Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #510 
March25, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


This issue includes another entry in my popular Clown History Trivia Quiz.


I will be performing in a stage variety show titled All Things Fun on Friday April 19, 2013 at the New HopeBaptistChurch, 551 New Hope Road, Fayetteville, GA. The show is fee and begins at 7 PM. It is part of the All Things Clown conference being held that weekend. You will find more information about the conference using the link under Educational Opportunities to the right. I hope to see many of my subscribers either at the show or at the conference. Please introduce yourself to me.


I will have a dealer table at the conference. That will be the easiest place to find me. Often after a class I need to concentrate on clearing out of the room so the next instructor can set up. However, at my table I have time to chat with people. I consider my dealer table to be an extension of the classroom. I am happy to work with people there. For example, I will be teaching a class titled Introduction of Sleight of Hand at All Things Clown. Sometimes it can be difficult to learn a sleight of hand move in a classroom. However, if somebody has seen a move in class I can often help them master it by working with them one-on-one at my dealer table.


I have had a question about how to get something listed in my Educational Opportunities column. I reserve that for places where I am either lecturing or being a dealer. I sometimes list a conference that I am attending. That is because if I am attending it to continue my own education it is something that I believe is worth attending. Also, when I am attending a conference or workshop I will sometimes work with somebody who wants to learn something specific. For example, in 2005 I made origami elephants for the banquet at the Circus Fans Association Convention in Seattle. I attended the 2010 CFA convention in Grand Rapids. One evening in the lounge somebody asked how I had made the elephants. That led to an impromptu origami class that evening. I have reversed the role at other conventions by asking people to teach me something. I firmly believe that educational opportunities aren't limited to learning from those who are on staff at a conference. Every person attending a convention can be both a student and teacher. Often the most valuable thing is the impromptu sharing that occurs outside of class.



I'll see you down the road,



In This Issue
Thought For The Week
History Trivia Quiz
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

April 8, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson




"There are two kinds of education you get in this world. One you get from others, and another you give yourself." - Gerald Ford


In my most recent newsletter (March 25, 2013), I discussed and paying tribute to those who have taught you. That is only one way that you learn. The other way is independent study.


Herb Camburn taught many of my theater classes at California State University Long Beach. He stressed developing the ability to study independently. He said if we were dependent on what he taught us, our education would end when we left his classes. However, being able to learn on our own meant that our education would be never ending. According to Herb, independent study had two components, challenging yourself and critiquing yourself.


Challenging yourself means not settling for what is easy or what you have done before. I am currently Cubmaster of a Pack that has an annual rocket rodeo where everyone builds model rockets to launch. I had no previous experience with rockets so when I built my first one I used a kit and followed the directions exactly. The next year I used the same kit but altered the placement of the fins a little. I painted it to look like a totem pole instead of a rocket. The next year I selected a more difficult kit to assemble. Last year I created a model based on the first Toy Story movie that looked like Buzz Lightyear strapped to a rocket. (The Buzz character was a flat cut out attached to the side of the rocket.) This year, in honor of the Iron Man 3 movie, I am designing and building a model that will look like a three dimensional IronMan. It is my most difficult model rocket yet. I am enjoying the challenge. It may not work the way I hope, but no matter what happens I am learning from the attempt.


Challenging yourself requires finding new sources of inspiration. I am fascinated by origami, and heard about a version called Storigami which combines story telling and paper folding. As you make each fold the paper is transformed into a different object that is a prop in a story you are telling. So I challenged myself to do the same thing with balloon sculpture. The result is a motivational story where every twist of a balloon creates a different object concluding with a swan. (I will be performing this routine as part of my lecture Dare to be a Great Clown at the All Things Clown Conference in two weeks.)


Part of challenging yourself is selecting projects that require new knowledge. That requires being able to do the research to find the necessary information. That may be networking with others until you find the person with that knowledge. It may be using resources available on the internet and then evaluating the information that you find to determine its accuracy and relevance.  That may mean going to a library and finding helpful books.


Reading is part of continuing your own education. My job description as World Clown Association Historian specifies that I continue learning about clown history. Every three months I submit a quarterly report that includes a list of relevant books and videos I've studied.


The last step in continuing your education is to critique your own work. That means studying it to find its strengths and weaknesses. That means don't be too easily satisfied. Look for ways it could be improved the next time. However, we often look only for the negative. Look for things that worked. Even in projects that don't meet your expectations you will be able to find positive lessons you can build upon if you look for them.


How can you continue your own education? How can you challenge yourself to continually improve? What next step can you take with a project? Where can you find inspiration for new challenges? Where can you find new knowledge? What books will help you continue your education?

When you complete a project ask yourself, what worked well? What did you learn that you can apply to other projects? What would you do differently?

History Trivia Quiz
Click on the link that you think is the most correct.  (These links will remain active until May 1)
Bumpsy Anthony is an International Clown Hall of Fame Inductee.  His real name is:
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 2013 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.


All Things Clowning

April 19-21

Fayetteville, Georgia


Dare to be a Great Clown, Introduction to Comedy Techniques, Controlling Focus, Introduction to Sleight of Hand, Character Development and Expression from the Inside Out


All Things Clown Convention 


 California Clown Campin'

July 29-August 3, 2013

Ontario, CA

Classes to be announced


California Clown Campin'

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

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