Shin Lim (on AGT) has been making international headlines with his sensational magic, but who is the man behind the magic?
For many of us within the magic community, Shin Lim’s appearance on America’s Got Talent didn’t come as a surprise.
For years, he has been working behind the scenes as a creator of magic, but in the most recent of them he has come forward onto the global stage, beginning with Penn and Teller and culminating in a brilliant audition of a global talent show.
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So, here are 4 reasons Shin Lim is going to blow you away on America’s Got Talent this year:
Reason 1: This isn’t his first time on TV; he’s gone viral before!
In 2015, I personally had been away from magic, not practicing for a year or so. That was until July the 14th, and Shin Lim’s breakthrough into the public with his showstopping attempt to fool two of the greatest minds in magic- Penn and Teller.
When I watched Shin’s act, I was so utterly fooled that I was sucked back into the world of cards and sleights. I vowed to myself that one day I would be as good as him.
Although I haven’t reached that stage yet, every time I think I need a bit of motivation to get going and learn some more magic, I rewatch this video.
It is really that good.
But first, a little background info about Shin Lim. He started to take magic seriously after developing carpal tunnel in both hands; preventing him from being able to carry on with his current studies in piano performance.
Instead, he took his existing hobby of magic and turned it into a full time career. For a while, he created and taught magic techniques, but eventually took to the stage around 3 years ago.
I know, I know. Just show us the video already!
Wow. Now you understand a bit more of the hype surrounding this truly talented individual. He was able to develop, in only seven years, an act not only capable of completely flooring two of the best magicians in the world, but capturing the attention of the public (the video has been viewed 50 million times) and giving magic a whole new level of respectability.
Not only did he manage to fool Penn and Teller, he also, around the same time, won a major magic competition. But more of that in No.2…
Reason No.2: Shin Lim won the card magic equivalent of the world cup!
Shin Lim didn’t just rock up at AGT with nothing on his application- in 2015 he was crowned winner of close up card magic, meaning he was (and possibly still is) more or less the best card magician in the world. If he can fool a room full of magicians bad enough to win, there was never any hope that we would figure him out on America’s Got Talent.
But what does this achievement actually mean? Well, the competition is organized by the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques (FISM) and gathers magicians from all over the globe to compete. It is held once every 3 years, and garners a huge amount of attention from the magic community. To win this competition takes serious amounts of technical skill; skill that Shin Lim undoubtedly has proven that he possesses.
Reason 3: He fooled Penn and Teller TWICE
Fooling the sharpest minds in magic once would be enough for most ordinary magicians. But not for Shin Lim. Although he had already fooled them back in 2015, he came back for round two in 2017, this time with a completely different routine that was just as boggling. No surprise, he fooled them again.
What was surprising was that he achieved this only recently after receiving surgery on both hands!
What could have been a major blow to his magic career seemed to pose him little challenge as he effortlessly moved from sleight to sleight with not a single apparent mistake. That takes some serious dedication to your craft!
This act is actually very similar to the one he performed at FISM, so bear in mind while your watching that this very trick won him THE card magic competition.
It is a very visual trick (as usual) so watch closely or you may miss bits. For me, I watch one time round to try and figure out how he does it.
Inevitably, I don’t manage to and end up rewatching it and simply submitting to the fact that some of his hand movements are just too fast to catch (even with the video slowed down!)
Reason 4: He has the support (and attention!) of the public!
When was the last time a magician won America’s Got Talent? It just never really seems to happen, but here’s hoping we can all help Shin Lim break that trend this year. His audition video has 4 million views with overwhelmingly positive comments.
It is clear that everyone is rooting for him to get far, and if this continues as it is, Shin could well be in with a chance of winning the competition!
Hopefully, Shin doesn’t feel too much pressure to create different tricks for each round- I personally would prefer him to reuse the same effect a couple of times if I knew I was guaranteed to watch some beautiful sleight of hand, rather than a new trick that doesn’t feel quite right. Knowing Shin Lim, he’ll figure out the perfect balance of the two.
(Reason 5: Shin Lim has a great YouTube channel.)
Okay I know I’m cheating here, but I couldn’t help but drop a mention in about Shin’s YouTube. Before I started watching him, I had already known he was an incredible magician, but I hadn’t known that he was such a funny and entertaining character. Within his vlogs,
Shin discusses his daily life as a magician, how he creates his tricks, and even sometimes makes tutorials on how to do magic! Plus, he collaborates with some of the other great magicians out there.
How does Shin Lim do his tricks?
That’s his secret…but believe it or not, you can do these tricks too! You can buy the tricks from either Shin Lim’s site or a magic retailer like Penguin Magic.
So rather than searching YouTube for ‘Shin Lim agt explained’ and getting a crappy magician giving you some fake explanation, go straight to the source!
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below! If you want to read about other great magicians, check out my best magicians of all time post here!
Thanks for the post. Admittedly, I know very little about magic, but your post and the rest of your site made me want to learn more. I’ll be checking out some of your book and website recommendations, for me, and for my kids.
Do you believe it is ever too late to follow a structured program to become a magician? I don’t mean professionally but as a serious hobby. It’s definitely something I could get into.
Hi Norman! Magic is actually a great hobby in that it isn’t as age restrictive as sports- we have world famous magicians that range from teens to grandfathers! It is definitely not too late to get started!
haha. I was impressed after reason one! This guy Shim Lim is very talented. To be able to fool Penn and Teller twice is very impressive. Not to mention the other accolades he has. It is unfortunate to hear of all his medical troubles, but that speaks volumes for how dedicated he is to the craft. Here to hoping he has a deep run on America’s Got Talent! Good Luck Shim Lim.
and great writeup BT, maybe we’ll see you on AGT one day!
Yes definitely, I mean I could have ended the list right there if I wanted to! He really is one of the most impressive performers of our time.
As for me on AGT, well, we’ll see about that!