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This is the Work Smart Hypnosis podcast, session number 124, Alan Sands on comedy hypnosis. Welcome to the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast with Jason Lynette, your professional resource for hypnosis training and outstanding business success. Here’s your host, Jason Lynette. So this hypnotist walks into a bar and the bartender says, What is this?
Some kind of. Hey there, it’s Jason Lynette. Welcome back to the program, and it’s about time I get Alan Sands here to join me on this program. We’ve been bouncing messages back and forth in terms of scheduling. Discuss the idea before, and you’re about to hear the conversation that we had for a great amount of time to really discuss some outstanding themes in terms of hypnosis.
Stage hypnosis, comedy, hypnosis, and even for those of you that are out there that don’t do any sort of presentational hypnosis, realize that as a hypnotherapist, the skills of the hypnotist on stage are ones that will absolutely, truly benefit your practice. So whether it’s. Bringing more hypnotic phenomenon into your sessions to have the ability, as you’ll hear, Alan tells a great story around this, to be able to get up and give a presentation, uh, to give a talk, a lecture, and actually do a demo in terms of what it is that you do as a hypnotist.
It’s the formula as I’d often refer to it as you should show rather than just tell, give the experience of hypnosis when you’re actually out in your community talking about your work, rather than stand there pinned behind the lectern and, uh, sharing the history and hypnosis works for this. Hypnosis works for that.
No, give them. The experience. We’re gonna talk about some themes, which are perfect timing because, uh, just a few weeks back, I actually did a whole podcast session number, um, cheating here. Number 122 from about two weeks ago was how to be a good hypnosis student. And one of them talked about the theme of.
Being able to step into that role of actually seeking out that mentorship. And you’re gonna hear Alan share some outstanding themes and some insights as to how we can really expedite our learning and how really being open to adjustments from others. You know, stand here, say it this way. If you did the technique in this order, if you saw the client in this way, the opportunity to seek out people who, as I would often say are really hypnotic workers.
People who are out there like Alan, who are training it, but also more importantly, are truly making a living doing it. So you can learn more about Alan and his upcoming, uh, opportunities, of course [email protected] Uh, check this out because there’s a really cool thing that he has done. That you can get access to just a boatload of, uh, his stage hypnosis shows to really just watch him in action and really begin to get the nuances that really punch up a performance.
It’s a long url. So I will point you over to work smart hypnosis.com. Find the show notes for this specific session, and you’ll find the exact link to absolutely get access to all those show videos. Also, I would highly recommend that you join Alan, myself, and several others as well. We’re all gonna be together in Las Vegas in January, 2018 at the second annual Ultimate Stage Hypnosis Conference.
I don’t have the cheat sheet in front of me, so let me see if I can rattle the names off by memory. But it’s a three day stage hypnosis conference. Anthony Galley’s gonna be there talking about corporate hypnosis. Alan Sands is gonna be there talking about a myriad of techniques to improve your shows.
Uh, Michael Desal, it’s gonna be there talking about the school market. Uh, Katherine Hicklin is gonna be there talking about stage presence. Are you noticing a theme? These are also people who have already been featured on this program, though soon to be Work Smart Hypnosis guest, uh, Paul Ramsey is gonna be there talking.
Innovation and hypnosis. Uh, I’m gonna be there talking about building some passive income streams to really bump up your business. Uh, Tommy v Uh, Dan CandE, it’s an outstanding lineup. Susan Rosen’s gonna be there talking about stage hypnosis safety, which you’re gonna hear. Alan talk about in this conversation as well.
Get all the details and sign up right away [email protected], though themes of comedy, themes of likability, themes of how do you really improve as an artist and a comedic performer doing hypnosis. So with that, you’re gonna want to listen to this one a couple of times through as some amazing nuggets, some amazing experiences inside of it, and an incredible tip involving a highlight.
At the very end of it. So with that, let’s jump right in. This is Work Smart Hypnosis, session number 124, Alan Sands on comedy hypnosis.
Oh, my dad, I mean, my father was a comedy magician and comedy hypnotist, and he wrote books on balloon animal s sculpturing and did card cheating exposes. And he had played with hypnosis in World War ii. When we moved to the Catskills in the early seventies, he began developing multiple acts because he was working for the same hotels day after day.
And one of the acts that he redeveloped was his hypnosis show. So I sat there watching his show for years over and over and over again, and he also trained a number of people. We went and saw other performers that were performing in the mountains, and therefore I was exposed to it from the age of 12 on.
Uh, till I was 17. At 17, I moved to California cuz I had majored in marijuana for the first three years of high school . And I moved in with my sister from New York to California and I discovered that I could be the life of the party. They didn’t realize that I grew up in the mountains of New York. All my theater friends in California thought, Ooh, he’s from New York.
