Silly Billy may have taken some ideas from Ginn but he has updated it for the times.
Now, this is something I'd definitely like to have explained.
I've read Seriously Silly. I've also read five or six books by David Ginn. I don't see anything in the kidshow theory
presented by Kaye that makes it somehow more "contemporary," nor have I found anything in the kidshow theory
of David Ginn that makes it somehow outdated. In terms of what he says about how to perform for kids, Kaye hasn't provided anything particularly "updated."
I could almost
say the same things about the routines they teach. Kaye doesn't teach many routines in Seriously Silly, but the ones he does teach aren't particularly relevant to any particular timeframe, meaning they seem more "time-less" than "time-ly." Many of Ginn's routines can play just fine for the kids of today as for the kids of 30 years ago, but it is true that some of Ginn's books contain material involving concepts and content that might not be familiar to some kids today -- but this is because the routines were created to be quite relevant to the time in which they were being performed. Ginn creates new shows every year; he is constantly updating his material. In fact, there's more material in Ginn's books which is irrelevant to the audiences I perform for because I live in Canda and the routines were written for American school students rather than because it is 2009 and the routines were written in 1985.
So, yes, you are more likely to find "outdated" content in the routines provided in Ginn's books because Ginn has written a lot more books than Kaye and committed a lot more of his routines to print than Kaye... routine that were written and published over the course of a very long career. But anyone who can't see past the surface to the underlying concepts, which are what's really important, needs a new hobby.
The thing is, if there are guys out there whose shows are falling flat because they are performing Ginn's routines "out of the box" (or should I say "out of the book"?), it's certainly not Ginn's fault. The problem is that those guys, whoever they are, are not learning what Ginn is actually teaching. Instead of learning about age/gender-appropriate content, routine structure, encouraging participation, use of humor, scripting, and so on, they are basically learning how to be human Xerox machines.
The theory taught by Kaye and Ginn is pretty much exactly the same at its core. Ginn has simply published more examples over time of the application of that theory. The key phrase here is "over time."
Glamourboy... please don't take this post as a direct attack on you in any way. It's something I've been meaning to say for awhile. I'm just a little tired of seeing posts in which people sing the praises of Seriously Silly and downgrade David Ginn and then don't give any reason or explanation.
You wrote, "Children are more advanced than they were in the past so you must relate to them on there level."
The most important part of that is "you must relate to them on their level." The thing is, that is exactly the point that both Ginn and Kaye make... and which Ginn has made far more times than Kaye. Taking anybody's routine and performing it without considering the audience is a bad idea. Ginn certainly knows enough to not use material which won't connect to his audience -- even his own material!
As for the "children are more advanced" part, that's something that needs to be discussed a lot more, since it sounds good on the surface, especially when you look around at all the technology available to us, but which can end up being meaningless unless clarification is made and a number of factors taken into consideration.
Even Kaye's book acknowledges that kids are kids... that kids at certain ages respond to the same things now as they did 30 years ago. In Kaye's book, you will find a section which breaks down how kids respond to magic according to age and gender. The reasons given for his divisions are all about how kids think, not what technology they own or have encountered. They aren't popped out of the womb with iPods in their hands.
Let's assume for a moment that "children are more advanced" (not that I necessarily believe this is true). What exactly does that mean?
Does it mean that kids are somehow smarter than they were 30 years ago? Well... studies of school performance seems to indicate that this is not necessarily true.
Are they more literate? Um... reading these forums for an hour or so should answer that question.
Are they capable of more advanced thought patterns and more advanced reasoning at an earlier age than they were 30 years ago? Well... my wife is a child psychologist and she doesn't see any evidence of that; the human brain develops at pretty much the same rate now as it did 30 years ago.
Do they have access to more advaced knowledge now than they did 30 years ago? Ah... now we may be getting somewhere. They have access to more advanced knowledge because more advanced knowledge exists... but their level of brain function will determine what they can do with that knowledge. They have the potential to access knowledge in general faster and in larger quantities than 30 years ago because they have access to more advanced technology than was available 30 years ago, but, again, their level of brain function will determine what they can do with that knowledge.
In brief, access to technology in itself does not make the user of that technology more "advanced" psychologically or emotionally. The fact that a kid owns a laptop and a cellphone and an iPod and a PS3 doesn't prevent him/her from enjoying Dubious Dominoes.
But getting back to Kaye and Ginn for a moment. I'm not trying to set up a "Kaye vs Ginn" scenario here. Rather, I'm trying to get people to stop thinking that Seriously Silly is the only book you should read if you want to be a children's magician. If you read Seriously Silly and stop there, you are making a mistake. Similarly, if you read Professional Magic for Children and stop there you are making a mistake. If you think that reading one book by either of these two men makes you an expert at performing for children or gives you everything you need to entertain children, you are making a huge mistake.
You should read as much of the material put out by either of these men as you can. Ginn has loads of books. And how many of you guys who swear by Seriously Silly have read Kaye's columns in Magic or the Kidabra Journal?
And when you finish their stuff, move on to all of the other children's magicians who have published instructional material. They're out there; I'll leave it to you to figure out who they are.
Growing as a magician and an entertainer is not about excluding knowledge and limiting opportunity for learning. It's about taking full advantage of every resource available to you.