Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week
January 25, 2010
Issue #361

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

Last week I announced that the frist two booklets in my Charlie the Juggling Clown Presents series are available.  One of my subscribers wanted to order both booklets, but found that difficult with the links that I had provided.  So, I have added a link this week for both booklets.
Another subscriber had previously purchased some of my lecture note booklets that had colored paper covers.  He suggested that I consider using thicker cover paper for the front and back covers.  I have followed his suggestion for these new booklets.  As I get new copies of my existing booklets printed I will be switching to the thicker covers for them as well.
My goal is to be the best possible resource that I can for you.  I also want to give my customers the best possible service.  I depend upon feedback from you to help me accomplish that.
I appreciate everyone who responds about my newsletters, magazine articles, classes, and products. 
Have a great week,
In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Charlie the Juggling Clown Presents
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

February 1, 2010

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us.  To create means to relate.  The root meaning of the word art is 'to fit together' and we all do this every day.  Not all of us are painters but we are all artists.  Each time we fit things together we are creating, whether it is to make a loaf of bread or a life."  - Corita Kent


Everyone can be creative, but some people doubt their ability because they do not recognize their creative moments.  We tend to think of creativity as being grand artistic activities like painting a portrait, composing a song, or writing a poem.  However, small acts are also creative.  I was helping my grandson, Jackson, put together a tool box that he has to make as one of the requirements of his Cub Scout Bear badge.  When I am doing the final assembly of a project I sometimes have trouble keeping the pieces lined up while hammering in nails or inserting screws.  I had an idea to try to make it easier for Jackson.  I held the tool box together while he taped all of the pieces in place.  Now that the boards were temporarily held together, it was easy for him to put in the screws.  Then we removed the tape.  It worked well, and I think I will use that method in putting together other projects.  I had never done that before so it was creative.


Sometimes we think of creativity as starting from scratch, but sometimes it is just fitting existing things together in a new way.  I perform a magic illusion called a Silk Fountain.  In the illusion several scarves pop into view one at a time.  I like to end with a surprise scarf that forms a definite conclusion to the effect.  Sometimes I make a distinctive scarf vanish, and then a duplicate of that scarf appears tied to the final scarf in the Silk Fountain.  At other times I finish by producing a 36-inch scarf that is appropriate to the event.  When I was preparing for a performance at a Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race this past weekend, I couldn't decide what scarf to use to end the Silk Fountain.  Nothing seemed particularly relevant.  In going through my collection of scarves I noticed a Headless Cartoon Scarf that I had purchased from Laflin Magic.  This particular scarf depicts the body of a monkey.  When you hold the scarf up in front of you it makes it look like your face is on the monkey's body.  (It is kind of like the signs at tourist attractions where you stick your head through a hole in a picture sign.)  I liked the concept of the Headless Cartoon Scarves and bought a set several years ago.  I had not used them consistently because I had not discovered a routine for them that I particularly liked.  I decided to use the Headless Monkey Cartoon Scarf as the Silk Fountain Finale.  It was a choice made just because I couldn't think of anything else to do.  When that scarf appeared during my show, I stretched it out between my hands without looking down at it.  The kids thought it was hilarious.  While they laughed, I looked around to see what they were laughing at.  When their laughter started to die down, I glanced down and discovered the picture.  I quickly put the scarf away in embarrassment.  Based on the audience response, I think I may have discovered a new routine.  I'll try it again in a show, and if the response is as positive next time it will become part of my permanent repertoire.  That is creative.


You can read more descriptions of small creative acts in Creativity For Entertainers Volume One: The Creative Process.  Each small creative act is proof that you are creative.  Once you believe in your ability to be creative you will begin to act as if you are creative, which makes you more creative.


When you approach a project, ask yourself, "How can I fit things together differently?" 


Think back over the past week.  When did you fit things together in a new way?  What was the result?  During this week look for your small creative acts.   How many times are you creative during the week?  What does that tell you about your ability to be creative?  How does that change your attitude towards trying to be creative?


Charlie the Juggling Clown Presents

The first two booklets in my Charlie the Juggling Clown Presents series are now available.  They are designed for use by young or novice entertainers, but are also of value to more experienced entertainers.
Charlie The Jugglign Clown Presents Comedy Bits and Skits For Youth Group Meetings and Campfires is a revised version of my previous Comedy Blackouts booklet. It is an excellent resource for clowns who perform as an alley.  Much of the material is also appropriate for use by ventriloquists.  The price of this booklet is $5 plus $5 for postage and handling within the United States.  International orders will be charged the exact postage fee.  If you want to know what that is before placing an order, send me an email and I will let you know.
Charlie The Juggling Clown Presents Introduction to Magic: Easy Illusions You Can Perform with Common Objects is a new publication.  There is a little overlap with the contents in Creativity For Entertainers Volume Three: Creative Routines.  I think there is enough unique content to make it worthwhile to purchase both books. None of the illusions require any special magic props.  In fact you can easily find most of the required items allowing you to perform if the opportunity arises and you have not brought your regular props.
The price of this booklet is $10 plus $5 postage and handling in the United States.  Foreign orders will be charged exact postage.   
 If you would like to purchase both books together, there is only one charge for postage and handling.  The price for both is $15 plus $5 in the United States.  Foreign orders will be charged exact postage.
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
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. 
September 8-12, 2010
South East Clown Association Convention
 Introduction to Juggling, Creativity Techniques, Trick Cartoons, Banquet Show, and Dealer Table
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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