Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #488 
May 28, 2012

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson




I have some more announcements about the upcoming California Clown Campin' program. You will find them below this week's main article.


I strongly believe in continuing education for variety artists. I also believe in trying new sources of information. I have been a member of the Circus Historical Society for many years. Next month for the first time I will be attending one of their annual conventions. I am looking forward to what I will learn, especially about using some of the circus archives that are available. The CHS convention is being held in Baraboo, WI June 13-16. In addition to the Circus Historical Society Convention, there will be a Circus Model Builders regional conference, and a reunion of Circus Kirk Alumni. Baraboo is the home to the CircusWorldMuseum and to the International Clown Hall of Fame. So it will be an intense immersion into clown and circus history. I hope to see some of my subscribers while I am there.





I'll see you down the road,






In This Issue
Thought For The Week
California Clown Campin
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

Mary 28, 2012

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"Long term success is built on credibility and on establishing enduring loving relationships with quality people based on mutually earned trust. Cut all ties with dishonest, negative or lazy people, and associate with people who share your values. You become who you associate with." -- Dave Kekich


I have been fortunate during my life and career to come into contact with some outstanding people. I am blessed to consider some of them members of my extended family. To a great extent they are responsible for my success because they have served as my role models. They have inspired me to strive to become better than I am.


I have seen the opposite happen. During one season that I toured with a circus I had a group of friends who became disgruntled with conditions on the show. They sat around complaining all of the time. I saw that their mood was contagious. Not only did they become increasingly negative, but I began to look at things the same way. That is the one circus season when I was the most dissatisfied which began to affect my performances. If I hadn't associated with them I would probably have had a much better season.


Here are three positive examples:


When I did circus spot dates in the mid 1980's I always accepted work from a booking agent/producer named Ed Russell. If he called to say he was working with a limited budget and asked if I could work for a little less than my normal fee, I knew he was telling me the truth and would accept the offer. I knew that because he had earned my trust. Sometimes when he called he would tell me he had a big budget and would pay me a bonus for that booking as a thank you for the work I had previously done for him. I knew that he would always be fair with me in our relationship. I also knew that he would be fair with his clients so working with him would help enhance my credibility. Ed is still working providing small circus performances for county fairs. He has had some competition that cut corners to take bookings away from him. However, the fairs that hired somebody else always came back to him because of his honesty. I would say that Ed's main business philosophy is to deliver everything you have promised, and then some. I try to follow Ed's example.


Kenny Ahern is another person I have been fortunate to consider a friend. He is an outstanding performer and instructor. People who have attended an educational program where he has taught understand that. What many don't realize is how hard he works behind the scenes to assist others on staff in doing their best possible performances. He does a lot that participants don't see. He has helped me figure out the technical aspects of some of my best stage shows. I have learned to listen carefully to his suggestions because he has a wonderful theatrical understanding. What is even more important to me is his character as a person. The way he treats others is wonderful. He has developed a social grace that sets others at ease and makes them feel important. When I am on staff somewhere I try to follow his example and help others with the technical elements of their performance. In my every day dealings with people, I try to follow his example in making others feel valued.


Lee Mullally is another dear friend and source of inspiration. Our relationship first began nearly thirty years ago when he wrote in response to my articles in Laugh-Makers Magazine. That meant a lot to me because I rarely got any feed back on my articles. I wrote back about Lee's articles that were being publishing in other variety arts magazines. I began following Lee's example, and writing to authors of articles I enjoyed and appreciated. When I met Lee in person, I learned that he is another person of outstanding character. I have seen him in stressful situations and admired the way he was able to keep conflicts from spreading. I also appreciate his tact and taste in comedy.


There are many other people who have inspired me to become a better person and performer.


Who do you associate with? Do you want to become like them?






California Clown Campin'

I mentioned Angel Contreras in the last issue (May 14) of this newsletter.  Here is an example of his art work.  It is the 2012 California Clown Campin' logo featuring my character, Charlie the Juggling Clown.


The class list for California Clown Campin' has been announced.  The list includes many of my favorite classes to teach.  The classes that I will be teaching are:

Creative Gospel Routines

Silk Magic for Clowns

Circus Memories

How to Juggle - Intro

Trick Cartoons

Physical Comedy

Juggling Jam

Staff on Stage (Tue PM)


You can get more information on the 2012 California Clown Campin' program using the link in the educational opportunity column.

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 2012 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'

July 30 - August 5, 2012

San Bernardino, CA



Creative Gospel Routines, Silk Magic for Clowns, Circus Memories, How to Juggle - Introduction, Trick Cartoons, Physical Comedy, Juggling Jam, and Staff on Stage.


California Clown Campin Information




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