Filipino circus performer Ehrlich Ocampo now a prized Vegas talent

Filipino circus pro and ‘AGT’ alum Ehrlich Ocampo now a prized Vegas performer

/ 08:13 PM April 18, 2024

Filipino circus pro and 'AGT' alum Ehrlich Ocampo now a prized Vegas performer | Ehrlich ‘Firechill’ Ocampo in ‘Awakening’/WYNN LAS VEGAS

Ehrlich ‘Firechill’ Ocampo in ‘Awakening’/WYNN LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Filipino performer Ehrlich Ocampo is currently making waves in the “entertainment capital of the world,” being one of the more prominent cast members of a relatively new production that showcases breathtaking acts and visuals.

Ocampo mesmerizes the audience with his signature “leviwand” act in “Awakening,” the current large-scale theatrical production at Wynn Las Vegas, that has become a strong follow-up to the much-raved “La Rêve” show that graced the resort casino’s theater for 15 years until it was discontinued in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ocampo, who goes by the name “Firechill” on stage, scored his Las Vegas gig through his audition for the 16th season of the reality TV competition “America’s Got Talent,” (AGT) where he reached the deliberation stage.


“Iyong ‘AGT’ po, matagal na nila akong gustong kunin, kaya lang nagba-barko po ako no’n. Hindi kaya ng schedule (‘AGT’ has been wanting to get me for the longest time, but I was working on a ship and my schedule wouldn’t allow it),” he told in a one-on-one interview in Las Vegas.

He was finally able to make time for ‘AGT’ in 2021, because of the pandemic. “Noong nag-air iyong episode ko, ginagawa din po nila ito, kasi parang pang-dance and illusion po iyong show (When my episode went on air, they were doing this [Awakening], because it’s like a dance and illusion show),” Ocampo said.


Initially, the show’s producers wanted to get an American who can do a leviwand act like he does, Ocampo said. But they weren’t able to find any, and got him on board because the show’s mounters really insisted on having the unique performance included in the production.

Ocampo said he was on a ship, working, when he got the call for the Las Vegas job.

“Lumabas ang episode ko, andaming nagme-message. Eh ang hina ng internet sa barko. Ayon po, nag-message po sila (I received so many messages when my episode came out. But the internet on the ship was so slow. And they messaged me) ‘Are you interested in a project in Vegas in 2022?’ Of course I’m interested!” he shared.

The Filipino performer flew to Las Vegas without knowing any details about the job, other than having to do a leviwand act.


“Super secret po. Hindi ko alam kung anong show, hindi ko alam ang role ko, as in secret. Alam ko na po ang ‘La Rêve,’ pagkatapos kami ang papalit (I didn’t know what the show is, I didn’t know what my role is. I’m familiar with ‘La Rêve,’ and we will replace it) after the pandemic,” Ocampo said.

It was not easy getting to where he is, enjoying his success through something he is passionate at, he said. His exposure on the show was also extended. If at first his leviwand act showcased toward the latter portion of the production was his only on-stage appearance, he now also appears quite earlier in the show.

Filipino talent on the international stage

Ocampo told that he hopes to see more Filipinos make it big on international productions. That is why he has been displaying impeccable work ethic, aside from showcasing his unique theatrical abilities.

“What if palagi lang akong late, Filipino time, or tamad-tamad, siyempre next time kapag may nakita silang Filipino talent baka ang impression nila gano’n lahat (What if I’m always late, Filipino time, or lazy, of course the next time they will see a Filipino talent their impression will be the same). Not just me, I believe I also really represent Filipinos,” he explained.

“Noong nag-start na po akong mag-international, na-realize ko na iyong talent sa Pilipinas anlaki po talaga. Patron po ako of Filipino talent, na parang andaming raw talent. Kulang lang po sa facilities, equipment, instruction, opportunities, and everything (When I started going international, I realized that there is immense Filipino talent. I am a patron of Filipino talent, we have so many raw talent. We just have insufficient equipment, instruction, opportunities and everything). And I see that we can be as good as, if not better than the others,” Ocampo said.

Getting the NCCA onboard

When the time comes that he has enough gravitas to command the attention of Filipino art patrons, and agencies that can help uplift the conditions of Filipino performers, Ocampo said he would want to proactively help aspiring Filipino.

Ehrlich ‘Firechill’ Ocampo in ‘Awakening’/WYNN LAS VEGAS

Ehrlich ‘Firechill’ Ocampo in ‘Awakening’/WYNN LAS VEGAS

He said he is looking at getting the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on board, and establish a circus performing academy to hone Filipinos with potential, and provide a venue for his countrymen who need to improve on their craft.

Second on his three-pronged approach to talent development is a production company that will mount shows where the academy’s wards can perform. Ocampo’s third step is to put up a management agency so the performers can get all the help they will need to book jobs.

“Actually, iyong tatlong iyon, iyon ang pinakamahirap sa akin (those three were the ones I struggled with the most),” Ocampo said, adding that he did not have any place to seek a mentor for his craft, and there were not any shows in the Philippines that would pay well for the kind of performance he offers, and the local agencies were focused on booking jobs for bands and singers abroad.

Boost for tourism

He aspires to see a boost in the country’s tourism to attract the audience that will pay good money to see the kind of performance that Filipinos can provide, and so that the performers will no longer seek jobs overseas. He also hopes to generate as much local following for such productions, and that citizens will find it easier in the future to allot money for the entertainment he hopes to offer in the future.

For those who would want to follow in his footsteps, Ocampo said, “be smart, because the biggest hindrance for performers is the money. It’s not as lucrative in the Philippines. So don’t be a starving artist. Make your training and your performing career, kahit maliit pa siya (even if it’s just small), make it sustainable. Don’t quit your job. If you don’t have money for costume or equipment or training, or kahit papunta sa gig, wala (or even if you don’t have money to get to your gig), you’re gonna suffer also.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

He said aspiring artists should always keep in mind that success will not happen overnight. “Dream big, dasal, mahirap talaga (pray, it’s really hard). Embrace it, embrace the challenge, and it’s gonna be worth it,” he continued.

TAGS: Las Vegas

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.