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This is the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast, Session number 330. Kevin Lapine on Hypnosis Unleashed. 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, June 25th, 2014, seven years ago.
That’s when the very first episode of this Work Smart Hypnosis podcast series officially launched. And for those of you that have been with me the entire way through, welcome back. For those of you that might be listening to this very first episode, good to have you here. Either way, as this episode officially releases on Thursday, June 24th, 2021.
Minus one day. We still can call it seven years and running. So again, thank you to everybody who’s joining me on this program. And before I introduce the guests that, uh, I’ll give you some of the backstory behind this. There’s a task that I often have that I’ve invented myself of looking at how sometimes there are significant episodes, uh, when episode number 51st rolled around and suddenly became episode number 100, and then one 50, and then 200, and then what is five years old?
Episode 300 happened recently, and I always make it a point to reach out to someone who I’ve been meaning to have on this program for quite some time, that this is part of the tradition of this program and a big part of the conversation that you’re about to listen to. The idea that if we want to learn, we need to be ourselves coachable.
So the backstory for those of you that are new to this program was that as I was getting more heavily involved in hypnosis and the profession and training myself, I wanted to have a stronger network of people that I could bounce ideas off if I could learn from the way that the rule has been since day one.
I have people on this program that I personally wanna listen to, I personally want to have a conversation with, and you know, there just happens to be another, at this point, million plus people around the world who also get to listen in. Good to have you here. The same way that, and you’ll hear this in the conversation, that I would do a guest training event and I’d bring someone in from out of town, pay their travel, sell the seats, and pay them handsomely for what they do, because, well, they deserve it.
uh, the rule always had to be, it wasn’t just who would fill the seat. It was also, it had to be someone that I genuinely wanted to learn from, and I could share that same excitement and bring along another 50 or 60 people. So there’s someone in our industry that I’ve only had a few passing interactions with.
I’ve seen his show a couple of times, and there’s a connection there that I started with stage hypnosis and eventually found my way into instead working primarily with clients and now also trainings and other, we’ll call it hypnotic projects that carry a different expectation of hypnosis than how most people in this industry are now doing it.
But I first saw Kevin Lapine do a show a number of years ago, and yes, the show was great, but it was more so the interactions and some of the stories around the guy that I wanted to have that one to one conversation with. And really, we’ve had a few interactions over the years as it offered, is, is the tradition on this program.
You’re about to hear the first really long form conversation, but I’ll tell you the specific moment. I do, uh, the train the trainer with Richard non guard for the ic, B C H, the International Certification Board of Coaches and Hypnotists. And I was surprised as we were doing the event last year, and I saw Kevin was there in attendance, um, looking to connect with the IC bch, looking to expand his network and there were moments.
Where, when Kevin would chime in and tell stories from someone who clearly has had a long successful career in what we do, but also already is teaching other people. There was a level of insight, there was a level of specificity that I knew was eventually gonna turn into an invite to be on this program and did not yet tell him that this was gonna be the seven year episode.
And I’m so excited that you’re about to hear this dialogue. I always have to, I always have to preframe when it’s a stage heist though, because the overwhelming majority of people who listen to this program are people who work with clients one to one. Well, Kevin, like myself, started by learning the clinical side first and how there’s so much carryover and especially.
When you hear the dialogue that we have in terms of setting up the environment, setting up expectation in a way that we can exceed expectation, that’s a major takeaway that I’m sure many of you will have in this conversation to look at the pre-talk as not just the thing we get through to then do the real work, but really again, part of setting that expectation and following through, and a mindset towards ethics to leave people better than we found him a, as well as owning who we are and what we’re fascinated by, and how do we bring that into what we do.
So for those of you that see clients, This is what informs the stories that we share. This is what informs the metaphors that we make use of, of course, always doing client centered hypnosis and focusing on the outcome of the client, but also even for the stage hypnotist. The advice, as you hear me nerd out over the time he spent with Harry Anderson, that could have been the entire conversation for me as someone who looked up to his work.
Uh, but the conversation of not to become the next someone else, but to become the first version of who you are. And when you hear the insights around community and elevating each other, and especially I knew this was part of the story and Kevin delivered, How is it that we demonstrate to others that we are coachable?
How is it that we demonstrate to others that we can be trained and we are willing to do the. To actually get to where we want to go. A quick nuance and direct plug for the book, which is cheap on Amazon. Uh, but the moment where someone looked at the book, I wrote, uh, an editor worked smart business and went, you know, for a book about business, you might want a few more, like sort of get rich quick things inside of here, Some more instant win strategies.
And I go, well, they’re in there. However, the first word of the title of the book is the word Work . So yes, some of it is work. Let’s be a little bit more intelligent and strategic about how we put it together. And you’re gonna hear that in Kevin’s story here, uh, in terms of what he’s been up to and how he’s gotten to where he is.
And an incredible insight too about being flexible, especially from a show that’s been closed for more than a. As the entire world stopped and what’s gonna be different, what’s gonna be unique about entertainment that we already devoted a ton of time in this podcast series to practitioners reopening their offices, adapting to online sessions.
Work smart hypnosis.com/now online. That brings you to episode number 260, which kicked off a 10 episode series, all about adapting your work for that online platform. Many people are now celebrating as the offices are reopening back up. Um, numbers are dropping, health is improving, vaccine spread is going strong, um, and we’re finding ourselves rapidly under the other side of this.
Now it’s time for the entertainment side of hypnosis to kind of catch up. And I’d tell a quick story before we set that stage for this conversation, which was a bit of an appropriate rant. , I went off on in a, an event the other day where I talked about how there are still a few in our industry. Who, uh, have a bit of a negative expectation, a negative opinion around stage hypnosis.
You’re always entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong I think you are. No, you’re always entitled to your opinion, but it’s where I tend to say, Look at the history of our profession. A moment where suddenly here was chemical anesthesia. And the work of Esda L disappeared. Many of the practitioners faded away because there was a magical liquid that made the job easier to say it simply.
