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Billy Whizz
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DenDowhy wrote: "David Ginn in his Kidbiz book has numerous one liners for comedy greetings as well as lines for them to hurry up to the stage"

Jsmagic wrote: "Den is right-Kidbiz has a lot of good stuff"

I'm sorry guys, but I TOTALLY disagree. IMO, this book is in a time warp back to the early 80's when it was published (1982).
The material in it is so old fashioned, I could never use it. I found less than a dozen lines that I could use, not even 1% of the book. It might have been a good book back in the 80's but I'm supprised at you recomending it for a modern day magician Den.

All the best, Billy

I forgot to metion that I ordered the book after reading your comments on here.

Billy
kenscott
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Billy

could not agree with you more.
p.b.jones
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HI,
I bought it when it came out and I supose it comes down to your style and personality.
all I can say is I had one really good bit from the book that I use in Every show I have added to it over the years but the book was worth the money to me. as well as that this bit of business. "The Have a banana (abracadabra) gag still works, I cant wait to saw you in half, chop your head off and stick swords though you... but for now please hold this hankerchief. would work for me too I just randomly opened the book at a page and picked this out. so I think it is a good book provided you can adapt it or it already suits your style.
Phillip
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Billy Whizz
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Quote:
I cant wait to saw you in half, chop your head off and stick swords though you... but for now please hold this hankerchief.


Hi Philip, When I read this, I was talking to Emazdad at my house at the time, we both just laughed at the thought of saying this. I think a child would freak if I said that. It certainly wouldn't go with my 'gentle' style.

All the Best, Billy
DanTheMagicMan
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David Ginn is definitely NOT a gentle style magician. He has some funny stuff, but I too have a "gentle" style and some of his stuff doesn't fit me. For example, it seems he is always using a head or arm chopper routine in his shows. That is just not for me. But I have gotten useful information from his other books (I don't have the KidBiz one), a couple of which I have owned for over 20 years (back when he did his shows in leisure suits!).

I have mentioned before about Sammy Smith, who has a gentle style similar to my style. You might find his books and routines better suited to you and your style.
Dan The Magic Man
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Michael Dustman
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The material in the book is definitly a throwback to a couple of decades. Not to take anything away from Mr. Ginn, he has quite a lot of useful info. I did like some of his updated material on the 3 volume set he did with Sammy Smith and Steve Taylor.

The one bit I ever took away from Kidbiz, that I still peform frequently, is his Comedy Card on Back. It does get a pretty decent reaction.

Michael
p.b.jones
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Hi,
I am not gentle! I am no Sammy Smith.
My performance persona is more like David Ginn. I tend to be a little loud at times even when not performing. I have a reputation for walking into out of control parties and sorting out the situation. People tend to like me rather quickly all the same. I have no problem with that type of gag I am a bit of a teaser with the kids.
Ie often when I make 2 birds kissing in a heart a boy will go EGH! (even though I am making it for a girl) I usualy look at him and say " what are you going EGh for you went doing that earlier when you were kissing that little girl!" after the laugh and reaction fromm the child I say " just teasing he wasn't really!"
another thing I do when I have made a balloon sword I say to the boy(holding the sword) "Ok now when you get this sword back after the show I do not want to see you sneaking up on any of the boys, girls or mams and dads with the sword and going AAAAAAAAGH!"(top of voice! I love to see how high they jump)
I use a lot of gags that others may not get away with agin I think it all comes down to knowing your own character. clearly I dumb this type of thing down for younger kids
Phillip
Emazdad
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As Billy said I was with him today and he was showing me the book, I agree totally with what Billy says about the book. Billy was a bit fed up when he got the book as he was looking forward to getting it, especially after it was recccomended by fellow Café members, it failed miserably to come up to his expectations.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
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"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Dennis Michael
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Throw back from the 80's, so am I, and the Miser's Dream routine, is a throw back from the twenties, and the 20th century silks is another throw back.

