Positive Celebrity Exclusive: Shin Lim talks winning AGT, magic and celebrating!
This year America’s Got Talent was intense keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. We are proud of this year’s winner, Shin Lim. His acts were unpredictable, fun and perfect. Check out our exclusive interview with Shin Lim!
Shin Lim is the definition of talent and he’s a driven man.
The 26-year-old magician is best known for his card magic but America’s Got Talent pushed him outside comfort zones, performing a total of 6 acts, including the finale. Lim was able to get creative with his performances and learn so much during his AGT journey.
Positive Celebrity News caught up with Shin Lim and talked America’s Got Talent, magic and he even answered some Redditors questions (be sure to check out their thread, it’s amazing and positive).
On winning America’s Got Talent:
“It feels kinda surreal, it’s finally sinking in and it definitely took quite a while but I think after all the interviews and everyone congratulating me, it’s finally sunk in and I’m ready to take on Vegas or whatever hotel.”
On touring the U.S:
“Yes, definitely. I’m going to try to do a U.S or North American tour, either this year, definitely by next year but hopefully by next year.”
On America’s Got Talent helping him expand his talent:
“Definitely going out of my comfort zone. Doing something that is very different coming off the table because you know I always perform magic on the table. AGT kinda forced me to think on the spot and of course, with AGT they have so many different rounds. You know usually, most artists actually have two good acts. And that’s all I had coming into the show. And my producer [Kayla] told me I had to do 5 acts, actually, it was 6 if you include the finale with the celebrity hosts. So, I wasn’t entirely prepared. I kinda knew that I needed 5 or 6 acts. And so, I just kind of had that in mind but you know when you actually get there and you only have one week to prepare the act, it can get pretty crazy and stressful. But you grow as an artist.”
On what surprised him most during his time on America’s Got Talent 2018:
Definitely the responses from the judges, I just, you know wasn’t expecting them to kinda react the way they reacted because… I don’t know, I just felt card magic was kinda dull and boring. Kinda like Simon said in my audition “I’m getting kinda tired of card magic.” I kinda had this gut feeling that one of the judges wouldn’t like me but all of them really critique me really well. I was very surprised by that..”
On how Piano influenced his magic:
“Definitely synchronization. So if you notice every single one of my acts is very timed to the music and so I’m pretty sure my background in music really helped with that, that’s what makes me different. That’s what makes me different. I am able to fully develop an act that is so intertwined with the music and so dependent on it. Which is what makes it unique and kinda interesting.”
On his fan base:
“I’ve experienced being busier and I don’t have as much free time as I used to have and gained a crazy amount of followers. I was not expecting that either.”
On perfecting his first sleight-of-hand tricks:
“Well, the first act that you saw, that one was actually done in about two months time. When I was preparing for AGT I kinda just wanted to start off simple so that act was pretty simple. But the majority of the time, most acts take about 2-years or 3- years to perfect.”
On perfecting sleight-of-hand tricks:
“So to perfect the first few sleight-of-hand tricks, usually ti would take about 2-3 years to get it down perfectly. I mean to learn something it takes about 3 weeks but when you want to have it actually well down then it’ll take a couple of years.”
On celebrating winning America’s Got Talent 2018:
“[laughing]. It’s actually interesting and I was really hungry. And I think we ordered IN-N- OUT and we got all my friends in my hotel room. And we just watched ‘The Room’ and ate IN-N-OUT. That was our celebration. And Zurcaroh came into the room and we had a miny little party. And they were probably like “what is he watching?” I don’t think they knew what the room was about but whatever.”
On his future performing magic:
“All the time, obviously I think things will change as I get older, obviously when you get older your sleight of hand fades away and so, I’ll probably be teaching or mentoring, or something like that, heck, maybe I’ll make a Hogwarts school of magic. I definitely can’t keep performing sleight of hand forever. It’s not one of those things you can at like 70-years-old. It’s just not possible.”
On his favorite act, he has ever performed:
“Definitely my semi-finals performance. The one when the smoke comes out. That’s my oldest routine. That’s the one I created when I very first started learning my own style of magic. And I guess, and maybe it’s because my first and oldest, maybe that’s why I like it. But I just think there are so many surprises in there that people aren’t expecting, so, that’s why I love it.”
On giving up Piano for Magic:
“Not at all. I have no regrets for giving up Piano.”