And it was the stage heist. It was the entertainer who kept a lot of it alive and still, it’s a regular basis that I have clients in front of me who the movies you all don’t like because they depict a negative expectation, a sort of a characterized version, a cartoonish version of hypnosis. People see that stuff and they go, Yeah, I know it’s not that, Can you help me with, fill in the blank?
The clients I’ve seen over the years, and yes, they saw whether it was Mark Soard or Terry Stokes, or even Kevin, or even Anthony Cools, and they saw the entertainment side and people are intelligent and they made the connection to go. I bet this can help me with fill in the blank. So understand the history of your profession.
It’s where I always tend to share the passion for stage hypnosis. Even for many of you out there who this may not be your focus, you could head over to the show [email protected]. To find out more about the reopening of Kevin’s program, uh, you can just go to work smart hypnosis.com/three 30.
That’s this week’s episode that’ll redirect you over to the show notes. We can find out how to connect with Kevin. Um, there’s a story I’ll throw in that I didn’t tell him in the recording, which was that even as he already knew me in some way, he, even as he already knew who I was, and we had several mutual friends going to see the show, he recognized that I brought a bunch of people with me to say, Here’s someone else in town you should go see.
And after the show, bringing me backstage, And it wasn’t the moment of let me talk about myself. It was instead, Hey, here’s where all my books are. If there’s anything you ever wanna borrow when you’re in town, you know I’m here. Just come get it. Let me know what you’ve got and you know, bring it back. Uh, but a mindset towards giving.
This is what enhances our profession and excited to have him on here. If you’re looking to expand upon what you do, I’d give you all a free resource. You can check out. Jason webinar.com will bring you to a free on demand presentation called Six Steps to a Six Figure Hypnosis Business, teaching you Strategies.
It is a preview of my community hypnotic business systems, but let’s start with giving you stuff you can put into use right away and learn exactly how you can help yourself to grow your business and help even more people with the great skills that we. Kevin nails the numbers. If all of us were doing 40 hours a week seeing that many clients, we still could not reach the entire world.
We’re not yet at a place of market saturation. As I say, the more we’re all successful, the more we’re all successful, and hey, that’s what helps to unleash hypnosis to the community. See how I did that? It’s the name of Kevin’s show and here we go. Episode number 330. Happy seven years, everybody. Here we go.
Kevin Lapine on Hypnosis Unleashed. It wasn’t my first introduction to anything was performing in place in schools. Mm-hmm. , Something that I need to make really clear so that people listening will understand this. Up until I was 15 and a half, I had a horrific stutter. I could not communicate interpersonally at all.
The only place that I could communicate was on stage. I could recite, I could read and recite perfectly. So the stage became this amazing outlet for me where I managed to meet some incredible friends. Uh, eventually worked myself through my stutter. But then from there I started working for entertainment company.
So I was, you know, Barney at your little brother’s birthday party, but the entertainment companies got me into doing that. They got me into clown work. Clown work got me into magic. Magic got me into sideshow. When I was about 19, uh, I was performing at a high school, all nighter. I saw a hypnotist. I was a little interested.
I started talking to some other people in the area I lived in, and they went, you know, with your personality, should really look into this. I got enrolled in a course for social workers because 1999 slash 2000, there wasn’t a lot of avenues to learn hypnosis. And so I actually had to learn it clinically.
And then I had this really interesting scenario where for a while I did not like hypnosis shows. What was myself, Every hypnotist I’d ever seen, they’re show boiled down to I’m a jerk and I wanna make you look like an idiot. And then I had the opportunity to move to New Orleans when I was 25. I had a six month contract, six months turned into five years.
And while I was there, I got to work with amazing performers, including Harry Anderson. And I met a group of performers who, and part of the contract was doing my hypnosis show. Well, they helped me write a show that said, I have some something fun and interesting to share with you, and if you walk up here tonight, I’m gonna make you the star of the show.
And as soon as that became the perspective, everything became easy and all these doors came flying open for. I love that. All of that. I, I’ve gotta pause for a moment there. Mm-hmm. and talk about being around Harry Anderson. Uh, cuz you probably know some of my backstory too. I was more Backstage theater, which came about from a hobby and interest in magic.
And that HBO special was one that I watched over and over, uh, that book as I kind of recently downsized a lot of my books that signed copy of Wise Guy by Harry Anderson as well. Did, uh, did he stamp it? Uh, it’s in storage right now cuz we’re in the process of moving . The the reason I ask is Harry would always sign copies of his book and then he had a rubber stamp that said Sincerely, which I thought was hilarious.
That’s gonna be the first one I unpack. what? Uh, yeah. And there was a brilliance to him that many people didn’t know cuz they knew him just from like night court and bits on Saturday and not live. What, what did you learn from him? What did you glean? Okay, hold on. We’re gonna go back a minute on this.
Sorry. Oh yeah, please. So, okay. everybody. Welcome to work Smart Harry Anderson. Yes. Uh, so let’s just go back for a minute and talk about Harry the Hat who most people saw on Saturday Night Live and cheers. And in that you had a person who had developed a character to hear the amazing Jonathan talk about Harry Anderson as a street performer is to hear reverence outta that man’s voice, which is unreal in and of itself.
Harry spent so many years developing a character so that when he had that opportunity, it blew up. And for those of you who haven’t watched night court lately, rewatch it cuz the brilliance was, they had the show, but a writer would have a joke that was a 15 second joke. Instead of trying to stretch into a three minute joke, they would go, Oh yeah, just put that in front of the bench.
So they could just do joke after joke after joke with the bench and not interrupt the storyline. It, there was just a lot of brilliance in there. But the first time I met Harry Anderson, he needed my autograph. Go on. Yep. . Uh, I had just moved to New Orleans. He was marrying his wife in a pre ceremony before they actually did the full ceremony with their family, you know, just to get all the paperwork out of there.
