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 Stage Hypnosis
 Getting Started
 First stage show—hand levitation for subjects?
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8 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2008 :  5:49:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hey everybody,
So I'm a hypnotherapist who has a big goal of learning stage hypnosis. It's partially as a way of advertising my hypnotherapy/psychology services (i'm a psychologist and will be a psychotherapist after I finish my post-doc).

For my first show, I had about 15 friends over for a bbq. But in my backyard I had a stage show, complete with a PA system and a music track and even a stage assistant.

It bombed! Only 3 people were pushed up to volunteer... none of them looked really hypnotized and none of them responded to the skits that well. I think they all knew it was my first show (though i didn't tell them). And we were outside.

I have a friend who owns a theater near a big tourist trap. So I'm planning a show with about 50-60 people. This time it will all be strangers. The show will be free.

I've also decided to do a hand levitation test to the whole audiance. Basically after my pretalk I'll do this test:


Stand with both arms straight out in front of your body. They should be parallel to each other at the same height. Take three deep relaxing breaths. Focus your eyes on these directions in front of you.

Now imagine that in your left hand you are holding a bucket full of sand. And that in your right hand you are holding a string tied to a kite that is gently tugging your hand upward.

You feel the heavy weight of the bucket full of sand in your left hand pulling your arm down with it. It feels heavier and heavier the longer you hold onto it. It’s getting harder and harder to keep your left arm up. It’s so heavy.

Meanwhile, in your right hand, the kite is being pulled upward by a strong wind, pulling your right hand and arm up with it. Up and up. Higher and higher.

Your left arm and hand are being pulled down and down, getting heavier and heavier. Your right arm and hand are being pulled up and up, higher and higher.

And take the people who have their hands raised onto the stage.

So my question is-- out of 50 ppl, how many people are going to have their hands straight in the air? Is that a reliable predictor of suggestibility?

If, let's say 10 people have their hands straight up in the air, how many would be willing to come up on stage? Most of the people will probably be tourists.



United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2008 :  07:10:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You have the right idea but the wrong test. Use the hands locked test, speak forcefully after their eyes are closed.
Those who cannot pull their hands apart are the ones to come on stage.
Say, "if you will come forward I
will unlock your hands". It works, use it.

Gil Boyne
[Gil Passed Away May 5, 2010]
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724 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2008 :  10:32:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't get too discouraged about not doing well for friends. They, along with family members, are the toughest to hypnotize. They know you're new(ish) at it and have a lot of conscious interference going on. It creates a rapport problem.

Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
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8 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2008 :  4:05:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well... my show's coming up soon and I already use the hand lock as part of the induction. I'll see how it goes with the hand levitation and use the hand lock as the elimination test next time.

To Gil-- I live in L.A. and attended HTI a few years ago with Churchill and Mulder. Are there any good stage hypnosis courses in L.A.? I feel like I'm already part of the way, just need to get the whole pre-show activities down. I have an established practice in hypnotherapy and just became a psychologist.
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8 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2008 :  5:42:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So here is the video from my first stage hypnosis show (that wasn’t in front of my friends and family)


The details:

Was only able to get about 8 ppl to show up, including 3 friends, who all volunteered.

But my main mission was to test my presence and my confidence and my pre-talk.

My friend/stage assistant introduced me. And I gave my pretalk, before asking for volunteers. Three friends raised their hands (mostly to be supportive). I didn’t do the hand raising thing really because there was only about 4 people left in the audience.

I cut the skits down a little. I got some reaction from the participants – I’ve e-mailed them to ask if they were really feeling it or just kinda playing along. The girl in the middle said that she was just playing along.

But over all—did I have a good presence on stage?

I’m thinking what I might do is focus on handlocking to get people to volunteer. So I might tape myself doing my pre-talk (without an audience) and just post that here to get feedback.

In the mean time, let me know what you think of what I have so far!
Thanks! – John

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724 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2008 :  09:48:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have close to zero experience with stage hypno. I've seen one stage show and watched an instructional video on doing them. But, since nobody has responded for a couple days, I figure I'd watch the vids and throw in my 2 cents :)

I watched the first vid. The second one had some sound trouble. Lots of pops and I couldn't hear you talking. May have been a problem on my end - don't know.

I thought your stage presence was good. Even with what may have been a disappointing attendance to you, you looked invigorated.

I worked to follow along with your pre-talk as if I were a hypno newbie and hearing things for the first time. The only critique I would have was when you said something along the lines of "there is nothing to be afraid of with hypnosis". In my mind, it instantly made me wonder if there WAS something to be afraid of.

When I'm doing a pre-talk I try to avoid that type of phrasing. I'd try to change it to "hypnosis is used every day and is very safe".

Anyway, it was a good show and I'm sure it'll keep getting better as you move forward.

Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH

Edited by - patrickg on 10/28/2008 09:49:40 AM
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8 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2008 :  4:16:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I appreciate your feedback. Yeah; I might take that out. Might incorp the hand locking into the pre-talk as Gil mentioned.

Thanks again for your 2cents!
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