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.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Where the Heck Are the New Posts?!

Well, that's a good question. It has been two months since my last post, here on a blog I was really hoping would be updated 3-4 times a month. How on earth could that be? There's a pretty darn good reason.

I have nothing to talk about as all my hypnosis subjects have either vanished or bailed on me. Not kidding.

I had such great plans for this summer. A number of new subjects and great videos with back-stories to be told and shared here on the ol' blog. Spiffy-keen. But alas, 'twas not to be.

One new subject, who had a trial run at trance when he came to visit me about working as a model, was so excited about his first experience that he was practically jumping in place at the idea of returning and has never been seen again.

Another who is probably one of the best subjects I've ever had has become such a person in demand this summer that he is never available for anything. I would be astounded if he finds time to poop.

I met a sharp new subject at a summer party and was very impressed by how well he responded to suggestion and how effective his first-time trance state was. He was over the moon about appearing on my YouTube show. So much so, evidently, that he has missed several scheduled appointments and ignored a number of follow-up invitations.

Don't even get me started about the friend from out of state who was making a special trip to visit but had his work schedule changed and thus had to cancel.

The list goes on.

In short, I am feeling immeasurably cranky and irritable. I have begun to think that it's not just that summer is a crazy, busy, and unpredictable time of year. It's not that I am drawn to unreliable people. It's got to be me. I am doing something to drive away in droves those who would otherwise be excellent subjects. What the hell am I doing wrong?! If I knew, I would fix it pronto. But I have no clue. I don't know of any other hypnotists who have this problem.

Or maybe they do, and we just never hear about it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

YouTube Celebrities I Would Like To Hypnotize

As those of you who follow my blog (all seven of you) already know, I have a channel on YouTube called BrizyComics. It started out as me talking about and showcasing my cartoon work, with occasional mentions and demos on hypnosis. It soon shifted to the other way around and now it's a rare thing when I show cartoon work. The vast majority of my videos are now all about my hypnosis.

I recently met with a charming gentleman on his birthday and we enjoyed a wonderful hypnosis session together. He was a fan of my videos and a subscriber to my YouTube channel. As I showed him around Chateau Briz, it was both odd and strangely flattering to see him respond to my squishy gold couch as "the place where I hypnotized Cosmo" and the small sofa as "the spot where I put Horatio in his hip boots" and "where I turned Eric into a bunny". I began to realize just what kind of effect my channel was having on hypnosis enthusiasts when my new friend went to use the facilities and stopped in the doorway to exclaim, "The PIE bathroom!"

Besides giving me a new perspective on my everyday surroundings, it got me thinking about the presence YouTube has become in our lives, and how quickly we grow attached to those fine folks who show up in little screens on our computer monitors. My visitor told me that when we first met face to face, he felt as if he already knew me. So too do many of us feel when our favorite vloggers post new videos. Like good friends who've stopped in to say hello on our open and eager invitation, we sometimes forget that these online folks are miles away (even entire countries away) and though we feel as if we know them, we most often have not, and never will, meet them.

Well, what if that weren't the case? I got to thinking about which of my favorite YouTubers I would not only like to meet, but whom I would love to hypnotize. Now, hypnosis is indeed a gift and a wonderful, joyous experience. While there are a great many YouTube personalities I respect and admire, from Steve Hayes the Tired Old Queen At the Movies to comedic social commentator Pat Condell, only a few stand out immediately as "musts for my collection" whom I would truly love to hypnotize.

Scott Herman

Scott runs two YouTube channels, his personal vlog OhTheHermanity and his increasingly popular ScottHermanFitness, through which he liberally shares free fitness tutorials and guides everyone watching (from around the world) in exercise, personal training, and nutrition. Scott has a body like a superhero and a smile that shines with sincerity. I would love to hypnotize Scott to add even more fun to his life—if such a thing is possible—and show him that his mind and imagination are easily as strong as his body. For one thing, I'd love to treat him to hearing his beloved dog Bello talking to his master in English!

Chas Lilly

Chas (pronounced "Chase") has a channel called Friendswobenefits, and though it was originally designed as a back-and-forth series between him and a friend, he has run the vlog more than admirably solo. His quick-cut slice-of-life recollections are packed with side-splitting hilarity and foolishness. Chas sings, tells stories, and shares observations that can make me laugh so hard I fall out of my chair. I would love to put Chas under, introduce him to the Laughter Blaster, and return the favor.

Phil DeFranco

Phil is the man behind the ever-popular SxePhil show and the more recent NSFWS [Not Safe For Work Show]. Phil is fun, insightful, snide, and often derisively hysterical. This is the man I go to for all my hard news, since I've given up on just about every cable news network. Phil is a YouTube icon, and one whom I really like. Phil is not afraid to do nutty, fun things, like chuck himself out of an airplane and get it all on video for his viewers to watch. I would love to not only meet this YouTube legend, but give him the gift of unsurpassed happiness that is hypnosis. His experience could even make it onto his news show!

