America’s Got Magic with Shin Lim

The 2018 America’s Got Talent winner enchanted audiences with his act and sat down with City Life to discuss his life since that fateful day.

Written By Shaun Melady

Interviewed By Victoria Scott

Have you ever dreamed of pursuing your passion? If so, what would it be? For some, it may be dancing and singing centre stage for a Broadway show. Others may have the dream of creating a start-up company and thriving in the heart of Silicon Valley. For magician Shin Lim, his hobby has levitated him to the top by securing the victory for hit NBC show America’s Got Talent in its 13th season.

“It feels pretty amazing. I’m super-lucky. There were so many incredibly talented artists performing there, so to be able to win was a dream come true,” says Lim.

Prior to kicking off his now-successful career in the art of magic, Lim was focusing his future on being a pianist. Lim’s path altered, however, while he was training in music; he developed carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition where excess pressure and pain builds in the arm’s median nerve.

“Magic was always a hobby and it was kind of a dream. I always wanted to be like David Copperfield or David Blaine, but for me, it was like an unreachable goal, so I just never chased it. And then, I guess, having carpal tunnel, in a way, was a blessing in disguise because I had nothing else — all I had was magic. That was my only skill set,” continues Lim. “Piano, at that time, was my thing. I was going to be a concert pianist. So when that was taken away from me, magic was my only possible outlet, and I’m glad it worked out.”

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Lim says that the way he has practised has been through trial and error, as well as thinking outside of the box. He also says that he questions ideas and figures out ways to make things differently.

There were so many incredibly talented artists performing there, so to be able to win was a dream come true

Prior to America’s Got Talent, Lim performed on various other shows, including being a part of the Penn & Teller show twice. He’s grateful for being a part of that show and how he stumped the hosts and viewers with his magic act. Following the heat of Penn & Teller, Lim has journeyed onward and now upward, performing for the nearly 11 million viewers of America’s Got Talent.

“America’s Got Talent is actually the fairest way to portray magic, in my opinion, because everything is fair. It’s live. You can’t fake live. You can’t [use] CGI [computer-generated imagery] live. Simon won’t stand for stooges. You have to use live people,” says Lim.

For those who may need a refresher on the show, America’s Got Talent allows for all calibres of talent to vie for a prize of US$1 million. Contestants bring forth their best acts to impress judges Mel B., Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and creator and esteemed judge Simon Cowell. This season, the celebrity host of the show was supermodel Tyra Banks.

If you’re interested in watching Lim continue to astonish audiences, you can see him take the stage on Broadway as The Manipulator in the stage adaptation of The Illusionists — Magic of the Holidays. The show will debut on Nov. 23 and run through to Dec. 30, 2018, at the Marquis Theatre.

@shinlimmagic

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Shaun Melady

Shaun Melady