Hypnotism From the Subject's Point of View
Not long ago, I ended up being a subject on stage at a hypnosis show for entertainment. I've been hypnotized several times before as a patient where the goal was to learn to relax, learn more about myself and change my patterns of worry. I thought that it was helpful and very relaxing. But, this last time up on stage....WOW.....now that was an experience. Read on to learn about how that happened and what it felt like.
"Who Wants to Come Up on Stage?", he asked.
How the hypnotist chose the final participants
The hypnotist began his show by asking, "Who wants to come up on stage and participate?" I thought, well .... why not? It was a quick decision and I figured that this was my chance to have an experience rather than just observe.
About 25 people voluntarily went up on the stage and we sat in chairs which faced the audience. He led us through some meditations as, it seemed, a test to see who might be a good subject for hypnosis. Audience members participated at times, as well, and two people from the audience were invited on stage based on their results.
As I sat with my eyes closed listening to his voice, I would hear him sending people back to their chairs. Apparently these were people who would not have been good subjects. I did not expect that when I finally was told to open my eyes I would be one of only 4 people still on stage.
So, there we sat: 2 men and 2 women side by side on the stage. I felt surprised, but also very relaxed.
Joey Devito, Hypnotist - This is The Guy
Here is the website for Joey Devito, the hypnotist who presented the show in which I participated. It was a comedy show in a rather small venue that seats approximately 100 people in a table configuration. Check out his schedule and consider going to a show. Though not in the audience, I could tell that it was entertaining and that people were laughing hysterically.
- Joe Devito, Hypnotist
In addition to being a stage hypnotist with a comedy show, Joe offers private therapeutic sessions. I thought he was very good. He is located in Massachusetts.
Why Do This?
Trust, and, I suppose, a little curiosity
How could I get up on stage in front of so many people and make myself so vulnerable? Well...I figured that the hypnotist knew what he was doing and I just didn't care what anyone might think. I put my trust in the hypnotist. I was very motivated to have an interesting experience, so I let go of all resistance and dove right into it.
I decided to go for a full experience in the moment and it sure worked.
What Do I Remember?
Here's an example
Of course, I can't know for sure, but I feel that I remember everything that happened. On some level, I was aware, but I was also extremely relaxed and found myself reacting to whatever the hypnotist said. At times, I would think that what he was telling me wasn't possible, but I still found myself following his instruction. For example:
The Little Men in the Spaceship
He told me that a spaceship had landed outside and that when I looked out the window, I would see it, along with the little men who came out of it. He sent me to the window and asked me to describe what I saw, but I looked out and saw nothing unusual. I tried to find it but just couldn't see anything. I felt concerned about disappointing the hypnotist and as he prompted me again, I found myself talking all about the little men coming out of the ship and walking toward us. I wanted to keep going and tell more and more. I think that my ability to "see" the men from the spaceship had to do with having a very good imagination. It was as if the whole "story" and the images about the spaceship easily unfolded inside my head.
It was rather odd. I knew that I couldn't really see the spaceship outside, but I saw the whole thing in my imagination and felt compelled to tell all about it.
Or, please don't have me say a "bad" word.
This was an "adult" show and meant to be humorous, so, as you might expect, there were a few times when the hypnotist would suggest off-color things. I resisted during those times; such as the time when he wanted us to name a racehorse with an off-color word or phrase. I had a hard time coming up with anything. I think I may have finally named my horse "Bad Boy".
When he suggested that whenever a certain cue was given we would see him naked, I wouldn't look at him. It seems you will not do anything out of character, even under hypnosis.
Translating for the Chinese leader
In one of the segments, I was to translate for a man whom I was told was an important Chinese official. (Please don't be offended anyone. I'm sure that nationality was chosen because the language is so very different from English, which made for a good show.) One of the other stage subjects was told that he was Chinese and would be challenging a rude man in the audience.
We went to the edge of the stage and the tirade began. I felt compelled to help this "Chinese" gentleman communicate. So, off I went at a rapid pace along with my fellow participant who was rambling in gibberish. I found myself easily "translating" his every word into English. It felt so good to be helping this man tell off the horribly rude audience member (who had never actually said a thing). The 2 of us were convinced we had very effectively brought him down to size, so to speak.
I would guess that there is an inner part of me who has wanted to tell off some rude person in public--because I was very into it.
Isn't it all a Scam?
Does it really work?
It was very legitimate with me. I was not a "plant" in the audience. And, I definitely experienced a change in awareness and a loss of inhibition. I absolutely felt hypnotized, and, yet, I find it hard to describe what it's like. It is a bit like a dream.
I became unaware that I was on stage and I was entirely focused on the hypnotist and, at times, the 3 other people up there with me. What is interesting is that I found myself laughing hysterically at the others, especially when I saw them looking confused. I found that to be so funny.
The other people on stage with me were clearly hypnotizedl. I was aware of them and I was aware that he was telling them what to do. And, when he did the same with me, I felt compelled to do whatever he said too.
Or, how I felt about the other 3 people up on stage with me.
During the show and after the performance, I felt an enormous kinship with the other people up on stage with me. I do seem to remember that we were given several suggestions that we were great friends, but I was surprised at the deep level of camaraderie I felt with them. I found myself laughing hysterically at them and at everything that was happening. I remember looking at them and they all looked so serious and bewildered. I thought that was hilarious. To me, everything was very important, but very funny at the same time.
The time on stage went by so quickly. I felt extremely relaxed and happy the whole time.
At the end of the show, the hypnotist gave us messages to gradually become more conscious. (We were not actually "asleep", just very relaxed.) As I started to walk off the stage with the others I felt disoriented. Noticing my demeanor, the hypnotist coughed. It was a signal he had given to me during the show to trigger a particular response. I guess I responded as if I was still hypnotized because he sat me back down and talked me out of it again. He had to do it one more time as I was leaving the venue. I seem to be a pretty good subject.
Some people would say that I am already a bit spacey, and I guess it didn't take much to make me more so.
Watch a Hypnotism Show
There is no video of me up on stage, but here you can see others. Check them out.
Tell Us About Your Experience.
Have you ever been hypnotized?
Who Are the Best Hypnosis Subjects?
"One very common fallacy is that persons who are able to be hypnotized are weak-willed or feeble-minded. Naturally, the opposite is more accurate. The more intelligent and imaginative a person is, the easier it is for him/her to be hypnotized.", Jim Wand, stage hypnotist.
Well, I feel better now.
"The most comprehensive text ever to be published on stage hypnotism." This is like a textbook for hypnosis. It's expensive, but on Amazon it's 25% off.
Another Stage Hypnotist
As I searched the web for info on stage hypnotists, this person kept coming up as one of the most popular, so I'm adding him here so that you can check him out.
- Martin St. James - The World's Greatest Hypnotist!
Martin St. James refers to himself as the "World's Greatest Hypnotist". In addition to his long experience as a stage hypnotist, he offers courses for smoking, weight loss, relaxation, and more. He has written a book called "Sleep You Bastard" which
"An in-depth how-to book about the secrets of stage hypnosis. From what is hypnosis, through stage craft, entertainment and routines."
This book has good reviews and I have read parts of it. It is well-written and interesting.
If you have had some experience with being hypnotized, let us know how it went for you, especially if you have been up on stage in a show.