Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #556
March 30, 2015

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson



I was thrilled and humbled to be honored with the 2015 World Clown Association Lifetime Achievement award.  The three most recent recepients, Richard Snowberg, Jim Gorgans, and Lee Mullally, are all Past Presidents who continued to stay active in the organization and make additional contributions.  I am honored to join their ranks. 


I was very pleased with the response to my Tramp Tradition performance at the recent World Clowns Association convention.  Many people said the part they enjoyed the most was all the historical background provided by the narrator.  I am excited that people are beginning to appreciate the importance of the history of our art.


It was great seeing so many subscribers at the WCA convention.  I appreciate Randy Christensen speaking up at the end of one of my lectures to recommend that more people subscribe to this newsletter.  The recommendation of other people carries more creditability than when I suggest they subscribe.


Congratulations to Randy Christensen on his installation as the WCA President.  In his acceptance speach he just wants to help the members.  We have had some conversations over the past year as he prepared to take office and I know that his focus is service to the membership.  He has some great ideas.  I am looking forward to where he will lead this international organization.


Preregistration for the Clown Camp Reunion was available at the WCA Convention.  There was a lot of excitement about this upcoming event.  Registration will be available on line in the next few days.  I recommend registering soon.  Not only do you save money by registering early, but I predict that this program will quickly reach its capacity which is determined by the available seating in the University theater where special performances will occur.  I think this is something that you will not want to miss.


I will see you down the road,



In This Issue
Thought For The Week
New Article
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

March 30,2015

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


"Here's the key to good networking. Don't make the mistake of marketing yourself. Think about what you can do for others, not what they can do for you. Instead think about someone you know who would be helpful to them. " - Michelle Crouch


When I first moved to Lynnwood, WA, I joined the local Chamber of Commerce. I made the mistake of trying to market myself at the networking events and other social gatherings. I was frustrated that it didn't result in any bookings so I dropped out of the organization after a couple of years. Now I know that I was trying to make a withdrawal from an account without first making a deposit. You have to earn the goodwill of people before they will help you out. You do that by first being helpful to them.


I saw that in action at the recent World Clown Association convention. I could not perform my Tramp Tradition show without assistance from others. People I had helped in the past were quick to offer their help to me. For example, I had given Diana McCurtain-Talbert some information over the past couple of years that she used in college projects. She offered her help to me during my show. The show included projecting pen & ink drawings I had done of the clowns I was portraying. There was some difficulty in setting up the digital projector. Diana knows more about technology than I do, so I turned that over to her. While I was working with the theater's technical crew on the light and sound cues, Diana figured out how to set up the projector so it worked for rear projection by bouncing the light off a make up mirror. I would not have had the time or knowledge to have accomplished what she did. The illustrations were a major part of the presentation and I am grateful for her help. Other friends stepped forward to help when I needed it. I am grateful to Diana, Norm Barnhart, Pam Moody, Dean Cotton, Aurora Krause, Lee Mullally, Randy Christensen, and Richard Snowberg for their contributions to the success of the performance.


Over the years I have learned that the best thing I can do is introduce people to each other. I was at a Circus Fans convention where I heard somebody say they had been corresponding with Maureen Brunsdale, Rare Book and Special Collections Librarian at the Milner Library, who provided them with useful information. They mentioned that they had never met Maureen in person. I knew that Maureen was attending the convention, so I introduced the two women and left them alone to have a conversation. Afterwards they both thanked me for that.


When I hear of opportunities, if I can't take advantage of it, I try to pass the information on to somebody who might benefit. For example, in 2014 the Federation Mondale du Cirque (International Circus Federation) announced a photo contest for their annual calendar. I know that Merilyn Barrett is an excellent photographer. I sent her the information. She entered a photo that she took at the 2014 World Clown Association Convention, and was one of the twelve winners. Her photo appeared on the March page of their 2015 calendar.


I use royalty free music in my performances. Most of it is produced by Arthur & Leslie Stead or by Randy Christensen. When somebody asks me about music, I recommend those two sources. First, I know the person asking will benefit from using their music. Second, I know that getting enough orders for the music they have already produced is what makes it financially feasible for them to produce new music which I might use in the future. So by helping other performers find music they can use, and by helping the music producers sell their products, I am ultimately helping myself.


That is the secret to networking. I try to help others out without worrying about how it will benefit me. However, what you do is reflected back to you. When I show others generosity, they are generous to me. Then I benefit in unexpected ways.


How can you earn goodwill to draw upon later? Who do you know that should meet each other? When you hear of an opportunity, who can take advantage of it? How can you help others?


New Article


An article I wrote titled Clown Clothes appears in the March issue of The New Calliope, published by Clowns of America International.  The article explains the difference between thinking of a costume and thinking about the clothes that your character wears.  The article was inspired by an article by Jim Dixon in an earlier issue of the magazine.  I sent Jim an email in response to his article, and he requested that I turn the email into an article that others could also read.


Authors very seldem hear from readers.  I think it is because readers assume everyone writes to authors so they don't want to bother them.  However, if you enjoy an article, have some additional thoughts, or disagree with some aspect, write to the author.  They will appreciate hearing from you.  I have had some long discussions that began with an article and have made many excellent friends by responding to something somebody wrote.  Try it yourself.  You may be surprised by what happens.


For more information on joining Clowns of America International, which includes a subscription to The New Calliope, go to


Clowns of America International


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 2015 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 22- 26, 2015

Reno, Nevada

Tramp Tradition Show,

Controlling Focus,

Class of 1989 


World Clown Association


World Circus Summit

July 14-18, 2015

West Springfield, MA

Panel Discussion: Circus Today -- Clowning 

Jackpot Junction


 World Circus Summit


Colorado Clowns

Day of Education

August 22, 2015

Denver, CO


Clown Camp Reunion


June 2016

La Crosse, WI


Clown Camp Reunion

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

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