Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #399
March 28, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


I unfortunately have to announce that I will not be participating in the Clowns of America International Convention next month as planned.  I fell and broke my ankle while I was in New York, and my doctor has ordered me to cancel my participation in the COAI Convention.  I am very disappointed because I was looking forward to the convention for many reasons.
Despite my injury in New York, my experience at the World Clown Association Convention was great.  Caring Clowning was a major emphasis at the convention, and I was the recepient of much care from other clowns after my injurty.  Thank you to everyone for your kindness.  Members of Japan's Pleasure B clown troupe were the convention headliners.  Their performance was outstanding.  I attended two of their three lectures which were wonderful.  The other lectures that I was able to attend during the convention were all very strong.  Cido and the other members of the host alley worked very hard to make sure everyone had the best possible experience.
The 2012 World Clown Association Convention will be held in San Diego, CA.  The 2013 World Clown Association Convention is scheduled for Malaysia.
Have a great week,


In This Issue
Thought For The Week
New Publication
WCA Author's Award
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

March 28, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?"  -- Dennis and Wendy Mannering


I saw this in action at the recent World Clown Association Convention in New York.  Food choices at the hotel seemed limited without obvious options.  Some people publicly criticized the dining situation without seeking a solution and I could tell that their discontent started to spread.  Others with a positive outlook began to explore alternatives.  Somebody discovered that the airport had two nice food courts, including a small grocery store, outside the secure area.  (In an email prior to the convention the host committee had announced that dining was available at the airport.)  I heard somebody comment that they had been told the airport was too far away to walk to so they didn't try, but then they heard that several people had been doing it.  If you wanted some exercise it was possible to walk to the airport, eat, and walk back during the meal breaks.  However, if you didn't want to walk, the hotel had a free shuttle van running to the airport every twenty minutes.  When news of that spread, I learned that several people were eating at the airport.  A trio of women discovered that Mickey's, a diner popular with local residents, was within easy walking distance.  They told others about their discovery and by the end of the convention I saw many people going to Mickey's.  The goody bags provided by the host alley had menus from a Chinese restaurant that delivered to the hotel, and some people had parties by pooling their money to order Chinese food for dinner.  I noticed that as the week went on, and more people expressed satisfaction with food options the level of discontent dropped.


The psychological principle of synchronicity means that you tend to find what you look for.  People with a negative attitude will always be able to find something to complain about.  The recent WCA convention was near the La Guardia airport.  It took ten minutes on a free shuttle to travel between the airport and the hotel.  However, the hotel was not near the tourist attractions of downtown New York.  I heard some people complain that it was inconvenient to do any sight seeing.  (The host alley did organize two interesting bus tours the day before the convention.)  Several years ago the WCA convention in another city was at a hotel in the midst of downtown with many sight seeing options, but it was difficult getting there from the airport.  I heard people complain then that the hotel was too far from the airport.  They were the exact same people that complained this time about the hotel being too close to the airport.


How can you keep your attitude positive?  Every situation has challenges and opportunities.  Look for the best in each one.  I had been anticipating using some of the variety arts archives in New York for research during my trip to the WCA convention.  I injured my ankle which prevented that.  However, because that ankle injury has limited my physical activity at home, I have taken time to study and reorganize some archive material that I have collected over the years for my personal library.  As a result I am actually doing more research and learning more than I would have been able to do while in New York.


Another way to keep your attitude positive is to choose to spend time around those who also have a positive attitude.  Remember that their attitude will affect how you feel.  Zig Ziglar said, "Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don't hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people."


I feel that it is especially important to elect leaders of an organization that are optimistic because their attitude will affect all the members. 


What attitude would you like to spread?  How can you maintain positive attitudes?  What opportunities are available in each situation?  How can you lift the spirits of others?  Who can help elevate your attitude when you are down?  If you are discontented, how can you prevent that from spreading?




New Publication By Bruce Johnson

The History of American Clowning
I introduced a new publication, The History of American Clowning, at the World Clown Association Convention in New York.  My goal with this book is to make clown history relevant to today.  I explain how we can benefit from lessons learned from those who came before us, and how our past can inspire material for use today.  I believe that the past is a launching pad enabling us to reach higher in the future.

This book is a compilation of some of my clown history articles from the past 25 years, plus a great deal of additional information.  It starts with the indigenous American clown characters and continues up to current times.  Much of the information included here is not available any place else.  For example, I documented the founding of the major clown organizations in the United States.  In addition to the history articles, there are many profiles of individual clowns.  There are a total of 200 pages in the book.

It is my first electronic book.  It comes in PDF format on a CD.  Each CD has a registration number.  After receiving your copy, send me your registration number and email address, and I will add you to a mailing list dedicated to this book.  I am still doing research into clown history and will occasionally send you additional information related to topics in the book.  Also, as I discover corrections that need to be made to the original text, I will send those to you.

The introductory price for this book is $20 plus $5 for postage and handling.
Buy Now


WCA Author's Award


 The first World Clown Association Author's Awards were presented at the recent WCA convention in New York.  This was in recognition for articles that have appeared in Clowning Around, the organization's publication, during 2010.  Lee Mullally won first place for his 2010 series titled Promoting Your Clown.  I won second place for my article titled Exclusive and Inclusive Definitions in the February 2010 issue.  Anita Thies won third place with her article titled The Language of Laughter: Clowning Beyond Words in the November 2010 issue.


I would like to thank the WCA Publication Committee for the honor, and congratulate Lee and Anita on winning.  They are both excellent writers and their articles richly deserved the recognition.  They each have created an impressive body of work that is of outstanding quality.  Lee has been a Clowning Around columnist for over two decades and his work is consistently worth reading.  Anita has written many articles for Clowning Around and edited two books The Joyful Journey of Hospital C lowning and The Joyful Journey of Nursing Home Clowning.  I felt honored to be included with them.  I think a high standard of quality has been established for this award.


To read my article, go to:


Exclusive and Inclusive Definitions


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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.

California Clown Campin'

August 1-6, 2011

San Bernardino, CA

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February 17-19, 2012
Springfield, MO
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