Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #398
March 7, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


I am in the midst of final preparations for the World Clown Association next week.  I be will doing my Trick Cartoon lecture as well as my History of American Clowning presentation.  In addition I will be doing a historical recreation during the opening ceremony and participating in the worship service.  Janet Tucker, Randy Christensen, and Anita Thies are the others participating in the service.
I hope to see many Thought For The Week subscribers there.  I will be wearing my WCA Historian name badge to help you identify me if we have not yet had the pleasure of meeting face to face.  Please introduce yourself to me.
Have a great week,


In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

March 7, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson




"We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."

-- sign in a display garden at the 2011 Seattle Flower and Garden Show


The sign didn't attribute the phrase to anybody, but to me it sounds like a Native American philosophy.  I think the same philosophy can be applied to clowning.  We don't inherit clowning from those who came before us; we borrow it from those coming after us.


I have heard some people say that because of the accomplishments of the great clowns of the past we should do our best today.  I do believe that we should remember and honor those who came before us.  However, in reality what we do today doesn't affect what they did in the past.  Nothing that we do today changes what they did.  Where our actions do make a difference is how they affect those who come after us.  What you do today can change the future.


To inherit something implies entitlement to do anything that you want because you own it.  To borrow something implies that you have to be careful with it so it is still in good shape when you give it to the person who loaned it to you.  You have to be a good steward of things that you borrow.  You will be help accountable by those who loaned it to you.


How do your actions affect the perception others have of clowning?  What can you do to be a better steward of the art of clowning?  What will those coming after us think of the way you treat the art of clowning?  How can you encourage others who are considering becoming a clown?



Article By Bruce Johnson

An article I wrote titled Blackface Minstrels appears in the March 2011 issue of Clowning Around published by the World Clown Association.  It is part of my column as the official WCA Historian.

In the introduction to the article I wrote, "Not every innovation in the history of clowning was beneficial or admirable.  However, even in the least admirable elements of clown history there are things that we can learn and apply to today.  We can try to avoid the mistakes of the past, but there are also things we can build upon.  This article is just an introduction to a complex and controversial topic."


Blackface Minstrels were once considered a type of clown character.  Because we now recognize that they are inappropriate they are seldom discussed.  However, there is much that we can learn from that period of clown history.


The March 2011 issue of Clowning Around contains many more worth while articles by other authors.  I have mentioned before that Rochelle Stevens, the new editor, has really improved the appearance of the magazine.  As a result, new writers are attracted to the magazine.  They are more interested in submitting their material to a publication they know will make their work look good.  The end result is that the content of the magazine has improved with each issue.  This is annual membership renewal time for the WCA so it is a natural time to join if you are not already a member.


For more information on the World Clown Association go to

World Clown Association

Thank you for being a subscriber.  I am always interested in your questions and comments.

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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

San Bernardino, CA

Topics to be announced

CCC Information

Show Me Clowns for Jesus
February 17-19, 2012
Springfield, MO
Topics to be announced
For information on additional services that I can provide for an educational event 

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