Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #410 
July 25, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson




I will not be publishing a newsletter next week because I will be at California Clown Campin' in San Bernardino, CA.  I know that some of my Thought for the Week subscribers will be there.  Please introduce yourself to me and say hello.


It is not too late to register for that program.  Space is still available.  This will be an intimate group which means you will have plenty of opportunities to interact with the staff and other participants.  If you live in Southern California and can't attend the educational program, you can still see the staff in a public performance on Friday night August 5.  For more information use the California Clown Campin' link in the Educational Opportunities column.


The deadline for the early registration discount to attend Comedifest has already passed.  However, to celebrate International Clown Week, Angel Ocasio has extended the offer to August 7.  You can learn more using the Comedifest link in the Education Opportunities column.


August 1-7 is Clown Week.  (Some people refer to it as National Clown Week while others refer to it as International Clown Week.)  I hope that you have a great International Clown Week.

I'll see you down the road,


In This Issue
Thought For The Week
New Article by Bruce Johnson
Creativity Newsletter
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

July 25, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"Success in radio required politeness, preparation, and professionalism." -- Ben Cooper


Ben Cooper was one of the special guest stars appearing at the 2011 Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound Showcase. Other stars at the convention made similar statements. It is true of any form of entertainment.


Politeness allows you to interact with others more easily. Politeness demonstrates that you are interested in the other person and their feelings. Rudeness demonstrates that you are interested only in yourself. Effective entertainment is above anything else an interaction with others. You start off by interacting with those who book a performance and organize an event. Then you interact with others involved in putting on the event. Finally you interact with those in your audience. Politeness is important in each step of the way no matter if the event is a solo birthday party, a large variety show, or a huge festival.


Preparation is making sure you have done everything possible to insure success. It can be visiting a theater in advance so you know the conditions you will be performing in. For example, planning to spin a plate on a ten-foot pole will not work if your performance space has an eight-foot ceiling. Preparation is practicing your skills so you are ready to give your best performance. Preparation is continuing your education so you are increasing your abilities. Preparation is keeping yourself in mental and physical shape so you can do what is required.


Professionalism is being able to do the best performance under any conditions. It includes knowing how to adjust what you do when conditions are less than ideal to give the best possible performance. It means not letting a mistake interfere with the rest of your performance. It means being sensitive to your audience and making necessary adjustments during your performance. It means being aware of the needs of your client and doing everything you can to meet them. For example, I was performing at a festival that wasn't able to open their gates because of a broken water line, so I went out front and entertained people waiting in line until they were allowed to enter.


Professionalism means learning the language of show business so when somebody tells you to move stage right you understand what they mean. It means being able to communicate your needs to others by filling out a tech sheet or cue cards.


Professionalism means being dependable by arriving early. It means getting a contact phone number to call in case something delays your arrival.


Professionalism means not touching another entertainer's props without permission. It means when you are in a variety show you preset your props so other entertainers can easily enter and exit the stage. It means being ready to go on at least one act before you're scheduled in case something happens and you need to enter. (More than once an emcee has made a mistake and skipped an act.) It means sticking to your assigned time frame. It means telling the act following you how your act ends so they know when to be ready to begin their act. It means clearing your props out of the way as soon as possible following your act. It means assisting other acts backstage so they can also do their best possible performance. It is remembering that the success of the show overall is most important of all.


How can you learn professionalism? One way is to observe other entertainers. I have been fortunate enough to have worked with some great entertainers and I have learned a lot from their example. Another way is to attend conferences and workshops like the upcoming California Clown Campin'. You will see some great entertainers there, like Randy Munson, who is known for his professionalism. A third way is to work at a theater. The best way to learn is by being on a technical crew like a stage hand. That helps you learn the technical side of entertainment and observe the performers in action. Community theater groups are often open to people becoming involved in the technical portions of their productions.


Are you polite? Are you prepared? Are you professional?


New Article by Bruce Johnson 

I wrote an article titled "Charlie Chaplin's Circus" which appears in the July issue of Clowning Around, published by the World Clown Association.  The article explores how Chaplin's 1928 film documented clowing in the early twentieth century.  It is part of my WCA Historian's column.  At the present it is available only to WCA members.  To learn more about the WCA and to receive Clowning Around, go to

Creativity For Entertainers Newletter
Creativity For Entertainers Books
Creativity For Entertainers Trilogy

I publish a second newsletter intended for owners of my Creativity For Entertainers set of books.  It comes out less frequently than this newsletter.  A new issue of the Creativity For Entertainers newsletter was sent last week.  While anyone may read this newsletter, it is most valuable to those who own the books.  For example, this issue had some ideas for combining face painting and magic.  Because the archive of this newsletter is open to anyone, including members of the general public, I did not explain any methods for actually performing the magic.  (I believe in honoring the secrets of magic.  One reason is that a magic effect never looks the same again once you know the secret.  I want to preserve the sense of wonder people enjoy who don't understand how it was done.)  Instead I referred readers to the appropriate sections in my books where they will find the method.


In the newsletter I also briefly remind people of creativity techniques that can help them come closer to realizing their full potential.  Then I refer them to the appropriate sections of my books to learn more about that technique.


My goal in publishing this second newsletter is to make the books as useful a tool and resource as possible for my readers.


You can read issues of this newsletter by using the archives link on the left side of this newsletter.


You can read more about my Creativity For Entertainers trilogy by going to




Creativity For Entertainers Trilogy  

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.

California Clown Campin'

August 1-6, 2011

San Bernardino, CA


Classes:  Make Up Demonstration (Tramp) and  History of Clowning, Physical Comedy, Staff on Stage Demonstration Performance, Beginning Juggling, Juggling Practice / Jam, Creative Routines with a Message: Gospel Routines



CCC Information

October 6-9, 2011
Portland, OR
Classes: Comedy Magic, Strolling Entertainment
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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