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I have actually changed the scheme of this page to something else, I got so many emails about how I found all this stuff and if I knew some people who got me exclusive copies of things etc. So Ive made this page to help ordinary people like myself slowly but surely accumulate a massive box of tapes which has some really rare stuff in it.

Anyway, tips for becoming a novice:

General tips:

1.) Make friends with those in the same boat. Search around on YAHOO! and other search engines for those looking for the same things. Put in search strings that maybe dont even make sense, for example "newsies tape trading" or "trey parker hull high" or even just "Gabriel damon tape". Its amazing what will come up when you dont limit yourself. Check through message boards. If you cant find any pages that way:

2.) Start your own page. I had an overwhelming response when I started this page. It doesnt even have to be a page, it could be a message forum or guestbook. ANYTHING TO GET YOURSELF OUT THERE!!!

3.) JOIN NEWSGROUPS AND CLUBS!!! If you like, for instance "Newsies", at EGROUPS.COM, youll find around 50 mailing lists pertaining to that subject. This goes for individual actors too. Email around on the list, people sometimes have things and never mention it until you do. Same thing with Clubs like YAHOO! Clubs. Join as many as you can, and state your intentions. Everyone on the list wants things on tape, so they wont think youre bitchy or something.

4.) Go on a lot of tape trading and or "newsies" (for example) newsgroups. You can even search through incredibly old (we are talking 1996 postings) for people who maybe two years ago posted their list, and would be happy to copy a tape for you. Youll usually have to pay something (usually under ten dollars) to have someone copy something for you, and after you build up your collection then you can trade. Most are happy to copy for you, for you might have something they would want later on, and believe me, we traders talk to each other. A good place to search these newsgroups is DEJA NEWS, you wouldnt believe the obscure things you would find on there. Again, dont limit yourself in the search, use just the actors name or just the series name.

5.) Lets say, you know Gabriel Damon was on an episode of "E.R.". Since "E.R." specifically is run about 4 times a day on about 3 different channels, first you should find out the name of the episode (for this example the actual name was "One for the Road"). You would then check your local listings (the easiest way is to search over at TV GUIDE to see if it will be on TV), so you could save yourself a few bucks first. If it is, tape it and youre golden, if not, and the previous channels Ive mentioned went nowhere, this is where you have to get crafty and clever.

6.) You join any "E.R." discussion group (remember, you can always unsubscribe). You should go on your local NEWSGROUPS (on AOL its Keyword: Newsgroups) and subscribe to the "E.R." fan group. You welcome yourself to the list and then mention that you would love to have "One for the Road" on tape, and if anyone had it to please email you (on newsgroups always say that they should email you directly to your address instead of posting where you might miss it). Then work out a deal to send the money (its a lot easier now with PAYPAL, I used to pay everything easier check or money order) and then have them send you the tape. Voila! Again usually people on the fan lists are more than willing to help, they are a fan just like you.

7.) Lets say you like Ivan Dudynsky and wanted a lot of Roundhouse episodes. They are several pages (mine used to be one of them) that trade and copy that stuff. You just have to do the other channels. Ivan is a hard one though, hes done a lot of stuff you would kill to have, and I dont even have all of it yet. Lets say he guest starred (this is totally fictional) on an episode of "Suddenly Susan" but youre having a really tough time finding that episode or anyone who tapes the show. The next thing to do is, think of who is the most famous on the show, in this case, Brooke Shields. You search around and find some great web sites and fan clubs/newsgroups about Brooke Shields. You email the page owner, inquiring that you are a collector and seem to be missing the specific episode. Again, its good to know the title, in most cases, the page owner isnt going to know who that adonis was who delivered the pizza sometime in the first season. The same thing goes with music videos (Ill give you an example that still eludes me). Gabe Damon was in a Blues Traveler video called "the Mountains Win Again". I have a little clip of this video that I downloaded from VH-1. I have never found it on tape, but I first exhausted any Blues Traveler site on the net looking for it. It was just too rare I guess.

6.) For me, I was a loud-mouth. I was relentless. I know that somehow, somewhere, someone had it on tape, and if anyone was going to find it, it would be me. There are a few things to worry about:

7.) Youve heard it a hundred times, let me make this 101: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

There are a lot of what people call "deadbeat traders" This can mean a variety of things.

A.)You sent some dude who said he had home videos of Trey Parker when he was working on Newsies, talking about the personal lives of the guys and how much he loved doing Newsies and how they all loved to hear from their fans on a daily basis twenty dollars for this copy. 3 weeks pass, and you hear nothing. You email them, they say that they are sending it. You wait a week, nothing. They stop responding to your emails. Well there is little recourse here, unless you want to report them to National Fraud Information Organization (only if you sent a check or money order). But, you can make sure that they "never work in this town again". Let all your trading buddies know about this guy. Email address, home address, name, nicknames, where you met them. It works, believe me I know.

B.) You can protect yourself in a couple of ways. After becoming an established trader, you can demand to be sent money first and receive it before you send any tapes out (I have always done it this way, I dont know why you would just send it before getting the money, but maybe Im too cynical). If they are afraid to send you money, send them a list of people they can email confirming your a good person and not out to rip them off.

8.) Another important part of this, dont badmouth people. Usually for such specialized areas of trading, youll run into the same people. Yes, I do know several people who think they are really cool and above everyone else because they talked to one of the actors, or they have something really good (like someone, I wont mention any names, who has every single episode of hull high but lied to me about copying them). I do know several people who think this person is full of it, but we generally like to stay cool about everything. Reputation is important, and reiterating, dont be stingy with your stuff. Believe me, I copied a lot more for other people than I got new stuff, what do I care if someone else has a copy of something, let them enjoy it. Anyway I hope this helps. If anyone has any other questions about anything, feel free to Email me. I remember, I started off my whole collection because a really nice woman copied an episode of "Hull High" for me.

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