Creativity for Entertainers Interview with Silly Billy

The Silly Billy show is filled with original comedy and gags. David Kaye is the creator of this show in New York City and he says, “I enjoy the creative process and get a lot of satisfaction from coming up with my own routines.”

David gets inspiration for new tricks, in many ways. One of his favorite ways is by watching magic shows. He doesn’t copy the magician or the routine, he finds it a springboard for creative thought. “I just find myself watching the show and something I see or a word the magician says, or the way they stand, or a prop will give me an idea about something completely different.” From there his imagination takes off and he’ll end up with a unique prop or routine. “There is a lot of stuff in my head sitting there and then a connection comes from something I see and this triggers another idea.”

David says that he gets inspiration from all other art forms; movies, TV shows, theater. “I get ideas all the time and it sits around in my head and then, a while later, I’ll sit down with a sheet of paper and draw things, and put ideas down and then it all comes together.” One example is his Cave Man act. “It came at the end of 4 pages of notes, I was thinking about characters and what type of tricks they would do.” David continues, “First I thought of various people in history doing kid shows, then I thought of the caveman being the first kid show magician, then I thought of him being the first magician ever.” All the ideas kept coming and then it culminated in the act. “The next step was fairly easy, I just started writing tricks for the act, tricks that a caveman would do. I thought of props a caveman would have; a bone, the wheel, etc.”

David says that ideas come from the premise of the act. “If you have an idea of the character, the ideas then just flow.” David says, “I like to keep myself kind of free to go through my normal day and let the inspiration come to me and then when it comes I just have to start writing. If I don’t write it down I find the idea will get lost.”

David says that, “If you define your character really well, then the act, the jokes, and the gags write themselves. For example, what if I said to you – ‘What would happen if Bart Simpson goes to the aquarium?’ Bart is such a well defined character that it is easy to think of what he would do at an aquarium. He would taunt the fish – maybe even the sharks. He would splash water on the ground and watch people slip on it. Maybe even Homer would slip and fall on the water. And that is because we know Homer’s character so well. So if you define your character very specifically, then you know how your character would react and behave in different situations. This helps when writing new material and also when you are ad-libbing.”

By Norman B.