Bill Blagg ’02 is a nationally touring magician and illusionist who made the most of the opportunities he had at Carthage to launch his career. Using a self-designed J-Term over the course of three years, Mr. Blagg built every aspect of a magic show, from the business side of putting on a show to the marketing and advertising of the show. The final J-Term had Mr. Blagg put both of those aspects together. His efforts culminated in a sold-out show at Kenosha’s Reuther Auditorium.
Today, Mr. Blagg participates in every aspect of his company MOBB Productions Inc, from developing new productions from concept to creation and managing existing productions, booking and promoting their national tours, to developing, designing, and creating and performing original magic & illusion effects.
Their top touring production is The Magic of Bill Blagg LIVE - A premier national touring theatrical magic & illusion show in which he stars that does roughly 150 shows per year.
Mr. Blagg is very thankful for the relationships he created with his professors. Most notably, Eric Margerum, his advisor and acting teacher, Jon Brunning’s communication courses, Joanne Freitag in Accounting, Amy Cundari in the costume shop and of course Charlotte Chell who took time to show him the “business side” of my dream of touring. Mr. Blagg says being able to build these relationships and have these professors as “anchors” was an extremely significant part of his journey.
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“What I’ve enjoyed most about my career is being able to turn a childhood dream into a very successful business. I’m fortunate to be able to do something I love for a living.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“My Carthage experience was extremely influential in my career. One of the most notable aspects was the accessibility to my professors. The small class sizes really created a more hands-on, in-depth experience, and having the ability to connect with professors outside of class was extremely helpful.”
How has your liberal arts education helped you?
“I could write a novel about specific examples in my life and career that were shaped by the liberal arts skills I gained at Carthage. Something that is very unique in my line of work is the fact that I use a large majority of the various studies I took at Carthage. From public speaking to video editing and accounting, as well as creatively creating content and exploring how to adapt concepts for stage, I use them all. Overall, I would say that ‘juggling’ the workload from these courses at Carthage really taught me how to manage and multi-task these areas in my professional career. There are many times when I’m developing a new illusion, negotiating a tour contract, budget planning, editing a promotional video, etc. It takes me back to when I’d be doing a video project for a communications course, writing a script for acting class, designing and creating show props for plays while finishing a budget for accounting.”
Tips for current Carthage students:
“My tip to any current or future students would be to really take advantage of all that Carthage has to offer. Explore a variety of subjects or courses that you normally wouldn’t or aren’t comfortable with. You never know what you might discover or learn about yourself in the process. A statement I live by is: Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things is the best way to grow.”
Favorite Carthage memories:
“Many of my favorite Carthage memories came from hanging out in the Costume Shop between classes or after class. I met some of my closest friends there. We’d often talk about our individual dreams and goals in life and share ideas on how to make it all possible. One of my good friends Scott would always talk about how he wanted to be an actor for a living and in most situations, people would think he was crazy, but not in the costume shop. I’m sure the support of everyone there is the reason why he is successful to this day in acting. It was just a great core group of people that were always there for each other.”