"Hypnosis is fake, right?"
Wrong! But don’t worry, I get that all the time. I just heard it this past Saturday night at a performance. If you thought hypnosis was a bunch of BS, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, I too at one point thought that it wasn’t real. I’m a skeptic by nature, and I made my living for over a decade as a professional magician before I ever began to take an interest in hypnosis. I always thought there had to be a “trick” involved.
While many look to hypnosis for help with losing weight, quitting smoking, and relieving stress, I first began to learn about it for a different reason. I wanted to do a comedy show. A live show on stage where people were hypnotized to do crazy things. I had seen a few before, and while they looked like fun, I was pretty certain they were full of actors simply pretending like they were hypnotized on stage. I could not have been more wrong.
After doing my research, I discovered that it’s completely legitimate, and that all of the subjects on stage are volunteers from the audience. While I’m sure some stage hypnotists resort to using shills in their acts, I have never once used a plant, and even offer a $10,000 reward at the start of each show to anyone who can prove that what they are about to see has been prearranged. In other words… my show is real.
It’s so real that the first time I ever performed the show I actually scared myself! I was on a college campus and was as nervous as I have ever been on stage. I didn’t think that what I had been trained to do was going to work. The moment I saw fifteen hypnotized bodies collapse on top of each other, it took all of the self-control I had in me to not look at the audience and say, “DID YOU SEE THAT?!? IT REALLY WORKS!” I’m pretty sure I was more amazed than the audience.
Now if someone volunteers during my show, and doesn’t go into trance state, I will dismiss them and send them back into the audience. It’s possible they might be insincere and trying to resist, they may have difficulty concentrating in that particular environment, or it’s possible that they need more personalized attention. It doesn’t mean, however, that they can’t be hypnotized. We are all hypnotizable… some just more easily than others.
So what’s the big secret to how hypnosis works? You must be a willing VOLUNTEER!
I know. A pretty disappointing secret, right? I wish I had such great powers that I could hypnotize anyone to do whatever I wanted. It’s simply not possible. Nobody can be hypnotized against their will. Even the greatest hypnotist in the world couldn’t put under an insincere subject. In addition, no hypnotized subject will do anything against their will, like reveal any deep secrets. Trust me, if I could get people to do anything I wanted, I wouldn’t waste my time doing a comedy show!
There will always be skeptics. And since I was once doubtful about the reality of hypnosis, I don’t judge anyone one bit. All I can do is recommend that if you’ve never had the opportunity to witness a live hypnosis show, you simply don’t know what you’re missing. Go see one. Or even better, be a volunteer and experience hypnosis first hand. I can’t begin to tell you how many people come up to me after my show and say, “I never believed in that hypnosis stuff before, but now that I’ve seen it live, I’m convinced!”
No matter if you’re a skeptic or believer, I hope to see you as an audience member or volunteer on stage at one of my future shows. I promise, you’ll have a blast!