Section 1: Psyched Out
Psyching yourself out when a routine doesn’t work.
The following is an excerpt from an email I recently from a past HypnoKick student…
“Also I had a subject who was excited and looking forward to being hypnotized and I tried to suggest something to them and the would not accept the suggestion even after I put them back into the hypnotic state and tried again.”
I hear this from aspiring/growing Hypnotists of various ages from numerous countries every year.
Any professional Magician will tell you that even if you subtly mess up a trick, neither your volunteer nor audience will catch on because they don’t know what you’re planning to do.
As a result, a professional Magician can save themselves mid-routine by changing how the trick will end based on their experience and knowledge of magic. They can turn it into a gag routine, prediction, belated prediction reveal or any number of things.
This applies to hypnosis in the sense that if a specific command doesn’t provoke a desired reaction from your volunteer, you can incorporate a new command and alter the direction of your performance.
Understandably, this is easier said than done if you’re not actively practicing the art. If you are, especially if you’re inside HypnoKick’s Members Area or Mentorship, you already have some real-world knowledge/experience in shifting from one outcome to another if needed.
On the other hand, if you’re not actively practicing hypnosis and unsure how to navigate away from an anti-climatic routine reaction, let’s cover three ways you can start implementing immediately to “save face”.
Section 2: Shifting Focus
Go with the flow and shift your focus. Granted, if you’re not regularly performing, then flying by the seat of your pants probably sounds easier than actually doing it. If that’s the case, here’s a breakdown of 3 different ways you can shift your focus mid-routine to improve the outcome..
Shifting Focus (Commands): Last month HypnoKick uploaded a brand new stage hypnosis training tutorial for students inside the Members Area which covered our first Summer Camp show of 2021. If you can learn this shift in focus for yourself, it will likely come in handy down the road.
The show starts off with me performing strolling hypnosis demonstrations while educating the audience on what hypnosis is and why it works. After about 30 minutes of pre-show demonstrations and helping the camp staff feel more comfortable with hypnosis, we started the stage performance.
We’re progressing through the stage hypnosis show nicely until I give the command that their butts are stuck to their chairs and they’re unable to grab my phone to win their $1 million cash prize.
While all volunteers initially react as you’d expect, a woman on the left side of the stage manages to escape her chair by laying belly down on the stage. Immediately afterwards, another woman on the right side of the stage manages to slide off her chair and sit on stage.
Not long after these two escaped their chairs, more of the volunteers found that with some persistence, they too could escape their chairs. As more and more of the volunteers escape their chairs, I think on my feet and switch the outcome of the routine from them not being able to escape their chairs, to them feeling like the phone is steaming hot when they finally get to it.
As per this month’s video demonstration below, this prompted a new challenge those who were already close to the phone… Grab his phone and don’t let go or I’ll lose my $1 million dollar prize. This provoked one of two reactions from volunteers:
- Volunteers close to the phone would freak out when they touched it
- Volunteers not close to the phone were still determined to get close
While a beginner Hypnotist may view this outcome as a “failure”, I viewed it as an opportunity to switch things up with a routine I rarely integrate that everyone still enjoyed. This is why staying in-tune with your creative mind is imperative for any performance-based art. The more quickly you can improvise, the more interesting and memorable you can make the experience for your volunteers, audience and potentially yourself.
Remember: Your volunteer(s) and audience have little to no clue what you have in store for them. Therefore, just like a magic trick, if things don’t go according to plan, end the routine in a manner that makes sense with the flow of the show while ensuring your volunteer(s) safety.
Shifting Focus (Pseudo): This is one of my favorite go-to shifts for two reasons:
- When I’m dealing with hecklers, it helps silence them. If you can silence one heckler, it will typically silence most (if not the rest) of them.
- If someone’s having trouble experiencing hypnosis, it helps me provide them some form of experience before we part ways.
For the sake of this month’s free hypnosis lesson, we’re going to focus on the second reason I enjoy pseudo hypnosis.
As covered in previous HypnoKick lessons, pseudo hypnosis can either be executed impromptu or verbally framed as a convincer, to help increase its effectiveness.
While I typically use this shift in focus when a heckler or skeptic is clearly challenging me for their own ego, there are times I’ll resort to it if the person I’m hypnotizing is having difficulty fully experiencing trance (let alone phenomena).
If it’s the latter, I make sure to verbally frame the demonstration I’m planning to do as a way for the individual to at least experience something before we part ways.
That said, I see how this approach may be unsettling for some Hypnotists who may feel they’d be cheating their volunteer out of an actual experience. In that case, I’d simply advise you inform your volunteer while the demonstration may have been fun, it wasn’t a true hypnotic experience and should they desire a true experience, you can refer to the following shift in focus.
Shifting focus (Referral): There’s no shame in admitting to a volunteer you may not be the best fit for them as a Hypnotist. In the past few years, I’ve related volunteers and Hypnotists to two people dating. Just because you’re unable to provide them the experience they desire, doesn’t mean they can’t be hypnotized. It may just mean you’re not a good fit for each other and they may need to try another Hypnotist.
This shift in focus will actually cause your volunteer to develop a sense of respect for your honesty and transparency. With many from the hypnosis community driven by their own ego, your willingness to admit you may not be the best Hypnotist for them (and helping them find someone who is), will only lead them to appreciate and thank you for your time, effort and help.
I’ve referred many clients to other Hypnotists throughout the years either because I didn’t specialized in what the client wanted to achieve or because I was overbooked. In both cases, I happily referred those individuals to other Hypnotists I knew would help them obtain their desired results.
If you’re wondering how this would work for a stage performance, the truth is you shouldn’t have to worry about it if your suggestibility tests are efficient. They should be the deciding factor as to whether or not someone’s fit for your stage show to begin with. If not, this would naturally eliminate them as a volunteer. If you wanted, you could offer anyone who didn’t make it on stage to meet you after the show so you could utilize this shift.
In terms of 1-on-1 demonstrations, it should be very apparent after your initial induction and first command or two. Use your best judgement (in addition to asking them how they feel) to determine if this is the shift in focus you should consider.
Click the picture below to watch this month’s video demonstration…
Section 3: Conclusion
Best case scenario, switch commands mid-routine/performance. Worst case scenario, admit you’re not the best fit and refer them to another Hypnotist you believe would better suite their needs. Either way, you win their admiration and respect.
In terms of how to specifically shift focus mid-performance, the more routines you know and experience you gain, the easier and more natural it will become for you overtime. Whether you want to learn the 4 step blueprint to hypnosis, learn real hypnosis from home or kick-start your career as a Professional Hypnotist, HypnoKick can help 🙂