Tarbell books are out dated, as well as Showmanship for Magicians, Bobo books, and many others (and I love all these resource books). They are all out dated. Now when it comes to kids, it's still new to them, and yes, there are lines that I wouldn't use, but there are a ton of bits of business that I have used and still use. Even Ginn says in some of his books, find the latest in music and what is popular and use it, in your show.

When it comes to sillyness, there is a lot of material that is silly in KidBiz and does work!

I think the difference is our opinion hinges on a short phrase you wrote ('gentle' style) This does say a lot about our differences I would not say I am gentle, Samuel Patrick Smith is gentle and does a lot of Day care market and lists numersous tricks in his book he would not do to this crowd. I agree. I've been told by pros that the breakaway wand embarrases the assistant and it should never be used.

The book "Performing Magic for Children" is good reading in principle but the routine section is not me at all. I like what Ginn writes, but I also like many others. I really like Steve Taylors work on educational messages and routines, and his comedy style. It is more me than Ginn. I personally believe Ginn is a stepping stone to find your real self with what works for you and what doesn't.

Billy, the assistant gag lines you mentioned eariler are in this book as well as a ton of material I still hear magicians use today.

For new magicians starting out or magician who are looking for bits of business with props, wands, microphone stands, spring snakes, etc. it is still in my opinion, a great book.
Dennis Michael
p.b.jones
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Hi,
I think reccomendations are a bit of a catch 22, you reccomend an item based on your own likes and dislikes but you have no control or further input over who buys the item based on your say so. Therfore there are bound to be peple to whom the item was not so satasfactory those that find the item mediocre and those that love it.
where all different!
Phillip
victorkent
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I agree with you all...except one of you and I am not going to say who. Smile
Please do not read the older books only stick with the new ones because I want to keep the old stuff for myself Smile .
You see the material in these things are old in there presentation....but wow what great resources for ideas. I have all of DG's book and many other old books. I have converted several of his routines into modern day smashes! So many wonderful ideas and so many things that are like new because everyone is avoiding them because they are in old books with old presentatoins.
David Blaine thought the same thing as he took the Balducci levitation out of an old book. No one was doing it. They wrote it off. heck I even thought it looked dumb in the book. Then this emotionless nobody does it on TV and everybody wants to do it. And this kid with no fashion sense is a big star.
So Please...don't read any old books....save them for me. Infact send me all your old magic books.
-vk Smile
John 3:16
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Emazdad
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The ability to adapt what you find in the old books to bring them up to date and to suit your own individual style is important, but if a newcomer to magic without the experience to do that will unfotunately copy blindy the routines/gags in the books. I look in books for ideas, not routines. Even the one-liners I find I to adapt to suit me. The organ pipes I use were bought at a sale of a very old magician in Plymouth who sadly passed away. They're much older than me. but what I do with them is my own routine. There is a saying that there is no new ideas, just old ones revamed, this is true. I've come up with a few very good gag lines of my own, things that just come to me during a show, (I like to use stuff I've thought of rather than someone else) only to find the same line in being used by someone else.

<I think reccomendations are a bit of a catch 22, you reccomend an item based on your own likes and dislikes but you have no control or further input over who buys the item based on your say so<<<<<

It's not just that, we have to remember that the book just contains the opinion author of that book, read 3-4 books and you will get 3-4 different opinions on the same subject, you have to find what suits you, not someone else.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Dennis Michael
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Hence, one of the major problems with magic and advice for beginners. The single hardest thing to do with a routine is not the technical aspect of it. It is adding the funny stuff to it. This does not come naturally, or is it easy. Without it a kids show is doomed to flop.

Ken Scott above agrees with Billy, yet in his great video Making the Birthday Dough Ken does a comedy bit with the shaking of the hand, another slap-stick "Three Stooges" greeting bit with getting bopped in the stomach and another bit getting bopped in the head with a soft wand, then he messes up some dated songs by Britney and NSync, and uses the "Stand over the Trap Door bit" (Just some stuff I could remember from watching the video). All this stuff is discussed in Ginn's book, using slap stick, using modern day songs, getting bopped, incongruity (something not quite right is funny), hand shaking routine is in a lot of books, and much more if one only looks and studies the material, not just reads it for face value.

