Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #563
August 17, 2015

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

This newsletter includes another entry in my popular history trivia quiz series. All the previous questions and answers are available on my web site. You can see by going to
I am looking forward to my one-day workshop this weekend for the Colorado Clowns. We will be talking about creativity, improvisation, card magic, scarf magic, origami, trick cartoons, and showmanship. I am looking forward to seeing some of my subscribers there. There is still time to sign up. You can use the link under the Educational Opportunities column to get more information.
I will be performing in a holiday themed vaudeville show in December at the Historic Everett Theater in Everett, WA. This theater is over a hundred years old and was originally used as a vaudeville theater. The manager of the theater has a long list of stars that have performed there. I am always thrilled when I get to perform where greats of the past have performed. For more information go to
I would like to thank Norm Barnhart for writing a review of my Tramp Tradition performance at the 2015 World Clown Association Convention in Reno, NV. That was a special performance because it was on the stage where Emmett Kelly and Red Skelton had performed. I got to apply my make up and costume in the green room using the same table and mirror Emmett Kelly had used when he appeared there. Norm's article was published in the July 2015 issue of Clowning Around magazine.
I was honored by being on the cover of the July 2015 issue of Clowning Around. I would like to thank Rochelle Riffle, the Clowning Around editor, for her amazing layout of photos. She is a very talented graphic artist.
Most of the photos of me in the issue were taken by Merilyn Barrett, a talented photographer. Merilyn is frequently selected as the official photographer for clown conventions. When you attend a convention where she is the photographer, you can purchase a DVD of photos she has taken and you can also sign up for a personal photo shoot to obtain great publicity pictures.
I would like to thank Lee Mullally for his kind words in the cover story he wrote profiling me as the 2015 World Clown Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.


I will see you down the road,
In This Issue
Thought For The Week
New Article by Bruce Johnson
History Trivia Quiz
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 
August 17,2015
By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson
"The most important precondition for creativity is to believe in it. If you believe there is a big idea then you are apt to find it. If you do not believe in Santa Claus, you are not going to sit under your chimney on Christmas Eve. If you don't believe in Santa Claus, when he comes in you won't see him." - Jerry Walsh
Everybody is creative. That is inherent in being human. However, many people don't believe they are creative. Part of the problem is with how we define creativity. Many people being creative is producing grand works of art or fantastic innovation. They don't recognize that small innovations are also creative. Finding a new easier way to accomplish a simple daily task is creative, but many people overlook those little creative accomplishments. They don't recognize that as being creative. Yet, those small acts of creativity are proof that the person is capable of being creative. If you believe you are creative, you will begin identifying creative moments in your life. If you think you are not creative, you won't recognize creative moments for what they really are.
Belief in your own creativity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is something that may or may not be true, but because you think it is true, you act as if it is true, which makes it become true. People who believe they are not creative do not act in creative ways so they produce no creative results. People who believe they are creative act in creative ways so they produce more creative results.
I like to use a hot water tap as an analogy. When you open the tap and cold water comes out you have two possible responses. The first is to conclude the water heater does not work and turn off the tap. The second is to conclude that the water heater is working and it will take a little time for the hot water to reach you. You leave the tap open and eventually you are proven correct because hot water begins to flow. The reality of the creative process is that your first solutions to a creative problem probably will not be your best. If somebody believes they are not creative, they evaluate their first few ideas. Deciding those are not very good they conclude that proves they were right about not being creative so they stop trying to generate more ideas. They give up before they find a great solution. If somebody believes they are creative, they delay judging their first ideas. They know if they wait long enough their ideas will become stronger. They keep trying until they find a great solution. That proves they are right about being creative.
Belief in your own creativity also activates a psychological principle called synchronicity. That means you tend to find what you are looking for. For example, if you are not interested in red cars you don't pay attention to those around you and don't see them. However, if you are thinking of purchasing a red car you pay attention to them and suddenly you seem to see them everywhere. The percentage of red cars did not change. It was your perception that changed. In creativity that means if you don't believe there is a way to improve a routine like the "invisible ball," you don't pay attention to ideas for possible improvements. If you believe that the routine can be improved you will begin noticing ideas for potential improvements.
How do you define creativity? How can you become more aware of your creative moments? How does a creative person act? How can you begin to act as if you are creative? How can you take advantage of synchronicity?



New Article by Bruce Johnson
An article I wrote on clowns in operas appears in the July 2015 issue of Clowning Around, published by the World Clown Association. This is part of my WCA Historian column. This first of a two part article deals with clowns in Opera Buffa (comic operas). It has information on Bob Gibbons, Poodles Hanneford, and Emmett Kelly performing in operas. The second part, appearing in the September 2015 issue, covers two famous tragic operas with clown characters and then provides information on how clowns can incorporate opera into their performances. Opera is considered one of the greatest artistic forms and it gives me great pride to know that clowning has been a part of that art. You can find information on joining the World Clown Association, which includes a subscription to Clowning Around, by going to
World Clown Association

Earlier this year, Ben Christensen wrote an article on a simple walkaround built into a lunch box or briefcase. That article inspired Lee Mullally, World Clown Association Publication Committee Chair, to start a new section of Clowning Around magazine title Back2Basics. The brief articles in this section are simple things that may give new clowns ideas they can use and also be good reminders for more experienced clowns. Some times experienced people forget to consider good ideas that they had previously used but let fall out of their repertoire.
The Back2Basics section debuted in the July 2015 issue of Clowning Around.
Lee asked the members of his committee to submit some articles to get the section started. I am on that committee so I submitted an excerpt from my Creativity for Entertainers Volume Three: Creative Routines. It is a simple gag called the World Greatest Magicians. It was one of the first parade routines that I performed, and I have also used it in stage performances. It is a routine that is very easy to customize for special occasions.
The articles by the committee are intended to be examples of articles appropriate for the section. The goal is for other WCA members to begin submitting articles for this section. Eventually the committee members will stop contributing to this section. These short articles are a great way for new authors to gain experience and see their material in print. Lee will be compiling the articles for this section. The next article deadline is September 20. If you would like to submit something to this section send it by email to Lee Mullally at Be sure to put "Back2Basics Article" in the subject line for your message.


History Trivia Quiz

Click on what you think is the most correct answer.

The person who invented the routine where a leaf blower is used to uncoil a roll of toilet paper into the air was

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 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.

Colorado Clowns

Day of Education

August 22, 2015

Denver, CO


Colorado Clowns Day of Education 


Clown Camp Reunion


June 2016

La Crosse, WI


Clown Camp Reunion

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