Bruce Johnson

Charlie The Juggling Clown

Creating Happy Memories that Last a Lifetime


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In Their Words

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson

I have learned a lot about clowning by reading autobiographies written by clowns.

Routines described in autobiographies have inspired some of the things that I have performed. We donít have to create everything from scratch, but can build upon what was created by those who came before us.

I have learned principles of entertainment from autobiographies. For example, in Laughter Is A Wonderful Thing, Joe E. Brown said, "The best comedy is that which the audience itself helps to build. The experienced comedian is always on the lookout for the hints and suggestions that come to him through audience reaction."

Autobiographies have inspired me. They show what is possible through clowning, and how hard others worked to achieve their dreams. Eric Lewis said, "A good sense of our history gives you a sense of belonging. When you see the difficulties, triumphs and failures of those in the past it gives you a feeling of pride in your art that echoes in yourself and begins to show in your performance."

Can you match the name of each clown to the title of their autobiography?

1. James "Rusty Nails" Allen                A. Clown: My Life in Tatters and Smiles

2. Bill Ballantine                                   B. From Sawdust to Windsor Castle

3. Grock                                               C. Clown Alley

4. Emmett Kelly                                    D. Behind My Greasepaint

5. Max Patkin                                        E. Poor Clown

6. Nicolai "Coco" Polakovs                       F. Send In The Clowns

7. Oleg Popov                                        G. Here We Are Again: Recollections of an Old Circus Clown

8. Butch Reynolds                                   H. The Clown Prince of Baseball

9. Charlie Rivel                                        I. Broken Hearted Clown

10. Al Schacht                                        J. Follow The Rainbow

11. R. E. Sherwood                                K. Russian Clown

12. Whimsical Walker                            L. Clowning Through Baseball

13. Dean "Bo-Dino" Weiss                       M. Life's A Lark



Copyright by Bruce "Charlie" Johnson 2002. All rights reserved.


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