Friday, April 15, 2011

I Want To But I'm Sacred

I got a message today from one of the viewers of my YouTube channel. His problem was one that I suspect is quite common among novice hypnotists, so I decided to share it here without revealing the name of the person who wrote to me. The message went like this:

Subject: Hypnosis...scared

Dear Briz,

I have been thinking (for over a year now) about attempting to hypnotize someone, but haven't brought up the nerve to do it. Could you give me some advice?

Here is my response:

What you are experiencing is not uncommon. I know when I began as a hypnotist, what I faced most was a fear of failure. Even armed with strong information from good, solid teachers and mentors, I was concerned that the methods "just wouldn't work for me".

I trusted in the process but not in my ability to apply it. Until I did it for the first time. When my subject went under so quickly he almost collapsed in my arms, my mouth hung open and all I could think was, "Omigod, I DID it!! Holy COW!!!"

What you are experiencing is normal but temporary. The only cure is to get out there and do it. Otherwise you're going to be scared forever and haunted by the thought of what you could have done but never had the nerve to try.

The solution is simple. Notice I didn't say it was easy. It's very difficult to pull off, but it's also a simple task. Act like you know exactly what you are doing and that you will always succeed.

That's all there is to it.

Conduct yourself as someone who is a skilled hypnotist who has studied the craft thoroughly (which, if I understand you correctly, you have) but also as someone who has never failed.

Don't act cocky or arrogant. Never approach someone with the air of "You cannot resist my power." That will turn anyone off and make them want to resist you. Instead, present your excitement and love of hypnosis as something wonderful you can't wait to share. And that's true!

Approach your subjects with an introduction of, "I am a hypnotist and I would love to share something with you. It I absolutely amazing! It's perfectly safe, and it feels just wonderful! May I show you? Say yes." And away you go.

Keep all that you have learned in mind. Ethics, safety for the subject, and all due consideration for their well-being and enjoyment. But behave as if you have done this a thousand times and the result is always one of success and joy. The more you do it, the more you will convince yourself. And in a while, a surprisingly short while, you will no longer need to convince yourself. You will be the hypnotist you want to be.

From then on it's just a question of continuing to put your art into practice and growing and learning more and more as you go. That's it.

Get out there and do it. Act brave and you'll be brave. Enjoy.


I look forward to hearing of this young hypnotist's successes soon. Yours too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Going Too Far

I love surfing YouTube for hypnosis videos. I subscribe to a number of channels and have even made one video encouraging others to watch some of my favorite posters. Each time a new video appears on my radar, I rush to watch it and see if I might add it to my list for repeated viewing. I have found many a wonderful hypnosis demonstration this way.

Every now and again, I find something else.

YouTube has a new option on its front page that shows what your friends and contacts have rated or favorite. That was how I found the video Instant Induction Hypnosis! by MrMaxwellvideo. The host is a mustachioed gentleman who goes by the name Dr. Mova. There was little conviction on my part that he was an actual doctor, but considering that I regularly cheer on comic book heroes with names like Dr. Mid-Nite, I was hardly going to blanch about that. His on-screen caption does credit him as “hypnotists” (plural), so if nothing else the good doctor needs a secretary to spell-check for him.

In the video, the doctor introduced a friend of his who looked like a fellow comic geek but who actually played in a rock band. Dr. Mova was going to use hypnosis, applied by way of an instant induction, to help the reserved rock and roller get over his timidity onstage and build his confidence when performing before a crowd. Sounds good.

Putting aside the notion that what might be better served as a private session was being publicly posted on YouTube, I saw that Mova seemed to know what he was doing in regard to hypnosis. But only just. His instant induction was more than effective, dropping his subject instantaneously, as the name would imply. He lacked preparation, however, and his subject nearly collapsed on the floor as the hypnotist struggled clumsily to catch him. He did reinforce the musician’s ability to stand and support himself, but it came as more of an afterthought than anything else.

He then proceeded to go to work on his shy friend. Mova’s ability to provide guiding imagery is strong, as when he helps his subject relax by describing his body as feeling limp “like a wet, cooked noodle”. He then, however, rotates the subject’s head around and around, causing him to bend at the neck in full revolutions. This is a big no-no with anything, be it hypnosis, athletics, or dance. It is far too easy to injure by bending the neck backwards, regardless how relaxed they are. This is of particular concern when the person is limp in your arms and you have a palm clasped tightly over his forehead. The spinning motion caused by rotating the head around in circles can also trigger motion sickness, as I can attest firsthand. If physical contact must be maintained at this juncture (which, let’s face it, he’d better if he doesn’t want his pal to smack hard against the floor), light contact upon the neck and shoulders will do wonders to increase the state of relaxation, while allowing the subject’s imagination to do the rest. Even upon standing the subject up, Mova just keeps right on swiveling his head and neck well past the point he should have stopped.