And it was a friend of mine who was doing the ceremony. He took me with them. They didn’t have a witness. I actually had to sign their, uh, their marriage papers. So yes, the first time I met Harry, he needed my autograph. And the only time I got Harry’s autograph was in the best place you can possibly get it, which is a check
He, uh, he wanted to buy a prop of mine. Nice. So, but, so when I met Harry, he was opening his door spade Archer, really friendly guy, but he also, he was kind of arms distance because there were a lot of people who were flocking to him trying to get something. But then that mutual friend gave him my demo tape and he saw that I was actually working comedy clubs and doing this stuff.
And when he saw that I was serious, then he invited me over to the house for dinner and he helped me write and write and write. Helped me generate ideas. He helped me focus a lot of things. And I told him how big of an influence he was. And he said the one line that really affected my career. And I hope that when I say this here, I hope everybody listens to this one line and I hope they can find as much value and a desire.
Did he said, Don’t be the next Harry Anderson. Be the next. Be the first you. Nice. And there is a such a large amount of wisdom to that, that that is huge, that there’s so many that are trying to replicate what’s already there, copy what’s already in motion. And I know this is the theme that. You and I have discussed it almost before around, you know, bringing in the original aspect of it.
And like you had said, um, where I thought you were going earlier was something you said a moment ago was that you’re right. A lot of the hypnosis presentations I had seen too was that I can make you do something. I can make you do something and freeze everybody, laugh at them while they’re doing the thing and it, it’s gotta be, instead bring people into it the same way that let’s draw correlation to magic.
That, that’s what got me out of magic, um, was that I would see the illusion show that here came the music, here came the box, here came the thing, and next track repeat. And it didn’t matter that there was an audience there or not. Yeah, it didn’t feel live. Yeah. And to see someone who can connect with the audience and that’s when I saw Tom DeLuca do a stage hypnosis show.
And it was him playing off of the volunteers but also playing off the audience and. In many ways the celebration of let’s share something here. Yep. And, and as soon as you find the aspect of yourself, The rock also had one of my favorite lines in performing. He said the secret to being the rock was he took the two or three things that people liked about him naturally and dialed the volume up to 11 and turn the volume down on everything else, which is also Katie Perry’s story as well.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. You know, you pick those two or three things that an audience wants to gravitate towards you for, and you accent that and you figure out who really is that for you and what does that mean? So you began though, by studying social work and looking at that. So starting from a clinical respect.
Is a bit of a similar story. I thought I was buying a box of books on stage hypnosis and they were all hypnotherapy. And I read them all, even though they were not what I wanted. Um, and that clearly worked out. So, but looking at that story of beginning with the helping side, the clinical side, h how would you address that same conversation?
Cause I think I, I think not enough people who are practitioners working with clients for change kind of see that there’s a thematic score, there’s an overarching story that they can embed inside of their work. Dare even say character. So if you really look at a lot of successful people and you look at something that’s common with their patients and with people who volunteer for their shows, one of the number one things, and I will say this, if you wanna grow your career, and I don’t care if you’re talking clinically or stage, Ethics.
If you have good ethics, everything else gets easier. It really does. And coming from a performing background, a lot of times we are seeing something from a stage perspective instead of an empathetic perspective. So the one thing I’m thankful for is the way that I learned it really taught me to have those ethics and and empathy.
Yeah. So then let’s just get specific there. What specific ethical points would you highlight then taking care of your volunteers? Um, if we’re talking, first off, we’re talking on a stage platform. It’s always taking care of your volunteers and I’ve got a great way to think of how you should take care of your.
My point of view has always been, if it was your mom, your wife, your daughter, your son, your father, or God forbid if it was you in that chair, would you be pissed? And the funny thing is, so I’m gonna use Anthony Cools as a great example of this. Anthony goes further than I do in a lot of ways with certain things, but that’s also Anthony’s natural personality.
And he would gladly do it to his mother and himself, . Well also, and I think, you know, I hear sometimes the person say, I don’t care for that type of show. I think that’s bad. And I go, Did you look at the marketing. That was what was promised. That was what was delivered. And you and I were chatting before we popped on here about, you know, recent movies that we had seen.
And there’s movies out there too that we would just make the decision not to see because we’re not the audience for that type of film. You gave me the tip to go to Disney World on the Super Bowl. Yeah, that’s gonna happen cuz I don’t follow sports games. And, and one thing that, that I love that Anthony always did, and I bring him up because, you know, and, and, and you know what, I’ll explain that in a second.
Anthony gives informed consent. He says six times before you walk up on his stage exactly what you’re going to do. So you cannot be surprised by it. You know, one of the reasons that I don’t try and go as far with certain things as Anthony does is Anthony does that really, really well. I don’t like to use the word dirty, but.
I can’t out dirty Anthony. I mean, like legally I don’t think I could . Yeah, you’re right. Yeah. But if I can’t out dirty him, then what can I do? That’s me that I can elevate, You know, Mark and Anthony and I have three very different shows. You would never confuse one of us for the other. And all three of us have supported each other and helped each other grow to be able to do that.
So then by looking at that, would you say that comes from understanding the character and I, I use the word character here lightly because it really is, you said, you know, elevating that aspect of who you are. What can I bring of my story to this? Mm-hmm. , uh, I think you’ve been around and he’s been on this program too.
Alan knew. Yes. Um, I heard him say years ago, and I think he said it when he was on this program, uh, the character on stage, it’s myself and I talk louder so the audience can hear me, but there’s the genuine nature to. The presentation of it. And I always bring this back to the conversation of how we represent with clients, because yes, we should be ourselves.
And the words of Mark Twain that if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything, but to be that version of yourself that you’re bringing people into, into a world where this change is possible. And that’s that foot in the door for so much of what then happens in the office. And you know, I also, I saw two things that resonated with me.
