Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week
July 19, 2010
Issue #377

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

I would like to thank Richard Snoweberg and Knik Pang for a wonderful experience at Clown Camp Singapore. I got to perform in shows with other very talented entertainers, presented three lectures with enthusiastic participants, and got to do some sighseeing with friends.  It was great seeing so many Thought For The Week subscribers there.  The performance venues included the historic Jubillee Hall at the Raffles Hotel.  It was an honor to be able to perform in that beautiful space.  Knik also treated everyone to a wonderful buffet dinner at the Raffles Hotel.
I would also like to thank Denisonde Simbol, the Senior Library Officer at the Asian Civilizations Museum, for her assistance in researching the history of clowning in Asia.  I learned a lot about the importance of clowning in that culture.  I'll be sharing some of that new information through my history column in Clowning Around Magazine, my web site, and the history trivia feature of this newsletter.
The next educational opportunity on my calendar is the South East Clown Association Convention in September.  You can use the link on the right to obtain more information.
Have a great week,
In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Article by Bruce Johnson
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

July 19, 2010

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"The wise adapt themselves to circumstances as water molds itself to the pitcher."  -- Chinese Proverb


During the 2010 Clown Camp Singapore program I appeared in a variety of shows and had to adapt my performances to changing circumstances.


I preformed the pre-show for the Staff on Stage benefit show that opened Clown Camp.  One of the groups of invited guests were delayed in traffic, so Knik Pang, producer of the show, requested that I extend my performance and continue longer than initially planned.  Since I had plenty of material with me, I performed some additional routines keeping the audience entertained while they waited for the show to start.


I performed a fifteen-minute routine during the actual show.  I knew that several of the acts would include juggling so I did more magic and less juggling than my act normally includes.  Because we were working without an act curtain I figured out how to make it as easy as possible to move my props on and off.


Brenda Ahern and I performed a show at one of the local schools.  We arrived before the kids so we could take our time setting up our props.  Since we both set our props before the show started I figured out where to place mine so they were not in Brenda's way while she performed the first half of the show.  I was prepared to do a half-hour in that show.  However, the principal told us that we had to end by a specific time due to the school bus schedule.  I kept my eye on the clock, shortened my act to 23 minutes, and we ended two minutes before our deadline.


Open Sesame (Rone & Gigi) and I performed a show at a different school.  We were each prepared to perform thirty-minute acts.  However, the students at the school had special needs and there was concern that they couldn't sit for an hour-long show.  So the decision was made to shorten our acts to 25 minutes so there would be time for the students who saw my show to exit while another group entered for the Open Sesame show.  (Clowns doing strolling performing entertained the students who weren't watching the stage show.)  The audience was slow in entering for my show.  The principal didn't want my show to be shortened any further so I noted the time when I began and performed for 25 minutes from that point.  Because the audience for my show was engaged with my entertainment for the entire time, the decision was made to let them remain for the second show.  So while the additional kids entered, we quickly cleared my props from the stage, set the props for Open Sesame, and the show continued.


While in Singapore, I was part of a group that visited a hospital for women and children.  I was prepared to go room-to-room interacting with small groups.  However, the wards that we visited were set up a little differently than I expected.  The rooms were clustered around the nurse's station and a large open area.  I found that nurses, patients, and visitors flocked around me in the common area.  So, I adjusted my performance to entertain more people at once while other clowns did the more intimate room-to-room entertaining.


When you perform, how can you adapt what you do to the circumstances?  How can you vary the length of your act to fit different time constraints?  What can you adjust to account for different sized audiences?  When you work with other acts in a show what changes do you need to make so there is not too much similarity in material?  What changes can you make to allow others in a show to do their best without compromising your own performance?

Article by Bruce Johnson

The July 2010 issue of Clowning Around, published by the World Clown Association, contains an artilce that I wrote titled "A Pair of Clowns."  It is a review of two different books that share the same title, Clowns.  One was written by John Towsen and the other by Douglas Newton.  I highly recommend both of them as sources for information on clown history.  This article is part of my WCA Historian column in Clowing Around and currently is not available any where else.  To learn more about the WCA and join, whcih includes a subscription to Clowning Around, use the link below to go to their web site.
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
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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