Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #393
January 3, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

Happy New Year,

I began this newsletter in the spring of 2001.  I decided to start 2011 with a topic that I have covered before.  It is something that we all can be reminded of more than once.  It is one of those lessons that our parents taught us that all too often slips our mind or gets delayed admidst the many other things demanding our attention.
This is a great time to slow down and pay attention to details.  For example, last spring Greg Woods, a magician living in Canada, reminded me that I was still using the previous year in the copyright notice at the end of my newsletters.  Because that section is automatically copied from one issue to the next it was a detail that was easy to overlook.  (Greg, you will see that I took care of that on time this year.)  While you are changing the year on the paper work that you use, take the time to see if there is anything else that needs to be updated as well.  January tends to be a slower time for everyone so take advantage of the pause to refresh.  Look over your props to see if there is something that you need to repair.

In this issue you will find another of the popular History Trivia questions.

Have a great week,

In This Issue
Thought For The Week
History Trivia
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

January 3, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"Ideas like conscientiously showing appreciation are matchless signs of humanity - and the practice thereof, in my opinion, doubtless makes you a better person, a person behaving decently in a hurried and harried world.  But, to the principle point of this book, such acts also result in dramatically improved organizational effectiveness - and goals more readily achieved."  -- Tom Peters, The Big Little Things


Norma Brandel Gibbs said, "You are not better a teacher, or anything else, than you are a person."  I have applied that to entertainment.  You are no better an entertainer than you are a person.  We reveal who we are in the material that we create or select to perform, how we treat audience members, and our interactions with others we work with in performances.  I firmly believe that the biggest key to success as an entertainer is being the best person possible.  People will see you repeatedly if they like you as a person just because they want to spend more time with you.  One of the main comments I have heard from people who knew or met Victor Borge was his decency as a human being.  That is why he had such a long career repeating routines that he had used for decades.  The routines were polished and perfected by repetition.  However, that is not why people went to see his live performances.  I saw him in concert twice, and had tickets to see him again when he passed away.  I went back to see him because being in his presence was such a joyful experience.  I don't think it is a coincidence that the family entertainers I know that I admire most as performers are also among those people that I admire most as humans.  And a quality that they all have in common is showing appreciation to others.


That is true in other areas as well.  I have become increasingly involved in the Cub Scout organizations in my region in recent years.  It has been interesting observing the boys.  I have noticed that the boys that are most popular with their peers and have the best interactions with adults are those who are the most polite.  Those who say "Thank you" most often, even if I can tell they are just saying it out of habit, have the best relationships with others.


The groups that I have been part of that worked the best were those where the members appreciated each other.  That formed a rapport with beneficial results.  First, knowing that I was appreciated made me more willing to make an extra effort.  I think we all resent feeling unappreciated which dampens our enthusiasm for a project.  When that happens it is difficult to motivate ourselves to do our best.  Mutual respect and appreciation brought out the best efforts by everyone.  Because we knew we were appreciated, nobody competed to be recognized, so everyone cooperated behind the scenes to make the group as a whole more effective.


Appreciation is a reward you can use to motivate others to continue actions you desire.  When I needed some customer service at a store one of the employees spent a lot of time helping me.  I thanked her, and then found the store manager and told him how much I appreciated the service she had given me.  When I returned to that store a couple of weeks later she asked if there was anything I needed as soon as she saw me.  That particular store tends to have good service, but I notice that the service I receive is often beyond their normal standards especially when the store is busy.  Even the store manager goes out of his way to assist me.


In the past couple of years many people that I know have passed away.  Most of them were people that I considered my contemporaries.  Some of them made an important contribution to my life or career.  A few of them knew I appreciated that.  Unfortunately, I think others were unaware of the impact they had, and now I won't have the chance to express that to them.  I put off letting them know, and now it is too late.  It has been a reminder not to wait longer to show my appreciation to others.


How can you conscientiously show appreciation?  How can you do it on a personal level to grow as a human?  How can you do it to improve how the groups you belong to function?  How can you use appreciation to encourage desirable behavior?  Who made important contributions to your life or career?  What can you do now to show your appreciation now?


To read more about the value and use of Thank You read this article that originally appeared in the July/August 2002 issue of New Calliope, published by Clowns of America International.


History Trivia
Answer this question by clicking on the response that you think is most accurate. 

Several years ago I saw a stage show where Lori Eggers sang "Put On A Happy Face" while Geri "Lolli" Copper painted the face of an audience volunteer turning them into a Whiteface Clown.  By the end of the song, Lolli had finished painting their face and slipped a clown smock and hat onto them.  Other entertainers have incorporated that song into their performances.  "Put On A Happy Face" was introduced in the Broadway production of



Bye, Bye, Birdie


These links will remain active until February 1, 2011.  After that date, use the history trivia button under Quick Links (in the right hand column) to check your answer.


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 2011 by Bruce "Charlie" Johnson.
All rights reserved. 
Educational Opportunities

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.

World Clown Association Convention
March 14-18, 2011
New York, NY
The History of American Clowning,
Trick Cartoons


Clowns Of America
International Convention
April 13-17, 2011

Anaheim, CA


Topics to be announced


California Clown Campin'

August 1-6, 2011

Santa Barbara, CA

Topics to be announced

CCC Information

For information on additional services that I can provide for an educational event 

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