A Filipino circus performer amazed judges of the US-based America’s Got Talent with his audition performance that combined music and magic.
Ehrlich “Firechill” Ocampo, who previously performed at the prestigious Cirque du Soleil, showcased his talent in the art of leviwand and dance in front of judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel.
Leviwand is a “discipline” or art where the performer manipulates objects where they seemingly float, according to a dance studio for the craft.
A three-minute video of his audition was shared on AGT’s social media on July 12. It has since garnered more than 423,000 views on the platform and 5,00 reactions, as of writing.
“Watch what happens when you mix dance with magic,” read the caption.
In the video, Ocampo shared that it is his dream to represent the Philippines and make his loved ones proud of him.
“Why AGT? Why did you decide this was the right time for you to come here?” Vergara asked.
Ocampo then answered that he “gave up everything” to pursue his dream of performing in front of people.
“People thought I was crazy. I didn’t think I’ll make it here. But my friends and family, they supported me and they inspired me to fight,” Ocampo said.
“I’m here fighting for myself, for my family, my friends, my community, my country. It is my dream to be here. It is the biggest stage in the world,” he added.
In the comments section of the post, Ocampo also thanked the people for their supportive messages.
“Thank you for the love!” he said.
Social media users, both Filipinos and from other countries, rallied behind him and praised his performance.
“A magical floating performance. Very well done,” one user said.
“Go Philippines! I’m so proud with you Kabayan,” another user wrote.
“Another talented Filipino (clap and the Philippine flag emojis),” another user said.
Ocampo, an Advertising alumnus at the University of Santo Tomas, recalled in an interview that it all started with a website design project in Boracay.
It was there when he discovered fire dancing and poi spinning. He practiced it, turned it into a hobby, and then a “side hustle” while juggling his work with graphic design.
Ocampo later discovered leviwand. He said that his own style involves a “unique dynamic style, fusing [his] background in dance, acrobatics, and performance.”
He first showcased his skills with it as part of a Cirque du Soleil stage in Paris in 2016.
Prior to the audition, Ocampo worked as a circus performer at the shows of the Montreal-based contemporary circus company.