Herman Fuller Presents: Icky the Magic Clown
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Send in the Clowns!

Herman Fuller's Clown Troupe

are like none the world has ever seen!

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They will delight and astound you

with their unearthly talents!

All led by the beautiful, the magical, the sensational
ICKY!

ONE DAY ONLY

7 PM this Sunday at the Western Fairgrounds.
One show, One chance! Come one, come all!

The following is a page from a publication entitled To the Circus Born: Herman Fuller's Menagerie of Freaks. The identities of neither publisher nor author have been established, and scattered pages have been found inserted into Circus-themed books in libraries across the world. The person or persons behind this dissemination are unknown.

Icky the Magic Clown

It all started when I found a book on stage magic by a guy named Tobin Hollis. It had about 300 tricks in it, and a few dozen of them were legitimately supernatural. I did a handful of them for a school talent show and won first place easily. That's when I learned I loved performing.

Fortunately for me, no one I ever performed for could tell the difference between real magic and expertly executed stage magic. But even in my little town, we had heard rumours about a secret organization that suppressed knowledge of the supernatural, hunting down and locking up anyone or anything that wasn't 'normal'. As if being queer wasn't bad enough, now I had to worry about getting 'magic bashed'. Yeah, I could just not use magic in the same way I could just not love other women, but I decided at a young age that I wasn't going to let fear stop me from being who I am.

I cut a break when Herman Fuller's Circus of the Disquieting rolled into town. I could tell it was real magic, that the people were magic. It was a community where magic wasn't feared but celebrated, where magic people accepted one another and protected each other. I knew I was home.

After asking around a bit I ended up in the Ringmaster’s tent. I did an audition for Fuller, with both real and stage magic, and I was very impressed that he could tell the difference. A hot teenage magician who already had an act was an easy sell, and I got my own stall in the Hall of Humans Extraordinaire.

Herman didn't have much tolerance for insubordination, but so long as you stayed on his good side life at the Circus was pretty decent. Manny always made sure we were all looked after. Unlike Herman, he knew what it was like to be an outcast, to have people hate, slander, disown, beat, exploit, and attack you for no other reason than being different. We really bonded over that, our shared sense of ostracism, the rejection of our own families, and finding solace in the company of fellow freaks.

The Hall was a good gig, but I dreamed of performing in the Big Top. Manny took me to the Library so I could get some more magic tomes to up my act, but it wasn't enough. That's when I started hanging out with the Clowns. Most people think Clowns are creepy, if not plain horrifying, upon seeing us up close, but I was awestruck by their supernatural and theatrical talents. To my delight and surprise, some of them thought I showed potential. Eugene and Pius started tutoring me in magic and clowning and I eventually landed a supporting role in their Big Top act. That went on for a while but eventually, my progress plateaued. I thought for sure they were going to drop me from the act, but instead they did something that would change my life forever.

They offered to turn me into a Clown. A real Clown, capital C.

I had never seriously considered the idea of becoming anything other than human before, mainly because I didn’t know that was possible, but as Tinkles went over the procedure with me I found it more and more appealing. It wasn't just the magic that appealed to me, but the fact that the Clowns always seemed so happy.

I tried my best to be happy as a human, but I always felt so bad about running away from my parents. I ran because I thought if they had ever found out I liked girls I would have been disowned or committed to a nuthouse, but I never gave them a chance. Maybe I shouldn't have assumed the worst. They did love me, and lots of conservative parents become more tolerant after finding out their kid is gay. Maybe they would have too. I'll never know. All I know is that I broke their hearts.

I wanted to escape from that, and I wanted to be the best magician I could be, so I became a Clown.

That caused a bit of a rift between me and Manny. We've never really talked about it, but I think he thinks I lost something valuable by losing my heartache. He and I have slowly reconnected over the years, but he still calls me Veronica. I'm not embarrassed to have started off as Veronica, but I couldn't be happier to be Icky.

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