Furthermore, fans wanted to know more, so we took to Reddit and picked some questions for Shin Lim to answer.
Redditer Questions answered by Shin Lim!
What is your process in coming up with your tricks that involve mentalism? (martinmix52):
“I actually don’t have a process because I never did mentalism until I did AGT. And so, the whole dice thing and with having Tyra having selected a 9, doing the finale trick with the hosts, that was all kinda… had to be made up on the spot. I had about a week to create it. So, it was very rushed but I had help from some friends and fiance helped me as well. It was a team effort and I don’t know if I had an AVC type of procedure with how I come up with those things.”
How much of a fan of playing cards are you? How do you feel about decks that do things differently, like clubs being green, or diamonds blue? Or 5 suit decks, with 1’s and aces and princesses, or 6 suits? (OliverGraves)
“I guess you’re talking about decks that aren’t normal decks of cards. I don’t know if I’m answering this question properly. I usually like to just use standard poker decks and that way people are used to it and they can see that every card is normal. You’ll always see that I don’t use anything too fancy, or the swirl or too abstract because people want to be familiar with a deck of cards. And what your doing is amazing with a deck of cards. Most of the time I do only use regular cards. I know sometimes magicians use some trick decks but for me, I like to not cheat and try to use the real thing.”
Also, for someone (me) who got into magic when he first saw Shin Lim at his AGT audition, what would be the best sleights and/ or tricks to learn which do not require gimmicks or special stuff and can reliably be done with normal decks? (I’ve seen Shin Lim recommend the MCF among others, but that won’t work for me as I cannot get multiple decks for now and have to make do with a couple or so decks).
So what would be sleights and tricks that are beginner/intermediate level or even some advanced ones which can be learned and practiced long term, and would also work without “damaging” the cards? (u/creakyman)
“I highly recommend, Dai Vernon will talk about, you only need like 3 things in order to be a card magician. He said all you need to know is a control, a color change and [I believe] a pass. I’m pretty sure that’s what he said… Maybe it was a double lift, but definitely learning a move or the top change or Erdnase color change, or the pass, or the spread pass or the DMV spread control. Those are the core sleight of hand moves that I do. I don’t really do very many sleights other than those. Those are the core sleights when it comes to performing walk around. And so, you know once you learn those moves, magic is a lot like Piano. All you need to learn is the basic chords and scales and you learn about a little bit of theory and you can create anything. And magic is the exact same thing, you just need to know tiny secrets and just from that, you can kind of elaborate and make your whole act based on the basics.
That’s how I learn, you know, I learned on YouTube, all the basics and then once you get slightly more advanced you, of course, buy DVDs and other books and stuff like that but once you have that core basic down. You can really create anything, that’s what’s so awesome about magic.
My advice is to buy some basic, really beginner DVD’s. I’m planning on putting out my series on basic card tricks in order to go from beginner to pro. But of course, there’s so many ones out there, illusionist has some really good ones, penguinmagic.com has a really good one, Theory11 has really good beginner DVDs. There are so many magic websites out there that sell basic tricks. Even YouTube has great tricks that they teach, for free. Criss Ramsey’s channel has really good tutorials, Alex Pandrea
has really good tutorials. Those are just at the top of my head, there’s so many more out there, just type on YouTube, like, “card magic tricks revealed,” and you’ll find a bunch of terrible ones but you’ll find a bunch of good ones. And you can get started because that’s how I got started.”
America’s Got Talent is looking for YOU!
America’s Got Talent has officially opened auditions and it could be your chance to make your dreams come true, do you sing, dance, make people laugh or are you fearless and ready to make jaws drop? Or are you ready put your magic to the test just like AGT winner Shin Lim?
Good, you’re in luck, the NBC reality show has opened auditions for season 14. In fact, the official website announced they are hitting the road for Season 14 starting this Fall.
“We are hitting the road looking for amazing talent for Season 14 starting this Fall! We have announced our first 7 cities, but more will be announced soon so check back often for updates.
If you do not see your city below, please sign up for audition alerts so you’ll be the first to know when we announce additional cities or have important updates. You can also submit a video audition if you are unable to meet us in person.”
Do you feel ready? Well, if you do then don’t be afraid to audition. You never know where life will take you if you follow those dreams!
Shin Lim Exclusive: Taking a look at his Journey on America’s Got Talent 2018.