Like Victor Kent above, I have and read just about everything David Ginn has written, own and watched several times every one of David's videos, and own many of his original magic.

I've learn this from David; I am NOT David Ginn, but I like his humor slapstick style; David is extremely knowledgeable, and has given his life's work to the magic community, he has a lot to offer the magic community and his written and video work will be his legacy. There isn't a person in magic who does kids magic on a regular basics that can't learn from this master in making kids laugh. He is a valuable resource for developing funny stuff to add to the technical stuff.

For the magic community reading this, especially beginners, what I "fear" is the impressionable beginner will not look or buy or read David's work based on Billy's initial post on how much he is disappointed in this book. David is not "Gentle" with his audience neither is Silly Billy (David Kayne). Both are clowns at heart, and the interaction is on the wild side. It is a completely different style to both Samuel Patrick Smith and Steve Taylor (Best Trio to learn from on Kids Shows).

In another post somewhere on the Café, I discuss how one's personality effects how one presents their routine. I suspect Billy's, personality is diametrically opposite of Davids which would make absolute sense as to why one would not like or be disappointed in David's work. I can't image a gentle person doing David's shock therapy and "springing" a bunch of snakes on a group of unsuspecting kids and getting a laugh out of that funny bit. (Yes, there is a way to do this gently without being shocking and it still is funny.)

There is a four year old sister to one of my cub scouter in my pack who loves me and hates me depending on the magic routine she sees, or should I say routine I do. She loves the rabbit routines, and the funny picture silks but when I brought out the giant cobra, which the boys love, she bolted out of the door screaming, she hates snakes, so she doesn't like me at the last pack meeting. At her Halloween birthday party she didn't like me when I did the seance cloth and scary mask routine, but warmed up to me when I did the rabbit routine and made "cutesy" doggies with balloons after the show. I can be gentle, but prefer to be wild, crazy and do goofy stuff. Hence the differences in likes and dislikes when it comes to books.

To the readers, you must make the choice on what authors you like and dislike and the only way to do that is to learn and read what they do, sometimes, the purchase will be disappointing, I know that, I have a box full of disappointments or treasures depending on who you ask.

Quote:
I cant wait to saw you in half, chop your head off and stick swords though you... but for now please hold this hankerchief.


I love that line, like Philp above, I could use that line and get a way with it. The context of that line allows for great humor...

Said as "matter-a-factly" after the assistant interview bit, "...By the way, Suzy, we could saw you in half, or chop your head off or..." soft smooth and gently continue "...you could hold this beautify red silk scarf..."

Boys will say saw in half or chop my head off but in this case I am hoping the girl will say hold the silk scarf. I would not be surprise (in today independent lifestyles) if she said sawing in half, which means I need an out line like:,

"Well, this RED silk scarf was from the last time I did that trick." And hand it to her holding it with the tips of my fingers in a ooeey-goooeey fashion making a funny face.

I personally believe it is a lot better than saying, "Here is a red hankerchief, Suzy hold this hankerchief." (Dull and boring)

Remember, part of the fun is to play off of what the kids say. Tony Daniels said in his Kid-Show Magician Notebook:
Quote:
Children can be unpredictable, but that is one of the things that makes this job fun and challenging. You never know what they are going to do or say. Personally I love that because my show is never the same. The key here is to learn how to play off them to make fun for you and the audience.


Look at a line and see it's worth and how it can be revised to fit you and your personality.
Dennis Michael
Vilago
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Man, oh man, once again an excellent and well thought-out series of posts Dennis!

For the record, I own Kidbiz also. About 50% I wouldn't do because it doesn't fit my style...but the other 50%? Absolutely wonderful! It only takes one item or gag to justify the purchase, doesn't it?

