Colin Cloud: Kills it in Person - An Interview

Submitted by JD Stewart on Thu, 13 Aug '15 10.02pm

After leaving Colin Cloud: Kills, quite literally shaking at the sheer power of what I had seen (read my review), I made it my number one priority to have a sit down with him and pick his brain.

For those who have seen Colin Cloud's show, I can hear you ask: Why would you want to sit with a man whose deduction powers rival Sherlock Holmes - would you not be on edge? My answer is no. Cloud intrigued me from the beginning and after spending half an hour with him, I would have happily spent one hundred more.

Colin was raised in Harthill, Scotland. He was a self-confessed quiet child who would immerse himself in Sherlock Holmes books and science.

“I was fascinated in understanding how things worked," he says. "People always ask if I was interested in magic, but I was never really into sleight of hand magic. My cousin had a magic set and was better at the tricks than I was, which naturally made me furious. But I was really interested in people and science.”

Cloud then went to university in Glasgow at the extremely young age of 15. Well, he was accepted at 15 and began at 16. He studied Forensic Investigation and then moved into Criminal Profiling.

“I’m glad I did it when I did it. It set me on this path nice and early which is great.”

Cloud has niched a market in his love of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books Sherlock Holmes. The powers of deduction we have all come to know and love play an extremely large part in his act. This is an influence which has been with him since the age of six. Cloud came across the book in the library of Holmes wearing the hat and smoking the pipe on the front cover.

“When I was eight, I picked it up, and by chance opened it to a page where he was deducing things about people and I thought it was amazing. The way the books are written, by John Watson, I thought he was real. When I was ten I found out that he wasn’t, but I thought if he can do it, then anyone can do it.”

Like any skill, Cloud tried and tested ways of deducing information about people he met. Even though sometimes it didn’t work, he came up with his own ways of honing his skills. A lot of his University study was case studies.

Television has a great way of glamorizing serial killers, and learning about patterns until conclusions and why they have been reached are realized. It was during this time that Cloud realized there were other avenues he could go down to unleash his full potential.

“While I was at University I started to perform a lot and come out of my shell. I got in with The Stand Comedy Club and realized that some of the best comedians are really good at observing people, human nature, and traits. I really wanted to learn that skill and the best way to do it, is to try, fail, get back up, and look at why you failed.”

When the option came to be either stuck in a lab or performing on stage, he thankfully chose the latter. Cloud continued his love of performance by going between the UK and USA to perform shows.

“Americans are great at not hiding their emotion, the shows I have done over there have been a wonderful experience so far. However, each audience has their own challenges. There are some things I’m good at doing here, that I’m not anywhere near as close to doing over there yet.”

I was curious as to what Cloud would be able to deduce about me, but he was honest in telling me that he had been pre-told everything about me. He also explained that even though he would know someone’s name, he didn’t have the time to sit and research the person. This makes his deductive powers of an audience for 150 even more mind-blowing. I mean, even if you could, would you really want to read that many bios daily? Didn’t think so.

He clearly has a skill, and a wonderful one at that.

“Everything I share with the audience is something I’ve been working on for the last twenty years, but as soon as I come off stage I do make a point of switching it off, or turning it down. We all read people, but it’s up to you to see what you’re getting and how it is interpreted. I love when people come and chat to me at the bar and we can be real people.”

Cloud’s act is most definitely a unique mix of multiple elements, one he hopes that any crowd who comes to the show enjoys to its full capacity.

In the future, we will be seeing a lot more of Cloud. He’s been filming a TV series with NBC and Universal Studios in America and continues to have ideas for shows in the future, so keep your eyes peeled if this brand of entertainment is your thing. Even if it’s not, then you should most definitely give it a go.

Despite knowing about me already, Cloud did perform a card trick on me, which was a complete success, and once again I left my meeting with him completely enamored and intrigued. I can’t recommend his show enough – I’ve already got more tickets booked so I can experience the high I felt afterwards one more time. Okay, maybe two more times.

14-30 August (Not 17) *14-16 August SOLD OUT*, Pleasance Courtyard, 6:20pm. Tickets £9:50, Concessions £8:50

Read JD's review of Colin Cloud: Kills)