Mova is a natural performer, which for a hypnotist is a good thing. He continues to gesture and move in a very showman-like way as he speaks, despite his subject being unable to see him through his closed eyes. The intensity of Mova’s movements are carried in his voice.

He calls upon image after image, each one wonderfully vivid, as when he clears his friend’s mind of cluttered thoughts by describing them falling away like water melting off a glacier. Very effective. Then he goes a little nuts.

He describes the subject’s mind as being an open field, something he can run and play in. Say what? Is that what we really want our hypnotists to do? Just run and play in our heads all willy-nilly? As Mova practically dances around his subject at that point, hands gesturing like a Disney villain, it makes you wonder.

To dissect every aspect of what follows next would turn this article into a novella. Suffice it to say that rather than simply addressing the young musician’s stage fright, he creates a vivid experience in his mind, on to which his subject is now extremely susceptible. The vision includes just about every negative stereotype about rock stars you can imagine, including big-breasted women, casual drug use, raging egomania and promiscuous sex. We’ve definitely gone way beyond confidence induction and wandered (sped) into dangerous territory.

Perhaps the most unnerving thing about this demonstration is that afterward, when the shy subject is brought back to awareness, he bears the look and mannerisms of someone who does not recall his session. This is quite common in situations of deep trance, but here it indicates that this young man has no idea what’s just been put into his head. Will he go on to find his confidence boosted and his stage presence enhanced along with a love for his music? Or will he descend into the dark abyss of ‘E’ True Hollywood story dysfunction?

This may be an exaggeration on my part, but after seeing this video we are left with the impression that Dr. Mova has never learned the first rule of the ethical hypnotist: The subject is not only under your influence, he is under your protection. I am far from blameless when it comes to playing in the “open fields” of my subjects’ minds, as I have turned them into everything from clowns to chickens to laughing fools. But in the end—and indeed, throughout the process—I always take great care to ensure they not only have a great time and leave feeling wonderful, but that they fully understand and remember all that they experienced.

In working with a subject who has trusted himself to our care, we must be worthy of that trust. Helping a person improve upon himself is always, first and foremost, for that person’s benefit, and must never be done to bolster our own egos or live out fantasies of control.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What I Want For Christmas & Stage Hypnosis FAQs

I've decided that what I really want for Christmas this year is a copy of Michael C. Anthony's stage hypnotist course Stage Hypnosis University.

I'd love to have my turn at doing stage hypnosis. In fact, I have a good friend in Utah, Tlyer Guest [interview elsewhere in this blog], who already performs hypnosis regularly at a comedy club. Tyler insists that I am past due to appear on the stage. He may be on to something. I already have a number of ideas on how I can apply aspects of the routines used in my YouTube videos to a hypnosis stage show. There's even a wonderful small theater here in town, The Beardsley, that would be ideal for a one-man hypnosis show.

Tyler likes to open his show with a quick run-down on some of the most frequently asked questions about hypnosis. As I don't recall ever having done so in this blog, I'll list some FAQs for you now. Just imagine I'm on stage sharing these fascinating tidbits with you, sitting there in the audience eagerly waiting to volunteer.

FAQ #1 If I'm hypnotized, does that mean you control me?

No. In fact, you remain in control of yourself. Hypnosis simple helps you reach a state of relaxation so your subconscious mind, which is less judgmental, can accept suggestions. Hypnosis feels really, really good, which is why it is such a joy to follow instructions while hypnotized.

FAQ #2 Can I be made to do something I don't want to do while under hypnosis?

Nope. Any suggestion that you feel goes against your beliefs or personal comfort would be rejected by your subconscious just as easily as by your conscious mind. I avoid any off-color or questionable suggestions, anyway.

FAQ #3 Can I get stuck in hypnosis?

Not any more than you can get stuck taking a nap. If you sack out on the couch for a half hour, you needn't fear never waking up. Same thing with hypnosis, you will wake up when we're done—in many ways, you're wide awake during the experience anyway.

FAQ #4 Is hypnosis unnatural, like a form of mysticism or magic?