Ah, he’s a star, you know? And. Anyway, so I was doing, I began doing hypnosis at parties, uh, cast parties for the drama department. Yeah. And then actually stage a hypnosis show for the school in lieu of a magical theater production that never really came to fruition that we had attempted to put on. Then I got scared.
I knew I had not had any training. I knew I had not read any books. The only training I had had was from watching other people and imitating them. Mm-hmm. and at a party. I told a girl that the room was scorching hot and she started thrashing around on the floor and came within. I exaggerate and say within an inch of hitting her head on a marble table.
I really don’t remember. It was 40 years ago, and I, it scared me and I decided maybe I didn’t know what I was doing. It was another 15 years before I began doing hypnosis again. And the reason I picked it up was I had been, I was working on the same stages as Terry Stokes doing a comedy magic show. I saw the audiences that he was drawing and I became interested in developing it again.
Then I went to South Africa as a magician with a puppeteer and a juggler. Fred Anderson and Bob Hartman and the three of us were doing a three man show called Laugh America. We were probably the first acts to arrive in South. South Africa after apartheid was lifted in 92. Anyway, we were touring and Bob began to develop his hypnosis show, got permission from the producers and I would make an announcement cuz I was the mc.
That following Laugh America, anyone that wanted to stick around and be part of or witnessed the comedy hypnosis show could stick around and witness it and be part of it. And Bob would get up there and start to develop his show. And he was. He was having the hardest time I have ever witnessed in my life and I realized if he could die that bad and get up there and do it again and again, I could too.
So upon returning, I began doing Stanford frat parties and rush parties, uh, here in the Bay Area for Stanford University in 1993. And, uh, the first year I did maybe four shows next year, and then I waited a year , I didn’t get any more shows until it was rush season again, which is always in March, April, around Easter.
And so I waited a year and I did another three, four or five shows, but that year I charged a hundred dollars a. The first year I did ’em all for free. And then, you know, I was doing county fairs, so I had the opportunity to trade one of my magic shows for a hypnosis show and die and then pull out my magic act and save the show.
And that’s how I learned was by trial and error and by fire. And eventually, you know, I, I, I felt the click at five years. Mm-hmm. , I knew it five years. That I didn’t need to be holding my cue cards in my hand. My notes. And that I could recite what I wanted to recite and that I was able to pull off the entire show from beginning to end with a little bit of confidence and have successful shows.
So that was roughly 19 what? 98 And. Then in 99 and 2000, I took my clinical training, uh, somewhere in there. I also took Jerry Valley’s very first stage hypnosis training. Uh, he did it with Orman McGill and he did it with, uh, Shelly Stockwell. Hmm. And I had already been doing hypnosis for six years at that point, stage hypnosis.
And I found I really just did not get that much out of it at that time. Now I feel very differently about it because I, uh, a year and a half ago, I videotaped their show for them, uh, their presentation. And with Michael Desal, uh, Tommy V and Jerry, uh, I feel even I gained things listening to them and watching them because all of them had little insights.
Uh, you know, the stories that we tell at the dinner table now amongst our peers. They also told on stage, and I just got five days of concentrated, uh, presentation by them. So I actually endorse their training pretty heavily. Yeah, there’s, there’s a couple of nuances inside of that that I’d love to, to go back and begin to unpack quite a bit that there’s, there’s a common theme that’s popped up the more I’ve talked to people that.
As we get started in this, we often don’t yet know enough to be afraid of it or cautious around it, but then something clicks and we have that moment of realizing, Okay, I gotta learn more. I need to do something to really refine what I’m doing. And you know, whether it’s, here’s the event where someone almost got hurt to go back.
Can you kind of unpack, if anything, what was kind of missing in those early years of really gathering that confidence, gathering that that skill to, to do it consist. Well, all of it. Yes. I mean, I love a comedy magician ready for 15 years and I went in there with ultra confidence that it was only gonna take me three years.
Cuz I knew the rule of thumb that it takes five years to master anything. I mean, that’s why we send people to school for college for four years. Oh yeah. Or five years, you know, for their internship. Is that it really does take those full five years of training before somebody really grasps any new skill.
And I was cocky and I said, Well, I’ve been a comedy magician and an mc and a, you know, a performer my whole life, and I I, I’ll learn this in three years. And no, it still took five years. Um, and, you know, I was missing everything. I didn’t have safety training. And safety training can be very subtle, but it’s very, very critical.
I was talking to Justin James just the other day because I’m gonna be doing a naughty show tomorrow night and on Saturday night, and I haven’t done a naughty show in 15 years. Mm-hmm. , And he gave me two very important little tips that I knew them, but him saying them made all the sense in the world and one of them was, Don’t let anyone put anything in their mouth.
Let them mind it. But don’t let them put a cucumber or a hot dog or a beer bottle in their mouth. And that sounds so simple. Yet it’s so important, you know, why break teeth, um, or whatever, Why have somebody else accidentally smack their hand? If they have a hot dog in their mouth and they choke, who knows what’s gonna happen?