Charlie McDonnell

This international sensation and charming young British lad is well-known for his channel CharlieIsSoCoolLike. Besides being generally amusing, high-spirited and part of the exceptional band Chameleon Circuit, Charlie regularly takes on challenges from his viewers. He's painted his entire body purple, danced the Hoedown Throwdown (poorly), attempted to drink an entire bottle of ketchup (unsuccessfully), dyed his hair red, created balloon animals, and learned to juggle all in response to the whims of his loyal viewers. Well, here's a challenge, Charlie: Get hypnotized by Briz of BrizyComics! Considering how well hypnosis tends to work on the intelligent and imaginative, with his happy, outgoing personality and creative spirit, Charlie would most likely drop like a brick.

Paul Staffelbach

Paul is known to YouTubers as the GayComicGeek. He's adorable, upbeat, and truly passionate about things like comic books, animation, toys, and dressing up in incredibly cool costumes at big convention events. Paul has such a vivid mind and free spirit that I have no doubt that he would not only respond brilliantly to trance but would most likely be able to experience its full effects, with hallucinations and more. I would love to give him super powers so he could actually see lightning bolts bursting from his fingertips.

I can already think of several more potential subjects, but let's stop the list there for now. What do you think of this selection of Briz Celebrity Hypnosis candidates? Would you also like to see these fine folks put into trance by yours truly? Let me know. If we garner enough interest, we just might be able to make it happen. I'd really love that.

Above: Charlie McDonnell as The Purple Man (not to be confused with the Marvel Comics super-villain of the same name). Yes, he painted his entire body purple--his hair too--and that was WITHOUT any coercion by hypnotic trance!

Please Note: All photos and screencaps are copyright by their respective owners.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Interview with renowned hypnotist MICHAEL C. ANTHONY!

HypnoBriz Blog Interview with
Michael C. Anthony!

Michael C. Anthony is recognized as one of the most successful stage hypnotists in the entire world. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. His show is an avant-garde blend of the human psyche and eye-popping theater. Having hypnotized over 25,000 people, Michael C. Anthony has filled theaters throughout the United States and Internationally. Michael continues to be one of the most sought after hypnotists in the world. VH1 called Michael "The best stage hypnotist on the planet!" We are very fortunate to have him here as part of this HypnoBriz interview session!

BRIZ: First of all, Michael, this part is a must: Thanks a bajillion for agreeing to do this interview! It's so wonderful that you're taking the time to contribute to my blog. Next, and here's a question you've probably heard a time or two- How do you get started in hypnosis? How old were you? And at what point did you start getting noticed, appearing on television and such?

MICHAEL: No problem…happy to be here! My great uncle's name was Joe LaMonica. He was a hypnotist and a magician. I was fascinated by his magic when I was young and I got into it really heavy and started performing close up magic professionally. When I was a little older (22 or so) I saw a hypnotist perform and it blew my mind. That’s what I wanted to do. I worked hard…studied…and made it happen. Stage hypnosis isn’t a power…it’s just a talent that anyone can learn if they put their mind to it. I started getting noticed when I started working in the US. (I lived and started performing in Canada) It’s a bigger market down here. I started in colleges (and still do some) I also do corporate events, military bases and performing arts centers.

BRIZ: One of the things I love about your work is that everything you do enhances the show. Rather than just put everyone under as if it's a chore to get out of the way, you make each drop and slump of entranced subjects very entertaining. Sometimes hilariously! What inspired you to approach your group inductions in this way?

MICHAEL: When I was starting out I saw many stage hypnotists but one stood out among the rest and his name is Mike Mandel….now Dr. Mike Mandel. His show was entertaining in every aspect….from the pre-show talk…the tests…the induction and everything else. I modeled my show after his because he was the best…still is in my opinion. He’s my best pal.

BRIZ: How great is that to have a hero you later call your friend? There are some splendid hypnotists out there who have what may be considered their "trademark" skit. The subject's belt becoming a snake, a handsome young man falling in love with a broom or mic stand he thinks is a beautiful girl...I know you've done these classics—but is there any one skit in particular you love the most? Or one that you yourself created?
MICHAEL: I’ve created many over the years but I’d have to say Cha Cha is considered my trademark. I make a guy think his name is Cha Cha and he keeps getting madder and madder every time I mispronounce it or forget it. By the end of the show Cha Cha is going crazy. I have Cha Cha’s all around America.

BRIZ: That is so cool! I love doing name changes—but I've never had a Cha Cha. I mostly associate your work with your hilarious shows at schools and colleges. But you have done some amazing professional presentations for companies like Sara Lee Foods and The American Cancer Society, many others. How do these professional presentations differ from those school-based shows? What do you offer as a professional speaker?

MICHAEL: The shows I do in the corporate market are usually based around my comedy mind reading show. I still do hypnosis in the corporate world but the comedy mind reading show is more popular in that market. I can do the show as a stand alone or I can put it my keynote called, “Use Your Brain for a CHANGE” It’s a fun filled hour of comedy mindreading with message that makes you think.