As pointed out in earlier posts above, my happiness is because Ginn's style is close to my own...I'm glad to see that Billy is wise enough to back away from something that DOESN't match his style. The mark of a pro, isn't it?
kenscott
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I must admit I don't own david books. I guess living in the same area I never did buy them. But I have seen the books and its content inside. David if I may say is/or was the GOD of kid show magic. he was really the only writing in 70's about the topic with the exception of Kid stuff. So the books that david wrote in the 70's and 80's was good material for HIM. Like anything you buy or read you as a performer HAVE to ADAPT.

Dennis as far as the bits and business I do did not come from Davids teaching. Most came from watching comedy bits on TV. Look at the three stoges plenty of site gags to be learned from.

As performers we have to change with the times. Lets face it the kids are changing. And if you are not current in your style or bits you could fall short. That is why it is so important to know what the kids of today are watching,, playing. etc. etc.

Since David is such and ICON to many magicians, people will buy his books and perform the routines just like in the book, word for word, and then they wonder why it is not going over well. The old stuff still works but your delivery has to change with the times. David has done a great deal for magic and for all children performers. I thought some of his best work came from the three of them together, being steve, taylor, Sammy Smith, and David.

Best,
Ken Scott
Emazdad
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Personally untill the book topic stared I'd never even heard of David Ginn, mind you I've never heard of most of the authors mentioned because I don't read magic books, I look for effects from dealers and work out my own stuff to use. I'm one of the lucky ones who finds the silly business comes naturally to me. When I buy a new effect I play with it, work out a rough patter line, then perform it at a show and fill in the gaps based on how the kids are reacting, I Jazz it if you like.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Dennis Michael
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Ok Ken,

Where does "Sponge Bob Square Pants" Fit into this mix?... Maybe a Yellow Sponge Square (ball) routine. Maybe it can be done in a fish tank!

As for comedy lines (like above), I cannot do them word for word because it doesn't sound like me when I do. It has to come from the "heart". If I smile on a line, then I know I can use it. It feels warm to me and I'll give it a try. Buy the way my wife is a good judge and she tells me to dump some lines I'm trying out. That is what is nice about my family picnic, I got a free captive audience to try new stuff! They are so forgiving...

As for where your lines came from, it really doesn't matter because they fit you and work so well with your act, the point I was trying to make is that even though David's stuff is dated, it still works today, and the stuff you are doing can be found in David's reference books even though they are not word for word.

In all this discussion, it is meant to teach others, some things work and others won't but if one doesn't even look, then they may be passing up some gems that may work well for them.
Dennis Michael
Emazdad
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Well put dennis, I couldn't agree more, I wish I knew where the stuff comes from that I say, then I could tap into it more often, unfortunatly it appears by suprise.

The words "if it feels warm to me" is a brilliant way of putting it. I just wish the warm pile was a big as the cold disgarded pile. I've got my quality assurance people that I run new ideas by, but unfortunately they're now getting too old at 12 & 13 and are loseing touch with the younger age groups requirements. But they do still come up with some good ideas.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Ron Reid
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Hi All:

I own a ton of David's stuff, and have to say that Kidbiz is probably the one book or video of his I hardly ever turn to. IMHO, the book was/is a big bust. I think Professional Magic for Children is much better. I also love his audio series with Sammy Smith and Steve Taylor.

My favorite kidshow performer, the late Brian Flora had something to say about humor and kids. He said not to be a magician that the kids say "was stupid". I thought most of the humor in the book was the type that kids would say, "that's stupid! What a stupid magician!"

The collection of wands routine at the end was okay, though. Overall, I think David is terrific...just had one bad book.

Ron Reid
Billy Whizz
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Hi Ron, It looks as if the book I chose to buy must have been that 'one bad book' IMO. I reallise a lot of you speak highly of it. But at the end of the day I suppose it depends on your own individual style as a performer. There is probably books which I'll think are fantastic but to some else with a different style, they might think it is rubbish. I don't doubt that by the way you all speak of David Ginn, that he is a first class performer. I've never heard of him, so I brought is book blind.

All the best, Billy
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