Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week
October 12, 2009
Issue #349

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

I will be at the North West Festival of Clowns this week in Olympia, WA.
The NW Festival of Clowns used the Red Nose Festival Competition format developed by Mike Bednarek.  One of the features of this competition is creating as near normal competition conditions as possible.  For example, the break between acts in the stage competition is kept as short as possible to present a good show for the audience.  The competitors appreciate having a good audience so both the parade competition and performance competition on Friday are open to the public.  This is a good event for children.  You can read ore about it by using the link under educational opportunities.
I will be there as a dealer, coaching the performance competition, and participating in the worship service.  I hope to see many thought for the week subscribers there.
Have a wonderful week,
In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Next Step Workshop
Circus Lingo
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

October 12, 2009

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson
"The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that's when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it." -- John C. Maxwell
We tend to think of motivation as the reason for doing something.  We don't begin until we think we have discovered a reason.  However, that is backwards.  You don't really discover the reason for doing something until you have experienced the results.
It had been a while since I had practiced juggling on a regular basis.  I decided that I wanted to put two new juggling tricks into my Staff on Stage show at the 2009 Clown Camp.  I had been working on those tricks off and on over the years.  That was my motivation to start practicing daily.  It turned out that was not the true reason for doing it.  I didn't perform either trick in my show.  However, I did continue practicing when I had time in my schedule because I discovered that the physical movement felt good and I just enjoyed having the props in my hands and manipulating them.  Even after my original motivation was past, I continued because the fun I was having became my true motivation.
Because I am involved in clown ministry I believe that reading the Bible is an important part of my education.  I found it was often hard to motivate myself to read other than guilt at not doing something that I knew I should be doing.  The first time somebody challenged me to read the entire Bible during a year I kind of slogged through it just to be able to say I had succeeded.  I have discovered though that the more that I read the Bible, the more I get out of it, especially when I take the time to actually study it.  I knew that the city of Jericho was destroyed by the Israelites under the command of Joshua.  When attending Sunday School as a child I often sang, "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came a tumbling down."  This year while reading the book of Mark I found a passage about Jesus and his disciples going to Jericho.  That aroused my curiosity about when Jericho was rebuilt.  I discovered from I Kings 16: 34 that Jericho was rebuilt during the reign of King Ahab which was about 850 B.C.  What I found really interesting was that when it was restored a curse that had been placed upon it by Joshua (Joshua 6: 26) came true. Now I enjoy reading the Bible and miss it when I don't make time to do it.
Sometimes false motivation can prevent progress.  I know somebody who was motivated to practice juggling by the goal of increasing the number of throws they could do without dropping.  They got frustrated by not being able to pass the 300 throw plateau.  I pointed out that you would never do that many throws in a performance, and suggested some simple ways to incorporate their jugging into a show.  They did that and were thrilled with the audience response.  Now they are working on how to make their juggling entertaining.  They told me that practicing is now fun instead of frustrating.
Psychologists have discovered that emotion follows action.  This is expressed in the song "Whistle a Happy Tune" from the musical The King and I.  I don't always feel like clowning when I have a performance scheduled.  However, I have found that if I pretend that I want to clown and act like I am having a good time, I begin enjoying myself.  If you wait for the emotion, you may never take action.  If you take action, the emotion will come.
What would you like to do?  What are the first steps?  Don't wait for motivation.  Take that first step.  What results do you experience?  Are the results worth while?  If they are, then continue taking action.

Next Step Clown Ministry Workshop

Randy Christensen has announced that the Next Step Workshop will be held as scheduled.  This intensive workshop with focus on both the spiritual and physical aspects of clown ministry.   Randy and I will be team teaching this workshop with a small number of participants.

On Wednesday evening the workshop participants will see Randy and I perform a program for a Kids Event at the church that is hosting the workshop.  The next three days will be filled with labs, classes, critiques, fellowship, and working on material for a worship service that participants will present on Sunday morning.
This is a rare opportunity to get this much indepth training in a small group setting.
For more information go to

Circus Lingo - Lot Lice

Some circus lingo is designed to distinguish between those who are with the show and those outsiders.  Unfortunately in some areas circus people are looked down upon with suspicion.  Circus people protect themselves emotionally by banding together. 
There is one type of town citizen that can be particularly annoying to circus people.  That is the person who is so curious that they roam around peering at everything done by the circus people.  I remember one particular hot summer day when I was with Carson & Barnes.  I left the door to my compartment in the sleeper trailor trying to get some fresh air, but I had a curtain closed across the doorway.  I was lying on my bunk in my underwear trying to get some rest between performances.  Suddenly a shaft of sunlight hit me in the eyes as I heard a voice say, "Oh, look children, the clown is taking a nap."  Circus people refer to people who intrude upon their privacy as "lot lice."
If you get a chance to visit a circus, remember that it is a very public occupation with little privacy.  Respect the circus people by respecting their privacy.  In return you will be treated with more respect by them.
Thank you for being a subscriber.  I am always interested in your questions and comments.
Remember if you have missed an issue, you can read it by using the archive link in the right column.  If you want to change the address where you are receiving this newsletter, use the update profile link below.  If this newsletter no longer meets your needs, you can use the SafeUnsubscribe link to be permanently removed from my mailing list.  If you want to spread the word about this newsletter, you can use the forward email link below to send copies to others that you think might be interested.
I hope to see you down the road.

Bruce Johnson
Charlie's Creative Comedy
Copyright 2009 by Bruce "Charlie" Johnson.
All rights reserved. 

Educational Opportunities
October 15-18. 2009
Northwest Festival of Clowns
 Olympia. WA
Red Nose Festival Performance Competition Coach, Vendor,
and Worship Service Participant
 November 4-8, 2009
Next Step Workshop
Wilmar, Minnesota
This is an advanced workshop for those serious about Gospel Clown Ministry.  It is limited to fifteen participants.
April 29 - May 1, 2010
Branson Magic Bonanza
Branson, MO
I will be there with a dealer table.
July 9-15, 2010
Clown Camp Singapore
Sixteen hours of classes over three days plus four days of performing in Singapore schools. 
I believe in promoting any event I will be lecturing at.  If you schedule me for an educational event that you are hosting, I will list it here.  My goal is to do what I can to best meet the needs of you and your group.
For information on additional services that I can provide for an educational event 

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