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 www.StageHypnosisUniversity.com 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.
www.michaelcanthony.com Personal Site
www.stagehypnosisuniversity.com Stage Hypnosis Course
www.raisethefunds.com 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!
MICHAEL C. ANTHONY WEBSITE
MICHAEL'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL
STAGE HYPNOSIS UNIVERSITY
RAISE THE FUNDS