Section 1: Truth
This week’s hypnosis lesson explains my reactions to the dialogue within one of my favorite T.V. shows, The Mentalist.
Considering HypnoKick’s last lesson, I’m pleased to say the scene I react to this week more accurately depicts the reality of hypnosis.
Here are a few examples…
- Disbelief: Interestingly, it’s common for the average hypnotized person to not “feel hypnotized”. Considering hypnosis (at its core) is relaxation, it’s understandable that those not well-educated on the topic may misinterpret their experience. Individuals tend to expect a more dramatic mind-controlling trance sensation as covered in last week’s lesson. My colleagues and I will sometimes ask our volunteers if they are hypnotized or if they feel hypnotized. Typically, they say no. This generates a wave of laughter from the audience when we immediately re-induce them into hypnosis within seconds. After all, if they weren’t hypnotized, they wouldn’t re-enter trance so easily. This is why Patrick Jane was able to re-induce Rigsby with such ease. Since Rigsby was already hypnotized, he was already in a heightened state of awareness that made reacting to hypnotic commands more natural.
- Easily Re-Induced: Whether you’ve been hypnotized before or are in the middle of a trance, once you’ve been hypnotized, it’s that much easier to re-induce you. For those confused by this terminology, an “induction” is a fancy word Hypnotists use to say they’ve helped someone into a deep state of mental & physical relaxation (aka Hypnosis). To “re-induce” someone is to help guide them back into that same state of mental and physical relaxation after you’ve brought them out of their initial trance. This is why Rigsby was so easily hypnotized when Jane acted as The Hypnotist. Fitting role for a Mentalist if you think about it.
- Lowered Inhibitions: When hypnotized, your mind and body are so relaxed that your inhibitions gradually lower themselves. Lowered inhibitions means you care less about outside judgement from your peers regarding what you may say/do. Alongside these factors is a sense of freedom from responsibility regarding what you may say/do. When you combine lowered inhibitions and this sense of freedom, you end up with someone who’s less afraid to express their inner thoughts and feelings verbally or physically. When re-induced by Jane, Rigsby was provided freedom to do what he wanted, seemingly without repercussion. As a result, Rigsby stopped hiding his feelings for Van Pelt and physically acted on them by kissing her. These are the primary factors behind why shy, timid, introverted & quiet personalities shine during comedy stage hypnosis shows. They’re given an outlet to express themselves without repercussion and are so mentally at ease that they couldn’t care less about peer judgement.
- Emotional Connections: When deeply hypnotized, one’s feelings can become naturally heightened. This is why the typical Stage Hypnotist will evoke emotional responses from their volunteers during routines like the “sad movie”. Volunteers will be made to either creatively manifest a sad movie scene in their minds or instructed to re-live a sad moment from a movie they’ve previously seen. This will often result in some volunteers looking upset while one or two actually cry. On the flip side, it can be used to help a situation. In the case of this week’s video reaction, we see multiple characters fail to get Rigsby to stay in the office. However, when Rigsby’s love interest Van Pelt commands him stay, we see immediate compliance. It’s Rigsby’s emotional connection to Van Pelt that causes her command to be most influential in Rigsby’s decision to stay.
Section 2: Semantics
Now you’ll learn some of the details from this scene that, while dramatized, aren’t fully wrong in theory.
- Triggers: While slamming someone’s head against a table makes for good television and theatrics, my educated guess is this isn’t the professional (or acceptable) go-to approach by authorities. Whether Rigsby intentionally went to a Hypnotist or was covertly hypnotized, leaving him with a trigger to act violently is a terrible decision. Just the little damage Rigsby did to the man he questioned could’ve gotten the department sued. Unless a Hypnotherapist is helping someone improve their ability to physically protect themselves or another in a violent situation, there’s no reason a Hypnotist of any sort should be leaving violent triggers with people. If Rigsby was triggered by something the man did or said, it makes me question if the person that hypnotized him knew he’d have such an encounter and wanted to get him in trouble. That makes me question the knowledge of and motives behind the one who hypnotized Rigsby.
