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Topic: My Hypnosis Promotional DVD
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Jul 16, 2006 01:55PM)
Hi all,

I've recently uploaded my hypnosis promotional dvd to google video and I'd be interested in any members comments on it.

As the video is about 8 minutes long I have had to lose a lot of quality to get it onto google's servers - obviously the ones I send out are of a higher standard.

If you cut and paste the following URL into your browser you should be able to view it

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-1541827700262520525&q=stage+hypnotist+simon+grant+hypnotism

Simon
Message: Posted by: tincture (Jul 16, 2006 04:21PM)
Why go for a cheap laugh on a sexual joke?
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Jul 16, 2006 05:47PM)
Because universities pay me to!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 16, 2006 06:11PM)
Un huh

Not a good idea. BUT it is your act not ours.
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Jul 16, 2006 06:24PM)
I don't really see the problem with crude material in the show. Nothing I do it 'blue', nobody takes their clothes off or has orgasms or anything like that.

Simply put if a university is going to hire a comedian - the comedian will likely tell lots of jokes about sex and swear a lot. Nobody would mind this!

Provided I make it clear to the audience the kind of things that the volunteers will be doing - where is the ethical problem?

I know that LOTS of people are going to disagree with me on this point - but in my experience a slightly rude hypnosis show is much more commercial than a completely clean one. Audience members tend to remember the bits of the show where I give someone touretts syndromes much more than they remember the bits where I tell someone that there are a ballet dancer or an alien.

However I did realise after putting it together that 2/3 of the main routines I featured were overtly crude. I chose to include them mainly because of the audience reaction. I have a 3rd show which was filmed by a camera team which I am expecting to receive through the post any day now. This one was a 'clean' show which went quite well so I'm probably going to remove some of the ruder bits from the existing file and replace it with something a little more tasteful.

Thanks for the comments though!
Message: Posted by: sbays (Jul 16, 2006 07:58PM)
I think doing college level shows allows you to include 'SOME' edge to your routines, but it is important not to go overboard. Best rule of thumb is, if there is a risk of someone becoming offended by the skit, don't do it. Sometimes, it takes just ONE person to complain to the people that hire you, and that becomes enough to cost you repeat business at that venue.

If you specialze and market soley to this arena, so be it. But, if you hope to be booked by High schools, Corportions etc ... then I would rethink your material and demo video. High schools where minors make up the audience, and corporations with business professionals do NOT want to take a chance someone will get offended.

If someone contacts you and wants a R rated show, then go ahead and do it, but I would not advertise myself as that type of performer. Just my 2 cents.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jul 17, 2006 04:38AM)
Okay, a couple of comments from watching a bit of the video - your handshake induction - WOW - you almost dislocated a couple of soulders there.

Second - "bloody hell?" I rather thought that amounter to swearing in the UK.

Third, the "stolen willie" routine. I would have left that off the promo for several reasons - one, the guy is referring to it by a much less generally acceptable term and in the second part of the routine, you get into the whole "size issue" thing, which makes a slightly suggestive bit much more overtly sexual in nature, which will NOT play well to many university entertainment boards' faculty advisors, who DO have veto power over the students.

Now I admit, US audiences are far more hung up on sexual matters that european audiences - it's that unfortunate Puritannical background this country is saddled with (nothing wrong with religion, but some folks get a bit carried away with trying to shove it down other people's throats sometimes).

However, you did seem to focus on sexual matters quite a bit throughout the first portion of the promo - the lapdancer and the "lost willie" bits being prime examples and the "odd position huging after the cold being another. If the rest of the show goes in that direction, this could be a problem - and many booking agents are not going to watch more than 3 or 4 minutes of a promo anyway, so that's all they will see.

Just my 2 cent's worth in the VERY early morning...

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: RickThibau (Jul 17, 2006 10:38AM)
Well, I liked it (as the other videos I saw from your work..) but I agree that it could be less 'sexual' without being less entertainer.