One is a line in a movie, it’s a line from Fast Times at Richmond High. The secret to being cool is to make wherever you are, the place to be. Nice. It’s a great line. But one of my best friends, one of the people I consider to meet my evil older brothers, is one of the most charismatic, loud human beings I’ve ever known.
But he’s never loud about himself. He is loud about this new person who just showed up at the party. He’s loud about this friend over here who just accomplished this. He’s loud about everyone around them and builds them up to the point where everybody just enjoys being around him. Yeah. Which right there, I mean, that becomes part of that definition of, Let’s go back to the lineage here, that here you were at one point, not liking the hypnosis shows that were out there because of the situation and put the volunteers in now getting some of the guidance to start to rewrite it.
What were those next steps for you in terms of now putting that into motion and changing the way that you, you know, let it become, come on up, let’s share this experience together. So one thing that I recommend to all performers is find a director. One thing that I would highly recommend is go to comedy, open mic next in your hometown.
learn if you’re gonna build yourself as as comedy. And you don’t have to, you do not have to build yourself as comedy. There’s a lot of ways to build yourself if you’re not funny. But even if you’re not funny, go to open mic nights. One of the things that I’ll say about open mic nights is there’ll be 10 performers.
Six of them are never gonna do anything. Three of ’em have notebooks filled with material. Those three you wanna get to know, they can help you write, they can help you d they can help direct you. Uh, and then the last person is a train wreck that all the other comics just love watching, cuz oh my God, they’re a train wreck
And by the way, you go to an open mic night and you do a set and you don’t see a train wreck, you just learn something about yourself. Mm. . But it’s hanging out with, with them at the bar and the restaurant after. And just writing material and coming up with ideas and, and picking the one or two people, not a committee.
Nothing is funny by committee. But picking those one or two people who can really help direct you. You know, I toured colleges. I had a, a small comedy circus side show that we toured and one of the guys in it was an amazing director, but he was a very abrupt director. If you were willing to learn, he could make you better.
If you weren’t willing to learn, he could annoy you really fast sometimes in the same day. Um, but find someone, you can’t really watch yourself live. You need to surround yourself with people who can. Well, I think that just even goes to the sentiment just to expand that of, you know, having that willingness to look at the work even with clients.
And Yes. Get feedback. I, I, I did this at times just to say I’m recording this session and it’s gonna be shared with someone who’s a mentor of mine without your name. Mm-hmm. , it’s not gonna go anywhere else. Uh, but this is how I get better at this. Is that okay? And they went. I love that. Thank you. Um, there, there’s always, there, there’s always a feedback with this possible and every other profession does that.
Yeah. You know, we as, as hypnotists, we tend to isolate ourselves, psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, surgeons, you know, just about every career has somebody kinda looking over your shoulder. Once in a while, we should be doing that as well. And sometimes, sometimes it’s a very hard ego knock, but you have to decide, is somebody trying to knock my ego or are they coming at me with love?
Cuz I, I had one experience here in Vegas that could have been one of the most ego knocking experiences of my life. , but I knew it wasn’t, and I knew it wasn’t supposed to be. So when I first started performing in Vegas, the showroom that we were in had two showrooms. I was in showroom B, the amazing Jonathan was in the good showroom, and we became very good friends.
But there was no way Jonathan was ever gonna come back on a night off to see my show. But he knew I wanted his feedback. Well, one night is I’m selling DVDs. He walks over to my side of the room, grabs one of the DVDs out of the DVD burner and leaves . And he calls me on his way home and he says, Do you just want me to tell you you’re good?
Cuz oh my God, you’re the best. I love you. Said, no, I want the truth. And he went, All right. He called me two days later, he said, Come to the house tomorrow. Four pages. Single spaced, double sided, time coded. Literally going at this moment here, you’re saying a setup line, then you’re saying these three sentences, then your punch line, these three sentences are killing your joke.
Get rid of those. At this point, you’re turning to the left. Do not turn at that moment. Be straight. And I, I mean, four pages of time coded notes can be a serious ego blow, except this is a guy who’s been on how many TV specials has been all over the world, has been in every venue. It wasn’t an ego knock because I knew one, it was coming from a place of love and it was coming from a place of knowledge.
I, I have to share the quick personal nuance here that, uh, clearly yours is, uh, friendship with him, that you’ve been around him. Uh, I was 12 years old, driven by my parents to University of Richmond, where he was the afternoon show that the students all paid a dollar to attend. Mm-hmm. . And we waited around until the show was over.
This is right after, you know, having seen him probably on Arsenio Hall at the time. And that’s where Jonathan had the insight to look at the kid in the front row and go, You do magic. And he put a deck of cards in my hands and said, Do something and spent a half an hour with me. Clearly is, must have had flights, must have had other arrangements.
So you see that again, the more someone excels in this profession, any of them, it often becomes, it’s like you said, the person who’s willing to elevate the people around them and help people other than just themselves. And the other thing about Jonathan is in a lot of ways is character is a parody of a magician.
You cannot be a parody if you do not love the subject. And he does. He really does. He is a fan of anybody who can do something and he is so encouraging to every. So I always highlight in these conversations and bring it around to the topic because it’s not just the stage heist who listens to this podcast, it’s also the hypnotherapist.
It’s also people who were just curious about hypnosis, and I’m sure inside of the story is there so many people who want to either launch their business or level things up and scale to a different audience. I’m sure there’s something to come from the story of how you went from, you mentioned traveling around and doing the shows to now being in Vegas.
So I can actually point out to a lot of different points in this. Uh, and I’m gonna have to kind of jump around a little bit. So try, try and keep me coherent if I’m not please. First of all, I’ve been very lucky in the respect that when I wanted to learn something, I was able to find somebody who could teach me.
and this is invaluable. If you want to get into hypnosis, if you want to open your own business, and first of all, I don’t care if your own business is hypnosis or aluminum siding, first of all, be passionate about it. Passion is contagious. If you’re only trying to do something for the money, you’re gonna end up chasing it, and that never works.
