MR SIMON TAYLOR
|September 19, 2011 | SHOW||Posted by Matt Cohen|
Mr Simon Taylor loves two things, language and asking the big questions… and comedy. So technically, that’s three things – oh and he likes psychology, comedy and large audiences. I’ll assume he likes a lot of things.
With the Fringe Festival dawning on us for another year, we get set to ride the artistic ebb, musical flow, cultural slide and spiritual wave that is Melbourne. In preparation for what we are going to hit and miss for this years fest, we talk to one of the Fringe’s comedy main men, or dude, or guy.
Having a Psychology degree already under the belt, placed tightly next to a TEDx Talk and critically acclaimed Adelaide Fringe Fesitival show ‘Pieces of Mind’ makes for one very nice looking package. We decided to gather the ins and outs of this international man of thoughts.
Where in your life are you now?
I wake up and I write. I go out and I perform. Pretty damn happy. Most of my time is spent on stand-up comedy, but often part of coming up with ideas involves finding the best places for them. That’s why I also write a column called Moral Melbourne about modern day morality. It allows me to churn through a whole range of situations with interesting ethical approaches. I’ve also created a comic strip, Flim-Flam, where I write jokes about belief. I like doing that because it makes me reflect on the way I think and not take myself too seriously.
Where is the pinnacle?
I feel as though everything a career goes through is all relatively transient. The times of struggle have their own value and the times I’m in 5 star hotels have their own bullshit. The important part is that I have the means to spend my days creating, so I’m where I want to be.
Are you heading in the right direction?
I try not to look too far ahead with projects or life goals. The way I look at it is that I am doing things of value now. So in the future, I assume I will find away to use my skills I’ve developed to achieve what is important to my life at that time. Right now, I feel that I’m doing what I should be doing and that gives me a sense of calm.
Tell me about your current mind grapes towards comedy vs. psychology?
I read psych books and listen to podcasts, wishing they would communicate in a more accessible way. Comedy allows me to solve that issue by creating the show I would want to see. It’s the purest vehicle for saying what I want, without it being a lecture. I like psychology enough to read dry textbooks, but if I could see a comedy show about psychology, I would choose that first any day. As far as I know, they don’t exist so I’m creating one.
What interests you most about the Human Brain?
I’m most interested in the phenomenon that we are aware of ourselves. The brain is a system and a fundamental question is whether this system is capable of understanding itself. I like being in that paradox because I am exploring something that may not be possible to fully explore.
What interests you least about the Human Brain?
I don’t care much for research into the differences between people’s brain (e.g. Men are like ‘this’, women are like ‘this’.) I prefer looking at what we have in common and what makes us feel closer together.
What could we expect from your new Melbourne Fringe show ’10 Things I know about you’?
I have a very lyrical style of humour. So I perform wordy pieces about funny notions in morality, the secret to happiness, how we use words and the truth behind love. I’ve taken ideas that are most compelling to me and I explore them through the show. An example is when I look at what psychologists say about love. I wonder if you can know all the reasons you fell in love with someone, yet still feel the full extent of that emotion.
How is this show different to anything you’ve done before, have you gone into this with a different angle?
I wrote the last show to entertain the audience. I wrote this show to entertain myself. Turns out that it’s much more enjoyable to perform and subsequently a more entertaining show for all…mmm irony. The content of this show is about the topics in psychology I’m most excited to understand. I’ve enjoyed the research part of it a lot.
What else is on the horizon for Mr Simon Taylor?
More writing. My column, Moral Melbourne, is going well. My comic strip, Flim-Flam, is on its way. I’ll be doing more stand-up interstate. Happy to see a body of work starting to form.
Simon Taylor is performing his brand new show, 10 Things I Know About You as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
As part of his performance we have 2 x Double passes to the opening night this Wednesday 21st of September! Let us know if you want in – [email protected]
Trades Hall – New Ballroom
Cnr Lygon and Victoria St, Carlton
Wednesday 21st September – Saturday 8th October
9.00pm, Sun 8.00pm (60min)
Tickets on sale here
Words: Matthew Cohen