But it’s such an easy safety thing. The other thing, Do not let anybody touch each other. Yeah. You know, you’re doing a naughty show. Don’t let them touch each other. And that way some big biker dude doesn’t jump up on the stage and, you know, smacks someone down, whether it’s me or someone else. You know, these little subtle things that you learn.
With time, you either learn them yourself from experience or somebody tells you, and that’s where training you know you. You learn other people’s mistakes and their precautions, and you can either take ’em or leave ’em, but you at least hear somebody else say them to you and you at least, you know, absorb them.
You. And well, I mean that’s that real benefit of just that, that networking con connecting with others where, whether it’s even the marketing side of, you know, use the phrase this way, put it in this order. Okay, you, you know, I can’t find the button to actually purchase this product. Or for the stage thing, you know, if you just stood on the left side of the stage, that would look better than where you are on the right side.
Just those little nuances that just the experience is only gonna come by hearing that from others and getting that feedback. Yeah. Uh, absolutely. In every way. You know, I just started working in England. I do the Glastonbury Festival, which is the world’s largest live performance festival. It was a music festival for the first like 20, maybe 15 years, and then 30 years ago, they added in Variety X, and I’m the first licensed stage hypnotist to ever.
The Glastonbury Festival in 45 years, um, you have to have a license in England. And in the process of getting the license, I had to read the rule of 52 or the laws of 52, which were the laws that England instituted in 1952 regarding stage hypnotists. And again, there were just simple common sense. Things in there that, Yeah, like how have existed?
Well, one of them is you put a yellow or a white line around the edge of the stage if there is not one there already. And before you induce a hypnotic state, you point out that white or yellow line and tell them, do not fall off the stage. Do you see the line? Yeah. Do not cross it. And they remember it when they’re hypnotized.
or the other rule that I remember very vividly, which was new to me, was, Oh, you’re not allowed to do any regression therapy. Yeah. Uh, or, or any regressions whatsoever on stage in a stage hypnosis show in England. Mm-hmm. , you can’t do regression. Yeah. You don’t know what you’re gonna drum up know. Right.
Right. What issues you’re going to inflame, and it’s just a simple. Um, Okay, So you avoid it, you know, just like here in the US you’re not allowed to do a bridge or you know, coma, you know, whatever the hell it’s called. Yeah. The full body. Right. Spotty is different. Rigid someone, someone’s standing on top of them.
Yeah. And you know, our insurance companies will not permit us to do that. Here. You can do it, but your insurance won’t cover you. Mm-hmm. . And, you know, these are common sense things that sometimes you have to be slapped upside the head and say, Don’t do it. You know, because I used to do it, you know, and I knew the dangers my father had warned me of the, you.
The possibility of hurting somebody’s back, uh, was good . There was a good possibility of, and here are the verified stories of people getting hurt en suing and winning. So, um, good advice, don’t . Yeah. You know, these are all common sense things, but once you go to a class and they drill it into you, then you leave there saying, Okay, it’s just not necessary.
And allow me to ask a rather leading question here, but this is my perspective of it, where oftentimes there might be someone new to this and they’re looking at all these things and going, Well, I can’t do regression on stage. I can’t make them kids in a, in a school class making fun of the teacher behind their back when yes, you absolutely can still do that routine.
You just need to find a more appropriate way to address it and get into it rather than feel yourself getting younger and going back to this specific school year that there’s moments where these specific rules actually allow greater flexibility. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Uh, I’ve done the body catay where I don’t have somebody stand on them.
Mm-hmm. and you know, if it’s a, if it’s a marine, And he’s in perfectly good condition. You know, there, there’s, you’re not gonna hurt this guy. I mean, he’s, you know, and you look at them and you learn to say, you know, do you have any problems with your back, your neck, your shoulders, um, you know, your knees, whatever.
And, uh, you know, and if they say yes, you don’t do it, you stop the routine right there. Yeah. End. If they say no, then you can, you know, have them suspend themselves between two chairs, but you don’t stand on them. And yeah. So there’s, you know, there’s. Variations where you can get away with it. But again, my insurance wouldn’t cover it if he sued me.
So I have to weigh that also and decide I’m gonna take that risk, which I don’t do very often. I mean, it’s very, very rare. It’s not even. A question of not that often. So then traveling around. I’m curious to ask this then, uh, working with audiences in the US versus being over there at that, uh, festival. Uh, how, how different does your show change based on that audience?
Well, you learn things. I had an ad reaction in England, and then how to do a little bit of homework because. I used to here in the US say the devil came, and then I do this routine where the devil took your spirit and put it inside of a bag of microwave popcorn and a long list of other things. And you go through these very quick, fast paced, um, you know, you’re a washing machine, you’re a bag of popcorn, you’re a pneumatic drill, breaking up concrete, et cetera.