If you’re passionate about something, you’ll always make enough money. I managed to find great mentors every step of the way, and when a mentor made an offer to teach me, I learned. I didn’t tell them what I already knew. I learned, and I can point out multiple times in multiple situations where somebody went, Oh, you’re interested in learning this?
Okay, I see you’re serious. Come over here. I will teach you what I can. And that built up all the way to me doing major corporate gigs, the major corporate gigs put me in Vegas and being in Vegas, I got to do things when I, that same thing when I met Michael Johnson, Terry Stokes and got them to mentor me and teach me and eventually grew me to taking over.
And I know I just said a lot in there, so please feel free. Pick that apart. Tell me where you want me to go into detail. Yeah, so let’s say, let’s ask it from this perspective. Um, first of all, was that you discovering them and reaching out? Was it them discovering you? Cuz one of the things I’m always fascinated by is that how do we make that connection?
We see someone that, okay, we respect how, how have you done that approach? All right, so I’m gonna just talk about me meeting Terry and Michael. I originally met Terry Junior. I met him as he was walking out of the place I was walking into and he was wearing a Hypnosis Unleash T-shirt. And I just said, That’s a great show.
Have you seen it? And he went, well, kind of . We ended up talking, told him what I did. I told him what I was doing on the corporate side for as far as doing corporate shows. And he found that really interesting. And we, you know, became lunch buddies. And then one night Terry s was doing a show they needed, some people Junior asked me if I could bring some people I did.
And at the time, Terry, if he knew there was a hypnotist in the audience, would sometimes allow him to do two or three minutes in the show. And Terry allowed me to, to do that that night. And he actually liked what I did and he asked me to come back the next night. And he did that for a week. And he went, Well, you can really do this, huh?
I went, Yeah. And for the next six months I became an intern. If they needed an assistant on stage, if they needed a seat or if they needed somebody to run sound, they needed somebody to do merch, whatever they needed to do, I did. All in exchange for two or three minutes of stage time once in a while and learning.
Eventually they asked me, you know, Well, what, You know, you’re doing all this stuff for us? What do you want? I was honest, I, I want what you’re not using. I want your dark night. And an agreement was reached and it launched from there. And I had to ask them, and I know that this was a long way to get to the answer of your question, but once I finally had everything I ever wanted, I had to ask them, Why, Why me?
You’ve met every hypnotist. How did I get this shot? And they said, You were the first person to want to learn from us, not tell us what you already know.
I love that it is, and I can point that out through literally every stage of my career. when I found somebody who had knowledge I wanted to learn, not impress them. That has a lot to do with, you know, and to use the term that’s popped up in social media, um, the asshole . Mm-hmm. , the person who keeps asking for advice, never takes action upon it, and then keeps asking more.
Um, which anything we can do to train that person in a positive way to go, Here’s what you already have. Go look at this resource and then come back with better questions. And, you know, building systems so people have ways to get feedback, but I think right there, um, is a major point. That it, it’s to show to someone that we are coachable before we’re even asking to be coached.
Mm-hmm. to show that we’re willing to learn and not just impress upon them how good we think we are. Um, to be humble in that moment to say, there’s something that I think you do better and that’s why I’m here. And also what whoever you think is the best at whatever, the people who are the best, the people who are truly successful, in my opinion, have all learned one fact and lived by this fact.
There’s always room at the top for somebody else. The bottom is overcrowded and are stabbing each other in the back over a nickel they’ll never get. But at the top there is always more room and more real estate. If you’re willing to learn and you want to be the best at whatever you’re trying to be, it’s also where you start to see that people like, you know, you referenced a background in magic and yet clearly saying great things about other performers Here, it’s where we start to realize that we can own our specialties, we can know what we excel at, but also can point to say, as you did a while ago, here’s what Anthony does well, and I could do that, but I’d have to push it further.
And that’s his. So I don’t need to, and I mean to, to go back one scan to use Anthony Cools as an example. When I was at, uh, one of my first casinos, we didn’t have a good looking backdrop. He took one look and went, You need a fiber optic backdrop? I’ll have one here tomorrow. . Nice. You know, I mean, Mark, when I’ve needed some advice on teaching or a few other things, I’ve reached out to him.
Both of them have reached out to me for different, It’s, it is an amazing cooperative cuz here’s, here’s one thing that we all know. If you see a good hypnosis show you’re going on, see other hypnosis shows. If you see a bad hypnosis show, you’re never gonna see another one. It’s part of that novelty of it.
I’ve heard the same thing of, you know, anything that they’ve not had before, they just grouped into the category. They’ll hire the comedian, the comedian’s not funny. They’ll will win in another comedian. They get the band. Band’s not great. They hire a different band. That to, to elevate everyone else and especially to point at the others.
That’s great and that, that’s one of the biggest things that, that I can tell you is also look around your hometown community and figure out who you can grow with, cuz there are people in your community who wanna grow as well. When I was growing up in Detroit, I worked with a number of performers, a really good handful that we could be really honest with each other, really helpful with each other, and we helped each other to grow.
Now there’s a story. That I know of Kevin Lapine. Uh, that I know by way of indirect. Now , I think it’s good. And you may tell me, Oh, that wasn’t me. At which point, Um, ok. Oh, for, for the record, Yes. If anybody ever says, Hey, you know, I saw a hypnotist. I think it was you. Did you like it? Yeah, it was me. Feel free to do that your entire career.
If they say, Well, you know, it, it was okay. Oh yeah. That was totally someone else. See, I, I, I was way too transparent. Even as the practitioner as I am now, as someone goes, Oh, you helped me quit smoking, uh, like in 2003. And I go, that, that was not me. . . But I, I know everybody. You know, I’ve put out seven years of this radio show basically, and I know the entire industry.
