Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week
March 29, 2010
Issue #368

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

The article on my web site about painting silk scarves proved to be very popular.  It is a process that you can do.  If you use clip art to lay out your design, transferring it to the silk is as simple as tracing a picture like you did in elementary school.  Then using fabric dye markers is as easy as filling in a page in a coloring book.
This is the start of the spring convention season.  The World Clown Association and Clowns of America International are holding their annuual conventions soon.  The Branson Magic Bonanza is only a month away.  I encourage you to attend one of these educational opportunities, or another one, this year.  I believe that it is important to spend time with other entertainers to inspire and encourage each other. 
I hope to see many Thought For The Week subscribers at the Branson Magic Bonanza.  The format of that conference makes it easy for people to connect with each other.  If you have purcahsed anything from me in the past and would like some one-on-one help with it, this is an excellent opportuinty for that.  I'll also have some new items on my dealer table there and would love to demonstrate them for you.
I do try to pay attention to feedback in determining the content of this newletter.  This week I am returning to something that has been popular in the past.  That is the history trivia question.  I am the official World Clown Association Historian, and am nearing the end of my first year in that position.  I am excited to see the growing interest in clown history.  I have gotten more positive feedback to my historical column in Clowing Around than any other series of articles that I have written.  I think that is a positive step in the development of variety arts.
Have a great week,
In This Issue
Thought For The Week
History Trivia Quiz
Creativity For Entertainers Endorsement
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

March 29, 2010

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

"The wisdom acquired with the passage of time is a useless gift unless you share it."  -- Esther Williams


Figure skaters have coaches who teach them the technical aspects of skating and choreographers who teach them the artistic aspects.  Television commentators during the recent Winter Olympics and World Championships talked about somebody else who helped the skaters, their mentors.  Great figure skaters of the past like Dorothy Hamill and Paul Wylie mentor younger skaters by sharing the wisdom they acquired through experience.  For example they help them deal with the pressure caused by the expectations others have for them and by their own expectations.  According to Paul Wylie, if you concentrate on trying to win that causes nervousness which interferes with your performance.  If you concentrate on doing your best performance and skate with confidence, your performance will be good enough to win.  The mentors are not in daily contact with the skaters, but they do share their wisdom when the opportunity arises. One of the most important skating mentors is Scott Hamilton who guides the professional development of skaters touring with Stars on Ice.


Herb Camburn was an important mentor for me when I was in college.  He taught many of my technical theater classes and was almost always present in the theater building answering questions and making comments on projects that students were working on.  He taught me the importance of continuing education and setting goals for personal artistic improvement.  He, and Bill Smith, taught me how to critique my own work and the work of others.  Herb and Bill also taught me about creativity.  Dr. Charles "Doc" Boas, the founder and director of Circus Kirk, taught me professionalism during my two seasons with his show.  Randy Pryor was my mentor early in my career and taught me a lot about showmanship.  My most important mentor was my father, Bruce L. Johnson, who taught me many important life lessons as I grew up, and who is still a source of knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration for me.


There are a few entertainers that I have tried to mentor.  I don't see most of them often.  The internet does allow me to keep in touch with them more frequently.


Instead of passing on your wisdom to individuals, you can teach groups of people.  A place where you can really get involved is teaching young people.  I have taught Junior Joey (clown) classes at the World Clown Association Convention and at Clown Camp.  Those programs were run and organized by Ruth Matteson who is stepping down at the updoming convention after years of outstanding service as WCA Junior Joey Director.  In the Puget Sound region, Bruce Myers is doing an excellent job mentoring young magicians by directing a club called the Ring of Smoke. 


Another way to pass on your wisdom is to write articles for variety arts publications.  I know that many of those publications are looking for new authors.  Think about writing a single article on something you would like to share with a friend who is an entertainer.  Keep it short.  Make it about the reader instead of about you.  Don't brag about how great you are, but inspire the reader in terms of how great they can become.  Consider writing a tribute to somebody you admire.  Make it as practical and useful as possible.  Write it and then set it aside for a while.  When you write something you know what you meant to say so that is what you perceive when you read it again making it difficult to proof read your own work.  Wait long enough that you forget exactly what you said and then proof read it.  Now the errors will stand out and hopefully you will be amazed at how good it is.


How can you pass on your wisdom?  Who can you mentor?  What opportunities do you have to teach?  Is there a program for young entertainers in your area or at a convention that you attend?  If you were going to write only one magazine article in your career what would it be about?  What magazine do you think has readers who would be interested in that topic?  Write that article, look in the front of the magazine for information on where to submit it, and send it in.

History Trivia Quiz
  Click on what you think is the correct answer.
The first known court jester appeared at a court in
(These links will remain valid until May 1, 2010.  After that use the History Trivia button to find the correct answer.)

Creativity For Entertainers Endorsement 

"I have really learned a lot from the "Creativity for Entertainers" series.  I have my books marked up, sticky notes all through and use them as constant review.  Your current newsletter references the creativity exercises.  I completely need it!  I have Book two on my desk and Book 1 and 3 next to my bed.  Thanks for writing such wonderful learning tools!"

                                       Carrie Abts

                                       SMILE President, 2009-11

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 2010 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
Jacksonville, Florida
 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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