And. I had an a reaction here in the US when I said the devil came because the woman was Mormon and she just didn’t associate with people that dealt with the devil. She didn’t want anything to do with it, and she started crying on stage and I woke her up, sent her off the stage, talked to her after the show, and found out what the reason was.
In England, and then I changed it to the boogeyman. Well, in England the boogeyman is as demonic, if not more demonic. Ooh. Than the devil . So I again, had the reaction happen. Yeah. So the thought was, I can, I can soften this, this way, but, and inadvertently you may have made it the same or if not worse. Yeah.
Um, you know, and it wasn’t anything, you know, mind blowing as far as the app reaction goes. It was, you know, somebody just going into a crying jag and you deal with it, um, you know, after the show more so than during the show. Mm-hmm. , uh, you know, and then there’s vocabulary differences, you know, of course, uh, you know, whether it’s miles and meters, whether it’s, um, you know, kilometers rather mm-hmm.
whether it’s, uh, speed. You know, references or weight references. Yeah. Temperatures, the metric system versus, Yeah. Um, you, you have to learn those things and deal with them a little bit to the best of your ability. But because America has Hollywood, everyone speaks American English, where everyone comprehends American English, even if they don’t use the vocabulary, so, You don’t have the comprehension problem of, you know, them not getting it.
Uh, they get it. It just doesn’t translate Right. You know, it sounds funny, you know, it’s like when our British hypnotists that we know are talking to us, we hear the accent and it may even distract us while we’re listening to them briefly and you know, so that happens there, of course. But really, you know, Any English speaking country, whether it’s South Africa or whether it’s England or whether it’s Canada, you don’t run into a lot of, um, communication problems or changing your routines too much.
And, uh, you know, I pick on a geographic area as a kind of a dig during my show, and I always have to find some place and ask people, you know, , you know, which sports team should I pick on? Mm-hmm. , you know, that’s losing really bad. Or what town do you pick on ? And you try and remember it, but you know, if you’re in England, insert local reference here.
Yeah. I have trouble with vocabulary, remembering things like that. So I have to write ’em on my hand. Yeah. And, uh, or have a note, a little business card in my pocket that has those notes on it and I can find it quickly. So there’s a, there’s a theme. So many people I’ve talked to, even myself, I, I got my start, um, as a magician.
I had the, uh, sensational rope routine there and, uh, was looking at, uh, so there’s a, there’s a through line here, but I meet so many people that started with magic and then moved over to hypnosis or even added it in. What would you say it is from that background that perhaps motivates. Even though on one side, yes, it’s just often a familiar environment, a familiar community.
What would you say it is that lends itself to, to connect the two I, I mean, I have to regress here to what my father used to tell me, and that is when you walked into the Magic Store in the forties, fifties, sixties, probably right up until the seventies and even currently, you would find juggling equipment, right?
You would find ventrical dolls, you would find books on. Ventriloquism and juggling and magic and hypnosis, and it was people like Orman McGill, who was a magician and also wrote, you know, many of the definitive books on stage hypnosis as well as clinical, as well as spiritualism, and his books would end up in these stores.
As well as, yeah, I don’t know how many other ma, I mean there, there’s just a very high ratio of magicians that transfer over. I think there’s a myth that you’re gonna carry less equipment, and I kind of laugh at that because I used to carry a bag when, or a box when I did my magic show and I could use any sound system and now, I just loaded, you know, three speakers into my car and a sack full of cables and a mixer.
Yeah. And I have two microphones that I have to carry. And video equipment and video duplicating equipment. And you’re kidding me. I have a truck full of equipment and it takes me a minimum of an hour to set up for a hypnosis show, whereas my magic show. You know, could have, I would set it up in the car in 10 minutes and then, you know, walk in and have everything in my pockets already and just pull off the show.
So, So what’s the balance for you these days? How, how much of the time are you spending with magic? How much are you spending with hypnosis? Um, I’m using magic as an upsell. Mm-hmm. , I rarely do a magic show for doing magic only. I mean, I do do them occasionally, you know, a corporation will be having a, an event and they’ll say, no, these are a bunch of people that have been standing in a trade show booth and I know my group and they’re not gonna participate in a hypnosis show, so we should probably just do the comedy magic, and that’s fine.
In general, I tend to use. The magic is an upsell. So, you know, it’s make up numbers, you know, cuz my prices fluctuate all over the place, but it’s, you know, 1695 for the hypnosis show and another 300 and I’ll do the magic show also and you’ll get over two hours of entertainment. So they get, you know, two hours and 15 minute show.
And they paid 1995 for it. Yeah. And I’ll do that for grad nights, and I do three, maybe grad nights a year doing that. I do have the flexibility for, let’s say, county fairs where I can say, yes, I’ll come in and I’ll do a magic show for noon for the lunch crowd, you know, as they’re running in and out, cuz they only have 30, 35 minutes for lunch.