BRIZ: Great title! My pop introduced me to the work of a number of motivational speakers and I still love that fomrat. I find that college and high school students make just brilliant subjects. With what limited experience I have, I've found adults don't always respond as well as the kids—particularly those over 40 or 50. What has been your experience in this regard?

MICHAEL: You are absolutely right. With experience you can work with any crowd. I’ve hypnotized 70 year old to a point I almost feel guilty…ha. But the truth is younger crowds are more energetic and excited to experience hypnosis. They run up to the stage to volunteer as opposed to older groups….they walk….with caution…but they still volunteer. With practice anybody can learn to hypnotize any age group.

BRIZ: Perfect description of an older audience. Okay, this next question may be a bit unfair, considering how well your houses respond to you. What has been, thus far, the best venue you've played? Be it for audience reaction, your volunteers on that day, how you were treated by the organizers, anything.

MICHAEL: Hmmm…..too many to list. I can’t name my favorites here because for every favorite (for whatever reason) there are a hundred more behind them that I still love! Some of my favorites are my favorites because of an exotic location…some because of a beautiful theater and some just because they are great people. It’s hard to nail down.

BRIZ: That's a good problem to have—too many 'bests' to choose from. But that question has a second half. Your nightmare venue. What was the worst stage experience you had while performing—and if they've all been joys (let's hope they have!) what WOULD BE the worst experience for a stage hypnotist? And given your vast experience, how would you turn something like that around?

MICHAEL: My worst experience was actually at a great venue. I had played there 14 times in a row…and still continue to play there. But I was at the point of the show where the volunteers are laying all over the ground. Suddenly a kid comes running out of the audience (my back was turned) and he runs up to me and punches me in the face. I didn’t fall but I was shocked….then he keeps coming after me and I was walking backwards avoiding him. Then I started to stumble over the hypnotized people on the floor. I stepped on a girls hand…she didn’t move….then on a guys chest…he didn’t move…then on a guys face….he snapped out of it….ha. This crazy kid kept punching at me and the audience thought it was part of the show. Finally I pushed him back and he stumbled and security threw him on the floor and brought him to a hospital. He was on drugs and didn’t remember a thing. I heard he was later expelled because of a different offense.

I simply picked up the mic and continued with the show like nothing happened. The audience went nuts because I was continuing the show and it didn’t shake me up….too much.

BRIZ: Holy COW! To pick up the show after that mess... consider me impressed! Okay, I always ask this next one. I was taught ethical hypnosis by Nathan Thomas and am very proud to uphold a Code Of Ethics. Are there things you won't do onstage or with hypnosis in general? For instances, some performers will change their act depending on venue and get raunchy at a club but keep it clean at a college. I've even seen otherwise brilliantly gifted hypnotists make a subject experience pain, fear, and utter humiliation. What is your code in that regard?

MICHAEL: I don’t have a problem with having the volunteers experience fear as long as I’m there to snap them out of it should it get too bad. If a girl starts to cry, I will make her fear turn into laughter and the audience loves that. In regards to raunchy material….I’ve never done it. To me its unnecessary to entertain a crowd.

BRIZ: It's good to hear we're in agreement on that point. Some subjects tend to stand out in our minds, be it through wonderful reaction, powerful imagination, or ideal responses. I love to ask if a hypnotist has ever had one subject really perform well and make your show even more fun than planned. Have you?

MICHAEL: To me it's all about the subtleties. I am used to almost anything on stage…but almost every show something will catch me by surprise and its hilarious. I once had a guy get so relaxed he passed gas really loudly from the stage. It was a smaller room and everyone heard it. The guy that did it didn’t even flinch.

BRIZ: That happened in a retreat I once did for church, believe it or not! Exact same thing! Have you ever had a bad reaction from a subject? An adverse reaction or simply no response at all? How did you, or would you, respond in that situation?

MICHAEL: The only time I’ve had no response at all was when I had a sound system that stopped working and some volunteers couldn’t hear me. It was hard to control while the sound was out because if a volunteer can’t hear a suggestion they can’t follow through. If they are deep in a trance it is hard to bring them back to reality. Not because it they aren’t responding but because they simply can’t hear.

BRIZ: I experienced something like that with a subject on web cam—only he could hear me, but I couldn't hear him. Besides your shows and presentations, you offer CD programs to help people with anything from acing exams to quitting smoking, losing weight, to even ridding yourself of phobias. Have you ever worked face-to-face with a client in this regard? Without betraying any confidences, have you a success story you can share?

MICHAEL: My therapeutic CDs are very popular on the road and online. I haven’t rid myself of any phobias using them because I don’t really have any. I have used hypnosis to control craving for food and for peak performance. I have worked face to face with clients from time to time but for the most part I refer them to other hypnotherapists because I’m on the road so much. It’s difficult for me to see a client more than once. Yes, I’ve had many amazing phobia cures and weight loss cures. One fellow from NC lost over 60 lbs just by listening to my CD. I get many emails from people that have lost the weight they were hoping to lose using my CDs. On live TV I once cured 6 people from lifelong phobias in under 15 minutes. It was great…the phobias were heights, snakes, frogs, fur, spiders and costumed characters.

