Simon Taylor Reads Your Mind

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Simon Taylor Reads Your Mind


We caught up with Simon Taylor for a quick Q+A about his craft: magic and mindreading.

Simon Taylor, recently back from Canberra to talk about psychology and magic and mindreading at TEDx, took some time out to chat to about what he does for a living. With a degree in psychology and a debonair kind of demeanour, Simon pretty much charms you as much as he impresses you with his clever, wonderful magic and mentalism. His new show Pieces Of Mind is happening at The Butterfly Club fom November 16-20.


When did you decide you were going to get into magic?

About three years ago, I was studying psychology and discovered how magic is full of interesting insights into how people think. I began to experiment with it, then produced a show, then more shows, and then all of a sudden I’m getting gigs from all over the place and it became my full time thing.

What kinds of magic do you do and what do you enjoy the most?

Magic is a broad term that incorporates many different forms. Some of these include card magic, sleight of hand or big stage illusions like what Copperfield does. My specialty is the style of mind reading. It involves reading people, predicting behaviour and exploring how the mind works. It’s essentially magic with minds rather than props.

Do you think magicians/mentalists enjoy having power over their audiences? Or does it go both ways?

Power is the wrong word I think. There is an interaction between the performer and audience. The audience has to want to engage with the performer. From there, the magician can lead them on a journey using whatever tricks, jokes or stories to create an entertaining world. I’m all about integrating what the audience has to offer me into my show. I’d say I’m like a tour guide into the world of the mind.

What’s a simple trick anyone can do that explains some of how magic works?

If you ask someone to really quickly name the first vegetable that comes to their mind, you’ll find most will name a ‘carrot’. Try it. This basically shows how magic is about understanding how people think and using it to entertain. It won’t work every time when you first start out but when it does remember to use your powers wisely, young Jedi.

Do you ever use magic to pick up?

No, I much prefer to use feature articles of me from trendy entertainment magazines.

Tell us a bit about the show at The Butterfly Club?

The show is called Pieces of Mind and is all about my approach to solving life’s little puzzles. A reviewer has described it as a cross between observational comedy and illusion. I think I like that. My background in performance is made up of many different styles so I’d call it a well shaken cocktail of a show.

Do you know many other magicians? What are they like?

I hang out with a lot of different performers; I value the diversity of experiences. In particular, I like the way magicians think. From my experience they tend to be brilliant problem solvers, so they’d be good to have around if you are ever battling it out with a Sudoku or something.

What’s the worst gig you’ve ever done?

I think I’m one of those slightly annoying people who find a positive experience in everything. Even my fist ever stand up comedy gig, where I got almost no laughs, gave me incredible motivation to improve. I don’t think I’d feel as comfortable as I do on stage today if I hadn’t experienced that early on.

Why do people still love magic after so long?

Probably because it’s freak’n awesome. I think because it creates a disjunction between your emotion and your intellect. Your rationality tells you magic is not possible, but your perception tells you it just happened. Whether you like that feeling or just try to work the magic out, the experience is an engaging one and that keeps people coming back.


Tickets to Pieces Of Mind on November 16-20 are $22-$19 from, and the shows start at 9pm. He’s twitterable/tweeting at @mrsimontaylor.