Michael Long: Professor cum Magician

Professor Michael Long

Professor Michael Long is featured in the Webster (MO) University News for his exceptional teaching and magical talents. 

Professor Long has been performing magic for more than 40 years and today considers himself to be a professional magician in addition to his work in academia.

The professor looks like both a professor and magician with his beard and serious looks.  As an educator he offers several classes at the mid-western university including Animation I and II, Storyboard Techniques, Storyboard for Animation, Fencing I and II and Laughing Matters, a general studies course on the importance of laughter.

These offerings are in addition to his courses on the history of St. Louis 20 years prior to the Civil War. When possible and helpful, Professor Long uses his magic to assist his teaching.  

“It’s useful when it can be applied to classes,” Long said.

He said his mini-performances especially seem to fit in with animation.

“Animation is all about magic and illusion,” Long said.

Long added it isn’t enough to perform a trick just to show cleverness.

Instead, his goal is to “create a magical moment for the audience.” He said he does this by using storylines, humor and having audience members participate in his act.

For example, Long gave a free show at a post-Halloween costume party Nov. 6. As the band took a 20-minute break, Long presented three illusions while in wizard attire dressed as Merlin’s older brother.

For one trick, Long planned to saw a woman in half using ropes instead of saws.

To make the presentation light-hearted and funny, Long said he used three audience members – one to rub a wooden spoon across a grater for the sawing sound, one to hold sponges in case any blood spilled on stage and one to stand by with scissors to cut the woman free if anything went awry.

The paper notes Professor Long “also enjoys a sub genre of magic called bizarre magic that let’s impossible things happen like a candle floating out of an audience member’s hand.”

“Bizarre magic invokes a feeling of the uncanny,” Long said.

Friends and family members often ask Long to perform at special events. He has been asked to present an act at a family reunion that has met regularly for over 100 years.

Professor Michael Long

Professor Michael Long is featured in the Webster (MO) University News for his exceptional teaching and magical talents. 

Professor Long has been performing magic for more than 40 years and today considers himself to be a professional magician in addition to his work in academia.

The professor looks like both a professor and magician with his beard and serious looks.  As an educator he offers several classes at the mid-western university including Animation I and II, Storyboard Techniques, Storyboard for Animation, Fencing I and II and Laughing Matters, a general studies course on the importance of laughter.

These offerings are in addition to his courses on the history of St. Louis 20 years prior to the Civil War. When possible and helpful, Professor Long uses his magic to assist his teaching.  

“It’s useful when it can be applied to classes,” Long said.

He said his mini-performances especially seem to fit in with animation.

“Animation is all about magic and illusion,” Long said.

Long added it isn’t enough to perform a trick just to show cleverness.

Instead, his goal is to “create a magical moment for the audience.” He said he does this by using storylines, humor and having audience members participate in his act.

For example, Long gave a free show at a post-Halloween costume party Nov. 6. As the band took a 20-minute break, Long presented three illusions while in wizard attire dressed as Merlin’s older brother.

For one trick, Long planned to saw a woman in half using ropes instead of saws.

To make the presentation light-hearted and funny, Long said he used three audience members – one to rub a wooden spoon across a grater for the sawing sound, one to hold sponges in case any blood spilled on stage and one to stand by with scissors to cut the woman free if anything went awry.

The paper notes Professor Long “also enjoys a sub genre of magic called bizarre magic that let’s impossible things happen like a candle floating out of an audience member’s hand.”

“Bizarre magic invokes a feeling of the uncanny,” Long said.

Friends and family members often ask Long to perform at special events. He has been asked to present an act at a family reunion that has met regularly for over 100 years.

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