Bruce Johnson received the WCA Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 WCA Convention in Reno, Nevada. Bruce has been clowning for more than four decades and is well versed on the history of clowning.
He has performed in numerous venues including circuses and the amusement park, Raging Waters, in California. He has performed in a number of international venues throughout his career. Although we were both writing articles for clown publications, such as Clowning Around and The Laughmakers magazines in the late 80’s, we had not met in person until we both attended the 1988 WCA Convention in Minot, North Dakota. We have been sharing ideas ever since that time and working together in various positions within the WCA.
Bruce Johnson is a person who is willing to share his knowledge through convention presentations and his writings. His online, Thought for the Week provides valuable information for clowns and he promotes the WCA through that vehicle. Bruce has been a regular staff member at Clown Camp® and his classes have been very popular. He is a very well organized instructor and is willing to work with people outside of his class sessions. He is a very prolific writer and has contributed numerous clown articles, especially for publication in Clowning Around. His clown-related history articles have become common in Clowning Around over the past several years. He has written a trilogy, Creativity for Entertainers. The Creative Process is Volume
One, Creative Techniques and Tools is Volume Two, and Creative Routines is Volume Three. That trilogy has become a wealth of information for clowns and demonstrates his willingness to share information. Bruce’s performances during Clown Camp® were excellent and demonstrated his commitment to rehearsing his shows before performing them. His performance at the 2012 South East Clown Association Convention in Jacksonville, FL revealed his professionalism to the clowns in the South East. Many people are unaware of how helpful Bruce has been to other entertainers who are also performing at the same venue. It’s not uncommon for Bruce to help set the props for others. The amazing part of Charlie’s shows is seeing how he personalizes his magic to those who are attending his performances, whether for conventions or international performances. I have enjoyed watching Charlie produce a country’s flag during his international performances and then watching how proudly the audience reacts when they see Charlie holding their flag.
Bruce has made many contributions to WCA. In addition to serving as an Education Director, he has served as WCA Historian, a position he currently holds. His writings and work ethics prompted me to seek his membership on the WCA publications Committee. He as been a contributing member of that committee and his input is always appreciated.
During the 2014 WCA convention in Northbrook, IL Bruce visited and conducated research at the Milner Libray at Illinios State University. He is assisting the Milner Library with their clown resources and they have established the Bruce “Charlie” Johnson special collection as part of their Rare Book and Special Collections Department. His attention to research is obvious in the historical articles he has written for Clowning Around.
Bruce has been a featured performer for many conferences and performed his revised Tramp Tradition show at the 2015 WCA Convention in Reno, NV. He originally performed that show for the WCA Convention held in Orlando, FL in 2001. His vast knowledge of tramp clown history is evident in that show.
Sharing and caring are two words that come to mind when you think of Bruce, the instructor. Variety and excellence are the two words that best describe “Charlie” the performer. Research and knowledge are the two words that describe Bruce Johnson’s writings.
Bruce Charlie Johnson is very deserving of the World Clown Association’s Lifetime Acheivement Award.
Written by Lee Mullaly