Juliana Chen was born and raised in the Hunan Province of the People’s Republic of China. Her parents were proud when, at 10 years of age, she was selected for specialized training at the Hunan Academy for the Performing Arts. At first she was trained in ballet, then later she moved on to acrobatics and juggling. As a teenager, she toured internationally with the famous Gungzhou Acrobatic Troupe.
After a couple of accidents which injured the same leg, she was advised by doctors to give up foot juggling. While she was recovering she saw the famous Japanese magician Shimadaon television. She was fascinated by the way he had integrated magic into his Asian culture. He was both unique and outstanding in his performance.
The Gungzhou’s troupe manager encouraged Juliana to develop as a magician. She also took a closer interest in the skill of the troupe’s magician. Secretly, she began practising her skill with cards and ping-pong balls–the easiest props for her to find at the time.
The ambidexterous Juliana had the ability, ambition and determination to succeed. Some four years later in 1986, she was recognized as the best magician in China when she won the All-China Best Magician competition.
Her desire to take her magic to the international level led her to apply for permission to study English in Canada. In 1988, she left China for Vancouver, Canada. There was not much work for magicians so she got a job in a furniture store while she studied English. Later she started her own graphics business.
In 1990, Juliana met a friend who introduced her to the local magic stores and The Vancouver Magic Circle–the largest magical society in Canada. Two years later, after winning a major international award in Salt Lake City, Juliana sold her graphics business to concentrate on her career as a magician.
Over the next four years, she won numerous magic competitions in Europe. Then in 1997, Juliana won the world title for Manipulation (sleight-of-hand) at The World Congress of Magicians in Dresden, Germany. Juliana became the first woman, and first magician of Chinese heritage, to a world title for a solo act in the 50-year history of The World Congress of Magicians. She was now The World’s First Lady of Magic.
“Nothing prepares you for the dazzling skill that is Juliana”On her return to North America, she was featured on the cover of MAGIC magazine and included in The World’s Greatest Magic IV, an NBC-TV special which is still seen in different countries around the world, A year later, Canada’s leading TV current affairs program, The Fifth Estate, featured Juliana in a 12-minute profile. They called her “The hottest new magician around.” That same year, ABC Television featured Juliana in a special called Champions of Magic hosted by Princess Stephanie of Monaco.
At the request of NHK Television, Japan’s public broadcaster, Juliana was invited back to the 2000 World Congress of Magic in Lisbon as a guest performer. Two days later in Buffalo, New York, eleven hundred magicians gave her a standing ovation at the annual convention of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
In the fall of 2002, Juliana moved to Las Vegas to take her career to the next level. That October, she was awarded the Chavez Memorial Cup. She was recognized for her professional excellence by the Chavez Committee of the Society of American Magicians’ Hall of Fame and Museum in Hollywood. The award was established in the memory of Ben and Marion Chavez founders of the world-famous Chavez Studio of Magic which trained some of the world’s leading magicians.
In the Spring of 2003, Juliana was nominated for Stage Magician Of the Year by the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood. That summer Juliana was the subject of a four-page cover story in Saturday Night, Canada’s oldest-established magazine. She became the first Canadian magician to be featured on the cover of a national magazine since the late Doug Henning in the mid-seventies.
Since winning the world championship, Juliana’s career has blossomed around the world particularly in Europe, Asia and the USA. She has played traditional variety theatres like the London Palladium and the Princess Grace Theatre in Monte Carlo, Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Tiger Palast in Frankfurt, NHK theatre in Japan, and the Berlin Wintergarten.