‘AGT’ finalist Shin Lim opened up during the finals about his struggle with carpal tunnel. He spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL about how leaving his piano career behind was a ‘blessing in disguise’ and the finale!
Shin Lim, 26, told the world during the Sept. 18 episode of America’s Got Talent that he had to stop playing the piano professionally because of carpal tunnel syndrome. It was the first time we learned what led him to become a magician. “I’ve always wanted to put out that story,” Shin told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY after the show. “I feel like people didn’t really know that about me, that side of me. Because that was actually a majority of my life I was always supposed to be a pianist. And then when it was taken away from me, it was extremely devastating. But looking back, you know, it’s kind of like a blessing in disguise. And so, I felt like it was kind of the right moment for people to see that. People had seen me doing sleight of hand all these rounds. It’s time to go out of my comfort zone, and talk on stage, which was really scary for me. Talking on stage was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I can do that.'”
Shin wanted everyone to know that there’s more to him than what we see on stage. “You know, everyone has gone through different things, but for me, it was kind of, you know, I do sleight of hand. That’s all I do. So just kind of telling that story makes people kind of appreciate it some more, I think, and seeing that different side of me,” he continued. “Because I think people kind of have this impression that, when they watch me, they think I’m a master of sleight of hand. But in reality, I’m actually struggling. And behind this kind of façade of what they think is perfection, or whatever they think, it’s really not. You know, there’s so much more to someone than just the outside.”
He added: “I’m on a very strict regimen of resting. Every time my wrist starts to have pain, I have to go to a physical therapist, and they’ll kind of massage out the tendons. But it’s kind of a lifestyle that I’ve had to change because of it, to kind of keep it under control. It doesn’t get any better. Carpal tunnel never heals, but you can prevent it from getting worse.”
Shin will be performing again during the Sept. 19 finale, and the performance will show us yet another side to the magician. “I’m going back to my roots, to the close-up magic because I didn’t really have time to rehearse the Wednesday show because I’ve been putting so much focus into this one,” he told HollywoodLife. “It’s cool, it’s more personable. I’m talking the entire time, so people get to know me a little bit more, because I feel like this entire time I’ve been known as the silent magician.” The America’s Got Talent season 13 finale airs Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. on NBC.