You must have heard of local magician Zlwin Chew by now. From international cruise ships to performing in front of our PM, Mahathir, he has come a long way since his humble beginnings at Zouk.
But now you may get a chance to see him in action yourself at his next live show ‘Life’, to be held at the Gardens Theatre on 29 and 30 November 2019.
We caught up with him to hear how he intends to bring some magic back to Malaysia.
Setting The Stage
Despite producing talented magicians such as Zlwin, and Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Andrew Lee, local magic shows are seldom the theatrical affairs they are overseas.
“It is not just magic. The performing arts scene in Malaysia is not as big when we compare to places like New York or London with theatre plays in every corner of the street. It is not a Malaysian culture to go watch a theatre play,” he said.
But Zlwin has hope, as Malaysians are slowly shifting from shopping malls and cinemas to stage shows, as seen by the rising popularity of stand-up comedy.
“Magic isn’t a big thing in Malaysia yet because very few people have tried to make a difference. This is why I am doing this show. This is why I am reaching out to the readers to tell them that they can help me make a difference by supporting my show,” he explained.
‘Life’ may be the first of many shows in the making as he plans to have weekly theatre shows in the city in the near future.
“I want to inspire thoughts and move emotions through my acts. Among many astounding acts, there will be incredible sleight of hand magic, levitation of a person, appearing wine bottles from thin air, reading of poetry while demonstrating magic and other spectacles to show that the audience, too, CAN do magic. Yes, the audience will be performing with me,” he shared.
Other than performing, Zlwin would like to one day mentor new talent who have a genuine passion for magic.
Life Is Magical
To do meaningful magic, it is important to have new eyes to look at the world around us; to notice the trees and clouds, wind and mountain.Zlwin Chew, international magician.
For his performances, Zlwin shared that he would often draw inspiration from anything like books, music, and even quotes from movie characters.
For example, some of his acts are born from music he has listened to, as it inspires him to imagine the kind of magic that would suit a particular song.
“Magic is found in everything around us and if a magician wants to do great magic, he needs to first be able to find magic out of the stage and theatres and let life inspire him,” Zlwin said.
He stressed the importance of learning anything and everything you can, from skills like singing, dancing, and poetry to the stage lighting and music. He even mentioned mountain climbing and jungle trekking.
As he described it, people think that magic is just skills and props, but there is a lot more to it than you think.
“We learn about physics so we can manipulate objects. We learn about engineering so we can create illusions to levitate people. There is a whole world of science behind every magic trick you witness. It is a very clever art,” he shared.
He said that magicians even learn to read body languages so that they can apply misdirection when necessary to hide a secret move.
“It’s easy to be a magician when you have your tricks and props to perform with, but a true magician can do magic even when he is stripped off from his apparatus and performing demeanour,” he explained.
“If you create wonder with just your personality and spirit, then you are on your path to be a greater magician.”
A Sacred Flame Of Madness
As a performer myself (in professional wrestling), I asked if Zlwin has any advice for aspiring magicians struggling to have their passion accepted by their peers, a common occurrence in performing arts.
He points out that it may be because people do not usually think that you can make a living out of doing magic, with parents preferring their children to pursue more conventional jobs with stable incomes.
“If you have a dream, guard it with all your might and spirit. It is painful not to be accepted by your family and closest pals because you are chasing after a dream they cannot comprehend. But do not lose heart and know that this is your life and you will only ever have this one to live out your passion,” he concluded.
Robert James Waller said, “Life is never easy for those who dream.” That is true. However, on the path to realising one’s dream, life will be more meaningful.”Zlwin Chew, international magician.
- You can also read more about Zlwin Chew’s cruise ship journey here.
Featured Image Credit: Zlwin Chew