Um, so describe, I, I could freak people out what they’d reference the college they went to and I went, Oh, that was this person. It’s like, How do you know that? It’s like, well, we’re, we’re a small community. be before you go into the story of me. I wanna mention something that you just said. You talked about the hypnosis industry.
Let’s be really honest about something for a second. Would you say that there are more than 5,000 professional? By professional, I mean making a full-time living edit professional hypnotists in the us I would say closer to 5,000 to 8,000 worldwide. Okay. That’s, That’s my read on that. Wait, which, I’ll tell you where I used to say the number was lower and I have since increased it, which is, Being honored to be invited to other conferences around the world and interacting with communities that I did not have direct access to.
Suddenly I’m in Australia at a conference, suddenly I’m in the UK at a conference and there was this outreach, which is not just a pat on the back of people who would reach out and say, I saw that event was happening. I saw you’re in town. I’m not intending, but I, there’s a collection of people who just keep to themselves.
They’re too busy. This is something that mutual friend of ours, Richard Donard is great at of highlighting those people who are just so damn busy helping a ton of people that they don’t do the convention circuits, they don’t do the interaction. Um, everything we’ve already talked about is where, again, let’s have a community and support, but we are a small world and, and the reason I wanna point that out is, so 5,008,000 worldwide means if each of those 8,000 people.
We’re doing 40 hours a week of therapy or performing, can’t reach everybody. Not even close. Not even close. So please understand that another hypnotist doesn’t have to be your competition. That hypnotist can be your ally because there is more than enough work out there in every venue. Two quick things before I get to the Kevin story.
Uh, one was that there to that story. We’ll get there. We got time. We got time. Part two. Uh, there was an interaction in a Facebook group the other day, uh, where yes, people were saying nice things about a program of mine, but then someone swooped in and I’m sure they meant something positive, but they said, Yeah, but this person’s training is more comprehensive on that other subject, which, yes it is cuz I don’t teach that subject, but I, I had the need to respond and call out.
This is a thing. There’s a, there’s a presupposition embedded inside of what you just said, which is creating this competitive mindset. You realize that. These are all of our friends. Um, that was a conference where I was sitting in the room learning from Mike Mandel, and then three hours later, uh, Freddy Jack sitting in one of my workshops watching me do a demo because we all like each other and we all send people each other’s way.
Um, with, with the, with the move to Florida, this is probably not happening anytime soon, but I would bring guest trainers to Virginia and the criteria always had to be, not who’s gonna fill a room, but who did I wanna see myself? And let’s make it better for that person. Ring along another 40 people. Yeah.
Yeah. To, to build that ability to move forward. Or even this morning, referring a client who would reach out to me to go, Yeah, I don’t see clients for that anymore. Here’s three people that would be great for you. And, and the funny thing is psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, through the time they do all the time, Because they know that if I don’t specialize in this, I can’t help this person that well.
But I also know that if I send you to this person, eventually there are gonna have somebody that falls into my specialty. So now the story, okay. And you may, you may tell me that that wasn’t me and we’ll move on to something else. or, or if the story you’ve heard is actually better than the reality, I might just accept your version
We’ll take that too. So it was someone who had come out and done like a private consult with you, uh, hung out for a week and did some training and the question was, Hey Kevin, you have this song in your pre-show which will come back to your pre-show, cuz I want to talk about that too. You have this song in your pre-show that’s not a major hit song that would rev the audience up.
Um, and I think the story was, your response was that I’ve worked hard to get here and that’s a song that I want to hear too. Yes. And I have since changed. All of that. Yeah. The reason that I’ve changed all of that is I have gone to all copyright free music now. Yeah. And the reason for this is, so my BMI and ASCAP fees were all paid.
Well, let, let’s, let’s come to the reason why you’ve changed it in a moment. Okay. Uh, can, can you bring us inside? Cuz I, I love that because it’s where Yes, we’re there for the audience. Yes. We’re there for our clients, yet people do business with people. And when there’s the interaction where we can understand that person a bit more, and that’s what I heard from that story.
I did not hear it from this. No, it’s mine. I’ll do what I want. No, not at all. No. So, so the song that I was playing actually had permission to use from the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones. Um, I’ve been very, very fortunate to get to know them and he said, Yeah, use it. Um, and I used it because they’ve been one of my favorite bands since I was 16.
And when that song hits, there’s a little part of me that’s still 16 years old at my second concert, and I like that energy. Yeah. But the reason I’ve changed a lot of that is, uh, I just, I have a fear in the entertainment world and my fear in the entertainment world, especially when hypnotists, when we’re recording shows mm-hmm.
and selling those. And I’ve seen a number of shows in Vegas where yes, they are paying BMI in the casino, so they are paying for the rights, but they are also doing highly choreographed routines to very specific music, which I don’t believe the BMI rights cover. And hopefully I’m totally wrong about that and I might be.
But I would rather be ahead of that curve than behind it. And in a lot of situations, people are gonna go, It doesn’t matter. And you know what? You’re right. And using copywritten music used properly, you can quickly convey an emotion with a familiar piece of music the way that it brings them back to something.
There’s a cultural reference to it. Mm-hmm. , there’s some bit of a through line to it. Um, but I, I, I really responded well to that story though, of. . It’s because it brings me into the show. And, and also in, in my show, before I took out the Copywritten music, I wasn’t using a lot of hit songs. I wasn’t using a lot of familiar songs.
I was using songs that you would have to be a dork in order to catch. So you want up the story because it was Muddy Mari Bosstones. I thought it was Sound of My Voice by the Bare Naked ladies. No. Okay. It was Canadian who told me the story. I had a good song though. Add it. It’s good one good song. Yeah.
