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)

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“If there’s no right time, then sooner is largest than later.

— Simon Coronel

Simon Coronel ( 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. 

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform.

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The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#679: 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

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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.

#405: Penn Jillette on Magic, Losing 100 Pounds, and Weaponizing Kindness

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.




  • [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.


“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


The post 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) appeared first on The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss.