You have just proved HOW important Stings Shape of My Heart is to Russ's routine. The music is obviously a major part of the routine and the version you put together proves this. Well done.
Russ and Shawn have obviously both worked at their routines for a long time and the only piece of music that works for either routine is Shape Of My Heart.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Magic Newswire » August 7th, 2009, 6:26 pm

Prolly would make more sense as "nerd-rage"
BTW, I have posted both YouTube clips side by side at www.themnw.net for you to watch and compare if you have not already done so.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby mrgoat » August 7th, 2009, 7:30 pm

jamesdixonmagic wrote:Chris
I like your point about putting up different music. You have just proved HOW important Stings Shape of My Heart is to Russ's routine. The music is obviously a major part of the routine and the version you put together proves this. Well done.
Russ and Shawn have obviously both worked at their routines for a long time and the only piece of music that works for either routine is Shape Of My Heart.


Yes of course, no other music clumsily dubbed over a neatly choreographed routine totally proves, that in the history of recorded music, over every genre, the only thing suitable for a card manip/colour change routine is from the ex lead singer of The Police.

It's not just a really obvious thing to do cos the lyric has some mentions to cards in it at all.

As stated earlier, I am astounded only two people have done this, it's just so obvious it's verging on painful!

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Tim Ellis
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Tim Ellis » August 7th, 2009, 7:46 pm

I prefer this version http://video.yahoo.com/watch/5704206/14947434 , it's much more entertaining and not "cheesey" at all.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Tim Ellis » August 8th, 2009, 1:05 am

In the news today the talk is about fashion designer Collette Dinnigan accusing another designer of copying her latest dress.

Everyone who has reported has commented the dresses look very different, but Collette is adamant the other designer saw hers and copied it.

A reporter wrote:

"Just because two dress have similar DNA does that mean one is a clone? The fashion gene pool, it turns out, isn't that big. Being successful in fashion isn't always about doing it first. It's about taking an idea and perhaps just doing it better, or at the least doing it in a way that makes it accessible to your customer base, in terms or wearability and price. That's not coying, it's evolution, and that's how the design world works. In the meantime there's more than enough demand for black, beaded Art Deco cocktail frocks to go round."

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby AMCabral » August 8th, 2009, 1:22 am

skmayhew wrote:
mrgoat wrote:No offense meant to either party, but am I alone thinking both of these routines are cheesy and corny?



I'm with ya on this, mrgoat.


Seconded. I was hoping for something more from an award-winning routine. It's better than the creep with the Barbie doll, but still

-T

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Seuss » August 8th, 2009, 2:10 am

Russ,

as the rest of the world can see with the sound off they are 2 entirely different routines. I can say this with all honesty as I had never heard of you or shawn before tonight and watched both video clips played at the same time on magic newswire. I was completely confused until I saw the music mentioned and gave a listen. You are so right the songs are the same. Once I realized that I immediately wondered why you had chosen the song. While instantly correlated the lyrics to the various productions and ambitious shifts I had seen in shawn's routine I couldn't immediately recall you using the lyric in this way (you quite understate how subtle the lyrics play into your routine) and in fact only noticed them all upon multiple viewings of your clip)

While I feel nothing said here or elsewhere will make you realize there is no theft of your act taking place I can only assure you that the sooner you realize it the better.
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Jeff Haas » August 8th, 2009, 2:44 am

Here's another approach to the same kind of routine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0hAUN4bYVk

It's not a magic act, but there's a reference to magic in it.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Chris Aguilar » August 8th, 2009, 3:15 am

I like to think that I have a real appreciation for good magic in just about any form, but both those routines left me completely cold.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby MattJohnson » August 8th, 2009, 11:50 am

Hi All,

I am posting a post that I originally posted on the Magic Cafe as I believe it is relevant to this thread too. This is my first post here at Genii. I found this blog through a post in the Magic Cafe. I have decided to post this again as I would like those that do not read the Magic Cafe to hear what I have to say.

*Posted on the Magic Cafe August the 7th 2009*

I have been reading all of the threads & discussions with regards to this subject for some time now & feel I can keep myself out of this no longer.

