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You’re getting very sleepy

Staff Reports

From stage hypnosis to therapeutic hypnosis, we are piqued by the idea of hypnotism: that someone can get into our minds and cause us to behave in strange ways. On Aug.14 at the Vilar Center, hypnotist Michael C. Anthony will use his talents in an attempt to convince the skeptics that they, too, might fall spell to the power of hypnotism.How did you discover that you had this talent?”My uncle was a stage hypnotist, so that’s how I got fascinated with the whole realm of stage hypnosis. It’s not a power like a lot of people think it is; it’s more like playing a musical instrument. When you learn the different techniques and the different hypnotic language patterns and you start to talk in a certain way, anybody will go into a trance. Once you get somebody into a trance state, hilarious things can start happening. People forget their names, they fall in love with brooms, I make them think they’re in a $100,000 dance contest. It’s completely hysterical the things that they’ll do.”How does hypnosis work?”I start off with 30 volunteers on the stage and I put them through a couple of tests where I test their suggestibility. When I start to give these slight suggestions and they start to respond, I start to look for the people who are responding the best and then center in on those people. I induce what looks like sleep but really is a really relaxed state and when they get into that state, that’s when the unconscious mind will start to believe the ridiculous things that I’m about to tell it.”What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve seen somebody do?”Once I was doing a show where I was telling the whole group up on the stage to get really, really comfortable, really, really relaxed, and there was this one girl who just kept adjusting her sweatshirt and nobody really knew why. Eventually, she reaches up under her shirt and pulls out her bra. She was just getting very comfortable. So she laid the bra on the stage and she just went right back to sleep. I’m thinking, I have to do something with this bra, I have to get some kind of idea. So later on, I told her that her bra was her headphones for her Sony Walkman. She walked over to her bra, she tied it around her head and she started listening to the music that didn’t even exist but it did in her head.”Can you hypnotize me right now, over the phone, and make me say something funny?”Unfortunately, no. Here’s how you can hypnotize somebody over the phone: if you hypnotize somebody in person at one time and you say, ‘later on, any time you hear me say the word chicken, you’ll start clucking like a chicken.’ Then I can talk to you on the phone a year later and you’ll start clucking. That can definitely be done. But when I do my stage hypnosis, I tell people it won’t last forever. I, of course, erase every suggestion 110% on the stage.”Do you ever have people call and complain that the suggestions have remained after the show?”The worst thing that has ever happened is, once, I think the suggestion I gave was, anytime they saw a white handkerchief they’d think it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen. Well, in the lobby after the show, somebody was waving a white handkerchief around and it re-triggered the suggestion and one person started cracking up. So, they just brought him over to me and I gave him a little extra thing and took it away.”Do you have trouble meeting women because they’re afraid you’ll use hypnosis on them?”It’s funny, girls ask me that all the time. The answer is no, I don’t, but sometimes you wonder if people believe you. Sometimes I’ll joke you know, they say, ‘can you pick up a girl using hypnosis?’ I’ll say, ‘not that they’re aware of.’ But I’m only joking when I say it. I like to freak people out sometimes.”So do you pull out the hypnosis at family reunions?”Not really. Hypnosis plays well in a theatre-type setting. Usually if I’m at a family reunion or something, I do a lot of different mind-reading-type things where I freak people out. I also do a lot of different sleight-of-hand psychological tests where I really test somebody’s mind and make them think that they’re seeing something really crazy that’s really based on illusion.”Do you ever do something to people that makes them feel so good they want you to do it again or make it permanent?”Oh, yeah. Any time somebody who was on the stage leaves, they always feel caught up on eight hours of sleep, so they feel really good. Hypnosis feels great, especially when it’s over.” VT “Hypnotized Live&quot starring Michael C. Anthony is a family-friendly show, however no one under the age of 16 will be invited up on stage to participate in hypnosis. Tickets are $15 child and $25 adult. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek. For more information call (800) 920-2787 or visit http://www.vilarcenter.org.By Kate Marshall


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