Frank is a gentle soul – the only thing he has ever wanted is to add a sprinkle of magic and wonder to people’s lives. He lives in a circus, travelling from town to town, arriving at exactly the moment that a town most needs a bit of excitement.
Frank is a magician in the circus. But as anyone who has ever seen his act will tell you, Frank isn’t very good. He just doesn’t seem to be able to get his tricks right. He never picks the right card, and he can never pull a rabbit out of his hat. None of the people who visit the circus are ever very impressed by Frank. In fact, sometimes the children who come to see his show think that he must be a clown, he’s that bad at magic. Frank’s problem is that he gets very nervous around people. He gets so nervous that he forgets how to do things, things like magic tricks and talking. So he can’t explain that he’s not a bad magician, he just has stage fright. It make Frank sad, but he doesn’t mind too much.
Because Frank has a secret. Frank’s secret is that he actually is magic. At night, when all of the visitors have gone home, Frank gets to work enchanting the rest of the circus. He enhances every aspect of every tent to make it as special as possible for everyone who walks through the gates. When you walk into Frank’s circus you feel instantly safe and at home, but at the same time like there is something unusual about every thing there. It makes you feel like a small child again. In the hall of mirrors Frank has made it so that every mirror magnifies the best quality of the person looking into it. He’s put a spell on the candy floss to make it exactly the right kind of fluffy. He makes sure that the weather is always just right. And he practices the tricks from his show, and does each one perfectly every time.
But no one ever sees Frank do these things, so they go on thinking that he is just a silly, bad magician.
You might be wondering why Frank performs at all, if it makes him so nervous, if it makes everyone think he’s bad. Why doesn’t he just stay away from the people, and only come out to do his real work at night? That way no one would laugh at him or think he was rubbish. To Frank, the answer is simple. When he goes out to perform he gets to watch the visitors reactions to all of the other things he does. He sees how happy those things make people.
As long as he keeps making people feel happy with the things he does in secret, Frank doesn’t mind that they think he is a bit useless.