Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #401
April 18, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

I know that many of my subsribers are involved in holy celebrations this week.  My subscribers who are Jewish have celebrated Passover.  My subscribers who are Christian have celebrated Palm Sunday, and are looking forward to Good Friday and Easter.  Passover and Easter tend to be celebrated with family members.  I hope that your celebrations have been a blessing to you and those you love.
Have a great week,


In This Issue
Thought For The Week
The History of American Clowning
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

April 18, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"What are you celebrating today?" - Billboard near the entrance to the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California


Disneyland is putting a special emphasis upon celebrations.  At any of their guest services locations you can receive a free button announcing that you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, graduation, marriage, or your first visit to the parks.  Park cast members are encouraged to keep an eye out for the buttons and comment on your special occasion.  It is a way to get cast members to notice guests as individuals instead of just part of a crowd that needs to be dealt with.  It also personalizes the park experience for the guests increasing their satisfaction.


I subscribe to an email motivational thought for the day service that delivers a short quotation and something about that specific day.  For example, last Saturday they announced that April 16 is Charlie Chaplin's birthday.  I also knew that April 16, 2011 was the second annual World Circus Day!  Carole and I decided to celebrate both occasions by watching a DVD of Charlie Chaplin's Circus and The Gold Rush.  It was a lot of fun, and it also turned out to be educational.  While watching Charlie Chaplin's Circus I realized that the clown acts performed in the film were ones frequently performed in circuses in the 1920's.  (Chaplin released his film in 1928.)  That inspired an article that I am currently working on for my historian's column in Clowning Around magazine, published by the World Clown Association.


Nursing home activity directors are constantly looking for something they can celebrate because that gives them ideas for events.  Several years ago a nursing home hired me to perform on December 9 because they knew I was a tramp clown and that was Emmett Kelly's birthday.


Carole uses celebrations in her caring clowning to provide variety and prevent burn out.  For example one year she celebrated the opening of the baseball season by taking some visual puns to a hospital.  She showed people her baseball bat, a ball with wings from a Halloween bat decoration glued onto it.  She also showed them her fly ball, a ball with a large plastic fly glued onto it.  Her third gag was her foul ball, a ball with a small rubber chicken (fowl) glued onto it.


When Carole is in clown character she always has some smile face rings in her pocket.  While interacting with somebody she is on the look out for something to celebrate.  For example, if they mention they are going to get their first chemo treatment, she announces a celebration of the start of their road to recovery and gives them a ring.  Instead of celebrating a milestone event, she sometimes celebrates a personal quality.  For example, she may give a patient a ring in recognition of their bravery in facing treatments.  She includes the employees and may give somebody a ring as a way to celebrate their commitment to keeping a hospital clean or assisting residents in a nursing home.


I recently mentioned synchronicity, which means you tend to find what you look for.  If you look for positive things you find positive things.  Looking for something to celebrate provides you with a positive focus helping you deal with life.  About fifteen years ago I attended a Conference on the Positive Power of Humor and Creativity, sponsored by Joel Goodman's Humor Project.  One of the speakers was the daughter of a Nazi concentration camp prisoner.  She said her mother told her the key to surviving that horrific experience was looking for a Wow and a Whoopee every day.  That meant looking for something every day that caused a sense of wonder and something that caused a sense of joy.  Since then Carole and I have tried to put that into action.  We don't succeed every day, but when we do, it improves our life.  Today we saw fifty herons nesting in a rookery in our neighborhood.


What can you celebrate today?  What celebration will make your life fuller and richer?  What can you celebrate in your next performance to make it more interesting and enjoyable for you?  What can you help those around you celebrate?  How can you use a celebration to connect with others?  How can you use celebrations to cope with life?




The History of American Clowning

My newest publication is The History of American Clowning.   It is an electronic book that comes in PDF format on a CD.  You can read it on your computer screen or if you prefer being able to mark and underline as you study you can print it out on paper.  If you don't have a program that allows you to read PDF files, Adobe has a free one that can be downloaded from the internet.
I chose this format for two primary reasons.  First there are 200 pages of text and illustrations.  I felt that it was cost prohibitive for me to have a book that size copied and shipped.  I wanted to make it available at a price you could afford.  Second, since it is an electronic book you can easily use the search feature on your computer to find information.  For example, information on Emmett Kelly naturally fit into several different sections, plus I included an in depth profile of him.  Being able to search the text electronically means you can quickly find every reference to him if you want to study him.  I attempted to make this book as useful as possible for your use.
This book includes historical articles that have been published in a variety of magazines over the past 25 years.  It also has a lot of material that I wrote specifically for this publication.  There is no other single source for this depth and breadth of information.
My goal with this book was not just to present historial facts.  My goal is to demonstrate why our past is relevant to what we do today and how you can use it as a source of inspiration and informtion for building your future.

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

Buy Now

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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

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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