- Trance Termination: There’s a moment when Jane says he can’t bring Rigsby out of hypnosis because he doesn’t know the trigger that the Hypnotist used. To the lay person, this makes it sound like you can get stuck in hypnosis. While one can be conditioned through a multitude of sessions or subconsciously influenced via covert hypnosis, I disagree with this specific moment. I’d dare to say any quality Hypnotist could help terminate Rigsby’s trance by carefully guiding him out of it. I say carefully because without knowing what the Hypnotist left in Rigsby’s subconscious, you would want to ensure you confidently reassure him that any previous commands or suggestions would be removed, he wouldn’t be negatively affected and would regain full mental, emotional and physical control of himself. There are, of course, ways to be even more nuanced and careful about terminating a hypnotic trance and to be frank, I think Patrick Jane could’ve easily done so. He may have chosen not to, however, to avoid any number of potential liability issues.
- HR Department: I didn’t even consider this detail until I started writing this lesson but I wonder how Rigsby kissing Van Pelt went over with their HR Department? Did anyone even report it or was everyone so impressed with the fact that Rigsby was actually hypnotized that they let it fly? Van Pelt certainly enjoyed herself so I doubt she filed a complaint. Humorous after thoughts.
This lesson reminds me of a past HypnoKick lesson and prompts me to say if you’re going to get hypnotized, research your Hypnotist.
What’s their expertise?
What testimonials do they have?
What’s their track record like?
Do you know anyone who’s used their services/What did they say?
These are just some of the questions you should consider when researching Hypnotists for comedy or therapy.
If, on the other hand, you’re an aspiring or growing Hypnotist, here are my suggestions:
Find Your Focus: Do you want to master comedy hypnosis or hypnotherapy? Make sure to build your business model around the aspect you’re most interested in, as it will help with the following suggestion. If interested in comedy, focus most heavily on clients looking for fun. If interested in therapy, focus on clients looking for help in whatever area you feel most experienced.
Create Testimonials: Do you have quality testimonials to back up what you pitch to clients? The first thing I have my Videographer do post-show is bring my client’s into a quiet and well-lit area to speak to the camera and talk about their experience. While almost 100% of clients watch my promo reel, having venue or event-specific testimonials reassure future prospects that I’m a seasoned professional able to manage any venue or event type. If you’re focusing on comedy hypnosis, get your client’s reaction to the show. If focused on therapy, ask your client to provide you with a detailed before and after story.
Consistency is Key: The more high quality clips, testimonials and promos you can showcase year-in-and-year-out, the more likely you’ll attract the clientele you most desire to serve. When I started, I was doing basic comedy hypnosis for private parties only charging $300-$400. Now, nearly a decade later, I have an unparalleled show, phenomenal promo, raving testimonials and 100’s of clips of me performing all over the United States. As a result, my corporation is able to earn more due to a value-packed track record. If you want to become a Professional Stage Hypnotist, post comedy street and stage clips. If you want to help as many people with a specific challenge as possible, post clips or snippets of you working your magic. The more proof you have that you do what you claim, the more confident your future prospects will be to invest in you.
Practice Good Practice: Avoid being like the Hypnotist who hypnotized Rigsby in this week’s lesson. If you’re going to provide someone Hypnotherapy, make sure to provide them the best help you know how to give while avoiding questioning approaches/techniques. If you want to provide people with a quality comedy experience, make sure your routines are lighthearted and in good fun for all involved. In both cases, always ensure the psychological and physiological safety of your clients/volunteers.
Now, for actual T.V.-based clip this week’s free hypnosis lesson is based off…
Section 3: Conclusion
The Mentalist will always hold a place in my heart for its depth of psychological entertainment by character Patrick Jane. Having the opportunity to play a Magician, Mentalist, Hypnotist, an Informant and (in a sense) a Psychology Teacher all-in-one is a hell of a role!
Let me know in the comments below what movie or television scene you’d like me to react to next. Whoever’s suggestion is picked for the next reaction lesson will receive a gift that helps improve their mood and perception.
Regardless of your path with hypnosis (bookworm, hobbyist, aspiring professional), HypnoKick has everything you need to get started now 🙂