A Conversation with Magician Eric Chien

America’s Got Talent semifinalist & Asia’s Got Talent winner Eric Chien visited Jake’s Take for “A Conversation.” (Photo property of NBC’s Trae Patton)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is truly a privilege to welcome magician Eric Chien to Jake’s Take.

Eric Chien’s fascination in magic started when he was in high school. During his freshman year of college, he suffered from depression due to experiencing his first heartbreak. He locked himself for nearly half a year with no human contact. Eric spent eight hours a day practicing his craft and became a master in sleight of hand magic. At the end of Eric’s sophomore year, he decided to drop out of school and become a professional magician.

Eric Chien started his magic career as a consultant for the top magician in China since 2016. In 2018, He became the first Asian to ever win the title of FISM World Champion of Close Up Magic Grand Prix and that gave him the confidence to finally step up and be the performer himself. Within a month, he became a viral magician all over the world. Eric’s magic focuses more on the story and hopes to bring amazement and childlike wonder to everyone.

In this edition of A Conversation, Eric opened about performing on both America’s Got Talent and Asia’s Got Talent and the lessons he learned from his time on the NBC talent competition.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you first get interested in magic? How did your passion evolve into the desire to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?

Eric Chien: I first started magic back in junior year of high school. The moment I learned my first card trick, I was just completely in love with magic. I spent majority of my time practicing and researching magic instead of schoolwork. After my second year of college, I decided to take a gap year and just try performing for a living. I did some street magic and worked purely for tips. I realized I was actually having some success with it and realized that being a magician might actually work out for me after all. 

I was called to military service in 2015 but I did not give up magic while in service. In fact, I actually created a lot more magic while in service because i was more focused, less distraction from the outside world. I finished my service in 2016, and I was offered a job as a consultant for a famous magician. And that was when I started my career as a professional magician. 

Jacob Elyachar: Recently, you competed on Asia’s Got Talent, where you won your season. Could you please describe that experience to my readers?

Eric Chien: My friend actually signed me up for Asia’s Got Talent and when he told me I got in, I was surprised and thought I might as well try auditioning. It was my first international TV appearance and I was super nervous. Even though I’ve been doing magic for a while, I was mostly behind the scenes. In fact, the audition for Asia’s Got Talent was actually the first month I decided to become a performer. My goal was to gain experience and though of course I wanted to win, I didn’t think that was possible at all. 

I was very fortunate to advance to the finals. I created an act for the finals with a super big ending but because of my financial state during that time, I was not able to afford building the props so I created my chocolate routine for the finals. It later became one of my favorite acts to perform because of how fun it was. 

I could still remember that moment when I was crowned champion. I was just so filled with joy and excitement because I was one step closer to my dream now. I started getting a lot of fans all over the world and it was amazing to see how many people supported me. 

Jacob Elyachar: Why did you decide to audition for America’s Got Talent?

Eric Chien: I have actually always wanted to audition for AGT but because I was still very inexperienced with performing, I thought I would start practicing for it through Asia’s Got Talent. I know a lot of people’s lives change completely after AGT, and I really needed that as well. 

Magician Eric Chien entertained the Dolby Theatre audience during both the AGT: Season 14 Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds. (Photo by NBC’s Trae Patton)

Jacob Elyachar: Were you nervous about being compared to Season 13 and America’s Got Talent: The Champions winner Shin Lim at any point during the season?

Eric Chien: I knew it was going to happen eventually, but I was not nervous about it. I respect Shin Lim so much, and I am sure he has a great deal of respect for me as well. We are actually friends.

Jacob Elyachar: What lessons would you take with you from your AGT run as you begin the next chapter of your career?

Eric Chien: I saw so many talents while at AGT. I learned the production process of the show, and it was really cool. I know all of these will come in handy as I try to produce my own show in the future.

Jacob Elyachar: If you had the opportunity to meet with aspiring magicians who want to advance their careers, what advice would you share with them?

Eric Chien: Be creative. Do not be scared to try new things. Actually go out and perform.

Do not read YouTube comments. Haters are everywhere to try to discourage you. After you have more experience, you will learn how to ignore them. 

You can connect with Eric on social media by visiting his Facebook,Instagram, Twitter & YouTube channels.


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