As many of you know I also live in Vancouver & have known both Shawn & Reg for many years now. I have considered both to be friends over the years so I find this post very difficult to write.

About 2 years ago while building props for my act Reg shared with me the fact that he had a promo tape of Russ Stevens. This came about because we were discussing FISM acts & happened to talk about Shawn's act as he lives in the same town as us. I happened to mention that it was very similar to an act by Russ Stevens & as I was born & raised in the UK I had seen Russ's act on television many times as a teenager in the early 90's.

My jaw dropped that day when Reg shared the information with me that he has shared with you here. Please understand that he shared this with me in confidence & because Vancouver is a small town when it comes to magicians I chose to hold this in confidence. For years he has felt bad about the sharing of the tape in light of the fact that Shawn went on to develop his act. Please understand that at that time I had no reason to doubt Reg (& still do not) as those that know him, know him to be trust worthy & a kind, gentle sole that would not hurt a fly.

Now to the matter at hand.

I feel the point we are all missing here is not the fact that the routines are different (although staging similarities do exist) but the matter of ethics & integrity behind all of this.

As magicians ethics & integrity is one of the most important things we have. As many of you know, it is close to impossible in our art, craft & business to copyright an act, effect or idea simply because it is so darned expensive to do so. We therefore build our art on an unwritten code of ethics that we trust will protect us from situations like this. It is the same code of ethics we all swear to when joining our local magic clubs. We are asked to swear to this code of ethics when joining our magic clubs & societies because it is the very fiber with which our craft is held together.

It appears to me from the information I have from Reg & through the threads here on the Caf that Shawn had a copy of Russ's act around 1995 - 14 years ago. I believe that Reg did give him a copy of the tape & that is why I find this so very hard to swallow. If Reg gave Shawn a copy of the tape 14 years ago that means that Shawn did know who Russ Stevens was & had seen his act before.

The bit that hurts the most for me (as a magician) is not whether or not it was directly based on Russ's act as we will never prove that. It is the fact that Shawn has denied publicly ever hearing of Russ up until a few years ago. If indeed Shawn did see a tape of Russ's act14 years ago then all of the interactions with Russ Stevens over the years have all been false. This boils down to the ethics & integrity I was referring to earlier. If we cannot hold onto the ethics & integrity of magic what is the point?

So in conclusion.

I am not going to sit here and argue whether or not the acts are the same (although I have my own opinions on that) & whether or not Shawn was inspired by Russ. However I do understand how Russ must feel. I do not believe that Russ brought this up simply because Shawn won FISM & has sour grapes. I believe that Russ brought this up because certain matters came to light that made all of his discussions with Shawn obsolete. I also believe that Russ has been put in a situation for many years that he should never have been in. He created an act to music we have all thought about using but never the less he created it 16 years ago (or more). I know because I saw it on TV with my own two eyes. He was then lead to believe that Shawn came up with his routine independently & had resided himself to that.

Imagine how Russ must feel now he knows different. Put yourself in Russ's shoes here for a second!

How would you feel? I know how I would feel!!!

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Shawn Farquhar » August 8th, 2009, 11:52 am

I have arrived in Japan, where I can now use internet without restrictions. I have wasted most of my first day in Japan reading Magic Cafe, iTricks, Genii and the useless blog I will not promote.

I see that the "well respected magician" has been revealed.

Russ wrote:

"Recently a rather important piece of information has been passed onto me from a well respected magician, about a VHS promotional tape of mine that ended up in Vancouver in the mid-nineties."

How recent was this important piece of information given to you and why did you not email or call to ask me personally if this was fact or fiction? Why did you wait until after FISM? I have asked you several questions on these forums and you have yet to reply to any.

Instead you continue to repeat the same line:
"I'd like to point out that Shawn considered them close enough to accuse me of copying him.".
This is misleading and you know it. I was told by your friends that I was a thief first. I was told by these same friends that your routine was identical to mine. That is why I accused you of copying me! Once I saw your little routine I knew you most likely had never seen mine. In my previous reply to this misleading and repetitive statement you make I said: "No Russ I did not think they were close enough. In fact I was told by your friends at the FFFF convention that the routines were identical. I had never seen or heard of you for that matter! I contacted you based on their statements and soon discovered the routine had nothing similar other than the use of the same music. As I wrote above I thought we had settled this dispute. In fact you wrote, "I wouldn't want to ever fall out, and of course, as discussed before, I know that we've simply had the same presentational idea. In fact when a few people first told me of yours, I checked out what you were doing and found it to be obviously different to the extent that a rip-off wouldn't do." Now you appear to be upset that I used my routine to compete and win an award. You have also since written you were uncomfortable by my use of a stool ... what?"

