Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #538 
May 26, 2014

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


I have updated the archive for my newsletters.  Due to technical difficulties which I have now solved I was unable to add recent issues.  Now it is complete and you can read back issues using the Newsletter Archive link in the quick links section on the right.


I know that many of my long time subscribers now have more than one email address.  Since there are many free sources of addresses they add new ones tailored for specific purposes.  If you want to change the email address that you receive my newsletter click on the Update Profile/email link at the very bottom of every issue.  That insures you will continue to receive issues in the way that best suits your needs.


I would like to highlight another of the sessions that I will be doing at the 2014 California Clown Campin' educational program. It is titled "The Class of 1989." Felix Adler, Lou Jacobs, Otto Griebling, Emmett Kelly, Mark Anthony, and Red Skelton became the first inductees into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1989. During this session I'll explain why these six special clowns deserved to be the first to be honored and what we can learn from to apply to clowning today. As a special gift from California Clown Campin' each participant will receive an archival quality print of a pen and ink drawing that I have done of each of these clowns.


Following this session, the California Clown Campin' participants and staff will board a bus to travel to the arena where the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be performing. There will be a meet and greet photo opportunity with some of the show's clowns and show girls. Then the group will see the preshow and entire performance. This is the only educational programs for clowns including this opportunity. Each year I have been able to tie what the participants witnessed at the circus into some of my class sessions.

I will see you down the road,



In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Creativity Newsletter
Vaudeville Show
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

May 26, 2014

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson



"Leaders have a heart for honoring others." - Stan Toler


I have written recently about the importance of entertainers honoring their audience. They should also honor other entertainers because that is part of leadership. Variety artists often find themselves in a position of leadership. It might be a position of authority in a variety arts organization. It might be directing a performance. It might be as a member of a group performing together temporarily without a designated leader.


I have done a lot of reading about leadership over the years. Advice that is frequently given is, "When something fails, a leader assumes responsibility by saying, 'I made a mistake.' When something succeeds, a leader shares credit by saying, 'we did it!'"


I'll use an example from a Cub Scout Pack where I am the Cubmaster. I think it is applicable to leading variety arts organizations. My Pack was named the Pack of the Year this year for the third time in five years. What made that even more remarkable was that the award committee chair stated their goal was to honor a Pack this year that had not been recently honored. Why did we receive the honor despite that goal? In filling out the paper work for the award I stressed the contributions of individual committee members and demonstrated that our Pack's accomplishments this past year were the result of everyone working together. I stated that no one individual could put on the program that we did for our families. Because I was honoring the other volunteers in the Pack instead of seeking the honor myself, we were recognized.


In addition, our local District has an award, called the Sparkplug, given to individuals for their contributions to their Pack. Several Sparkplug awards are given each year. I nominated three of my committee members for a Sparkplug, and they all received the award.


Frequently during the year I try to publicly recognize the contributions of the committee members and privately express my appreciation for their efforts.


The result is that I have a committee that works together very well. Each member feels that their contributions are recognized and appreciated, which motivates them to work even harder for the group. When I get together with the leaders of the other Packs I often hear complaints about how little their committee members contribute. I know that those leaders have never nominated anybody in their group for a Sparkplug award.


In going through some of my files I found a quote I copied. Unfortunately, I don't know the author. "When you honor yourself, others will take that away. When you honor others, they will honor you."


I know several people in the clown community who work hard to honor others. When it is announced that nominations are being accepted for any kind of recognition, their first action is to select somebody they think deserves the award and submits a nomination for them. They quietly do many things behind the scenes to be sure other people are recognized for their contributions, without seeking recognition for their many contributions. When somebody achieves something, they quickly send them congratulations. The result is that they are greatly respected by those who know them, and are in turn are nominated for honors by others. When not in an official position of authority they still have a lot of influence. Their opinion and advice is frequently sought, even by those who seek to keep all the credit for themselves.


How can you honor others? When you hear of an available award, who can you nominate for it? How can you share credit for group successes? How can you recognize people publicly? How can you honor somebody privately? Who should you congratulate for an achievement? Who can you thank for their contributions?



Creativity for Entertainers Newsletter



I have a second newsletter that is published on an irregular basis. It is called the Creativity for Entertainers newsletter. It is my attempt to make my Creativity for Entertainers book trilogy a more useful resource for readers. The newsletter provides additional ways to use the information contained in the books. While anybody may read the newsletter, it is of greatest benefit to somebody who owns my books. Since it can be read by lay people I do not reveal any specific magic techniques in the newsletter. Instead I refer readers to the specific page in one of the books where the technique is described in detail. If you have a general knowledge of magic you may understand the references without owning the books. The latest issue of this newsletter was sent out last week to my subscribers last week. I appreciate those who have responded with comments on the ideas they have already found to be useful. You may read this and all the previous issues by using the Newsletter Archive link in the Quick Links section.


To read more about these books go to


Creativity Trilogy


Vaudeville Show


 I will be performing in a vaudeville style show this Friday, May 31, at the Historic Everett Theater in Everett, WA.  It was great seeing some of my subscribers there at another vaudeville show earlier in the year.  The show begins at 7 PM, but I will be providing preshow entertainment at 6 PM.  Then I have the privilege of being the closing act of the first half.  Normally producers put one of the best acts in this position.  If the first half ends with a weak act the audience might not return after intermission. 


For more information o to


Vaudeville Show

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.

 California Clown Campin'

July 21-27, 2014

Ontario, CA

Origami for Clowns (2 hour session), The Class of 1989, Introduction to Silk Magic (2 hour session), Jest Because - The Link Between Humor and Health, Character Development & Expression from the Inside Out, Trick Cartoons, Card Magic for Clowns, Staff on Stage, plus acts in the Staff Bits and the Public shows.


California Clown Campin'

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

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