• Eric Chien was born in Taiwan and moved to the US when he was four.
• He was the target of bullies at school and changed schools five times before high school.
• He turned to magic as a hobby and has been mastering it ever since.
• He has won several talent competitions, including the “FISM Grand Prix World Championship”, “Asia’s Got Talent”, and “Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician”.
• He is now a performer and teacher of magic, creating tutorials and courses for aspiring magicians.
Eric Chien was born in Taiwan on 12 August 1993. Four years later, his family moved to the United States, settling in Texas. Chien went from living in a predominantly Asian country to living in a multiracial society, so when he started school, he was often the only Asian student in his class or school, which made him a target for bullies. He was beaten up often, sometimes forcing him to transfer to new schools to escape, but in most cases, moving didn’t provide respite for his suffering, and he would be targeted by bullies in his new schools too. Overall, he changed schools five times before high school.
Changing schools often robbed Eric of the opportunity to make and keep friends, therefore when he reached high school, he sought a hobby that would keep him occupied, and chose magic. Eric learned the usual magic tricks, and began to create his own techniques, which he has perfected over the years, and continued to improve through college, hoping to enter the field professionally. Unfortunately, in 2015 he was called back to his country of birth, Taiwan, for his mandatory military service.
“FISM Grand Prix”
Eric returned from military service determined to carve a spot for himself at the top of the magic profession, and make a name for himself as one of the greatest magicians of his generation. He began his quest by putting down his name as one of the contestants for the prestigious Grand Prix World Championships of Magic.
He flew to Busan, South Korea for the championships determined to emerge the winner.
His routine, which he referred to as his winning trick, involved a deck of playing cards and a ribbon. Eric started his act by opening a box to reveal a loose ribbon, two ribbons that had been made into square shapes, and some playing cards. He set the two square ribbons on the edge of his table with a flick of his finger, earning expressions of amazement from his audience. Next, Chien placed the loose ribbon in the middle of his table, dividing the surface into two, and arranged two sets of red playing cards on either side of the ribbon. He earned his second round of appreciation when he turned the cards to his right to reveal that they had changed color from red to blue. One of the red cards he had in his hand changed color as soon as he threw it on the right side of the table.
After wowing the crowd by changing the color of the cards, Chien dropped one on the floor. As he reached out to try and pick it up, his vest changed from black to match the cards on either side of the table – blue on his right side and red on his left, earning him more applause from his audience. He continued with his previous routine of changing the color of his playing cards, but introduced a new variation where he changed the color of one card partially by moving it halfway across the loose ribbon – one half remained blue, and the other became red.
For his third trick, Chien staged his version of the disappearing act – all the red cards on the left side of the table started disappearing, before moving to the blue cards on his right. He stunned the audience when one blue card partially disappeared by moving it past the loose ribbon, but only the half that had crossed over to his left, before showing the audience the remaining half of the partially disappeared card, crossing it over to his right, and regenerating it fully.
Chien’s final act involved turning cards into coins. He took a coin from his pocket and placed it on the empty left side of the table where the red cards lay, before he made them disappear. He moved the blue cards on his right to his left by passing them under the loose ribbon. Every card that passed under the ribbon turned into a coin. When he moved one coin to his right, all the blue cards he had moved to his left and turned into coins reverted back to their original forms, becoming blue cards again. He closed his act by turning his blue and red vest into the black vest he wore at the beginning of the performance, with the box that had held his playing cards at the beginning of the performance resting on the same spot where he’d placed when he began his performance. The performance earned Chien the title of “The 2018 FISM Grand Prix World Champion.”
Eric Chien 2018 Fism Grand Prix Act -Ribbon-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0dCdjGj9rU
Posted by Magic World on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
“Asia’s Got Talent”
With the prestigious “FISM Grand Prix Championship” under his belt, Chien set out to conquer Asia. He sent in an application to audition for the third season of “Asia’s Got Talent”, determined to step in front of an audience after three years of being a magic consultant who worked behind the curtains. His successful application saw Chien walk onto the stage and introducd himself as Eric Chien from Taipei, before approaching the judge’s bench ready to put on a magic show.
In his first trick, Chien used a permanent marker to draw a coin on a piece of paper, and pulled out a real coin from the paper, leaving the white piece of paper blank. He made the coin appear and disappear several times before pulling out a few other coins from nowhere to the amazement of the three judges and the audience. Eric then moved the coins from hand to hand with a flick of his finger, made several coins appear, placed a coin in one of the judge’s hands and made it disappear, leaving an ink imprint on her hands, and made all other coins disappear, leaving an imprint on the white piece of paper on which they were placed. The audition earned him a spot in the live competition.
Eric wowed his audience with new tricks at every step of the competition; in return, they kept voting for him, taking him to the finals. For the Grand Finale, he asked one of the judges to hold a silver coin while he held onto a copper coin. He rubbed the coin on the back of the judge’s fist and left his audience confused when he switched the coins without having the judge open his wrist. In his second act, he used a volunteer who tasted some chocolate sprinkles to confirm that they were, indeed chocolate – Eric made a partial fist and ran the sprinkles through his hand, turning them into a Rubik’s cube. He had the volunteer mix up the colors in the cube and cover it with his arms, while Eric made a larger cube and solved it. The volunteer uncovered the cube and it, too, was solved. Eric then turned the cubes back into chocolate sprinkles. Finally, Chien turned the sprinkles into confetti, as the crowd and one of the judges gave him a standing ovation for the imaginative, creative, and entertaining magic show.