I should also bring to your attention, in case you have yet to watch my performance from FISM 2009, that I did not use a stool, I sat at a chair and used a table too ... the only reason I use a stool during stage shows is to establish the stool before doing Kevin James snow routine. (Yes, I perform the routine with Kevin's permission and use different music too)

Reg Donnelly wrote:

"In 1994 I was in England with Francis Martineau and Russ gave us a copy of his promo tape It was in pal.The conversion to NTSC at
that time was more than I wanted to pay. So at a meeting a few months later (could have been early 1995) I asked Shawn if he wanted to pay half; and we both ended up with a viewable copy.
It is possible he had forgotten. I mean 14 years has passed."

Reg Donnelly

Reg had in the past traded me video tapes from the UK and Japan. These videos were usually FISM NHK or Wayne Dobson and Paul Daniel shows. I have no recollection of any promotional videos of any acts whatsoever. I have 100's of videos that I have collected, converted or traded and will say again that it makes no sense to me why I would have agreed to pay to have a video converted when I have my own conversion machine.

Perhaps Reg is mistaken? I can't be the only magician he traded videos with at the time. Perhaps he is thinking of Matt Ridley who was an avid collector of magic videos and a great dove act. Reg and I are not friends, but we aren't adversaries either. He travels in a circle of magicians who for the most part do not like me, but I can't imaging his post was made with malice intent. However the questions does arise why didn't he contact me first, instead of Russ Stevens? Why did he confide in Matt Johnson, but not speak to me at all?

Matt Johnson wrote:

"As many of you know I also live in Vancouver & have known both Shawn & Reg for many years now. I have considered both to be friends over the years so I find this post very difficult to write.

About 2 years ago while building props for my act Reg shared with me the fact that he had a promo tape of Russ Stevens. This came about because we were discussing FISM acts & happened to talk about Shawn's act as he lives in the same town as us. I happened to mention that it was very similar to an act by Russ Stevens & as I was born & raised in the UK I had seen Russ's act on television many times as a teenager in the early 90's.

My jaw dropped that day when Reg shared the information with me that he has shared with you here. Please understand that he shared this with me in confidence & because Vancouver is a small town when it comes to magicians I chose to hold this in confidence."


Matt, I do believe this was a difficult post to write. I am surprised that for two years you have never thought to ask me if the allegation was true. As your friend, if someone were to accuse you of something, I would confront you to find out both sides of the story. Your post is just a repetition of what Reg has said to Russ.

Over the years I think I have proved myself to be an ethical individual. Here are just a few examples that spring to mind:

a) One of my students bought a rip off version of the Cub Zag, built by Reg Donnelly. I wanted my student to not use the prop and in fact spent my own money to purchase him a used and authentic one from www.magicaution and put him on a payment plan to slowly pay off the cost.

b) I created a routine based on a principle of Jon Allen, noted UK magician, and have credited him in every publication and lecture I present. Why because he inspired the routine.

c) I have recently release Torn 2 Pieces which I created many years ago. When I first presented it to a group of magicians one was quick to reference Dan Harlan and an effect he created long before my effect. I contacted Dan and came to an agreement. Why ... it was the right thing to do!

d) On the day of rehearsal for the final contest at FISM I found three CD's laying on the floor in an unsecured dressing room. I opened them to discover one was my music, another's was Latko's and the final one was Marc Oberon's. I took all three with me and soon found Latko and gave him back his property. It wasn't until I was at the final rehearsal (the one accidentally broadcast at FISM) that I saw Marc in a bit of a worry as the ONLY copy of his music had gone missing! Without it he would not be able to compete. An unethical person could have easily sat silent. I assured Marc I had found his music and it was safe in my room and sent my Wife to retrieve it so he could compete against me in the finals.

