Born and raised in a small town in Klang, young and passionate Zlwin Chew started learning magic in 2009. The thrilling experience he had at his first performance during the first year in college spurred Zlwin’s zealousness in the art of magic that drove him to further improvise his tricks by studying and learning magic from channels such as You Tube, books, DVDs and even from other fellow magicians. In an interview with Top 10 of Malaysia, Zlwin shares his journey and experience as one of the most successful Malaysian magicians who had the opportunity to perform internationally, including on a luxurious cruise ship for months on end.
People have been Zlwin Chew’s sole inspiration to perform magic. Being a people’s person from a very young age, Zlwin attended church during his teens and was very active and involved in youth events. “I was the emcee for gigs at church. I also played the guitar and took up the role as the church’s youth leader as I love to be around people,” shares the bubbly young magician.
“Magic has been a doorway for me to make people happy.” He says that when kids grow up, they slowly start to lose the sense of awe and wonder about the things around them. “Children are always amazed at their surroundings and they believe that everything that surrounds them is magic. The phenomenon of the sun setting or the sight of a moving car might be a magical sight for them. All forms of art such as magic, music and dance are capable of making people happy and they will bring adults back to their childhood days where moments of child-like wonders existed,” explains Zlwin with a smile.
“When I was in university, I sacrificed my time just for magic. This was partly due to the fact that I didn’t like to study. I was studying psychology at HELP University, which was a newly opened university back then, Zlwin reminisces. “That was the period where I started performing gigs at Zouk Club Kuala Lumpur as the resident magician. Soon, jobs came a calling one after another and I got very busy. I didn’t have time for my studies and would fall asleep in the examination hall. I even skipped exams and also classes. After three years, I decided to quit university and pursue my dream of becoming a full-time magician,” reveals Zlwin.
Despite being a renowned magician, Zlwin still continues to face struggles and challenges in his career. Among them is his time away from his wife, family and friends when he has to perfom on a cruise ship. “I would be performing for five to six months on the cruise ship in a year. It was a golden opportunity to be asked to perform and I did my best gigs up on a beautiful theatre with magnificent lighting system and the assistance of a full professional production show team. The audience would also pay full attention during my performance while basking in the lovely atmosphere of the theatre,” says Zlwin. He says that performing on a cruise ship for three years was the best and most cherished experience in his life.
Zlwin recalls a funny moment during his first time performing on the cruise ship as he was inexperienced and had little knowledge about magic. “Back in 2012, I was invited to perform on the cruise ship. I only brought two briefcases of my stuff and was shocked to see that the stage was so beautiful and large. The production manager came to greet me and asked for my cue sheet and music song list. I was puzzled as I didn’t know what a cue sheet was and I didn’t have music in my earlier performances. Later, I went to my cabin and did a Google search for a cue sheet preparation. My friend and I soon produced an amateurish cue sheet on the lighting and the music was selected from my lap top. Everything was prepared a day or two before the show,” Zlwin smiles and continues, “Six years later, I prepare my cue sheet 3 to 5 months in advance before the show and it is more elaborate with specific cues for stage movement, music, prop movements and lighting.”
Zlwin adores many magicians, some of which are David Copperfield, Ben and Taylor, Johnny Thompson and Mat Franco. He gets inspiration from several sources such as musicians and songs like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, an inspirational movie called “The Walk”, books, dancers and music.
“I am a spontaneous man who lives only for today. I am very thankful and contented at where I am now. I am blessed to be happily married to a beautiful wife, I even have a family of six close magician friends and we help each other during our shows, assist and care for one another to grow our magic skills,” says Zlwin. He remarks that his greatest achievement in life would be his current career and that he also succeeded in accomplishing the impossible. He felt honoured to be listed as one of the Malaysia’s Top 10 magicians. Zlwin also doesn’t take mistakes seriously as he believes that there is always room for mistakes to occur even in well-planned shows and that nothing has to be perfect. “As long as you do your best and learn from your mistakes, leave it to fate since you have done your best.”
Zlwin believes that passion is the main key to success in life. His advice to young magicians, performers and singers is to not yearn for fame or wealth which will lead you in the wrong direction. “Have passion in everything you do and constantly improve yourself, because when the opportunity arises, you will be noticed and chances for job opportunities will flow in.”