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?