Shin Lim, winner of ‘America’s Got Talent: The Champions,’ to appear at Foxwoods
Shin Lim comes off like the ‘King of Cool’ when performing his elaborate, close-up card magic routines. But truth be told he still gets nervous, so the James Bond/swagger-like-Jagger thing is really just a character he’s created for his act.
“I’m quite good at faking it,” he says, laughing. “Yeah, fake it till you make it.”
The thing is, Lim has “made it.” Earlier this year he was crowned the winner of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions.” The worldwide competition was just months after he’d won season 13 of “America’s Got Talent.”
Lim, 27, says he was “really happy” to win the new “AGT” spin-off. But he was also surprised, considering the other finalist was singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne.
“She’s so funny, I thought she was going to win. I thought if she wins she deserves it, she’s better than everyone here,” he says. “When I won, I was, ‘Oh God, Darci Lynne’s fans are gonna kill me!’ That was one of my first thoughts, not that they’d kill me, but you know what I mean. I still can’t believe it, to be honest.”
The sleight-of-hand artist who makes cards (and pens) disappear with the stealth of a ninja will perform at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Friday, April 26. He shared more in a phone chat, including that he’s Singaporean, with dual citizenship in Canada and the United States.
“You will see more of me, more of my story, how I developed each act, the struggles I’ve been through with my injury, and of course my magic and music,” he said of his Foxwoods show. (Lim was in college, studying to be a pianist, when he was forced to change course because of carpal tunnel syndrome.)
“It was devastating; I had no real direction when I dropped out. For a good year I wasn’t really doing much, so it was quite depressing. Looking back, I guess you could say it was a blessing in disguise.”
His interest in cards/magic had begun when he was 16. “I thought it would get me a girlfriend. That’s why I did it. I learned all of it on YouTube actually. I didn’t take it seriously at first, but when I dropped out of the university, I was ‘Oh damn, I need to feed myself. I need some money.’”
After performing at parties and other gigs, Lim realized he’d found a new path. “I got super passionate about it and that’s where it all started.”
Lim said the Foxwoods show will include more of a conversation than fans are used to, and he’ll perform with a talented mentalist, Ben Seidman. He also said the entire audience will experience “some magic that will happen to them directly.” It’s his favorite part of the act.
We asked Lim to share something about himself that people might not know. “I am not as cool as I appear on TV,” he said, laughing. “I am very nerdy and actually silly. I don’t take myself seriously at all, it’s a character onstage. I am not like that.”
Lim also said when people meet him in real life, they say he looks like he’s homeless. “I dress up really well onstage, but in person I truly look like I have no money.”
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Foxwoods Grand Theater, 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket. Friday, April 26, 7:30 p.m. $73, $51, $38. 800-200-2882