HOW TO BECOME A REALLY GOOD STAGE HYPNOTIST
by Mary Elizabeth Raines

 

Lady Rainey putting people to sleep... Mary Elizabeth Raines: Lady Rainey, Queen of Hypnosis Hilarity Lady Rainey hypnotizing volunteers

 

Occasionally I receive inquiries from people who want to learn to become stage hypnotists. I used to love to perform in stage hypnosis shows as Lady Rainey!

Thorough training is essential. As a performer who is also an instructor of hypnosis and a well-seasoned clinical hypnotist, I am still constantly surprised at how putting on a stage show draws upon every aspect of my knowledge of hypnosis!

While stage hypnosis is fun and has the potential to be lucrative for those at the very top of the field, it isn't for everybody. It takes hard work, discipline, and requires juggling many skills at once. The stage hypnotist must be:

  • Good at multi-tasking (in front of hundreds of people!)
  • Fast on her/his feet
  • Superb at marketing and publicity
  • Creative
  • An innate showman
  • Someone who possesses complete expertise in hypnosis

 

 

One does not become a stage hypnotist overnight. It takes many hours of training, discipline and experience. How does one begin?

  • Discern whether or not you are truly comfortable onstage. Can you concentrate in front of an audience? Do you truly have that "something extra" that emerges when you are speaking before a crowd of hundreds of people, not just standing in front of the bathroom mirror? Do you know how and where to stand onstage and are you able to speak articulately and precisely? Many people deceive themselves about their stage presence.

  • The best stage hypnotists are not the stars of the show. Rather, they deflect attention away from themselves and onto their volunteers. Anyone desiring a lot of attention or adulation will have better results going into theater.

  • Realize that stage hypnotists do not have any actual power over their volunteers. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

  • The first step in becoming a stage hypnotist is to learn hypnosis inside and out through a qualified certification program of 100 hours or more. Becoming thoroughly competent in this exciting and fascinating field is an absolute prerequisite to work in an arena of hypnosis where the volunteers are total strangers and literally anything can happen.

 

 

 

There's more. The competent stage hypnotist:

  • Must be able to take people deeper into hypnosis than in a clinical setting and do it in a fraction of the time it would normally take, all while being observed by hundreds of people;

  • Needs exquisite mastery of language skills both to entertain the audience and to solicit volunteers;

  • Must determine rapidly who will be the best volunteers while keeping up patter;

  • Is required to observe carefully the hypnotic state of those onstage and discern their depth at all times throughout the show;

  • Must thoroughly understand and know how to manage the behaviors--and misbehaviors!--of people in trance;

  • Needs the expert ability to create and word hypnotic suggestions to which participants will respond;

  • Has to possess techniques available to work with a full spectrum of personalities;

  • Must be aware of ethics involved in hypnosis, and have an ability to recognize the dangers that can be incurred both by the participant and the hypnotist.

 

 

After basic hypnosis certification, specialized training in stage hypnotism is necessary. Make absolutely sure that whatever class you take offers you ample hands-on experience, and verify from numerous independent sources that your instructor is a well recognized, successful stage hypnotist with a lengthy and strong background.

In addition to specialized training, the prospective stage hypnotist should attend as many shows in person as possible, watch DVDs & You-Tube clips, and learn from the experts in the field. An internship with a known stage hypnotist is highly recommended. Being savvy about marketing and publicity is also crucial, as there is a lot of competition in the field, especially for the high-paying jobs.

Becoming a competent stage hypnotist is not easy or quick, but the pay-off is well worth the investment. For someone with the requisite talents, stage hypnosis can be both rewarding and fun.

 

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