BRIZ: Congratulations! That is such a fine example of the power of hypnosis, well done. I can never get enough learning about hypnosis. I still take courses even though I am board certified. You have a wonderful program called Stage Hypnosis University. Can you tell us more about that? I am led to understand that in it, you share absolutely everything you know about stage hypnotism!

MICHAEL: Yes, I share everything. From building a show to marketing a show. From learning my induction to master tests. From getting an agent to finding the big money markets. It’s all there. Stage Hypnosis University is the most thorough program created (in my humble opinion) I have many students that have created amazing careers for themselves. My students come from all walks of life…doctors, hypnotherapists, corporate executives, magicians, disc jockeys, students and factory workers. Anybody interested in becoming a stage hypnotist can do it if they immerse themselves in the material. Stage Hypnosis University also comes with free telephone coaching with me. I’ve held nothing back. Anyone interested in having a look can go to The program comes with a 100% money back guarantee. If you don’t think everything you can possible need to become a stage hypnotists is there…just send it back.

BRIZ: That is fantastic. And now I really, really want to take that course! I have never hypnotized more than two or three people at a time. I am continually amazed by professionals like you who so easily put under small crowds of people—dozens—all at once. It's impressive. Is there a certain approach or technique you use to accomplish this, and is that covered extensively in your Hypnosis University Program?
MICHAEL: Yes, everything is covered in Stage Hypnosis University. The only difference between hypnotizing a few people as opposed to thirty people is understanding group dynamics. It’s like public speaking…you pretty much would say the same thing to one person as you would 1000, you just need to learn the subtleties about handling the groups.

BRIZ: Now I'm distracted because I'm going back to find that link I have for your course—ha! If you have a banner for your programs, or links to your products and services, may I include them on my page here?

MICHAEL: Absolutely….my marketing man Malachi can get you all that. Personal Site Stage Hypnosis Course Fundraising Program

BRIZ: Thank-you again for agreeing to this interview and investing your time in it! You are someone I am not only delighted to have made contact with, but would absolutely LOVE to be hypnotized by!

MICHAEL: Any time….if you can catch me on the road I’ll knock you out. As you know experienced hypnotists can go under even easier than people with no understanding of hypnosis because they already understand the principals behind it so there is really no barrier to get past.

BRIZ: Now THAT would be a treat! To be hypnotized by Michael C. Anthony! Consider me your next Cha Cha! Once I master all this ad-posting stuff, blog visitors can look forward to finding all they could want from the good Michael Wilson with only a mouse click. In the meantime, please do visit the following sites for all things Michael C. Anthony! Do remember all the incredible things Michael can do with fundraisers and school or university performances!

Please check out these links below!





Sunday, April 18, 2010

At-Home Hypnosis

This article is a sequel to the March 28th entry Oh, What A Beautiful Night. I hadn't expected there to be such a follow-up, but I am very glad there is.

After the fun that happened backstage after the high school stage show, I found myself with a number of new friend requests on Facebook. Some of them I accepted straight away, as in the case of Deric, who was such a phenomenal subject. Others, like a few under aged girls, I opted on declining, if only for the sake of propriety.

Deric and I stayed in touch here and there using our profile status posts, and when I found that Deric was on his spring break, I suggested a bit of hypnosis might be fun for him. He suggested he bring some friends along, which I readily agreed to, and encouraged an adult chaperone. So on Sunday afternoon, April 11th, Deric arrived (wooly hat and all) with friends Trevor, Autumn, Veronica [Ronni] and—blessing of blessings!—Ronni's mom Kathy. We had wonderful time.

What was intended to be a quick tour of hypnosis, and encouragement for these fine young men and women to spread the word to their teachers at school how much they'd like me to come in and give a free classroom demonstration, lasted more than two and a half hours(!). Visiting puppy Cash provided some entertainment before we got started.

Trevor and Autumn were both responsive, at a level I would say is a least if not more so than my own ability to enter trance. Probably more. Ronni was wonderfully receptive at an even higher level than her friends, and Deric...well, Deric is most definitely a somnambulist, the hypnotist's dream subject, with a relish and enthusiasm for the experience that makes it more fun for him than anyone watching him.

Trevor got to lose control of his vocal cords and couldn't speak his own name. Autumn and Ronni were given a pop quiz following some suggested amnesia and were rather challenged by the question of which was their right hand and which was their left. Autumn, her expression very sincere, focused her eyes and said, "Wait! I know this!" I then brought out a cute teddy bear in a sweater--yes, I actually have one, don't judge--and presented him to the girls after they became convinced that he was their ultimate idol and celebrity superstar. I'd never seen two girls so shy around a teddy bear. A few days later, Ronni confided, "I'm still mad at that teddy bear."