Not at all. Hypnosis is totally natural. Zoning out while doing a familiar routine like driving to work, getting into a good book or movie, or just daydreaming are all examples of hypnosis. Some experts say we experience hypnosis in everyday life many times a day.

FAQ#5 Can anyone be hypnotized?

For the most part, sure! Some people respond better than others, and I always look for the most responsive volunteers, as they will have the most fun. Only a tiny percentage of people cannot be hypnotized, and that usually involves a pronounced difference in perception or cognition (such as someone with a mental handicap) or those who are in such a constant high state of focus they're practically in trance already.

FAQ#6 So if I volunteer to be hypnotized, will you just make me humiliate myself and make fun of me?

Under no circumstances. You may have a lot of fun and do some silly stuff you didn't know you'd enjoy, but if it's not something I would enjoy doing in front of a bunch of people, I won't make you do it either. My watchword for hypnosis is JOY.

FAQ#7 Will I forget everything after it's all over?

I take steps to make sure you remember EVERYTHING you get to experience while under hypnosis. You're going to be having the best time of anyone in the room, so I want to be sure that you get to remember it all!

By this point, I'd be calling for volunteers to come up on stage. I guess I should really look into this thing, huh?

My New Best Friend

I think I've found a new best friend in the world of Hypnosis. His name is VooDoo. He's a giraffe. Not sure if my subject Deric would agree with me on how wonderful VooDoo is. You decide.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One More Reason Why Halloween Is Cool

Here is just one more reason why Halloween is the coolest time of the year, and how a hypnotist can make it even cooler.

And yet, believe it or not, I have not gotten any invitations to join parties or go to haunted houses or corn mazes or anything like that. Could be that only 9 people follow my blog. I dunno, But come ON, people!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Interview with Tyler Guest!

Tyler Guest is a practicing 18-year-old Certified Hypnotist. He appears regularly at the comedy club Wiseguys doing family-friendly hypnosis shows and has his own YouTube channel where he offers both examples of his work and brief tutorials. I caught up with Ty, a fellow student of teacher Nathan Thomas, on Skype for an interview.

Tyler Guest (C.H): Lets do this.
BRIZ: Indeed. I made a list of questions.
TYLER: Oh boy!
BRIZ: I hope you like to go on and on and elaborate and stuff.
TYLER: Ha. We will see. Depends on if I know what you're talking about.
BRIZ: How old were you when you got certified as a hypnotist?
TYLER: 17.
BRIZ: And at what age do you think you got interested in hypnosis?
TYLER: 14. I saw a stage hypnosis show. I tried to buy a book from the hypnotist after the show, but my mother wouldn't bring me my money. That summer I was working at a scout camp and one of the employees hypnotized my brother's best friend. That summer I went home and read all about it for several days. Hypnotized my first person a few days later, with a really weird technique.
I began doing hypnosis on and off for several years, not really knowing what I was doing. I would hypnotize my friends on weekends. I learned a very valuable thing from hypnotizing my friends. If you embarrass your subjects they won't want to be hypnotized again.
BRIZ: Too true. But wait, go back. What was the "really weird technique" you used that first time?
TYLER: When I was 15, I saw my first Instant Induction on YouTube. I watched the video over and over and over, broke it down and preformed it. I did my first instant Induction when I was 15 years old. I have that video on my YouTube channel now
BRIZ: Oh, so I've seen it? I need to include it in the interview. Which clip was that?
TYLER: This is the video of my first instant induction.

TYLER:I pay tribute to this fellow for giving me the idea for my website name.
BRIZ: Yeah, what does that name mean?
TYLER: His channel is Rapid Transformations my website is Rapid Trance Formations.
TYLER: I learned from this video.

BRIZ: So where did SASRosco come from?
TYLER:Rosco03 came from my email address. SAS came from a video game I used to play.
BRIZ: Ah, I'm with you now.
TYLER: Saints And Soldiers is what SAS stands for. I figured that would be appropriate considering I'm LDS [Latter-Day Saints, an abbreviation for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints].
BRIZ: Love that movie [referring to the dramatic film Saints & Soldiers]. Mine would have been BTY for Best Two Years.
TYLER: Great show, huh!
BRIZ: "Flip, Elder!" [quoting dialogue from the movie]
TYLER: Hahahaha! Great show!
BRIZ: I wore out the DVD! You perform shows at WiseGuys comedy club—any skeptics/resistance to an 18-year-old working at a performer's club?
TYLER: Most people don't know I'm 18 when I perform. However, at the end of a show I told them my age and everybody was in shock.

