Barely in one place more than a couple of weeks, keeping busy is the key it seems for success, the Simon Taylor way – or so he’d have you think.
“It’s the sheer fear of poverty and starvation that keeps me motivated,” Simon says brightly. “The terror of having to live a 9-5 job! It’s this or a job at a telephone company.”
A slight exaggeration, Simon admits, but the promise of doing something you love when you know you can do it well, keeps the eggs with the bacon. Australia has a far smaller market for comedy than other destinations on Simon’s itinerary, so he’s forced, he says, to create a new show every year and take it to as many places as he can. “I make sure I put the work in the second half of the year so I have something to deliver.”
“I had a good show last night so I’m in a good mood, but most of January, I’m in panic mode! I go through a cycle every year of this joke sucks, I suck, everything sucks, the world sucks, life sucks! Then I have some good gigs and I’m like, ‘You know what? I’m gonna have a good show!”
Part of the creative process does include some doubt and self-deprecation, of course, but being sure of yourself may just result in something fantastic and new, like the one-man stand-up show Simon will perform around the country. Simon, like many other Aussie comics, has made a splash in the US and UK, cultivating his own brand of humour with great success and very little, if any, misinterpretation. Unfortunately the draw for Simon to perform so often overseas and not be a regular on the Australian circuit isn’t a questions of demand, it’s a question of popularity. Simon comes to that conclusion after a lengthy pause.
“I think they are plenty of people who go see comedy but I don’t know the math, how often someone would have to see comedy throughout the year for it to sustain,” he reasons. “I think it’s a mathematical question – how many cities in Australia can you really perform in?”
“The answer is to recruit other people who don’t usually watch comedy into comedy, trying to expand the type of person who will see live comedy.
“If you can get two or three other people besides you to see comedy twice a year, then you’re helping. It’s indoctrinating people who don’t see live performances into going.”
Ultimately, Simon’s performances will be a slim chance offering for you to witness the funny man in person and keep him busy.
“The festivals are great!” he says. “Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney – the festival scene has given us a means to survive to some degree as full-time comics – it’s the rest of the year we have to go overseas!
“I don’t think it’s within our control, so we just keep on the road!”
Simon Taylor Tour Dates
11 March – Garden Of Unearthly Delights (Adelaide Fringe) 19-24 March – Brisbane City Hall (Brisbane Comedy Festival) 28 March-21 April – Victorian Trades Hall (Melbourne International Comedy Festival) 9-11 May – Enmore Theatre (Sydney Comedy Festival)