Now ask yourselves, if I would be ethical for these, why wouldn't I admit I saw a video tape, liked the music, disliked the performers interpretation of the magic and was inspired to create my own! The reason I wouldn't is simple ... it's not how it happened! If it was the way it happened none of this would matter anyways!

Russ Steven's and his band of mean spirited bloggers and youtube posters just don't get it. It's a piece of music that cries out to be a card trick. I created one and it is good. Good enough that the two versions I have online have accumulated nearly 400,000 views compared to his 16,709 views on YouTube. Good enough to be a Featured Video this week! Russ even uses my name in his tags for his video to try to increase his views! For some reason he also uses David Copperfield.

I concede he found the music first. I also think he should be the only one to use it when presenting a back palming/card sword presentation while sitting on a stool or standing for that matter.

I promise I will never present a routine using back palming and the song "Shape of my Heart". pinky swear!

I have had quite enough of this ridiculous thread and Mr. Steven's attempt's to attack me ... what a great way to celebrate my achievement at FISM.

Respectfully,

Shawn Farquhar
2009 Grand Prix FISM World Champion of Close Up
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greg manwaring
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby greg manwaring » August 8th, 2009, 12:20 pm

I became intrigued with this thread, and not knowing either gentleman, decided to watch both of their performances.

I DO see the similarities.

They both reveal cards that are described in the songs lyrics as the song announces them. One chose to reveal them through card productions, and one in an ambitious card setting.

Mr. Farquhar weaves his routine, with the revealing of cards as they are mentioned in the song, all the way through the song, while Mr. Stevens stops at a natural break halfway through the song to have a card chosen, lose it in the pack and then reveal it with a card stab at the end of the song (which also happens to be a heart).

Again, I don't know either party and this is only my opinion from what I viewed.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Michael Dustman » August 8th, 2009, 12:22 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:I trust Sting is getting royalties from both Russ and Shawn each time they perform this! If not, he's the one getting ripped off!


I may have misunderstood a previous conversation, but I believe Shawn has an agreement directly with Sting and his label and pays royalty rights directly. Of course, adding to the list of right things to do.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Magic Newswire » August 8th, 2009, 12:42 pm

For those interested, here are the lyrics of the song. I can totally see how two different performers would find it a fitting accompaniment to a card routine:

He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect
He doesn't play for the money he wins
He doesn't play for the respect
He deals the cards to find the answer
The sacred geometry of chance
The hidden law of probable outcome
The numbers lead a dance

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But thats not the shape of my heart

He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But thats not the shape of my heart
Thats not the shape, the shape of my heart

And if I told you that I loved you
You'd maybe think there's something wrong
Im not a man of too many faces
The mask I wear is one
Those who speak know nothing
And find out to their cost
Like those who curse their luck in too many places
And those who smile are lost

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But thats not the shape of my heart
Thats not the shape of my heart

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Russ Stevens » August 8th, 2009, 12:51 pm

Hello Everyone,

I do not have a band of bloggers. After the FISM result I was inundated with emails from people expressing their disgust and my name was being mentioned on various forums and blogs (including the one run by Shawn Farquhar's friend Tim Ellis). That is why I had to respond.

I stand by every word that I have written and I trust Reg Donnelly and Matt Johnson implicitly. I dont care how many hits Shawn Farquhar has had on YouTube and I fail to see what that has to do with the situation (apart telling us all about his ego!).

I know hell never admit the truth and so I have absolutely nothing more to say on the matter.

Best wishes and have a great weekend!
Russ

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Ryan Matney » August 8th, 2009, 3:31 pm

A lot of people on this thread seem to be saying that 'staging and framing' do not belong to anyone and Mr. Stevens has nothing to claim other than use of a song and anyone can use it.

While I don't wish to defend anyone in this matter or take a side, I would like to point out that I'm sure most of you would feel differently if this were patter or framing and not a song.

For example, If I were to use the "Exclusive Coterie" patter from 'Expert at the Card Table' when doing an assembly or even another type of effect, I bet most of the same posters would cry foul and jump all over me for copying and ripping off Ricky Jay. But the patter was written by a third party as is the Sting song.

