Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #530 
February 10, 2014

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

The Winter Olympics, currently being held in Sochi, Russia, includes figure skating competition.  Figure skating is a skill used by clowns, including clowns who were Olympic caliber athletes. I do not post articles on my web site that I have written appearing in current issues of magazines.  I do not want to undermine their subscription base.  The January 2014 issue of Clowning Around has just been published by the World Clown Association, so I have posted my article on Ice Skating Clowns from the December 2013 issue.  You can read this article at
This is an example of the type of articles that are appearing in that magazine.  If you are interested in reading more of this type of article, I encourge you to join the World Clown Association which includes a subscription to Clowning Around.  You can find more information on the World Clown Association at
Kurt Browning is one of the commentators on the Canadian network coverage of the Olympics.  Kurt was the first person to complete a guad jump in competition and has created a clown character that he performs in ice reviews.  You can read more about his clowning at
Scott Hamilton is one of the commentators on the American network Olympic coverage.  You will read more about Scott in this week's main article.  Scott is the founder of the Stars on Ice show.  You can read about one of the clown acts that Scott performed with the entire Stars on Ice cast at

I will see you down the road,



In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

February 10, 2014

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson



"He (Gus Lussi) found so many ways to inspire his students because he relished our love of skating and he loved skaters who appreciated other skaters. He demanded proper manners and that we show respect for the other skaters." - Dorothy Hamill, Figure Skating Olympic Gold Medalist


"Be known as the 'appreciative' one (and the one who gives credit to others) on your team. Find ways to say thank you and share credit." -- Maureen Moriarity


In the countdown to the 2014 Winter Olympics, one of the American television networks broadcasted a figure skating performance in tribute to American Skating legends who had won medals at previous Winter Olympic Games. More time was spent in tribute to Scott Hamilton, winner of the 1984 Gold, than to any other skater. Those who skated in Olympic Games after 1984 all spoke of how much Scott had inspired and influenced them not only as competitors but as professional entertainers. For decades Scott has been a commentator on network coverage of figure skating. One thing that stands out is Scott's appreciation of other skaters. Younger, less mature commentators point out the flaws of skaters in what seems to me to be an effort to demonstrate their own superiority. Scott points out a skater's strengths and expresses his excitement when they do well. If their performance is flawed, he still finds something positive about it to comment upon. I believe this appreciation of others is a key to his influence in the art of skating. I try to follow Scott's example. When I see another entertainer perform I try to show my appreciation by leading the rest of the audience in applauding them.


I was recently in a variety show with entertainers I did not know. I started off by being respectful of them when I entered the dressing room. I did not see most of the other acts perform, but when I did I commented on something they had done that I liked. That broke the ice with them and started many conversations. As they shared how they approach their art, I learned some things that I might be able to use to strengthen my own performances. I met a guitarist who has produced his own rock operas. He told me when he hires a musician he teaches them that the only way to do the really intense musical riffs is with relaxed concentration. If you try too hard or think about it, you can't do it. He said the only way to be relaxed is to be confidant in your preparation. I know that I do a better job when I am relaxed, and the more I do to prepare the more I am able to relax. It was a reminder to not become lazy in my preparation. I heard many other stories that had lessons I can apply to my own performances. I am glad that I started by showing respect to these strangers because as I got to know them I realized that they deserved that respect.


I am the Cubmaster of a Cub Scout Pack. That means that I plan and run the Pack Meetings. I am the one up front who gets all the attention. However, I am very aware that others contribute to the success of the meetings. I try to publicly acknowledge their contributions and to privately thank them. Cub Scout Packs are all led by volunteers and having to replace leaders due to burnout is a common problem. In our Pack I have found that most often people don't burnout, but because they know their efforts are appreciated they take on additional responsibilities. More people are asking what they can do to make a contribution to the meetings and other Pack events. I have learned that appreciation is a strong method of motivation.


While taking their bows, the best entertainers I know will direct attention to the technical crew as a method of thanking them for their contributions to the shows success.


I have heard that if you want to be a leader and influence, others being appreciated is not part of your job description. Your job is to appreciate others. Ironically that gains you more respect because people appreciate your support.


Do you appreciate other entertainers? How do you express your appreciation? If you are in a leadership position, how can you show appreciation to members of your group? What opportunities do you have to thank them? How can you share credit for the group's success?





New Articles by Bruce Johnson


I wrote two articles that appear in the January 2014 issue of Clowning Around, published by the World Clown Association.


The first is titled Radio Comedy Technique: Sound Effects. It is the last  of a series of articles tied into the WCA convention theme of Chicago in Radio and Television.


The second article is also tied into the convention theme.  The topic is the history of clown and puppetry on Chicago television.  In addition to relating the history, I draw several conclusions that readers can apply to their own performances.  The article finishes with a series of thought provoking questions similar to what I did with the historical sections in my Creativity for Entertainers trilogy.


To learn more about joining 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.

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 2014 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
Trick Cartoons for Junior Joeys,
Circus Model Display

 California Clown Campin'

July 21-27, 2014

Ontario, CA


to be announced


California Clown Campin'

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

Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List