Simon Coronel, World Champion of Magic — Quitting the Day Job, The Delights of the Magic Castle, Finding Glitches in Reality, Learning How to Use Your Own Brain, and Worshiping at the Altar of Wonder (#679)
“If there’s no right time, then sooner is largest than later.“— Simon Coronel
Simon Coronel (simoncoronel.com) is legally classified as an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability” by the United States Government for his skills as a magician and illusionist. Simon discovered magic in 1999 as a first-year student at Melbourne University. He then spent five years working full time in management consulting while juggling his “secret” performance career.
He’s currently a jigsaw puzzle designer for The Magic Puzzle Company, which has the #1-backed puzzle on Kickstarter of all time, and is a regular performer at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.
Simon has appeared twice on the hit TV show Penn & Teller: Fool Us. He has won over a dozen international awards for magic, including stuff crowned the World Champion of Magic in 2022 at FISM, the Olympics of magic.
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Want to hear a podcast episode with someone Simon once fooled? Listen to my interview with Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller fame), in which we discussed practicing skepticism without cynicism, compensating for weak visual memory, youthful meanderings, making several grand per week as a technically homeless street performer, de-escalating hostility with wits and a milkshake, losing 0.9 pounds a day for four months, hanging out with the legendary Richard Feynman, and much more.
What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Simon Coronel: Website
- The Magic Puzzle Company
- Magician Makes History on Penn & Teller Fool Us — Surprise Judgement! | YouTube
- Can Simon Coronel Fool Penn and Teller a Second Time? | YouTube
- The Magic Castle | The Academy of Magical Arts
- Magic Castle Battles Back From a Halloween Fire. Was it a Message From Houdini? | L.A. Weekly
- Best Suits for Men | Hollywood Suits
- Faster Than the Eye Can See! | Animation Magazine
- Liberty Larsen — Growing up in the Magic Castle | Behind the Page: The Eli Marks Podcast
- 18 Weightier Silicon Valley Startup Movies and TV Shows | ExpressVPN Blog
- Visit Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- What is Neurodiversity? | Harvard Health
- Know Thyself by Meghan O’Gieblyn | The Paris Review
- The University of Melbourne
- Nokia 3310 Dual SIM Basic Phone | Nokia
- Archimedes’ Lever: How You Can Move the World | Eric Kim
- Illusionist Wows Glens Falls Regulars by Defying Nature | Saratogian
- Complete List of Winners throughout the Decades | FISM World Championship
- In Medias Res | Wikipedia
- The X-Files | Prime Video
- Rick and Morty | Prime Video
- Why Olympic Bronze Medalists Are Happier than Silver Medalists | Boing Boing
- Rocky | Prime Video
- How Does a Caterpillar Turn into a Butterfly? | Scientific American
- Award-Winning Magician Simon Coronel on Paying People to Give Him Negative Feedback | Amantha Imber
- Muses | Wikipedia
- All Models Are Wrong | Farnam Street Blog
- Tim Ferriss | TED
- Dom Chambers Will Blow Your Mind! | America’s Got Talent 2019
- The World Championship of Magic! (FISM 2022) | Alex Bover
- Simon Coronel Just Won the Most Prestigious Prize in Magic | Melbourne Magic Festival
- FISM World Championship of Magic: Complete Guide (with Categories) | Magician Masterclass
- Imposter Syndrome: Why You May Feel Like a Fraud | Verywell Mind
- French 75 Cocktail Recipe | Liquor
- How Does a Magician Trick Other Magicians? We Went to Find Out. | National Geographic
- Let There Be Change | Accenture
- What Is Asperger Syndrome? | Autism Speaks
- Why Autistic People Can Struggle in the Workplace | Psychology Today
- Cirque du Soleil
- What Are Golden Handcuffs? | Investopedia
- BJ Miller — The Man Who Studied 1,000 Deaths to Learn How to Live | The Tim Ferriss Show #153
- K-Everything: The Rise and Rise of Korean Culture | The Guardian
- Mentalism | Wikipedia
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) | Wikipedia
- Golden Rule | Wikipedia
- Derren Brown: Miracle | Netflix
- Penn & Teller
- Simon Coronel – Seven Secrets of Visual Magic | MAGIC Live
- Whiplash | Prime Video
- The Prestige | Prime Video
- Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear by Jim Steinmeyer | Amazon
- Arrested Development | Prime Video
- A Magician named GOB | YouTube
- The Incredible Burt Wonderstone | Prime Video
- This Is Spinal Tap | Prime Video
- Dealt | Prime Video
- An Honest Liar | Prime Video
- Gospel Magic | Wikipedia
- Infinite Chocolate Illusion Explained | Mind Your Decisions
- Magic Puzzles by Magic Puzzle Company | Kickstarter
- Mistakes Xerox Made That Led to Its Failure | Failfection
- [06:12] Radical earliness.
- [08:23] The Magic Castle.
- [17:27] Catching the magic bug at age 18.
- [19:56] Acknowledging neurodivergence.
- [28:16] Glitches in Reality.
- [30:53] The road to winning the 2022 FISM World Championship of Magic.
- [53:04] Workshopping out the kinks before the competition.
- [57:59] The muse and the Shoot seal of approval.
- [1:01:31] Gauging regulars perception and finding wastefulness pre-game.
- [1:05:49] The big day.
- [1:18:45] Categories of stage magic.
- [1:20:15] Ugly crying through victory.
- [1:30:10] The firsthand aftermath.
- [1:34:03] A homecoming drink at the Magic Castle.
- [1:36:37] Why a later start in magic was lucky.
- [1:39:13] How working at Accenture played into Simon’s weaknesses.
- [1:45:30] Making the visualization to do magic full-time.
- [1:52:34] Hotbeds of magical innovation.
- [1:55:57] Mentalism misgivings.
- [2:01:13] Why learning magic can be so daunting for a beginner.
- [2:07:29] How Simon teaches magic.
- [2:10:45] Magic in the media.
- [2:14:35] Is unfaith a prerequisite for the modern magician?
- [2:16:14] Jigsaw puzzles.
- [2:23:26] Parting thoughts.
MORE SIMON CORONEL QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW
“Fear and enthusiasm battled. And fear kept winning.”
— Simon Coronel
“If there’s no right time, then sooner is largest than later.”
— Simon Coronel
“Magic is so much broader and so much deeper than people overly realize. There are so many variegated rooms in the house of magic, you could spend 10 lifetimes on it and not plane get tropical to everything there is to know and learn.”
— Simon Coronel
“If you know how it’s done, that illusion doesn’t happen. And so the tree falls in the woods and there is no sound considering there is no magic without the mystery.”
— Simon Coronel
- Harry Potter
- Jordan Gold
- Harry Houdini
- Elan Lee
- Dave Spafford
- Dai Vernon
- Albert Einstein
- The Larsen Family
- Charlie Caper
- Charlie Brown
- Derek Sivers
- Shoot Ogawa
- Mr. Miyagi
- George E.P. Box
- Bruce Lee
- Jason Bourne
- Jared Kopf
- Dom Chambers
- Terry Pratchett
- Granny Weatherwax
- Soman Chainani
- Batman/Bruce Wayne
- Chad Rabinovitz
- Yu Hojin
- Bobby Hundreds
- Derren Brown
- Penn Jillette
- Raymond Teller
- Jim Steinmeyer
- Mitchell Hurwitz
- Richard Turner
- James Randi
- Shaun Jay
- David Copperfield
- Shin Lim
- Vyom Sharma
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