And then I’ll come back and I’ll do two evening hypnosis shows. And again, it’s frosting on the cake to help me close the gig, but really I’m doing. You know, I mean, this weekend I’m doing three hypnosis shows, and then I’m doing the hypnosis training in Wyoming, at the Wyoming State Fair With five students.
Yeah. Let’s chat about that. And because the, the aspect of working as well as training at the same time for, for those that aren’t familiar with it, what’s, what’s the experience of someone going through that? You call it a bootcamp? Yeah, I, I actually took the name from Jim Juan’s bootcamp that he had about three years ago.
Mm-hmm. , and it was just like, his wasn’t really a bootcamp, , but mine is, I mean, mine is without a doubt, a bootcamp because I am literally from the first day you show up, I’m putting you on stage and you are doing solo shows, you know, from beginning to end. Oh. So it’s not the, it’s if you’re swinging and it’s not the swing in and just do one routine, it’s the here’s the opportunity to get up there and do the whole thing.
Yeah. I mean, I, I can do that and I have done that. And if I have to do that, I do. Um, the other thing that I’ve also done is if somebody’s totally reluctant to get up there and they’re just stage fright. I’ll have them get up there and BMC for one of the other hypnotists. Hmm. Or I’ll have them get up and BMC and do the pre wrap, um, or the pre-talk or what, you know, the introduction of what is hypnosis.
And I let them get up there and just talk to the audience and get comfortable. And then they introduce the hypnotist that’s gonna come out. Uh, in some cases they get carried away and then they invite volunteers up and then they hand it over to. Person and, but whatever it takes to do the show and get up there by the end of the week, um, every single one of my students, and I hate calling them students.
I don’t know why I’m opposed to that, but, uh, all of my trainees, well, I guess you wouldn’t call somebody in bootcamp a student, you know, a soldier, you’d call them a trainee or something. And that’s really what I’m doing is I’m coaching them. I’m. Um, teaching them how to do an induction. Um, you know, I’m giving them hints on how to improve their induction if I feel it needs it, or, you know, pointing out how to be more presentable on stage.
Like you were saying, stand on the right. Don’t stand on the left, or stand behind the chairs or stop, you know, we don’t wanna look at your butt for 45 minutes, . Uh, you know, you’ve gotta turn around. So you either stand behind those chairs and look at the back of their heads cuz you don’t need to see them.
You know, the audience needs to see them. The, the favorite advice I keep hearing or even using at times is the, you know, you’re talking to people with their eyes closed. You don’t have to look at them. Entertain the audience. Yeah, absolutely. And although there is a nervous factor of making sure that they’re not faking right, as well as making sure that they’re, you know, that they are under and not, you know, opening their eyes and looking around and you can’t really see that from behind, which is the great advantage to having an A system like Terry Stokes or.
Um, Mark Soard or any of the others that have two people on stage and their partner can let them know if somebody is not, you know, if their eyes keep opening and closing or whatever, you know, my bootcamp, it’s working. My God, I just can’t believe how well it is working. And this is gonna be my, my first one is October, 2013.
And then I did two of them on the, in 2014, two of them in 2015, two of them in 2016. And I’m only doing one this year. So this will be my ACE bootcamp. And I would say that of the 2017 people have taken the bootcamp up till now, and I have three newbies that are coming in this year, uh, next week. And of those 17, I would say 14 of them are doing shows and making money doing shows.
And the other three, one of them is a, just a HNO junkie training junkie. Uh, one of them is a clinical hypnotherapist and she says that she now can get up and do presentations and promote her clinical hypno practice much better because she, she learned. How to use a microphone, how not to walk in front of the speakers and what causes feedback and things of that nature.
I’m a audio engineer. I mean, that’s what I went to college for. So I do have a good emphasis on learning the basics of sound reinforcement. Yeah. I mean, and that’s where the stage hypnosis training for the, for the hypnotherapist when they’re doing that lecture demo to not so perhaps say it needs to be more of a show that it is a lecture, but anytime we can do more of the well show rather than just.
The difference between just being locked behind that lecture and talking about the history and here’s what else hypnosis is good for, as opposed to let’s experience something together. Yeah, absolutely. Yes, , I’m not gonna deny that at all because that’s, you know, I think, I think all presenters though, learn to do that eventually.
Again, that’s part of that learning curve, but also they learn how to hold a microphone. Yeah. You know? How a microphone works, I mean, you learn how to hold a telephone from copying your parents, and you put it up to your ear and place it on your ear, and the mouthpiece on the old telephones or even cell phones, and the mouthpiece is within an inch or two of your mouth.
And people don’t realize that you also need a microphone to be within an inch or two of your mouth and they hold it down by their chest or they, you know, have a pointing away or they cup the microphone. I mean, how many terrible DJs just cup the head of the microphone and that destroys the dynamics.