In fact, I have seen it suggested that Ricky Jay has established an ownership of using classic patter to present a card effect and we should just honor that and stay well away from doing it ouselves. That's fine.

I've seen music and songs be just as respected for one individual's use as patter is. So why is this situation any different? And why do you resort to discussions of types of effects being different and staging and framing etc etc.

Isn't it as simple as whichever of the two gentlemen established the use of the song first is the owner of the material, (not literally the OWNER of course)? This is certainly the stance most would take if someone used Ricky Jay's patter, Copperfield's music or Eugene Burger's presentation, or Max Maven's hair style. I don't see why this is any different.
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Pete Biro » August 8th, 2009, 4:28 pm

I think that version with a different musical background to Russ' routine is stronger and more entertaining. Until the card sword I was congratulating Russ for not messing up the floor... but... As far as his card manipulations they are not up there at all... pretty average. IMHO.

I wonder if he would have complained if Shawn had done the Linking Rings to the STING music?

Anyway, I don't see much of a similarity. Lance doesn't complain when act after act uses the Vilvaldi piece during their manipulations. It's pointless.
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby jamesdixonmagic » August 8th, 2009, 4:55 pm

Pete, the problem is that when ever I listen to any magician using Lace Burton's music doing a dove act (Vivaldi) then I can only think of Lance Burton. Doesn't matter what type of dove work they do - it's because Lance has established himself with that piece of music.

I think if Russ did establish himself with this routine on TV and in his live performances then I can see why he is upset.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Pete Biro » August 8th, 2009, 5:58 pm

If he gets upset, fair. But what real effect does that have on their careers? Is this the only thing he does?
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Tim Ellis » August 8th, 2009, 7:23 pm

Russ Stevens wrote:Hello Everyone,

I do not have a band of bloggers. After the FISM result I was inundated with emails from people expressing their disgust and my name was being mentioned on various forums and blogs (including the one run by Shawn Farquhar's friend Tim Ellis). That is why I had to respond.


Russ, please stop rewriting recent history.

YOU emailed ME asking for my opinion on the matter BEFORE I blogged anything. (I'm sure if I'd agreed with you instead of Shawn, I wouldn't be attracting so much criticism and attacks and the new 'TIM ELLIS SUX' site that I've received because I didn't agree that Shawn stole your routine).

What I did blog about (initially) was the disgusting personal attacks Shawn was receiving from your "supporters" (referred to Shawn as your "band of bloggers").

Yes, I am Shawn's friend, but I'm not going to turn a blind eye to unethical behaviour in any of my friends either.

It may surprise you to know that most of the judges, and a very large proportion of the magic community are Shawn's friends too.

Unfortunately, the whole idea of trying to make people choose sides between you or Shawn does appear to be a very petty behaviour.

As many have told you before, if you are genuine in your belief that Shawn stole your "presentational staging" then please contact FISM directly and let others get on with their lives.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby David Scollnik » August 8th, 2009, 8:20 pm

Jeff Haas wrote:Here's another approach to the same kind of routine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0hAUN4bYVk

It's not a magic act, but there's a reference to magic in it.

I found the above video with two performers quite entertaining. Who is the performer that is not Natalie?

Not to make light of anything, but it would be something to see Russ and Shawn perform their respective routines simultaneously alongside one another on stage.

(FWIW, I had the idea of a simultaneous on stage performance prior to watching the video.)

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Magic Newswire » August 8th, 2009, 8:52 pm

The sad part of this whole discussion for me is that we are far more interested in the controversy than in discussing the acts. Soma's act has so much to offer that other magicians and up and coming magicians can learn from and yet all we can talk about is this nonsense. I guess that's why television stations like E! and such do so well.. we are so easily distracted with the tawdry topics.

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby smokemist » August 9th, 2009, 1:34 am

One routine is stage card manip, and the other is close-up.. from what i gather..
I think the sting song is an obvious choice for magicians to use, since it names cards.. How could one not come up with a card routine with this song?! It's too perfect.

