INTERVIEWED BY IRVIN RIVERA
For the Canadian-American magician, the secret to being a successful magician is change.
“Don’t stick with whatever you have right now. For me, I’m always changing. I’m ever changing I always think of new things and I don’t like to do the same things over and over again.” he says.
In this interview, we chat with America’s Got Talent winner Shin Lim about growing up, AGT, his magic, and the film Inception.
Hi Shin, congratulations on your America’s Got Talent win! You deserve it!
How have you been since winning the show?
Thank you! Ah. Very Stressful. (laughs) Super busy.
I think my body is going to a state of … not shock but like AGT was such a stressful experience for us.
AGT was so stressful and then now all of a sudden that all of it is all over, our body is reacting in a weird way where we do not have to be so alert. We don’t have to perform we kinda have to relax. It is kind of like a strange thing where our bodies are just adjusting.
It’s just getting used to not doing that much.
At least you got more time to rest right?
Oh yes definitely.
How long have you been doing your art?
It is a hobby ten years ago. I guess it’s now reaching about 11 now. I started when I was 16. I am 27 now so it was definitely not very serious at the beginning. I will only practice like 10 - 15 minutes a day.
I was actually mainly focusing on piano and it only got really serious when I was in college and then I got an injury in my hand then I had to drop out of college. That’s when I really took it seriously and I started to put all of my focus to magic.
Do you have to train everyday?
Now I do.
It’s a variation of things. Cause magic has so much into it.
It’s actually not just the sleight of hands. It’s the music that you put into it. It’s the ideas, the different variations. There are so many little subtleties; there’s even the acting that goes into it.
And speaking of the acting and the performance, initially, you would usually just remain silent during the whole performance, but in AGT, you were actually interacting with the audience, the judges and the participants. What made you change your mind to eventually speak?
It’s something that I’ve always done, actually. I’ve always spoken during my act.
It’s just that I decided on Penn and Teller, that I will be completely silent during those performances. I did that to be different because I know that speaking throws people off. And that’s why I had to be silent.
And coming to AGT I knew I had to show a different side of me- a personality. So it was kind of cool I think where I could talk and I could speak and show a little bit of my personality and then go to like a silent piece and doing magic for five minutes all silently.
For you, what is magic?
It’s a good question. For me, I like to compare magic to a film.
You know a really good film always surprises the viewer in a certain way.
It may not impress them with visuals or with the best CGI but it will always impress them with the storyline.
It’s usually something that’s moving or surprising; something that’s unexpected.
And I see magic as the same way. So it’s not so much as the actual trick.
Like the tricks can be great; you can have the best sleight of hands but you can still have a boring show. I think you need to have something that the audience isn’t expecting. And that’s the main theme that I try to go for every time I try to create a trick.
I feel like a lot of magic tricks nowadays you can predict what’s gonna happen. A guy vanishes, okay he’s gonna appear somewhere else.
I want to throw people off.
That was just my main goal when it comes to creating my magic.
Has anyone ever come to you and say, “I know how you did that!”
Not so much actually. I guess mainly cause I’m performing silently so it’s kinda hard for them to come up mid-show and for whatever reason after my performances people always say their appreciation. They always just say how artistic it was and how well everything was done for the music and stuff like that.
If you’re not doing magic and performing, what else keeps you busy?
Actually before AGT and everything when I had more time, I actually made a lot of youtube videos and I edit and just film stuff. I really enjoy film and media.
If you were a book, what kind of book are you gonna be and why?
Can I change it to a movie?
Yeah of course.
I would like to refer to myself as the movie INCEPTION.
The intricacies of Inception are actually really complex but the overall movie as a whole is just quite simple and that’s my magic.
As a self-taught magician, what advice can you give to any aspiring magicians out there?
Keep doing it and it’s totally ok to do what everyone says is not and to always believe in your guts.
Because you will have a lot of people telling you certain things and their opinions; and while you should definitely consider it, and you really should consider everyone’s feedback, at the end of the day you really should make a decision based on your gut. And that’s the only way you can improve.
And also, always change.
Don’t stick with whatever you have right now. For me, I’m always changing. I’m ever changing I always think of new things and I don’t like to do the same things over and over again.
What can the fans expect from you next?
Definitely bigger magic. Not like props wise, but I am definitely gonna be doing more magic that can play bigger to the theatre.