Section 1: HYPNOSPOOF
Years ago I had the idea to stage a car theft. I wanted to frame it as a grand theft auto, in broad daylight, outside a café.
The idea was to seemingly hypnotize a lady who just pulled up in a nice car to give me her keys and remain in trance as I sped off in said car.
This was, of course, in the name of comedy. A hidden camera across the street would capture the reactions of anyone nearby. The idea was to…
- See how realistic the popular myths surrounding hypnosis looked in the real world
- See how many people (if any) would react to a hypnotically-induced criminal act in broad daylight
After pitching this idea to another Hypnotist (Andrew) through social media, this idea quickly grew into a multi-phase parody project. We developed a series of myth-based demonstrations to act out in public in hopes of capturing people’s reactions in real time.
Given the lack of education most schools provide about hypnosis (beyond its history and theory), I understand why so many people believe in the various myths surrounding hypnosis. I wanted to challenge said myths. If I did, would anyone react? If so, how exactly?
What’s more, my friend Bella (OnlyJayus from TikTok & YouTube) agreed to let me steal her car for this project. After convincing my Videographer (Carter) to tag along, we were all set… then the world stopped.
COVID-19 had spread from China to the United States and various other countries. Whether or not you, the reader, believed it to be a threat or ploy, the fact was my team and I had to quarantine like the rest of the world. The project was officially halted about a week before it was set to start.
Around the beginning of July, I touched base with everyone and we had all quarantined for months and felt mentally/physically healthy enough to meet and make this project happen.
What eventually premiered on YouTube as of 9pm EST Friday, September 4, 2020 was an educational parody regarding the ridiculous myths people believe about hypnosis brought to life in the real world.
I’ll explain each myth presented in the HYPNOSPOOF episode and breakdown potential reasons why certain people believe them. If you or someone you know can relate to any of these, I hope this free hypnosis lesson helps shed light on the truth about hypnosis.
Section 2: Myths
MYTH 1 (Demonic Possession): This is most popular among religious extremists. Thankfully, despite having grown up in a Catholic household, my family neither discouraged me from learning hypnosis or wanting to practice it for entertainment purposes. They understood that, as someone who grew up doing magic, it was simply a new tool in my entertainment arsenal.
As discussed in a past HypnoKick lesson, I interviewed a nun who used to teach me religion and even she said (in summary), hypnosis was benine. It was neither good nor bad, it was merely a tool and it’s the intention of the one using said tool (aka the Hypnotist) that dictates if the hypnosis is good or evil. Watch the entire interview & read the fully detailed lesson here.
While I’ve never personally used it to literally steal a car or brainwash someone into loving me or paying me money (Scientology anyone?), I can see how some religious individuals view hypnosis as demonic possession. From their perspective, once a Hypnotist says the word “Sleep!”, the individual flops over like an unconscious rag doll. To someone ill-informed on the topic of hypnosis, it looks like the Hypnotist turned off that person’s conscious ability to function with a snap of their fingers. Then they witness that person reacting to the Hypnotist’s commands and doing/saying things they’ve never seen or heard the person do or say. It’s easy to understand how they misinterpret the psychology and science of comedy street or stage hypnosis with demonic powers. After all, they’re perceiving you as controlling the person and (as far as they’ve seen/read/researched in their faith), that form of control comes from demonic possession.
The good news is, the volunteer’s reactions to the hypnosis can be explained. Psychologically speaking, there’s 4 levels of consciousness: Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta. Hypnosis helps us go from Beta (awake and aware with our conscious filters up), to Alpha (relaxed and at ease with your guard down as you enjoy this natural daydream state of mind). Much like alcohol helps us relax, loosen up and lower our inhibitions, hypnosis can helps us achieve that same state quickly and efficiently via breathing exercises (among other things). With inhibitions lowered, people under hypnosis care less about what others think and are therefore more willing to do or say what they may otherwise hold back from doing or saying. Fact is, hypnosis is like alcohol and it helps us come out of our shells for our inner personalities to shine. The difference being it’s natural, not poison and there’s no hangover (unlike alcohol).
MYTH 2 (Pure Mind Control): As mentioned in the episode and various past HypnoKick lessons, Hollywood has done a fabulous job at dramatizing hypnosis. Then again, it’s their job to embellish aspects of their story’s plot to make it more marketable and intriguing to the general public. Do this well enough and the producers, actors and everyone else involved will have made their money & established themselves in their field of work.
The downside is it leads to mass misinformation. While multiple movies including hypnosis were released in the past decade, they usually caused audiences to either question the validity or fear the idea of being hypnotized. Up-to-date, Now You See Me is still arguably Hollywood’s most accurate depiction of hypnosis. In summary, it starts with a very realistic form of street hypnosis and later sprinkles bits of psychological nuances that Hypnotists like myself have used in the real-world. While Now You See Me 2 was theatrically entertaining, I found it less realistic in comparison to its predecessor.
While you can help someone achieve a state of relaxation that enables them to tap into their child-like creativity to manifest a Hypnotist’s commands as their temporary reality, it’s not pure mind control. This was perfectly demonstrated by Jayus during our last YouTube collaboration and thoroughly explained in this HypnoKick lesson. She reacted to pretty much every command given to her throughout the episode. However, when it came to dancing specifically, the episode hit a snag because dancing wasn’t something she was naturally comfortable with.
Just because someone’s mind is creative enough to create a temporary mental block so they appear to forget their name when asked, doesn’t mean the Hypnotist legitimately erased their name from memory. This effect is known as Hypnotic Phenomena. It’s the phenomenon where the person is so mentally/physically relaxed and naturally tuned into their creative mind that their imagination creates a simulation-like experience based on what the Hypnotist says. So, for example, if the Hypnotist commands the person to become stuck to their chair, the person’s imagination can simulate a stuck feeling (almost like they’re glued to their seat). This has to do with the power of the volunteer’s creative mind, not the Hypnotist. The Hypnotist is merely guiding the individual through their own mind for their entertainment.