Yes, it makes it louder, but it doesn’t, Um, Make it clearer. And so, you know, demonstrating that for them while they’re sitting in the audience and showing them over and over again, the different ways to use a microphone right and wrong, makes all the difference in the world when they actually get up there and do it themselves.
Yeah. There’s a theme I’ve heard you talk on before that I’d love to spend some time with you while we’ve got some time together today of bringing more comedy into your comedy hypnosis. Yeah, that’s, um, something I didn’t realize until hypno thoughts and sitting in the audience and having multiple people get up there and say, I am a comedy hypnotist.
And then they talk to the audience for 20 minutes and don’t get a laugh. That is not what a comedian is. A comedian is someone who gets a minimum of, you know, two laps per minute. And you know, there’s an old rule of thumb that if you get two laps per minute, you’re an opening act. If you get four laps per minute, you’re a middle act
And if you get six to eight laps per minute, you’re a headliner. And there are exceptions cuz there are storytellers out there, uh, you know, a. Southern or cowboy, uh, type performers will get up and tell stories, and then the story has a, you know, a punchline at the end. But the kind of humor even I, I, who is, I’m thinking back to of seeing Jerry Clouder at the Virginia State, uh, festival for so many years in the line of, Yeah.
Perfect. The audience. Smiling with laughter . It was a specific style. It was more theatrical. It was more of the experience of it as opposed to here’s the next joke, here’s the next joke, here’s a callback, here’s the real texture of a comedy program. And Jerry Clouder was exactly who was in my mind. He was like, I couldn’t remember the name cuz I listened to ’em.
I’m a comedy station on my XM radio, you know, so I’m not saying that. Definitive black and white rules as to what is a comedian and what is a comedy hypnosis show. But if you’re boring your audience, uh, then, then you know, there’s something definitely wrong. And definitely don’t call yourself a comedy hypnotist.
Call yourself a stage iist. Mm-hmm. . There’s nothing wrong with that. Um, you know, call yourself a master hypnotist. Um, what’s his name? Uh, Greg Willerson. Um, Mesmer, Michael Mesmer. Um, you know, he calls himself a master hypnotist. He’s very, very good. I mean, you know, he’s been doing it longer than I have by about five or six years, and he’s very polished and extremely well trained, and, but he still refuses to say I am a.
I’m not a comedy hypnotist and he makes sure that he separates himself so that he, you know, is not expected to get up there and tell jokes from the moment he walks on stage. And that’s, you know, to me what a comedy hypnotist is, is somebody who tells jokes, you know, that makes the audience laugh themselves.
And if you have an entire stage of syno, can you still hold the attention of your audience and make them feel like they were entertained? Well, it comes to that theme of presenting it as it actually is. I mean, on the, on, on the clinical side, uh, I’d often poke fun of the one who’s calling their office a hypnosis center when they’re renting a six by eight tiny room with one chair.
Uh, you have a hypnosis office, not a hypnosis center. Um, and sure there’s something about the audience getting the expectation of. You know, it’s where too often the stage hypnosis program would have the theme of get them excited in the audience, uh, wear them down, bore them for a little while, and then it gets funny again to realize that, oh yeah, something needs to be happening.
To draw that audience’s attention, something needs to keep them interacting. And the, the best way to think of it, at least in my mind, has been. That realization that it should get a laugh when you give the suggestion and it should also get a laugh as they’re doing the suggestion. Yes. Yeah. , I, I, yeah, I absolutely agree.
And by bringing that humor into, that’s gonna serve as that rapport, that’s gonna serve as that mechanism to fill the chairs even more easily and just make the program a, a much better experience. Yeah. There’s another thing that happens also, um, that some stage ship just have mastered and. I now call it the likability factor.
I used to call it the good old boy factor because Terry Stokes has it, and I just watched Mark Usik at the Orange County Fair this week, and Mark has it and. It’s where they’re on stage and they’re laughing, they’re just smiling and they’re having a good time, and people have a good time around people that are always happy.
The girl I’m dating, Lisa, uh, who’s also presenting with me at Hyp Thoughts for the after class that Michael and I are doing, Lisa laughs all the time. She just smiles and she giggles and she laugh. And it’s very contagious and it makes people like you when you are happy all the time. I’m simply pointing out that yes, Terry Stokes is extremely funny.
He knows how to write a joke and feels it intrinsically. Mark is not as brilliant a comedy writer. As Terry is yet, from the moment he walks out on stage, he’s, you know, looking at the audience and saying, So who’s gonna volunteer ? And he is laughing about it and smiling and he immediately is liked. And when in the back of the room, when he is doing his sales, at the end of the.
People want to take you home with them. So if they liked you, they’re going to come and buy your products and take you home with them and it improves your back of the room sales exponentially. And I believe that’s one of the reasons why Richard Barker does so well, is he probably. I haven’t seen him do his show yet live and video never gets this across.
