Since he was a kid, Kevin Long was always fascinated by magic. His uncle used to make dollars disappear or coins magically spring from his ears. It was an interest he kept coming back to – at 11 when his parents got him his first magic kit; in the Marines when a guy in his platoon showed him a trick, and in 1999 when the economy was slow and he was looking for something new.
“I really wasn’t looking to be a magician,” he said. “I started as a clown. I needed a niche, magic was it.”
He started with kids’ birthday parties, but every year, he’s reached for something bigger and better. He’s toured with Christian worship bands, performed for some of the biggest names in Christian music, auditioned for America’s Got Talent a couple times and traveled to Cambodia and Thailand. You might even catch him in the ring at pro wrestling events performing during breaks.
And he’s always improving his craft – attending conferences, investing in new tricks and inventing his own on occasion.
He’s got a few other gigs going, too, including as a background actor. He’s been in Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago PD. You may have seen him as a doctor, a fire chief, a crash victim. He’s been on Shameless, Empire, Utopia and other shows that film in the Chicago area. He travels a lot, too, building connections and networking in the magic world. That’s his main goal: performing magic full time.
“I love to entertain people,” he said. “I was fascinated by it as a kid, so now I like to entertain others with it.”
Magic is like a universal language. When he was in Thailand, he performed in a restaurant. He didn’t speak a work of Thai but pulled a 50-foot coil out of his mouth. The kitchen staff brought him gifts of food for the rest of his stay because it forged a sort of bond. He loves to perform for kids and at schools, and especially for youth with special needs.
“People are fascinated by it. I’m still fascinated by it,” he said. “It’s that moment of mystery, that moment of joy. The biggest thing is it creates a connection.”