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Communication and Digital Media

Alumni

  • Bill Blagg '02

Bill Blagg ’02

Class Year

’02

Major(s)

Communication

Current home

Pleasant Prairie, WI

Current position

CEO at MOBB Productions Inc.

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.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

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    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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