That said, isn’t it interesting that some of us find it weird that our imaginations can be that powerful when tapped into as adults via hypnosis but we never questioned that same creative power as kids? I’m personally curious if those same individuals have been jaded by life and adulthood to the point that they forgot just how powerful their mind still is.
MYTH 3 (Truth Snap): I won’t lie, if I had the ability to make people divulge their secrets with a single snap of my fingers, I’d be highly tempted. I’d want to know what certain people really think of me, if someone likes me, if someone’s lied to me… wouldn’t you? There are those convinced that a Hypnotist can make you divulge your darkest secrets.
Truth is, even as a Hypnotist, I can’t simply walk up to anyone, snap my fingers and force them to divulge anything (as HYPNOSPOOF proved). While a Hypnotist can help someone relax deeply enough that they feel comfortable opening up about certain things, they don’t have any special ability or power to force anyone to reveal anything with a cold-approach snap of their fingers. Imagine if I were next to you right now and I snapped my fingers, would you tell me your darkest secret? Most likely not, nor would I expect you to… that’s how unrealistic this myth is.
Even so, there are still ways to figure out if someone may be potentially lying to you or holding something back. Being able to read their body language, eye movements, vocal changes, micro-expressions and the like can provide some insight into what someone’s really thinking or feeling. Police officers use similar techniques to help them understand if someone’s been driving under the influence, hiding a secret, etc. HypnoKick will be releasing a training on this in the future, so stick around!
MYTH 4 (Hypnotic Look): The amount of High School After Proms or University functions I’ve entertained in the United States where women are convinced I can hypnotize them by merely looking at them is… staggering.
Much like the demonic possession myth, this comes from a combination of not fully understanding hypnosis and what they may have witnessed in the past. For example, if they see a Hypnotist simply starring at someone and that person eventually closes their eyes and enters trance, their perception is that looking into a Hypnotist’s eyes will naturally cause you to enter trance. While this type of no-touch induction is possible, it’s like the “Truth Snap” myth in the sense that it generally takes some work to achieve. Unless the individual has been hypnotized before and is open to receiving the experience again then and there, the Hypnotist will likely induce them for basic relaxation first. This helps the individual better understand the basic process of hypnosis while also experiencing how natural and relaxing it is. This first hand experience will familiarize them with the process. Afterwards, the Hypnotist could leave a post-hypnotic suggestion saying the next time they stare at them in the eyes, that person will allow themselves to re-enter the calming state of hypnosis they’re currently enjoying.
This, ladies and gentlemen, are the two reasons people get hypnotized when looking at a Hypnotist. It’s because they’ve been hypnotized before and want to be hypnotized again or were just hypnotized for their first time and willing to re-experience it (not because the Hypnotist has a “Hypnotic Look”). I won’t lie though, I’ve been told my multicolored eyes look quite beautiful… even hypnotic (and that’s what they claim makes me a “natural”).
MYTH 5 (Hypnotic Coma): For those new to either studying hypnosis, HypnoKick actually covered this myth years ago when it was first established. In summary, there’s no such thing as a “HypnoComa”.
That’s correct, you cannot get stuck in hypnosis (contrary to what Hollywood tried conveying in the movie Office Space). Ready why here.
MYTH 6 (It’s Not a Real Job): This was the paraphrased version of what family and friends told me when I first started my journey as a Hypnotist at 19. While I had almost immediately began charging $100’s per hour as a teenager, I ran into a slew of challenges…
- How do I get a consistent flow of client requests?
- How do I get said clients to take a teenager seriously?
- How do I make enough to pay bills every month?
- Should I charge more (and if so how much)?
- What kind of value can I provide to be worth my fee?
- How often do I really want to travel/perform & for what type of client?
After landing my first 4-figure show at Purdue University in my early 20’s, I began understanding just how large the market for my expertise was and how much opportunity was waiting. I quickly realized certain clientele were willing to pay premium prices for the knowledge and skills I had & that I could earn a full-time income working part-time hours entertaining people all over the United States.
Nearly a decade later and my family/friends went from constantly asking if I had money, food and shelter to asking how business is going and when/where my next show is. What’s more, HypnoKick has enabled me to share this awesome lifestyle with others as well. Aspiring Stand Up Comedian Drew found me through the internet, loved what I did and reached out to me to become his mentor. In less than 30 days from his mentorship, he landed a several hundred dollar contract. One or two months later he closed his first 4-figure contract.
Now when people ask if hypnosis is a real job, I refer to my 2012 Chevy. I paid for it in cash days after my last 18 year old Chevy broke down mid-tour. Thanks to all the money I made during that month on tour, I was able to quickly overcome the carless hurdle and end my tour the following weekend. In short, if you’re making enough to sustain your lifestyle and pay taxes every year, what you do is (in fact) a real job.
Watch this week’s video demonstration.
Section 3: Conclusion
To enjoy the actual HYPNOSPOOF YouTube episode, click/tap here.
If interested in learning actual hypnosis (no the mind-controlling gibberish Hollywood’s fed everyone), you’re in luck because that’s why HypnoKick was created. Our “Training” tab offers a free Ebook for those desiring to understand the basics as well as a regularly updated Members Area where you can learn Self Hypnosis, Street Hypnosis, Virtual Hypnosis and more!
So whether you’re a hobbyist, aspiring professional or looking for a personalized mentorship program, HypnoKick can help 🙂