But the star of the day was Deric. He exceeded all expectations in his responses and started us off right by believing his name was Chocolate Chip Muffin. Autumn was right on hand to capture everything with her digital camera as Deric was given what he believed were the coolest, most awesome shoes he'd ever seen in his life. After much begging and pleading, I agreed to swap the Awesome Shoes for his own beloved tennis shoes, whereupon Deric discovered all too late he had put himself into bright red and yellow clown shoes. Realizing his comical error, Deric then found he suddenly had no idea how to untie the laces and extricate himself from the clown shoes. After walking around in the magical footwear, he experienced a favorite routine of mine and felt them grow as heavy as concrete and then lighter than giant helium balloons. Seated back on the couch, clown shoes floating off the ground, convulsed in induced laughter, Deric was prompted to simply request the shoes be removed. For some reason, making a plain statement while laughing yourself silly as your clown-shoed feet hover in front of you is no easy task.

Deric eventually got his own shoes back, but along with them came a big straw hillbilly hat he could not remove with any amount of struggling. From within the hat, Deric found his voice became "book-ended" with cartoonish pronouncements. He could only speak by prefacing everything he said with "Duuhhh..." and punctuating it afterward with "Huh-YUKK!" You could recite Einstein's Theory of Relativity with that mannerism and still come across sounding like an absolute bumpkin.

The time went rapidly and as with all things, it had to end eventually. I even got to spend a little one-on-one time with Ronni an her mom toward the end, which was most rewarding. Now Ronni is talking about hosting another at-home hypnosis session at her own abode. I will keep you posted on what happens.

That evening I found Deric's Facebook status post read as follows: "Went in for some more hypno and omg it was awesome absolutly awesome. once again in a EPIC MOOD i am exstatic!!!!!!!!"

I am still working toward making those school appearances happen. I hope that the people whom I meet in those settings will feel the same as Deric.

Sorry we didn't get to do anything with the big bumpkin boots, Deric. Maybe next time. All images are courtesy of Autumn Hagen.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

By Golly, I'm All Over The Place!

Have you ever Googled yourself? Well, I did recently, I admit. I was actually in search of an old cartoon I had done as a commission and was trying to find the version of my black and white piece that had been colored. Well, I got a lot of results back, but not for my cartoons.

I found a number of links of my hypnosis videos that had been embedded and shared on a number of sites and pages. Hokey smokes, it seems I'm everywhere!

I'm not kidding, I found a whole bunch of sites where my videos had been shared by folks who evidently really enjoyed my work. One even had a big grid of thumbnails of my stuff that went on for two pages (!). Here's a sampling of my discoveries:

A page about myths and misconceptions of hypnosis-

A World of Warcraft page featuring videos of various cartoonists-

Somebody out there reaally likes my stuff!-

I'm on this page multiple times—WOW!

I guess I'm big overseas-

Shoe people seem to like me, too (no, really)-

So what is my reaction to this generous flinging about of my stuff? Besides flattery, I say "more power to you!". The more folks who get to see my videos and, I hope, enjoy them, the better. So nab those URL links, paste and post them, have fun with them. As long as nobody claims to be me or have the rights to my work and its content, you just keep right on embedding with my blessing. If you're going to appreciate me this much, I'll appreciate you right back. Blessings.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Oh, What A Beautiful Night

I had the most beautiful night last night.

First off, let me backtrack a bit and point out that I have a running history of repeatedly missing the big musical productions put on by my old high school. Why would I care? Don't most people consider being made to sit through a high school stage show (much less one where kids burst into song and stumble through ensemble dance numbers) a form of punishment? The kind implemented at the 5th Level of Hell, reserved especially for jerks, bullies, nosy neighbors, and those morons who talk out loud during movies? Perhaps. But none of these people have ever seen the shows put on by my alma mater, the Mona Shores High School Choir. These tend to be lavish spectacles with eye-popping sets, stunning costumes, very professional technical work, and an unending chorus of some of the most talented kids you have ever had the pleasure to watch.

And every stinking year, I miss their show.

It may have a great deal to do with the fact that I stopped teaching summer classes in comic book storytelling and am no longer involved in youth ministry. So there are fewer and fewer kids whom I know in these programs. Thus, there is no one to remind of the approaching show dates. For several years running, I've been subjected to conversations like this:
ME: So, what's the big Mona Shores musical this year?
NICE & EXCITED PERSON AGLOW WITH THE THRILL OF HAVING GONE TO THE THEATER: Oh, yes! Little Shop of Horrors this year. It was great!
ME: "Was"? (under breath) Dammitt!!

This year I was lucky enough to meet a remarkable young man named Kyle, who was hanging around with the two lads who do my yardwork—so my home would not look like a boggy swamp, as it would if I were left to hack, thrash, and pull at the grass and leaves as I do when left to my own devices. Kyle told me about the Mona Shores production of Dinsey's Beauty and The Beast this March. I made a point to save the date before the show this time. Before the actual show. Crucial detail.

Kyle impressed me as a sharp fellow and he even let me hypnotize him so that he'd laugh himself silly whenever he heard his name spoken. I likewise entranced his leaf-raking pal and the two of them were soon literally on the floor trying to spout their names at one another, eventually convulsing in helpless laughter as if they were a couple of hyenas sucking down nitrus oxide. Definitely going to this kid's show.
[Oh yeah, they also sampled my official Briz's Double-Chocolate/Chocolate Chip Candy-Topped Fudge Brownies that day. Then, through hypnosis, I increased their taste buds to experience said delectable brownies, on a scale of 1 to 10, as 10, then 14, and eventually 25. You never saw anyone scarf brownies so fast. And lick the plate clean of crumbs. But more on that story in another blog entry.]