English is fading fading... sorry
Message: Posted by: Christophercarter (Jul 17, 2006 11:16AM)
I don't have any idea what the university market in the UK would prefer. You seem to think you know your market there, and I have no reason to second guess you. In the USA, that video would pretty much shut down your career on campuses. Students would probably love it, but advisors would almost never let it get through the door.

--Chris
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Jul 17, 2006 11:31AM)
Hi All,

Thanks for your comments.

'Bloody Hell' is not considered too offensive in the UK - I am aware that it would not play well to an American audience.

Also my handshake induction did look a tad rough, I've no idea if it was as hard as it looked online. I'd like to think not....

To be honest I (geniunly) had no idea that people would view the odd hugging positions as rude. Thanks for pointing this out, I'll think twice about that next time.

For the record (from memory) the remaining parts of both shows were completely clean - I think I'm going to reedit the video to include some of these bits

Thanks guys
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jul 17, 2006 12:35PM)
Just fyi, "bloody hell" wouldn't probably even raise an eyebrow except in a church over here. Most Americans aren't even aware that "bloody" is a contraction of "By Our Lady" and is taken as a mild profanity, which it isn't here at all.

Like Churchill said, "two peoples, separated by a common language" or words to that effect :)

Please don't mis-read my post, the material is sharp, but like any first draft, there's always room for tweaking. and heaven knows, I'm not an expert on video - that was one of my minors in college, but that was back in the Jurassic Period, so my tech is WAY out of date there!

Best to you on this project, you are off to a pretty good start.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 17, 2006 01:07PM)
Crude material, well why do it at all? You can be quite funny without it.
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Jul 17, 2006 03:56PM)
It's almost certainly due my relative inexperience in this feild - I just find that if I stand infront of a crowd of 300 drunk university students who are shouting, swearing and vomiting - they just don't get the 'asthetically pleasing' and 'family friendly' hypnosis skits. They just want me to do rude stuff.

I don't mind performing crude material and the UK university market is where I am looking to further my client base for hypnosis shows.

Also nothing I do is 'Jonathan Royle' type offensive (nobody takes their clothes off, has orgasms or plays with 'toys')- my suggestions are just riske.
Message: Posted by: HypnotizeAmerica (Jul 17, 2006 03:58PM)
They may want you to do rude stuff but you need to remember that the students aren't your customer, the person booking you is. I am sure in college it is ok, but I wonder if you find it hard to get rebooked?
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Jul 17, 2006 04:23PM)
Most of my clients seem to rebook me. Obviously there are some which do not - but I would not have time for all of them anyway.

It's a very subjective view to have - but I am very busy for somebody of my age and experience. I am currently booked every Friday and Saturday evening until Jan 2007 and (on average) I perform around 8 other shows (in addition to this) each month! Join my mailing list on my website for dates!!!

I think that there is a tendancy to assume that if you say anything more offensive than the word 'cobblers' you're going to cause audience members to faint from shock and you're not going to get rebooked. There are plently of (very busy) hypnotists and comedians who make a living performing much cruder material that I would.

Also I think that you're audience is the customer to a certain extent. If an events manager knows that if they rebook a hypnotist (albeit a mildly rude one) they are going to be busy - they I'm confident that most will.

Also those delicate members of society who do get offended easily and like complaining aren't really the type to go and see a hypnotist show anyway!

However thanks for your comment!!
Message: Posted by: Xargos (Jul 18, 2006 05:27AM)
I am not going to discuss the content of the video (I, personnaly Liked it a lot and see NOthing wrong with the adult material), but the video itself ...

The camerawork is really bad, the editing is even worst, get someone with better camera knowledge to film you, the shots looked the same all the time...

That being said I am looking forward to seeing your professional video !
Message: Posted by: kevinuncanny (Jul 18, 2006 02:33PM)
"I chose to include them mainly because of the audience reaction"

ok--not taking a shot at the thread starter--just a shot in general........

reˇacˇtion Audio pronunciation of "reaction" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (r-kshn)
n.