Actually, yeah. Really good song overall for that. And Sound of My Voice is perfect for hips. It is. The story was better. Yeah. Yep. Yeah, exactly. So you know what, Yeah, I always using that song, it was great. Right? . Sure. Why not? You know, it’s, uh, totally forgot where, where I was gonna go with that. Yeah. But I just Well, you were talking about using songs that, which I can hear you on that, that it’s the same, it’s the same danger as the hypnotist using a cultural reference as a metaphor.
It can become polarizing to the audience, unfortunately, but, but also with using music that you’d have to be a dork to catch. Mm-hmm. , you would have to be my exact dork to catch all of it. Yeah. So my whole hope was with 10 different songs, maybe 5% of the audience would each recognize one and they’d go, Oh my God, he’s the same kind of dork I am.
Yeah. So it was ki and, and I had that happen a lot where somebody came up and went, Hey, was that from? Yes, it was. Oh my God, I loved that episode. . All right. Okay. Now try me on this. How specifically dorky are we talking here? Oh, I would use music from wwe, I’d use music from, uh, Dr. Who I would use, you know, like obscure indie bands from the nineties.
My alarm clock for the last 10 years has been the Breakfast machine from PeeWee’s. Big Adventure. Nice. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. We’ll just leave that there everyone go Google it. Danny Elman’s new album is also phenomenal. There’s stuff is always awesome. Yeah. If you wanna talk about music that creates an emotion or a setting, Hell yeah.
Look at his stuff. Yeah. There’s a reason he became the soundtrack king in a lot of ways. But while we’re talking about soundtrack and the same way that the pre-talk, the same way that the website of the hypnotist, the same way that the stories we tell start to build an expectation. Can you talk about the choice of using other people’s comedy, other videos Yes.
In advance of your show for, for those that don’t yet know it, can you describe it first? So, I always used, uh, as one of my opening videos, and once again, in, I would only do this in the casinos and the BMI was paid for. It is I would use the clip of George Carlin doing the seven dirty words. The main reason I would always put that first was George Carlin is gonna say worse in 45 seconds.
And I will say in the entire show, but my box office was trained if this, oh, if the show started at eight 30, if somebody left before eight 40, give them a refund. Somebody lied to them about what my show is. And I just, I wanted to put that out there very, very clearly in the beginning. Cuz I wanna establish certain expectations.
Uh, and I’m going to challenge a term, and I know, and I, I won’t challenge this in the clinical end, but I have a particular loathing for the word pre-talk mm-hmm. in state shows. And the reason I have that loathing is I’ve watched too many people say, Well, I know it’s boring, but it’s my pre-talk. Okay. No, it’s, Carson never did a pre-talk before his show.
He did an opening monologue. , you can get across information in an entertaining, non boring way. Do not allow the term pre-talk to give you an excuse to be lazy. Well, that’s something that, um, there was a gift that I received when I first got into hypnosis and there was a bit of, well, let’s call it now, indirect suggestion inside of this.
Um, and some of this may dip into, we’ll call it gray hat as opposed to like, you know, black hat. Uh, and, and they weren’t trainings, but someone, when they found out I was getting into hypnosis and found out I bought the wrong books, they gave me a spindle of DVDs and they said, These are all a bunch of people’s shows that I’ve bought over time.
Um, some of them are good, some of them aren’t. We let you decide for yourself and we’ll chat about it. Um, whether this was appropriate or not, he purposefully gave me a stack of shows that were not that great, um, which he did that for the confidence builder. And there’s a more positive way to do this of going.
See you can do this. Um, and I mean, examples would be someone was doing like a day val induction, which is perfectly fine for a group, but the losing the numbers moment, they did that one by one with like 12 volunteers. Yeah. And 20 minutes later, enough said, um, someone else did exactly what you just said where, uh, actually said, now, you know, sit there patiently because this is the boring stuff I have to get through before I bring you up.
And even for the induction, this is the boring part. And I’m like, before I even knew what I was doing, going isn’t expectation, isn’t suggestion the part of this, you bring up the volunteers even before the induction. Now, some of you have never seen this before, and what’s really fascinating is to see how even though there’s 15 people up here, you’re gonna see all 15 of them respond differently to the same words.
So watch carefully and all of a sudden it’s different dressing. Suddenly now there’s a reason to keep watching. So I, I agree with you. The pre-talk is not just the thing we get through. It satisfies a certain purpose to, you know, condition, to set the expectations and bring them in even further. And once again, any career building, if you can establish the expectations, you can also exceed the expectations in a clinical scenario.
If you can really convey to a patient or client, however you wanna refer to ’em, if you can really convey what their expectations should be, then you know how you can exceed those expectations. And when people feel that their expectations are exceeded, they want to come back. Good old, under promise, over deliver.
Mm-hmm. . And the great thing about that is if you think about that in hypnotic terms, in hypnotic mindset, it’s not just under promising. But is being able to frame that promise in such a way that you are definitely going to get this, but I’ve also listened to you. I know what you want to achieve, so I know how you can achieve everything in a, and then I’m gonna give you some of B as well.
And I know that you’re gonna be thrilled by that, but also that comes in with the ethics and listening and go and building on it. So stage hypnosis is an industry that dramatically changed in the last, let’s say 15, 16 months. And uh, when’s the show reopening? So I am very fortunate. Uh, I am reopening on July 6th, and what I’m really excited about is Binions also owns the four Queens Casino Hotel, which has a much bigger showroom, uh, with much more marketing potential, and they have decided that they wanna highlight me better, and they have decided to put me in the Canyon Club.
I’ll be doing the 9:00 PM show there after my cameras comedy magic show at 7:00 PM which is gonna be I’m beyond thrilled and beyond excited, and it’s, I I do have to be honest though, when I say that the first couple of months of shows are gonna be weird for both the performers and the audiences. You know, I am really going to have to spend an incredible amount of time listening to my audiences and how they want me to make them comfortable.
One of my main things that I do on stage is the way that I have people sitting next to each other for safety, but I don’t know if that’s gonna work for the next couple of months and there’s gonna be a learning curve. Yeah. So what would you say needs to happen for that? What are you planning, at least for now, to bring into that?
