Magician Kevin Li has been performing magic for several years and was just recently featured on the CW’s show “Penn and Teller Fool Us” where he not only wowed and amazed the audience, but left the silent Teller emotional and in tears. Although it took him several seasons of auditioning to finally make it on the nationally televised program, Li never faltered. When asked what kept him going and auditioning Kevin said, “What kept me motivated to try out again for the show after getting cut multiple times is loving what I do. No matter who you are and what you want to do, if you truly love what you do, why not try out? It isn’t a waste of time if you are passionate about what you love. If you fail, you didn’t lose anything but gain more experience. If you succeed, you are put on a larger platform to showcase who you are and inspire more people.”
Among Li’s other proud accomplishments include being one of the very few Asian American magicians who perform at the exclusive and legendary Magic Castle in Hollywood. Kevin first heard of this opportunity through his father who mentioned to him that there was a Junior Society at the Magic Castle for kids ages 13-20. Li made it through after his first audition and admits that he owes a great amount of his success to the Castle.
Li was introduced to magic first-hand through his grandfather. However, it wasn’t until he started performing in front of his family, friends, as well as strangers, that he realized this was something he was extremely passionate about. Kevin recalls, “the magic brought out a child-like wonder in them, similar to when one sees a balloon fly away for the first time or eating cotton candy for the first time.”
Kevin Li’s approach to magic is distinctive in that he incorporates a story or reason to his performances. “I want my magic to speak for itself through the story behind it. At the end of the day, I want my audience to be engaged with what’s happening and maybe even take meaning from it afterwards.” He also has an adoration for Street Magic and credits David Blaine as one of his inspirations. “It was always amazing to see him walk up to these diverse strangers and connect with them instantly through ordinary objects he used.” Kevin describes. In several of Li’s videos, you can see him doing the same, connecting with strangers through a packet of gum, a deck of cards or a person’s cell phone.
Kevin lives by three standards when it comes to his magic – Modern, Meaningful, and Memorable. Modern - in that the objects he use are nothing out of the ordinary but rather familiar and every day items that you already carry. Meaningful, in a way that the magic has to have meaning. And finally, Memorable. stemming from his own interpretation of his favorite quote by Maya Angelou, “Your audience may forget my name and face, but they will never forget the true astonishment they have felt.”
For more information on Kevin, you can head to his Instagram and Facebook pages @kevinlimagic.