Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #520 
September 23, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


I am planning to attend the 2014 World Clown Association Convention which will be held March 25-29 in Chicago, IL. Barry "Grandma" Lubin is the convention headliner. Chicago was an important center in circus and comedy history. There are several museums and archives in the region devoted to the circus or to television and radio. I am looking forward to combining the convention educational opportunities with visits to some of the archives to continue my research into clown history. Normally I include only events where I am instructing under the Educational Opportunities column. However, I think this is an excellent educational opportunity that I will be participating in so I am making an exception. You will be able to use the link starting with this issue to obtain more information.


September is Hispanic/Latino Heritage month in the United States. There is an important tradition of circus and clowning in Mexico, Argentina, and other Latino countries. I know that I have only been able to scratch the surface in my own studies. There is some material available in Spanish, which unfortunately is a language that I don't read. I extend my best wishes to my Hispanic/Latino subscribers as they celebrate their heritage.


I'll see you down the road,



In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

September 23, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"None of us is as smart as all of us." - John C. Maxwell, The 5 Levels of Leadership


"Ideas are like babies - none is as beautiful as our own." - Fortune Cookie


Last week I led my first monthly leadership development meeting for Cub Scout volunteers. (The meeting is called Roundtable.) We started with a reflection time. Each person introduced themselves, described one thing their Pack did this past summer, and related their favorite Scouting memory from this summer. It was amazing hearing all the different things Packs had done. It was exciting watching the participants begin building upon each others ideas. They discovered that every person there was a resource they can draw upon to improve their own program. It is a major commitment to add one more meeting to their already busy schedule. One first time attendee told me, "I wasn't sure that I had time to attend this meeting. But now I know what I am going to do for my next Pack meeting. It takes me a lot longer to figure it out on my own. I actually saved lots of time by coming." They all left energized with a lot of new things they are going to try with their own Packs. I discovered that one of the participants knows more about Native American stories than I do, and have asked him to teach a story that everyone can use in their Pack meetings.


Each article for this newsletter is written within a day of it being sent. It is hard to proof read your own material in that short of time because you see what you expect to see instead of what is actually there. For that reason, I have my wife, Carole, proof read each article. Not only do I want her to look for typographical errors, but want her opinion on what I have written. Once in a while she will say she doesn't understand something or she'll recommend that I edit something out. Her input has improved this newsletter. She is my trusted advisor in terms of this newsletter and many other things.


I have a select few people I consider to be my trusted advisors. Over the years I have learned to listen to their criticism and ideas. I trust their knowledge and wisdom. When they make a suggestion to me, I consider it very carefully. Here is one example, for years I performed using a foot locker on the floor of the stage to hold my props. One day Kenny Ahern suggested that I put the foot locker up on something so I didn't have to bend over all the time to get my props. I tried putting it on two chairs. That worked well. After that performance Kenny commented that he liked the image it created much better. Since then I have discovered many more advantages to an elevated trunk. I prefer to use a folding luggage rack to hold the trunk. However, if I am traveling and a rack isn't available I will use two chairs. I wouldn't have thought of it without Kenny's suggestion.


Anyone who tries to be creative falls in love with their own ideas. This can cause a blind spot, especially if it is the only idea you have. In Creativity For Entertainers Volume Two I tell about working on a Holy Humor Sunday Service. I was able to come up with just one idea that fit the theme our pastor wanted for the service. Carole didn't understand my idea and kept pointing out flaws. I insisted on defending my idea. Finally, I decided that I could not defend it any longer. Only when I gave up on it was I free to consider other ideas. Eventually I discovered a different idea that was much better than my first idea. Sometimes giving up on an idea is a struggle.


When something has to be done around the house, Carole and I often have different ideas on how it should be done. I naturally prefer my solution. However, I have learned to consider her idea. Sometimes my idea turns out to be the best. Sometimes her idea turns out to be the best. Usually the best solution is a combination of our ideas.


Where can you get together with others to share ideas and inspiration? How can you take advantage of the knowledge and wisdom of others? Who are your trusted advisors? Who is able to tell you what you need to hear? Who can reveal your blind spots? When do you need to stop defending your own ideas? How can you combine the ideas of others with those of your own?



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.
World Clown Association Convention
March 25-29. 2014
Northbrook, IL

 California Clown Campin'


Ontario, CA

Dates and subjects

to be announced


California Clown Campin'

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

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