Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #516 
July22, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


I am getting ready to leave for Southern California to visit my father and then be on staff for California Clown Campin'.


My subscribers in that region may be interested to know that one day registrations for California Clown Campin' are available.  On Wednesday, I will be doing a staff on stage performance at 8:30 AM.  Then Monika Kelly, the daughter of Emmett Kelly Sr., will be speaking.   There are several breakout classes in the morning and afternoon.  Then Monika and I will be doing a session about our circus memories.  (Those who have registered for the entire week will then leave for a performance of the Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus.  The circus is not included in the one day registration.)  For more information go to the California Clown Campin' web site using the link under the Educational Opportunities column.


Also on Friday evening the California Clown Campin' staff and participants will be performing a public show.  This show at the conference hotel is only $5 per family.


I hope to see many of my subscribers at California Clown Campin'.


I'll see you down the road,



In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Trivia Quiz
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

July 22, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson



"Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living." -- Amanda Bradley


When I was working as a Range Master at a recent Cub Scout Day Camp, it was interesting seeing how the young boys would celebrate their achievements. For the most part they didn't compare themselves to each other. They celebrated any improvement. If they had missed the bales of hay holding the targets the first day, they were excited if they hit the bale the next day even though they missed the target. One day we put up official Olympic style targets and scored the boys efforts. We had a few boys that were excited about placing in the top five for the day. Our top score was 36 points with five arrows. However, one boy was just as excited because he hit the target and scored one point for the first time. In my training I was encouraged to find a way to celebrate the boys' accomplishments. So, I took some cheap copy paper, drew a circle in the center for the Bulls Eye, and told boys that if they hit the paper they could take it home. Some did hit the Bulls Eye and were excited about taking proof of it home to show their parents. One boy was just as excited when he nicked the edge of the paper and I told him that qualified as a target he could take home. If I noticed a boy making a significant improvement of any kind I exchanged a high-five with him. Many of the adult volunteers acknowledged the boys improvements with a fist bump.


I do something similar with my juggling practice. When I am learning a new trick I count the number of times I make a throw with my right hand. When I pass my previous record for doing the trick without missing, I pause a moment to celebrate my achievement. Often I make that the end of my practice session. Studies have shown that you remember the beginning and end of something the best. By ending with doing the trick successfully I lock the correct way of performing it into my memory. Also, ending with the memory of success instead of ending with the memory of frustration makes it easier to motivate myself to practice again the next time.


Carole uses rings with a smiley face in her work as a caring clown. She seeks reasons to give them out as rewards and turns the moment into a little celebration. It might be to honor somebody who is brave about getting a shot. It might be to honor a sibling for their patience in sitting in a waiting room. It might be to honor a janitor who has just done an outstanding job cleaning a hallway floor. Another prop that she uses is a Balancing Bird. It is a plastic bird counterweighted so it automatically balances on its beak. She will have somebody attempt to balance the bird on their finger. When they succeed she applauds their achievement and gives them a Smiley ring. In strolling situations she can tell if somebody has already balanced the bird by looking to see if they are wearing a ring.


Little celebrations and recognitions can be important. The Cub Scout Day Camp where I worked had a space theme. On the last day I was presented with a rocket made out of a tube of mini-M&M's. On the side of the missile it said, "You Rock-et. Thank you for your work." It was nice to know that what I had done had been seen and appreciated. It was an award that didn't cost much, but I appreciated the effort that had gone into preparing it. Every time that I had a few of the candies during the day I felt valued.


Celebrating your own milestones adds enjoyment to your life. Celebrating the milestones and accomplishments of others honors them. If you are a leader in an organization, that is important for maintaining morale and providing motivation. What can you celebrate in your life? How will you celebrate that? What has somebody else done that can be turned into a celebration? How can you provide them with recognition? How can you celebrate with them?






New Articles


I wrote tw articles that appear in the July issue of Clowning Around, published by the World Clown Association.


The first article is a biography of Red Skelton whose 100th birthday was July 18, 2013.  This article is part of my column as the World Clown Assocation Historian.


The second article is an examination of how the World Clown Association and Circus Fans Association of America can work together to achieve their common goals.  The article includes a survey of a recent issue of White Tops, published by the CFA, listing those articles that would be of interest to clowns.  I am a member of both organizations.  They have been trading ads for about 18 months in each others publications.


For information on membership in the World Clown Association, which includes a subscription to Clowning Around, go to


World Clown Association

Thank you for being a subscriber.  I am always interested in your questions and comments.

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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.

 California Clown Campin'

July 29-August 3, 2013

Ontario, CA

Dare to be a Great Clown, Introduction to Comedy Techniques, Controlling Focus, Introduction to Sleight of Hand.  How to Juggle, Open Juggling Lab, Circus Memories


California Clown Campin'

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

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