Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #413 
September 19, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson





Angel Ocasio's Comedifest is just a couple of weeks away. It is returning after a hiatus of four years. One of the unique features of this educational program is that several of the staff members will be participating in an improvisation show.  Mary Pat McCoy, one of the staff members, will be teaching us some improvisation games which we will then play in front of an audience of participants.


I will be doing strolling entertainment at the Children's Day Festival at Community Park in Langley, WA from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PMon Saturday September 24. I invite my subscribers in the Pacific Northwest to stop by and say hello. The majority of my bookings this year that have been open to the public have involved strolling entertainment.  I will be doing a class on that at Comedifest.  Travel to Comedifest is convenient because it is being held at the Shilo Inn Suites adjacent to the Portland, OR airport.  Use the link under Educational Opportunities to the right to get more information.


I'll see you down the road,


In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Comedifest Class
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

September 19, 2011

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson




"Instead of bragging about your personal achievements, find a way to spotlight someone else's work." - Jeffrey Kudisch, speaking on walking the fine line between confidence and arrogance during a job interview.


I recently mentioned in this newsletter that confidence, but not over confidence, is important to being able to perform your act. Several years ago I wrote about how your confidence affects your audience's enjoyment of your performance. They want you to succeed. If you are confident they will believe that you will succeed and relax so they enjoy what you do. Confidence is also important in your relationships with clients and other entertainers. People are attracted to those who are confident.


Arrogance pushes others away because they feel you think you are better than everybody else. Confidence causes people to relax, but arrogance puts them on edge because they feel they have to defend themselves. The biggest problem arrogance causes in variety arts is people who do not respect time limits. If they run over their allotted time somebody else has to shorten what they planned to do. People who do not respect time limits are saying they think what they do is more important than what anybody else could possibly do.


How does spotlighting somebody else demonstrate your confidence? It shows that you are secure enough in your achievements not to be threatened by those of others. It also demonstrates that you work well with others. (That was a quality that we were graded on when I was in elementary school.) It proves that you care about others and want to make them feel good, which are important qualities for success as an entertainer.


What you praise others for is actually an expression of what is important to you. For example, if you praise somebody for their commitment to continuing education you are saying that you think continuing your education is important. Your praise reveals to others who you are. Since it appears to be less self-serving the praise that you give others has more credibility than statements that you make about yourself.


It took me a while to learn the value of spotlighting others instead of bragging about my achievements when writing for variety arts magazines. One of my Laugh-Makers Magazine articles described my experience appearing in the 100th Tournament of Roses Parade. I got absolutely no feedback on that article. I later realized that was because while it was a thrilling experience to me, nobody else cared that I had been in the parade. They probably would never have the same opportunity. The articles that I have gotten the most positive feedback on have all been ones where I focused on other people. In my own reading I tend to quickly skim over the brag articles and carefully read those profiling somebody else. For example, I always read Patti "Dimples" Koopmans' World Clown Association Competition Director Column in Clowning Around because she ends by profiling one of the organization's members.


The best person of all to focus on is the reader or person speaking to you. After Greg Wood read my Creativity for Entertainers book trilogy he commented, "Volume Three convinced me that you were creative. The first two volumes convinced me that I am creative." That means I was more successful in writing the first two volumes.


When somebody comments on one of my performances, I frequently respond by talking about how good the audience was. That puts the spotlight on them, and I really mean it. The audience plays an important role in my interactive performance style. A great performance is always the result of a great audience.


How can you spotlight the work of somebody else? How can you focus on others when you write for a variety arts publication? How can you focus on the reader? When somebody speaks to you, how can you focus the spotlight back on them?


Comedifest Class

Both lectures that I am presenting at next month's Comedifest are ones that I have created specifically for this event.  Since their description is not included on my web site, I am going to feature them here.  In the last issue I listed the description for Comedy Magic.  The description for the Strolling Entertainmnet class is:


Strolling is an interactive style of entertainment performed among the event guests. In this class you will learn how to approach people and get invited into their space, the use of eye contact, the glide, improvisation, and taking advantage of the environment. You will learn the key to success in strolling entertainment. You will also be introduced to several types of skills that are particularly useful in strolling entertainment.


For more information on Comedifest, use the link in the Educational Opportunities column on the upper right.

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.

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


California Clown Campin'

August 2-7, 2012

San Bernardino, CA


Classes:  To Be Announced 


California Clown Campin Information



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

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