It’s always, you know, very two dimensional. But I believe Richard has that likability factor and it’s one of the reasons why he’ll be successful at his back of the room sales. Where I am cocky, I have that New York cocky attitude and I’m entertaining as all hell, but I’m not quite as likable and I’m a good entertain.
But it’s kind of like, I’m trying to think of, you know, the older generation of standup comedians such as Buddy Hackett or I, I’m going to Gene Wilder as Willie Wonka, that you wanted him to yell at you too, but at the same time you wanted to get away. Mm-hmm. , Rodney Dangerfield. It’s like I sat at the dinner table with Rodney Dangerfield and all he did was pick on.
No, no, that’s a nice jacket. I hope you get the pants to match at some time. and uh, you know, and he was just like biting at me all the time. You know, everyone, there was his victim of his sarcastic humor and I got it. I wasn’t insulted by it, but it doesn’t make you wanna take him home and hang out with him, you know?
And there’s that factor that makes certain people more likable and. I, I should work on it , you know, and, uh, you know, it would make me more likable. Although there’s, I mean, there’s an art to it of, you know, we had Don Rickels, we had, um, you know, the person who does it with skill, with the craft to it. But it, it’s that aspect of, in the hypnosis business, There’s more of that interaction.
So finding that balance of where it’s a fit. I, I will leave out who for obvious purposes, but it’s a person that I used to be around quite a bit that the line had to be, you know, it was more charming when Archie Bunker said those things. And he just, mm-hmm. , he got the point. . It’s like, you’re not saying it to be funny.
You think you are, but that’s really what you believe as opposed to bringing in just that levity of it where you can tell, you know, Rick’s, Dangerfield, uh, all of these were in on the joke as well. Yes, but you’re right in terms of that aspect of continuing that conversation, and I’ve called to Don Rickels of Magic by a friend at one time, and I had to go see who Don Rickels was and drove four and a half hours to see his show, you know?
And yeah. I mean, I’m cocky, you know, I’m obnoxious and it doesn’t help my back of the room cells. So then at this, this point in the career, being involved with all this for quite some time, and I love the aspect of coming back and revisiting your education, revisiting the learning. If you had to start it all over again, what would you, what, what piece of advice, what piece of.
Uh, would you have wanted there sooner, perhaps? I absolutely encourage mentorship. Mm-hmm. , I think if you can, Christie, that’s his last name. Um, oh, Scott. Scott Christie. Thank you. Yes. Uh, Scott was very wise and he toured with a number of other hypnotists, uh, and helped them, you know, he was, I call it their, Um, but you know, he hung out with them and absorbed and learned from them.
He may not have picked the Terry Stokes to do it with, um, but, and you know, Terry doesn’t invite people to hang out with him and absorb. Uh, he would rather hire you or get paid by you. And, but I, you know, I can say that every single person that ever took a training directly from Terry Stokes has been exceedingly, you know, six figure successful.
And it’s because he’s that thorough. And, you know, people that have dated, let’s say Mark Ek, uh, he had a girl. Tina Marie, uh, who, you know, he dated for years and Tina Marie absorbed the show and then went off to, you know, do her own show and she’s very good and she’s making six figures now. So she mentored and there’s been a couple of other.
You know, a half a dozen. Other examples I could probably come up with like that. So if I could do it all over again, I would absolutely mentor with someone. But mentoring means that the teacher has to want to teach you what they’re doing and discuss it with you every night over the dinner table and, you know, be able to take criticism as well as give criticism and, you know, take questions, I guess would be a better idea.
And answer them for you, not just sit in the audience and try and absorb marks of art show 40 times to feel like you’ve learned it. Because that’s what I did. I watched my dad, I watched Terry Stokes countless times on county fairgrounds, and then I went off to do it myself, but I didn’t learn those little subtleties that are so important, like kicking the back of the chair or.
Grabbing their wrist and pulling on it in a gesture that makes them tip over. You know, you watch Mark Usik tapping people’s heads and they flop over very quickly. Well, for one, the audience is programmed to do that cause they’ve watched the show before and they see that happening. But he’s not poking them in the forehead is literally just making that, you know, that click sound in the microphone and he’s capping their.
And they flop over and learning those little mechanics that you’re not poking people and you’re not yanking on their arm and you’re not, you know, you’re, you’re looking for those subtle signs. You know what’s going on there that Jerry Stokes knows and has mastered, and it’s because he’s done the biggest of the big fairs.
Three shows a day for 15, 20, 30 years in a row that, you know, you’ve been able to experiment and see what’s going on. So, mentoring, mentoring, uh, you know, to me that would be the one thing that I would do differently if I could do it all over again instead of, you know, getting 21 years of experience, I could have gotten that much quicker.