A lot of us know that feeling when, after months, sometimes, years of searching for a song for a routine, we finally find that "perfect" peice. We want to gaurd that song more than our magic technique, in some cases! I've been there.. and still am.

I've spent years and years looking for music that works, so I can understand the sensitive feelings when you see another magi use the same song. It blows... But, I think if the routines are different enough, then one cannot really gripe.. especially with song that is bound to be used by countless magicians due to the lyrics alone..

ps. I agree that there may be some enflamed egos out there, with songs like, "stand up for the champions" in promo vids..
hmmmmmm

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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby John Houdi » August 9th, 2009, 3:08 am

When it comes to this matter I wonder what would happen and how everybody would react if it was the other way around. If a magician from Europe won FISM and one hot shot magician from Northern America was in Russ shoes?

I Agree with Russ that it would be impossible to present a dove act at a FISM using The Four Seasons.
Magicians love to spot the original. One of the things we spoke about concerning Swedens Charlie Caper was that the FISM audience probably would spot Gazzo with Charlies cups & balls routine. We were afraid that in FISM micro magic Swedens Johan Stahl would be beaten for stealing Rick Merrils routine when he used a pen and some sleeving in his routine.

I, on the other hand, have to deal a lot in a similar way of Russ and Shawn. I loved the love theme from the soundtrack of the movie Cousins that David Copperfield uses for his Grandpas Aces routine. I thought it would be great to use it together with card manipulations.
A clip of that routine can be found on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbVc5xz0M1Y

You have no idea how many remarks I have gotten about me stealing Copperfields trick from both well known magicians and unknown. I actually had to ask the guy who uploaded the clip on YouTube to remove some of them and all of the threats and extremely bad words over my person. It didnt look good if people was searching for me and could read I am a copycat of the worst degree.

As I see it Copperfield performed McDonalds Aces to the song and used a video camera. I performed a back-palm routine. Different, yes. But in so many eyes Im ripping off Copperfield.

The fun part of it all is that the routine Copperfield use is an adaption of Alain Choquettes routine. Alain used the same music and Copperfield kept it when he bought the rights.

So, Im not making a standpoint between Russ or Shawn (but I have my opinion and I will keep it to myself) but again I would like to stress the point: If the FISM-winner was unknown and independently developed a routine that Shawn have used for years; How would the magic fraternity react?

/John Houdi

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Tim Ellis
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Tim Ellis » August 10th, 2009, 1:41 am

For those who just joined us, after much research the following seems to be a fairly accurate summary of this thread. I'm sure those who don't agree will correct me, but it should save people having to wade through thousands of seemingly contradictory words).


SHAPE OF MY HEART

1993

March Sting releases Shape of My Heart on the album Ten Summoners Tales.

March Russ Stevens creates his card routine to Shape of My Heart and performs it on BBC Television twice.


1994

Russ gives a copy of his promo tape, featuring his card routine, to Reg Donnelly. Reg claims Shawn and he split the cost of converting the video from PAL to NTSC. Shawn denies this as he already had a machine that converted tapes and would not have paid. Reg Donnelly remembers it this way:

"In 1994 I was in England with Francis Martineau and Russ gave us a copy of his promo tape It was in pal. The conversion to NTSC at that time was more than I wanted to pay. So at a meeting a few months later (could have been early 1995) I asked Shawn if he wanted to pay half; and we both ended up with a viewable copy. It is possible he had forgotten. I mean 14 years has passed".


1995

Spring The movie The Professional is released on DVD and Shawn Farquhar hears Shape of My Heart in the movie and is inspired to create his card routine.


2005

Russ releases DVD Magics Biggest Secret which features his card routine.

Shawn performs his Shape of My Heart routine at the FFFF Convention and, according to Shawn:

I had never seen Russ perform his routine until years after I had established a reputation with mine and was confronted by a number of British magicians who accused me of stealing Russ's routine following my performance at FFFF in New York. They in fact said the routine was identical and that I was a thief. I immediately contacted Russ Stevens to confront him as I believed he had stolen my routine based on the information I was given by his friends. I sent Russ a video link to my performance and he suggested I buy his newly released DVD on the Biggest Secrets of Magic which included a performance video of his routine. I bought the DVD and watched his routine which had nothing in common other than the music and a stool (which by the way I did not use at FISM 2009). I wrote Russ and said it was obvious he had never seen mine and he agreed that I had not seen his either and it was a simple matter of independent creation. I though the mater had ended. Over the years I have corrected friends who have called or emailed to tell me of Russ and his theft of my routine. In each Case I explained how we had independently created the routines and were OK, with each others use of the same song with different routines and that Russ was not a thief, but an ethical magician.