Dan Gregoire and Emily Tascone perfectly paired as the title characters.

What a show it was! The sharp-witted, hearty-laughing Kyle played Gaston, the brutish huntsman who attempts to woo heroine Belle in all the wrong ways. The slim and mild-voiced Kyle strutted in his muscled costume like the perfect Teutonic boor and belted out songs in a rumbling voice that I swear came out of the ankles of his boots.

Left: Kyle Belle playing it to the hilt as Gaston.

He wasn't the only one to blow me away with his stage presence and prowess. The entire cast was electrifying, from the main players to the supporters, to an extensive ensemble of townsfolk/angry mob/dancing flatware that moved in perfect rhythm and executed complex choreography with military precision. You ain't lived until you've seen a castle filled with living and breathing forks, knives, and spoons leaping past a tiny dining table and swaying upon staircase and balcony in time to the music and singing their little highly-polished hearts out. In 1979, we were told of Superman: the movie that "You will believe a man can fly". Well, in this instance, you will believe that Grandma's best silver can sing for your supper. Belle wowed us with her dulcet tones, Lumiere and Cogsworth led the enchanted furnishings in stealing the show more times than not, Beast shook the rafters with a truly soulful voice, and even silent players like the gargoyle and the floor rug amazed me with how perfectly they presented their characters.

I come from a long line of theater snobs. I admit it. I will super-glue the seat of my pants to the chair before I will rise to give a standing ovation to any production I feel has not earned it. These kids (KIDS, mind you) had me on my feet last night.

By the time the lights came up, my shoulders and palms were sore from applauding, my throat a bit ragged from whooping and cheering "Bravo!". It was so worth the forty-minute bike ride to that coffee shop on my rickety, squeaking bicycle to buy my ticket.

Lumiere (Nick Schrier) flirts with Babette the feather duster (Hannah Rouwhorst).

So what does all this have to do with hypnosis, apart from what I mentioned before about Kyle le Gaston? Here's the story.

The place was packed. No surprise. So I took it upon myself to draw upon my days of attending the symphony with my father and sought out the lower right balcony (yeah, in a high school auditorium, I know) for a good view of the show. Directly behind my chair was a quick-witted fellow of fluffy hair and wool cap who was working a monstrous spotlight. He politely cautioned me that the glaring light a few inches above my head would get very hot and that I should be wary of that. I assured him that I came from a family of theater people and that I would take care not to rise suddenly or make shadow animals in front of the lens. I moved one seat over just to be safe, anyway. More on the wooly-chappeaued lad in a moment.

Also as part of my upbringing, I was raised to not just slip out the back after a solid production. You go backstage or into the lobby and congratulate the performers. They kept you enrapt for more than two hours, the least you can do is take two minutes to shake a hand and offer a pat on the back for their efforts. It was fun. I couldn't turn around without running into wonderful folks I knew through the theater. Linda the stage manager, Mark on sound, fellow attendees like the glorious Anna and Rabbi Alpert, and my old pal Heather, whose big-haired son had played Belle's father Maurice. I also found my buddy Eric [whom we recall from the Your Arm Is A Pump Handle and Let's Dispel Some Hypnosis Myths! entries] who had been applying his expertise to lights.

As is always the case with me, I got to talking on about me being a hypnotist (I don't even know how I inject it into conversations anymore, I need very little prompting. "Nice day, isn't it? What a lovely sweater. Did you know I'm a hypnotist?"). And Eric, being awesome, opted to let me put him under for the small gathering of interested stage hands and performers. Eric went under like a pro, laughed hysterically, forgot his name, got it back, and had his feet stuck to the floor. He walked away with a smile broad enough to displace his ears and I found myself with a very captive audience. Enter the spotlight expert with the wooly hat.

His name was Deric. He was tall, friendly and very genuine. He wanted to be hypnotized. I agreed, only because my pal Heather, fellow grown-up and mom, was present. Deric showed considerable intelligence and creative soul by going under instantly. I brought him back to the room after a quick relaxation induction and his face bore a grin that could only be described as joyful. Deric enjoyed a few repeated inductions, each time going deeper, coming out happier. One student nearby, caught up in the excitement of the moment, suggested I command Deric to act like some kind of animal—chicken, duck, whatnot—and I was quick to remind everyone of the Code Of Ethics and how Deric was under my protection as much as under my influence. So instead I offered to share one of my favorite exercises with Deric, to which he agreed, and soon had the delightful Deric laughing so hard at the mention of his own name that he was unable to stand up. It was great fun for all.

