Black and white headshot of Victoria Millard.


Color headshot of Victoria Millard with a clown nose on.


Victoria Millard writes about illness and healing; spirituality and faith; relationships; chicken calling; and her life as a clown.

A small town Iowa girl, she hoed beans, detasseled corn, was almost Miss Harrison County Fair Queen, and led her team to the Iowa State basketball tournament. She was a first generation college graduate and English major at the University of Iowa, followed by four years as an editor and writer for trade magazines.

In her late twenties, she studied mime and clowning in Paris and embarked on a second career in Seattle as a writer, performer, choreographer, and director of physical comedy. For eleven years, she worked for New York's Big Apple Circus Clown Care at Seattle Children's Hospital.

In later life, she returned to writing and received her M.F.A. in Nonfiction from Pacific University. Two of her essays have been nominated for Best of Net, and she is at work on a memoir about her life as a clown titled Baggy Pants Woman: How I Lost My Girdle and Found My Purpose.

A stack of three books on a stool. The books are How To Speak Chicken by Caughey, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, and Ulysses by James Joyce. A stack of three books on a stool. The books are How To Speak Chicken by Caughey, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, and Ulysses by James Joyce.


All Hail Yo-Yo, 4-Year-Old Mayor of the Cancer Ward Clowns

Narratively, February 16, 2020

My mission as a hospital clown was bringing laughter to life's darkest moments. One little kid in chemo taught me what the job was really all about. The day I met Cameron, one of my first patients at Seattle Children's Hospital, I was making rounds with my colleagues Dr. Pozzo and Dr. Bonky. Cameron was 4 years old...

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Second Best Chicken Caller in the State of Iowa

Halfway Down the Stairs, December 1, 2019

On August 8, 2019, opening day of the Iowa State Fair, candidates flock to Des Moines with a strong showing of women— some focused on policy, others on poultry. In 87 degree heat with 67% humidity, streets bumper to bumper, neighborhood lawns turned to parking lots, I am snagged by a swelling crowd that pushes its way up the Grand...

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On the Bridge Between Science and Spirit: A Traveler's Tale

3Elements Literary Review, Spring 2020

My husband is a man of science, a biological psychiatrist, an expert on circadian rhythms and the body clock. I'm a clown and a writer who thrives on spontaneity more than routines. Early to bed and early to rise is more than folk wisdom, David tells me. The body needs a regular sleep schedule with morning light to...

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More Better English for Internet Trolls

Humor Times, March 31, 2018

Finally! Help for creatively challenged internet trolls! Are you one of the many creatively challenged internet trolls, limited to trite insults for unlikable, unattractive and uppity women? Would you like to deliver more original and inspired pejoratives?... We here at the Center for Creative Misogyny are offering a one-time only reduced rate on our Art of Sexist Invective 101!

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Lessons From My Mother

Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Fall 2019

One of the last things my mother taught me was the proper way to put on a paper toilet seat cover. I am fifty-four years old, she 80. We are in the bathroom of a medical clinic, just after her tenth radiation treatment for glioblastoma stage four brain cancer. She is unsteady on her feet as she pulls the oval cover out of the metal holder...

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Artistic Statement

Like many artists, I express myself in two forms that complement each other. I am a writer and a physical performer. Writing is a stationary art that begins with an idea or image that passes from brain to hand to page. Physical theatre, mime, and clowning are movement arts that draw on pre-verbal rhythms, sounds, appetites, sensations, and enhanced emotions. When I draw from this instinctive corporal reservoir, my writing is richer, imbued with deeper truth.

The body has a language of its own that gives dimension to thoughts and words. Clowning, in particular, is my lifeline. When I enter the joyful body, immersed in the levity of play, I loosen my linear grip and reliance on the mundane. I cast off the weight that tells me I have no talent or wisdom, the world is too dark, and no one cares. I surprise myself with a somersault of words. I know what the poet W.S. Merwin meant when he wrote “laughter was the shape the darkness took around the first appearance of the light.”