Russ emailed Shawn at the time saying

"I wouldn't want to ever fall out, and of course, as discussed before, I know that we've simply had the same presentational idea. In fact when a few people first told me of yours, I checked out what you were doing and found it to be obviously different to the extent that a rip-off wouldn't do."


2006

October 28 After winner a Silver Medal at FISM with his routine, Shawn Farquhar posts a clip on YouTube, with tag words magic magician norwegian blackpool sting shawn farquhar card fism shape heart world champion sleight hand cards


2007

July 30 Russ Stevens posts a clip of a 1993 performance of his card routine on YouTube with tag words Russ Stevens David Copperfield Cyril Shaun Fauquar shaun farquhar


2008

Shawn performs his card routine at the Blackpool convention. Russ reports that it was his first time viewing Shawns routine live and he "felt very uncomfortable.


2009

April ? Russ is approached by Reg Donnelly who tells him the story of sharing the Russs promo tape with Shawn in the mid-nineties.

Aug 1 Roland Henning posts on his Weekly Magic Failure saying Shawns act was beyond bad and the contest must have been rigged.

Aug 1 Cardman (keeps his identity a secret), posted that Shawn Farquhar had won the Grand Prix and referred to it as a f@$#ing disgrace. He makes nine negative posts over the next few days.

Aug 2 Roland Henning makes another post, this time in addition to referring to Shawn as a disgrace to magic he also post Russ Stevens YouTube clip as evidence that Shawns routine is not original. He makes six more posts over the next six days attacking Shawn.

Aug 3 Russ Stevens emails Tim Ellis saying At the very least Mr. Fawquar has been less than forthcoming about this and I believe that my initial fears were founded, in that he has indeed taken something that isnt his to use. The fact that he has now just been voted FISM World Champion takes things to a whole new level.

Aug 4 Jim McDonald emails Tim Ellis alerting him to Roland Hennings blog Hello Mr Ellis, I feel it is important that magicians are made aware of the fiasco that is going on in the magic world to do with awarding first place to somebody who took the idea from another act then denies it. This is NOT GOOD for the art of magic and sends the wrong message to younger generations. There is a strong force of magicians on the net who are against this type of thing and we are doing what we can to put things right.

Aug 4 iTricks picks up the story about Rolands vitriolic blog post and adds a story of its own, which generates over 70 comments in just a few days. Most from Cardman, Roland Henning and Jim McDonald.

Aug 6 Russ posts his statement on the Genii Forum which generates a very long and divisive discussion.

Aug 6 Russ posts his statement on The Magic Cafe Forum which generates an equally long discussion ending with the thread being locked on Aug 9. (He also posts on another thread started by Pete Biro congratulating Shawn on his win. This thread is also locked on Aug 9).


The main point of contention seems to be that Russ Stevens believes, because of what Reg Donnelly has recently told him, that Shawn Farquhar was inspired to create a card routine to Shape of My Heart after seeing Russs promo tape in 1995 and not the movie The Professional as Shawn claims.
Russ would like Shawn to acknowledge that. Because he hasnt, Russ says Shawn has behaved disgracefully.
The various blogs, along with Jim McDonald, and Russ Stevens himself in his original post ( He saw my performance on a converted VHS tape all those years ago, and simply reworked it.) accuse Shawn of stealing Russ Stevens entire routine or, as Russ put it elsewhere, he stole Russs routine in the staging, framing and as a theatrical piece.

The general majority of people viewing the two routines side by side cannot see any similarity between the two routines other than the obvious choice of music.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Russ Stevens - Shape of My Heart Routine

Postby Dustin Stinett » August 10th, 2009, 2:39 am

And with that very nice summary, I think it's time to lock this thread. Thanks Tim.

Dustin


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