BRIZ: Excellent. Backtracking a bit, what was it about that hypnosis show you saw at 14 that so fascinated you?
TYLER: I just thought it was cool I have always been fascinated with ghosts and stuff like that
BRIZ: Ghosts? Really? How did that tie into hypnosis for you? Just more of the unknown?
TYLER: Hypnosis fit into the creepy section, so I thought it was cool. I thought it would be fun to do. For the longest time I was afraid of hypnosis even though I was hypnotizing people. Hahahaha.
BRIZ: Really, even while you were practicing it?
TYLER:I have always been interested in paranormal stuff and hypnosis fit into that category. When I saw the first hypnosis show I was freaked out I had that common fear of what if I don't wake up!
BRIZ: Okay, that leads right into my next question. Recently, when I gave a talk at a high school, some parents expressed their concern over inviting evil "mind control" into the classroom. One deeply religious student refused to attend his own class! Have you ever met with any objection to your hypnosis on the basis of faith? By members of your church or any other?
TYLER:I used to joke around with people when they ask me if I had ever been hypnotized. I would reply, "Heck No! Hypnosis is mind control!" This is generally after my pretalk. Hahaha.
BRIZ: But no one has taken you aside at church or anything?
[TYLER: Oh, yes. Hahaha.
BRIZ: What happened? May I ask?

TYLER: I would hypnotize people at school and we would have fun. However, some very religious people freaked out! The next day I was in the principals office. Hahaha.
BRIZ: What happened there??
TYLER: Eventually there was a group of us hypnotists at my school doing hypnosis. It got out of control. People started watching us do instant inductions, and they would copycat what we did and hypnotize people in school and have them do embarrassing things and upset the person being hypnotized. I was the leader of this group
BRIZ: No way! What kind of embarrassing things did you have them do?
TYLER: I didn't have them do embarrassing things. I was just called down to the office and they told me not to do hypnosis.
BRIZ: Oh, you were just the ringleader...the minions did the embarrassing suggestions.
TYLER: I was more of a tutor to some of my friends that got interested in hypnosis. People that I didn't even know would watch me do inductions and go around and hypnotize random people.
BRIZ: That's trouble.
TYLER: The minions were fine it was bystanders. I told the [copycats] off.
BRIZ: A-ha! Cursed mountebanks. You've become known (by me at least) for really innovative induction techniques; the High-5, the Patty-Cake Induction, the Hakk-Ptui induction, etc. Can you share inspiration for those, or talk about how your inventiveness adds to your sessions?
TYLER: Oh by the way, that hypnotist that I first saw--he is now one of my mentors.
BRIZ: Who is it?
TYLER: Sean Dee, The Hypno Hick. I have several mentors- Shawn Fetters, Trayce Waterlin.
BRIZ: I can't believe I don't know any of them!
TYLER: Sean Dee was the hypnotist that got me interested .
BRIZ: Can I find them online anywhere?
TYLER: They are not big stars.
TYLER: They are just local hypnotists. Hypnotic Hand = Shawn Fetters. Hypno Hick = Sean Dee. Trayce Waterlin = Trayce
TYLER: That's their website [names].
BRIZ: Okay, I'm running out of time now, so....I LOVE the prom photo of you with date/friends hypnotized on stairs. Is that for real—and did you hypnotize anyone else at the event?
TYLER: The two girls are hypnotized. The guy is hypnotized but doesn't know it. Hahaha.

BRIZ: He had no idea?
TYLER: Before I went to prom this really religious girl's mother called my house and told my parents that I was not do hypnosis.
TYLER: She was in our prom group, not in the picture, hahaha. Back to the high school story
BRIZ: So how did you get this guy under without his knowledge--and has he seen the picture??
TYLER:I got called into the principal's office several times because of what I did, and several more times for things I knew nothing about.
BRIZ: So...the guy at prom...what did you do and how did you do it? Fess up.
TYLER: Hypnosis feels normal. We use convincers to prove to people that they are hypnotized. If you act like you're hypnotized, you are actually hypnotized. I just did an Induction and told him to lay down.
TYLER: I'm going to take the lead on this interview now...hahaha. I did hypnosis on and off for 2 years when I was 14-15.
BRIZ: Aw, c'mon, I had a couple more questions...but oh well, I'll let you go first, smarty.
TYLER: I lost interest for a while and a hypnotherapist came to our school to talk and it sparked my interest again.
BRIZ: Okay, this is good stuff. go on.
TYLER: On My 16th birthday I found the IATH. I followed the lessons provided and did research.
When I was 17, I got certified and now I'm Utah's youngest professional hypnotist at the age of 18.
As for my unique inductions I just mess around with stuff I find a pattern and break the crap out of it, haha. My eye flutter induction was on accident. I just looked at my friend that I'd hypnotized before and fluttered my eyes and her head dropped it was super funny
BRIZ: You're right, you are better at this than me. Just keep going until you get tired.
TYLER:I was like "Holy crap!" so a little while later, I walked up to a different person that I had hypnotized and did the same thing and he dropped right into trance. I didn't even ask him. I just fluttered my eyes at him and he went night-night.