I have like four different shows in my head right now. Yeah. And it’s based on is my audience okay being in close contact with each other all the way to, do I need my volunteers to all be three or four feet apart on stage? Yeah. Well, I mean the same as. Working with sound engineers, there may sometimes be the need as to, you know, here are different routines I might do based on who I bring up.
But the same way, even for the practitioner working with a client for change, we, we shouldn’t be going in with an exact preconceived notion as to what’s exactly gonna happen. I was in a session with someone for stopping smoking right before you and I hopped on and of course she’d said something that reminded me of a technique I haven’t done in maybe five years.
But it became, this is what she needs, let’s go that direction now. Uh, so I think that’s on the right track of, you know, having different variations and I’m sure being able to modify on the fly. And one of the things that you’ve been doing this interview that’s really good, and I don’t know if a lot of hypnotists are catching this, is you are repeating back some of what I say when I say it.
And this is important. This is really important, especially clinically and even on stage, cuz people will ask you questions. When you are talking to somebody before you are doing a session with them, if you repeat back of part of what they’ve said to them, if you can reflect that part of the conversation, they know that they’ve been heard and they’re gonna feel more comfortable, or they’re also gonna have the ability to go, Oh, no, no, no, no, no.
What I meant was, cuz you know, people don’t always tell you exactly what they mean the first time they say it either. So it’s a very, very important skill and especially with, with where we’ve been the last few months, people yeah, we really need to hear ’em. The number of people I’ve had over the years that, um, you know, there’s a premise that I live by, which is that people say that, you know, they’re not good at something and it’s not the issue.
It’s not the issue they’re trying to solve. It’s what’s underneath it that needs to be addressed. The person says, I don’t have a good memory. And yes, there may be flaws in the memory, but the bigger issue might be are they actually listening? Are they actually absorbing what’s around them? Why is it most people don’t remember name is because they weren’t listening when you told them.
Uh, and, and the greatest influences, that’s the brand of some of what I do now. The greatest influence is not the cleverness of what you can say. It, it’s exactly what you just said there of listening and feeding back what you just heard from someone. because one, it validates that they’re actually being listened to.
And second of all, it helps to deepen that rapport, deepen that relationship. And now if it’s on stage and we want to then give a suggestion for something new to happen, um, if it’s for personal change, now we have that hypnotic foot in the door, then we can keep expanding that and create what we want. So my question to you, uh, and by the way, I didn’t tell you this in advance.
Uh, this podcast launched on June 25th, 2014. Uh, your episode is the seven year episode, by the way. Woohoo. So, Woohoo. Thank you for joining. Joining me on this one. That’s, that’s actually kind of funny because I was just, uh, the seventh anniversary of a, of an event coop here in Vegas. Nice. And yeah, I, I was their first interview, so they brought me on to do that one with the surprise guest of having Copperfield on it, which was, It’s really strange.
Yeah. So from your career over these years to kind of bring this all together, have your definitions of hypnosis changed? Yes. Oh God, yes. Do we have another 45 minutes? How so? How so? Oh,
the great thing about that question is if you have me on one year from now, it will still be a different answer. I think, you know, as, as you look over, as I look over my career and I, I, I keep saying we as an all hypnotist, which I shouldn’t, but I look in the beginning when I had to force things to happen.
I look as that forcing evolved into understanding, clearer suggestion. I look at how that evolved into empathy. I look at how that evolved into cooperation. I look at how my persona evolved. There’s a constant, there should be a constant evolution in everybody’s view of hypnosis. As long as with each evolution, you’re seeing positive growth.
And that’s true clinically and in stage, Uh, the Walt Whitman line, you know, read these leaves every year of your life and dismiss whatever insults your soul and learn from the rest. And I know I’ve screwed that quote up, but it’s relatively close throughout it, It’s evolved and evolved and evolved. And now I see it as a cooperation between me, the individual, their goal and their subconscious.
And there’s a way for all four of us to work together at once to make it amazing. And that’s true. Whether it’s one-on-one around stage. Yeah, I like that nuance of the four of us. Mm-hmm. . Beautiful. Beautiful. Where can people go online to find about the show? How can they get in contact with you? Uh, va hypnosis show.com, which is also hypnosis unleash.com.
From there, uh, also Facebook, uh, I’m really good at responding to stuff on Facebook. Uh, it’s facebook.com/ship it to Kevin. There’s probably links on the website and, uh, when you’re in Vegas, you can just come on over to the four Queens. I will be there, uh, Saturday through. Nope. Let me try, man, if I’ve been phrasing that wrong, it’s Tuesday through Saturday.
I have gotta go back through an email now. There you go, . That’s why we pointed to the website links in [email protected]. Kevin, this has been great to have you on here and hear more of what’s behind it. Heres some of the stories beneath it. Any final thoughts for the listeners out there?
Find people in your community to grow with. There are plenty out there and there’s always, always room at the top for people who wanna be successful. Jason Lennet here once again, and as always, thank you so much for interacting with this program, for using this as a resource and your ongoing education and conversations in the industry.
Who do you know that would benefit from this conversation? Share it. Who do you know that might still be struggling to take their practice online? That’s work Smart hypnosis.com/. Now online. Who do you know that’s gonna be traveling to Vegas and is ready for some live entertainment? Once again, check the show [email protected] slash three 30 to find all the links that Kevin referenced and find out how to get in contact with him.
And if you’re looking to grow what you do, jason webinar.com, that will just redirect you over to that free on-demand presentation. Six Steps to a Six Figure Hypnosis Businesses. We like to say lovingly and with care guessing sucks. Use what actually works and we help you to get there faster and easier.
Thanks for joining me. See you all soon. Hope to see you in Vegas at Hypno Thoughts Live this year, HT live.net talk soon. Thanks for listening to the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast and work smart hypnosis.com.