Chien’s ingenuity and delivery of magic tricks that the audience had never seen before earned him the ultimate grand prize of $100,000, and the title of the winner of the third season of “Asia’s Got Talent.”
After conquering China Chien set his sights west, determined to win more talent competitions in the “Got Talent” franchise.
“America’s Got Talent”
Chien walked onto the stage of “AGT” in his signature black vest and white shirt. After introducing himself as a magician from Houston, Texas, a visibly nervous Chien staged a repeat of the routine that won him the “FISM Grand Prix Championship.” The act won him a standing ovation from the crowd and all four judges, and a spot among the contestants of the 14th season of “AGT”, attracting over 15 million views on YouTube and thousands of comments marveling over the performance. Eric took Gabrielle Union’s advice that he should rise up and claim his spot among the best magicians in the world by progressively improving his act at every stage of the competition, performing the routine that won him “Asia’s Got Talent” at the Judge’s cuts.
In the quarter-finals, Chien performed his chocolate sprinkles routine, earning him a spot in the semifinals, where he took a huge risk by staging a new magic trick. He pulled some blank cards out of a beanie hat and put images on them, turning them into postcards from different parts of the world, with a flick of his hand. He then pulled out a map and started to arrange the postcards against their real locations. One postcard had the pictures of the four judges before Chien flicked his hand and turned the picture into an image of Mt. Rushmore. He made a postcard that had the image of the Leaning Tower of Pisa lean against Italy on the map, before pulling out the images that were imprinted on the postcards, and putting them in their appropriate places on the map, leaving the cards as they were at the beginning of his act. Unfortunately, the act didn’t earn him the votes he needed to advance to the finals.
Be sure to watch AGT live shows tonight!! I am nervous but excited mostly and I hope you guys will enjoy my magic~
Voting will start at the beginning of the show! If you’d want to see me advance to semifinals, be sure to vote for me!#AGT #agtliveshows #quaterfinals pic.twitter.com/YyTXVhDzSm
— Eric Chien (@Ecsleights) August 27, 2019
“China’s Got Talent” and “Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician”
In 2022, Chien took his quest to demonstrate his mastery of magic back to Asia, when he competed in “China’s Got Talent.” After a flawless audition, Chien impressed the judges and earned his spot on the list of contestants chosen to proceed to the quarter-finals. He staged an impressive show at every subsequent stage of the competition, until he was eliminated in the finals. After failing to win the grand prize, he set his sights on Europe.
In Europe, Chien joined other magicians in their pursuit of the title of “The Ultimate Magician.” In the competition, Chien thrilled his audience with performances of the acts he’d staged at his previous competitions. He turned red cards into blue cards, made them appear and reappear, turned cards into coins, pulled disappearing acts using the coins as props, and made his vest change color twice. At the end of his routine, the judges were on their feet, joining the audience in a standing ovation – Chien won his second grand prize in a “Got Talent” competition, becoming one of four acts to win the grand prize in more than one competition in the franchise.
“America’s Got Talent: All Stars”
In early 2023, Chien was picked as one of the 60 contestants for the coveted title of “America’s Got Talent’s All-Star.” On 7 February, Chien joined 10 fellow contestants in a quest to impress their audience and earn the most votes for them to proceed to the next level of the competition. He stunned the audience with a new act featuring a red rose and blank postcards; as part of the routine, he turned flower petals into coins, turned the coins into postcards with the pictures of the four judges, and gifted the flower to Heidi Klum inside a glass that he made appear with a flick of his hand. Although the audience and judges loved his performance, he was one of the nine acts to be eliminated at the end of the evening.
Magic Shows and Events
Eric’s multiple wins and appearances in multiple talent competitions have earned him global recognition as a master of the world of magic. As a result, he’s been invited to perform his magic tricks in several shows across the world, as a guest star at the grand finale of “Indonesia’s Got Talent.” Chien is also part of “The Illusionists,” a group of magicians who stage magic shows at the Neil Simon Theatre, in New York. He’s part of the group’s creative team alongside fellow illusionists such as Dom Chambers, “The Showman,” himself as “The Manipulator,” Chris Cox as “The Mentalist,” and Paul Dabek as “The Trickster.”
Magic Protégé Turned Teacher
Chien has been learning, practicing, and improving his craft since he was 16 years old. He passes on everything he’s learned to the next generation of magicians since, in addition to being a performer, Chien creates tutorials showing people how to perform some of his magic tricks. He‘s created several video and text training courses that he sells to upcoming magicians. Some of his most popular and best-selling tutorials include “Magic by Eric Chien,” “True Colors,” “Oil and Water,” and “Imagination Coin.”
The tutorials and explanations on how Chien creates and performs his acts are available on platforms such as Amazon, Piper Magic, and Penguin Magic.