BRIZ: You definitely have the knack.
TYLER: It was super funny
TYLER: I was like "Oh yeah!" The funniest induction I have ever done was on accident also. I was messing around with this magic wand, and there was something stuck in the tube. So I blew inside it and a styrofoam ball came out, hit this girl right into hypnosis. So funny! I laughed my butt off! It hit her right in the head she just slumps over, hahaha.
BRIZ: I'm beginning to have a whole new understanding for these innovative inductions of yours...
TYLER: Hahaha.
BRIZ: I don't want to keep you all night and this is already a great interview. Is there anything else you'd like to add, Tyler?
TYLER: It's fine, I'm good. Talking its fun. What else do you want to know?
BRIZ: Okay...Best subject/Worst subject. Go.
TYLER: Worst subject- my father.
TYLER: "Sleep!" He starts snoring, then he just laughs.
TYLER: Best subject- Kari Ann Haskell.
BRIZ: Not to mention her photos are amazing. [Kari created many of the photos found throughout this interview] As for looking for the best subjects, I look for people that want to be hypnotized. They are excited and they are really focused on what you have to say. These people tend to be somnambulists. Hypnosis tip from Jeffery Stephens.
BRIZ: Yes, I have found that to be true also. That's good advice.
TYLER: "If you hold your hand up with one finger in the air and say 'I'm a hypnotist' and bring your hand slowly down to your side, the somnambulists will watch your finger."
BRIZ: Perfect! Anything you'd like to add to wrap this up?
TYLER: The interview or the topic?
BRIZ: The whole thing. This is going to be a long interview to read. I may come back again for a follow-up, though.
TYLER: Alrighty. SASRosco03 will be used for hypnosis tips. Utah Hypnotist will have my stage videos. Rapid Trance Formations will have my website content. These are my YouTube channels. Rapid Trance Formations will have hypnotherapy, also.
BRIZ: I'll make sure I get links from you. [links both above and at the end of the interview]
TYLER: Alrighty, then.
TYLER: I just want to give some shout-outs.
BRIZ: Well, sure! I was waiting and no shout outs. Go right ahead, please.
TYLER: You, Nathan Thomas, Hypno Rich, Taylor Sherman, Sean Michael Andrews, Reg Blackwood, Gerry Kein, Sean Dee the Hypno Hick, Shawn Fetters, Trayce Waterlyn, the dude from Rapid Transformations. All my friends and family for supporting me! Anybody that I forgot, sorry.
BRIZ: Me?? What, are you serious, or just kidding around?
TYLER: You're doing the interview.
BRIZ: Ha-ha! A no-brainer.
TYLER: Oh, add Jeffery Stephens to the list.

BRIZ: You are such an up-and-coming talent and you have such a gift and passion for the craft.
TYLER: I'm going to be posting some new videos soon based around the hypnotic process- what, when, and why.
BRIZ: Sounds good. So any ultimate goal for yourself as a hypnotist?
TYLER: I want to enter into the medical field and use hypnosis there. I want to use hypnosis for health and healing. And clinical work.
BRIZ: Wonderful.
TYLER: With some stage shows on the side. Overall, I just want to be successful in life using hypnosis to help people.
BRIZ: I couldn't ask for a better send-off. Thanks so much, Tyler. This was great.
TYLER: Thank you, Mr. Brian. Oh, here is a good one.
BRIZ: Thanks again!!
TYLER: Real quick.
BRIZ: I must away.
BRIZ: Okay, shoot.
TYLER: Hahaha.
TYLER: When people ask me how I learned hypnosis I reply, "I didn't learn hypnosis, I studied it!" Hypnosis is not something you learn, it's something you study.
BRIZ: Great line. That's in.

Please visit Tyler, Utah's youngest professional hypnotist, at his websites and view his videos at the links within this interview or listed below.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

And Now A Serious Word About Hypnosis

A serious word or two for all those who may wish to consider being hypnotized by me.