You know, so many of those lessons so much faster. By e drinking and breathing somebody else’s life lessons. I love it. I love it. So where can people find you online? Uh, alan sands.com. If they’re interested in my bootcamp. That is, there’s two urs that go to the same place. Comedy hypnotist.org or stage hypnotist dot coo.
Uh, both of those go to the bootcamp and. And if they wanna just purchase all of my shows, I have them on Vimeo and they can go to comedy hypnotist A sams.com. Yeah, I love that. And get all my 2000, uh, shows where there’s a much longer url and they can email me at [email protected] to get the other url because I was putting all my shows for years and years onto another site.
And there’s about 80, there’s 80 plus. Shows on one site, which is still Vimeo, but it, I mean, to explain, you know, they’ll have to email me for this, but it’s vimeo.com/on demand slash 2015 hypno shows. And, you know, so it’s a little bit longer. I put the email in the show notes. . Okay. Yeah, yeah. No, I love that.
Especially, uh, one of the greatest gifts that I got when I first got involved with hypnosis was someone, uh, now be, to be quite open. I’m sure this was not legitimate copies, but here’s a spend all of a whole bunch of shows, and the advice was, I’m not gonna tell you which ones are good or, Watch ’em, figure it out for yourself and to be able to pick apart the ones that, Okay, yeah, this is, this is how it should go.
This is what should be happening. And the others watching like a train wreck. Um, but that open nature of what you’ve done there, of just, Yeah. Here’s all the shows from last year. Check ’em out. Uh, just to really share that knowledge. Mm-hmm. , I love that I put the tough shows up there as well, where only 1, 2, 3 people went under, out of the 12 that I vol, you know, asked to volunteer.
Uh, or if I have a show that’s completely, you know, they’re all syno ballistic. And they don’t animate. I put it up there and you know, that way if you can get through the show, you may not watch the whole show. You may go, Oh wow. You know, . But I believe that a very important part of learning to be a stage hypnotist is failing.
Yes. And watching other people fail empowers you to be able to get up there and fail. Not every show is going to go perfect. I’ve done fairs. I did a fair in Maine. That paid me really, really well. I mean, I think they paid me like $3,500 for three shows, which at the time was top dollar for me. And I went there and the first show went brilliant.
Second show went dynamite. Third show bombed terribly. And you know, there’s no way to predict, There’s no way to. Uh, you know, from day to day, which show’s gonna be good and which one isn’t. So the bad shows are on there too, and the perfect shows are up there. We’re all 12. Volunteers go under deep and they get up and they.
And, you know, and I laughed for the whole show even I was good anyway, and then coming up as well, we’ll put links to those, uh, opportunities in the show notes. Uh, this is coming out about two, three weeks before hypno thoughts live. So we’ll put a link to the, uh, the, the class you’re doing there and then also coming up end of January, the stage Ultimate Stage Hypnosis Conference out in Vegas, which will link to that as well.
Uh, a it’s been awesome finally having you on. Well, great. It’s been a fun hour and now I gotta go pack and get on an airplane and go do two very, very naughty shows in Iowa for a motorcycle rally. The next day I fly back on Sunday and I work for a very ultra conservative Jewish. Teenage travel group from New York that are here in the San Francisco Bay area that are so conservative, they don’t want the boys and the girls to touch on stage.
I’ve been there before. Contrast of two, I have not, even though I’m Jewish, I have never done a really ultra conservative Jewish group. I down the middle, I was tapping shoulders with a yellow highlighter, so I wasn’t even tapping the. Ah, thank you for the pointer. Yes, I will get myself a highlighter using the highlighter because that was absolutely visible to the audience and the person who’s being capped on the shoulder.
Now was the language. Uh, needless to say, since I’ve done that, there’s a synagogue I’ve been at every single year ever since. Beautiful. I’m putting a yellow highlighter in my pocket at this moment cuz I get off the plane in Oakland and drive directly to my job in Alameda. I don’t even come home in between.
All right. Awesome. I’m gonna let you go cause I have to go pack. Have a good one. I’ll see you in a plane. Leave in three hours. All right. Bye-bye. Hey there, Jason, Lynette here once again, as always, thank you so much for your ongoing support of this program. We’ve now, now been downloaded more than a hundred thousand times all around the world.
The numbers keep growing and it’s your feedback that really helps this program to grow. So, Leave, uh, your positive reviews over on iTunes. Share this on all of your social media streams, and I’m gonna share the stage in this, uh, wrap up here to once again remind you to head over to stage hypnosis conference.com.
That’s the hub for the upcoming Ultimate Stage Hypnosis Conference put on by Tommy V and Michael Desalt, January, 2018. In Las Vegas, there’s about 10 of us who are gonna be there as speakers a. Three day convention. Your lunches are included, an incredible networking opportunity with some outstanding education.
That again, is stage hypnosis conference.com. See soon. Thanks for listening to the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast and work smart hypnosis.com.