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Serendipity

     Jerry was always among the top five of his class. Surprisingly, he did not end up with a stable job after university as the social convention dictates. Why he became a performance artist is a story that starts with the selection of students' clubs in senior high school.

     All the new students had to enroll with one club. The day before Jerry picked his club, he overslept. After he rushed to the school, he only had three options: comic book reading, screaming and scary, and magic balloons. He chose the magic balloon club as this one looked remotely interesting. When he started in the club, he was expecting to create a large variety of balloons, in all kinds of shapes and forms. However, he noticed that the teacher was a great illusionist. It was pure serendipity that he entered the world of magic because he overslept that morning, all the other clubs were filled up and he had to end up in this club. He always sat in the first row in the club classes. He could not resist the lure of magic. He went home and practiced the tricks after he saw the demo from the teacher. He often visited the library and borrowed books on illusion. His skills developed and improved over time, and he became a better performer. At the end of the semester presentation, he represented the illusion club to perform a magic show. He gained confidence with the recognition and applause from the schoolmates. He also realized that he wanted to be a performer, more than anything else in the world

Jerry Huang's performance for the students' club in senior high school

The video courtesy of Jerry Huang
 

     During his second year of the senior high school, he rented a booth on Lukang Old Street. Although his earnings for the whole day were not even sufficient to cover the daily rental cost of NT$ 300, he still enjoyed street performing. The three years of hard work in senior high school made Jerry determined what he would like to pursue. He indicated that he wanted to study a degree on performance art in university. His parents were very confused why their son wanted to be a performance artist as this hardly sounded like a stable job. However, his parents were moved by his passion and persistence and they became supportive. He was then admitted to Department of Sport Performing Arts, University of Taipei in May. Before the semester started in September, he wanted to do something he likes, instead of wasting time on computer games or comic books. He joined the Culture Club for Young People in Lukang, a local student organization for all the college students who study in other towns and cities. The purpose is to serve the hometown by organizing events and establishing a heritage, so as to develop the community awareness among residents and deepen the root of the local culture. It is hoped that the educated youth become the pillar of the society with a love, good understanding and a sense of solidarity for their hometown. During that summer vacation, he served as the supporting leader for a number of camps for elementary students. With illusion, he brought joy to the children. His energy and enthusiasm made that summer very special.

     In the university, Jerry met a senior classmate one year above who is an expert in the crystal ball. Jerry asked this guy to teach him how to perform with the crystal ball and they became good friends. He started to practice with the crystal ball and used it as the centerpiece of his performances. He decided to become financially independent in the third year of the university, so he performed everywhere with his tip collection box. He acquired 12 licenses as a street performer and participated in the TV competitions. From the preliminary round to the second round, he gradually established his name.

     In addition to daily practice, Jerry searches online for inspiration by looking for performances in Taiwan and overseas. He came across the magic ring performance by a Japanese artist. He was stunned by this show. He wondered what sleight of hand could make a wooden ring “float”. He was determined to learn the trick but could not find any teaching audio programs and there was nobody in Taiwan that could do it. He decided to slow down the video and learn from each frame of the pictures. His self-teaching went on day and night, with each second of the video clip. In the end, tis focus and discipline saw him through. His success was not because of his talent or luck. It is a result of his hands-on attitude, hard work and perseverance.

Photos courtesy of Jerry Huang's official website

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