I left Deric with all triggers removed and the usual aftereffects of hypnosis, which meant he was feeling great. Deric had a beautiful smile plastered on his face I knew was not going anywhere soon and he thanked me profusely. Much to my surprise, my friend Heather the Mom treated me to a big embrace and thanked me. "He really needed that", she told me. I can remember all too well the stress of working on a big show while also under the academic pressure that comes from the latter half of the school year.

Deric had a spring in his step from then on, sharing hugs with friends and smiles with all. I was invited to the cast party by Heather's son, but declined, since I was neither a teacher or a chaperone. Seeing the joy in Deric was party enough. And like I said, it doesn't take much to give a little back to those who made your evening so special and magical. Anyone can give balloons and cards. I prefer to give my favorite gift, the gift of hypnosis.

Above: Deric, the man in the hat himself, in a lovely autumn image he shared with us for this blog post. Keep smiling, Deric!
All cast photos shown are property of and copyright by the Mona Shores High School Choir Association.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hey, Who ELSE Is Out There?

Here's a nifty little video I recently posted on my YouTube channel that spreads the word about some (just some...only 10, mind you) of the wonderful and gifted hypnotists you can find on that video sharing site. A few of the names you'll no doubt recognize from some of my previous posts.

Links are included in the video as I run down the list. Do watch the entire video before you start clicking away. Each link-clink will take you from the video to the page of the hypnotist in question. But every link remains in place from its initial appearance all the way until the end of the video, allowing you to pick and choose whomever you'd like to see first. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Falling Behind, Falling Down

I have fallen a bit behind in my goal to post an average of 3 to 4 new blog articles each month. I have a handful of new articles to post that require a bit of sprucing, and even some keen new interviews with hypnosis pros on the way. Fear not.

In the meantime, enjoy this fantastic clip from gifted and brilliant hypnotist Michael C. Anthony. Watch him drop student after student into deep trance. It is as inspiring as it is hilarious.

Impressed? Thought you would be. Check out more of Michael C. Anthony at these addresses- [Sorry, I haven't got the whole clickable link thing worked out yet. Cut and paste!] And don't worry, I am definitely asking him for an interview one day soon!!

Michael C. Anthony is recognized as one of the most successful stage hypnotists in the world today. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. His show is an avant-garde blend of the human psyche and eye-popping theater. You will hurt from laughter when you watch volunteers out of the audience fall asleep at the snap of his finger and obey the most hilarious and ridiculous hypnotic suggestions. Having hypnotized over 25,000 people, Michael C. Anthony has filled theaters throughout the United States and Internationally. Michael continues to be one of the most sought after hypnotists in the world.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sometimes I Get Cranky

Recently, one of my hypnosis videos was deleted from YouTube for pretty much no darn reason. This is the banned video, hosted here on DailyMotion.

Cosmo Hypnotized Part 2- Magic Boots
Uploaded by BrizyComics. - Independent web videos.

My response to the deletion of this totally innocuous video was at first, a shocked tirade. Observe:

After I got all that out of my system, I returned to my natural self, which is a snide and derisive satirical cartoonist. Behold:

And now you're up to date. Normal blog entries will return next time. Ta.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Soon-To-Be-Famous Haahkk-Ptui Reinduction Method of Geniusness

This is my pal Tyler. Be inspired.

Roll With Me, Henry

~How the art of improvisation can be just as important as your skill as a hypnotist.~

With the popularity of such television programs as Whose Line Is It, Anyway? there is a surprising amount of people who fully understand the art of improv, or the ability of a person to apply the art of improvisation to an unexpected situation. At least, they understand what it is. Not many people have the means to pull it off.

Parties and friendly gatherings soon added games based upon the Who's Line show during the height of its popularity, sometimes ending in hilarious results from guests and buddies, other times ending in disaster. I recall a time at a church youth group meeting I helped host where we challenged the kids to a game of 90-Second Alphabet. In that improv game, a series of verbal exchanges is begun with a sentence beginning with the letter "A", the next with "B" and so on. ["Alfred spilled the chip dip tray!" "Because Alfred is a clod." "Clod—who are you calling a clod?" "Don't get me started." and so forth.] The idea is to run through the entire alphabet in under 90 seconds. With the right people, it can be a gas. I have learned that, conversely, with a room full of church-going teenagers, it leads to awkward silence and even the sharp-witted honor students staring blankly at one another with no clue of what to say.

Well, at a casual gathering or party, that can actually be part of the fun. But there are times when you need to access the art of improv and you need it lickety-split. Obviously, one of the most vital times to be able to improvise is during hypnosis.

I've inserted below a rather fun video I found on YouTube called "Messing About At Home With Mike Tweedie". As the title implies, it's a fun session showing 9 minutes of excerpts of a hypnotist working with a lad named Mike, surrounded by his friends. It's a charming little clip and I'd like you to watch it now before continuing with this article.

Fun, isn't it? The hypnotist in this clip clearly understands the basics and implementation of hypnosis, and he has a certain presence and a natural air of authority. He appears to know what he is doing. With that, there is no fault.

