Shin Lim is an award-winning magician who is best known for his appearances on America’s Got Talent. In fact, as a magician one of his greatest feats is winning AGT not once, but twice! In this article, we look at how Shin Lim became one of the most recognized magicians in the world.
Shin Lim was born in Vancouver, Canada on September 25th, 1991. His parents named him Liang-Shun Lim. He later simplified his first name to “Shin” for his performances.
At the age of nine, Shin Lim developed an interest in magic. His older brother had shown him a simple card trick. He wanted to learn the trick himself. His brother told him to search on YouTube to learn the trick. He soon began using YouTube to learn magic. He also recorded himself and posted his performances to the Shin Lim Channel on the popular video service.
Before long he developed a fan base on YouTube and began selling some of his original tricks to other magicians. His early use of YouTube affected his performance technique. Since he knew others would scrutinize his videos, he would record his performances and review them in slow motion. This allowed him to catch any faults in his technique.
Shin Lim cites David Blaine as being an early influence on his career. Lim decided to pursue close-up magic as opposed to larger stage illusions after seeing Blaine’s performances.
When Shin Lim was 20 years old he was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This forced him to chose between a career as a musician or a magician. He chose to stick with magic and competed in the 2012 FISM World Championship. He placed sixth in the competition. This left him a bit unsure about his direction in magic. However, an agent who saw his act contacted him a year later to invite him to perform in China.
During his magic tour in China, Lim decided to set his close-up act to music. He chose to do this because he did not speak Mandarin. By the end of the tour, Shin Lim had become the headliner, closing out the performances with his choreographed act.
In 2015, Lim returned to the FISM World Championship, and this time he won! His success at FISM brought him to the attention of producers.
Just after his win at the FISM World Championship, Lim was contacted by the producers of Penn and Teller: Fool Us. They had seen his YouTube videos and offered him a spot on the popular show in Las Vegas. Lim was successful in fooling Penn and Teller in his first performance.
A YouTube video of this performance received over 50 million views. The producers invited Lim back to the show in 2017. In his second appearance, Shin Lim was again successful at fooling both Penn and Teller.
America’s Got Talent
The producers of America’s Got Talent first contacted Shin Lim in 2015. This was just after his first appearance on Penn and Teller: Fool Us. Despite his success on Fool Us, Lim did not feel he was ready for AGT, and turned them down. In fact, it wasn’t until two years later in 2017 that Lim decided to enter the competition after much preparation.
As we all now know Shin Lim would go on to win the 13th season of AGT. In addition to the one million dollar prize, he also received the opportunity to headline at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas. Subsequently, he was invited back to AGT to perform on America’s Got Talent: The Champions series. Again, Shin Lim was successful in beating the competition and received his second AGT win on February 18th, 2019. This made him the only person to win on AGT twice.
Since winning AGT, Lim has been performing in Las Vegas as well as a traveling show called The Illusionists. He also completed his own United States Tour in 2020. He has consistently appeared on television shows including The Ellen Degeneres Show, Late Night with Jimmy Falon, and The Today Show.
Shin Lim is the headliner at the Mirage Theater in Las Vegas. The Shin Lim: Limitless show also features AGT finalist Colin Cloud. Performances are on Monday and Thursday through Sunday at 7:30pm.
Shin Lim’s Family Life
After his second win on AGT Shin Lim married his girlfriend Casey Thomas. Their wedding was on August 19th, 2019. They live in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
Shin Lim has been an inspiration to magicians worldwide. He had to overcome Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and leave a promising career as a pianist. He also had to have surgery to correct two injured tendons in his left thumb in 2016. Overcoming obstacles has been a key to Lim’s success, including accepting criticism from Simon Cowell on AGT.
In early 2021 Shin Lim released the Evolushin Magic Kit as a way to inspire young and beginning magicians. The kit includes fundamental tools that budding magicians can use to develop their own unique acts.
The Institute of Magic carries Evolushin and other Shin Lim products in their online magic shop. In fact, there is an entire product category devoted to Shin Lim including his limited edition playing cards.