Now, as stated above, for the most part, this video is good clean hypnosis fun. All the same, there was one aspect to it which I found prevented me from enjoying it more fully. That being the complete absence of any ability on the part of the hypnotist to improvise. Once I got past the nails-on-chalkboard shrieking giggles of the little girl (okay, there was a second aspect—it's a major pet peeve of mine), I was able to make a blow-by-blow assessment of what I felt had not necessarily gone wrong but certainly could have gone better. Let's review:

While not lacking in any understanding of how hypnosis works, the hypnotist did show some signs that he lacks a certain amount of showmanship and an ability to build and preserve rapport with his subject.

I loved the whole pick-your-nose/stick-your-finger-in-your-ear bit. I may very well steal that. Yet following that, we get our first glimpse of the hypnotist's hesitation when he attempts to apply a new name to subject Mike, only to arrive at a pregnant pause as he silently searches for something comical enough. This could be a shift in his attention to amusing his audience rather than tending to his subject. As a result, midway through his clumsy suggestion, Mike rouses.

When Mike begins to wake up, the hypnotist immediately shuts everything down—possibly without considering WHY his subject was waking, nor, it appeared, to be reassuring Mike that all was well as he emerged from deep trance. For starters, after finding his finger stuck inside his nostril, Mike was overcome with confusion, thus his natural inclination is to come out of it. Right here our subject needs to be reminded that he still feels very good, told that he is comfortable and safe, and even assured that the confusion is actually amusing to him.

We jump ahead at that point to find Mike deep under once again and the hypnotist referring to what could be notes on what he wants to do next or--I sincerely hope not--reading from a script. Either way, Mike's head is down and he appears to be comfortably back under.

Sliding easily into a nice rendition of number amnesia, the hypnotist is back on track. That is, until Mike insists he has six fingers rather than five, to compensate for the loss of his memory of the number 3. Then our hypnotist goes back to putting Mike under, trying to revert that finger count to 5. Instead, he might have run with that notion and had Mike count ALL his fingers, winding up with 11, rather than the 12 that 6+6 would have given him. Hilarity would ensue. Instead, at the advent of this unexpected turn, the routine is abandoned and both subject and hypnotist are the poorer for it.

Each hypnotist needs to roll with changes in situation, or with his original plan, in order to keep up with the varying response of the subject—and EVERY subject responds differently! If our hypnotist in the clip was indeed working off a script, it would explain his concern on getting an unexpected response from Mike--as well as demonstrating the pitfalls of adhering to a rigid set of scripted expectations.

The reaction of the hypnotist was to put a stop to everything when things went off-script, rather than use that moment as an opportunity to not only preserve the flow of events, but hone his natural improvisational skills. Were this to happen in front of a crowd, putting the brakes on and halting the show is really not an option. As hypnotists, we have to roll with it. When a subject surprises us, as so often the brighter ones will, we must roll with the punches, as the saying goes, and use whatever curve ball we've been thrown as best we can to make the session even more enjoyable to watch, and most importantly, enhance the experience for our subject.

To keep from sounding too harsh about our nice hypnotist seen above, it behooves us to note that he does so many things correctly. The hands stuck to knees was perfect. The switch of Mike's name with his buddy Rob was delightful. The final routine which transforms the handsome Mike into a chicken could have been even more fun than it was, had the clip sufficient time to let it run longer. But then, I'm biased in favor of the chicken routine and any chance to see a good-looking guy bucking and clucking is alright by me.

Beyond the lack of improv skills, the basic problem I can see with this otherwise enjoyable session is that there are no compliments, no praise for the subject. When checking to see if suggestions are registering, there needs to be warm encouragement for the subject at all times. "That's right, you're doing great. Superb. Fantastic. You're doing splendidly" You get the idea. More on that in a future post, perhaps. Back to improv.

One of the Cardinal Rules of the hypnotist working in an entertainment environment is remembering at all times that the subject is never your means to make yourself look good. Rather, you are the means to give your subject the spotlight. The subject is not a device, a prop, or a method. The subject is your partner. And as such, he is a person. If that person surprises you by going off-script or tossing you an unusual response, as long as it is safe to do so, you should go with it. A session in hypnosis is your gift to the subject. His individual response and originality is his gift to you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Let's Dispel Some Hypnosis Myths!

The response to my session with my pal Eric has been astounding and overwhelmingly positive. So rather than write my usual blog entry talking about some of the silliness of older (and some recent!) television programs and movies getting wrong the fundamental relationship of hypnotist and subject, I thought it'd be more fun to let Eric do it! Enjoy.

To see the full 11-part (yes, eleven! I KNOW!) session with Eric, simply visit my official YouTube channel page at:


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Your Arm Is A Pump Handle

I thought it was high time I posted an example of a full hypnosis induction by me. I often hypnotize a subject before I begin filming him for a video posting, or I simply apply rapid inductions to "get the show on the road". What follows below is a video in which I put a very wonderful friend and remarkable fellow, Eric, into trance for the very first time.

In this example, I make use of one of my favorite induction approaches of my own invention. Having the subject visualize his arm as the handle of an old-fashioned water pump. It sounds odd on the face of it, but I think you will find it both interesting and see that it is highly effective!