1.
1. A response to a stimulus

Giving an audience a memorable and genuine laugh gets a reaction......but so does peeing on them. How is the audience 'reacting'? Are they laughing because: 1) What your doing is truely funny and impresses them or 2) because they feel awkward and need to laugh because others are doing it?

Is the reaction your getting endearing your to the audience or pushing your audience away? At that moment are they enjoying themselves or are they embarassed for the person on stage?

How about instead of doing something because "It gets a reaction" we do something because "It moves the show and thills the audience"....

Just a thought.......

Kevin
ps I don't use spell check because misspelllings get a reaction from the readers
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Jul 18, 2006 07:18PM)
Hi Kevin,

On your website you mention how your hypnosis shows include:

1) Men kissing eachother
2) People cowering in fear
3) People bowing before the 'cow gods'

How exactly do these routines 'move the show and thill the audience' where my routines make people 'feel awkward and need to laugh because others are doing it'

I think that we are performing the same kind of routines here - just I am being honest about the 'Benny Hill' nature of mine and not dressing it up to be anything it's not.

Simon
Message: Posted by: mota (Jul 18, 2006 08:18PM)
Just a thought...

If you do a clean show you can always book anywhere.

If you do sexual/crude stuff it is a dilemna. I understand that some groups (college students and bars) will respond to this quite well. Trouble is, once you get the reputation for doing this kind of show it is hard to get rid of. This could bite you in future bookings where they are looking for safe entertainment and come across information that you have performed cruder material than they want. You can assure them all you want, but once they have the idea in their head it is hard to get rid of it.

Just a thought...
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jul 18, 2006 11:49PM)
This is a fascinating thread. I found your promo entertaining and funny. It's exactly the sort of show that the young audiences in the video find very funny. *** anxiety material really works with the college crowd.

Like many others here, I find some of the material odd for a promotional tool, since it may restrict some of the types of bookings that you could get. You make it clear that you aren't after those bookings and that you are doing well with the ones you are targetting. Fair enough.

So my main question is this: why are you posting your promo here, if you are very certain that you don't want to change it? What are you hoping that the Café crowd can offer you?

John
Message: Posted by: kevinuncanny (Jul 19, 2006 01:24AM)
Simon---

Reread my post. I am not taking a shot at your or ANY of your routines. What I was talking about was the reason for doing it. If you feel that the routines that you are doing work with who you are and bond you to your clients and audiences more power to you.

As far as your video goes: its to long. promo should be more then about 3min 30 sec

Kevin
ps I'd LOVE to defend my website but it was designed about 5 years ago and truely needs an overhaul---COMING SOON!
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Jul 19, 2006 05:05AM)
Hi Magnus,

Well - I'm happy with the type of material used in the promo, I'm just interested to see what people would make of it on here. I've shown the recording to lots of laypeople (who seem to love it), and I've also shown it to lots of performers (who have had very mixed views on it).

For example - was chatting to somebody yesterday who informed me that they would not use it on their website due to the instance of bad language used by the chap in the college room. They said that if I had 'bleeped' that bit out then it would have been fine. I wouldn't mind doing this and it may even add some comedic value to the recording so I'll be doing this on the next edit.

I'm interested to see what people make of the induction, general format, choice of volunteers and my general performing style also.

I'm probably going to edit the recording down to 5 minutes on the next (and hopefully final) edit

Simon
Message: Posted by: kevinuncanny (Jul 19, 2006 12:11PM)
I meant to say no more then 3:30
Message: Posted by: Nick Crown (Aug 2, 2006 01:32PM)
Hi Simon!

Just joined this site, So I thought I would make my first post to you!! For everyone else reading, I am not an hypnotist, I specialise in close up magic and mind reading and consider myself a good performer! Simon is a good friend of mine and I would like to make a comment!! I cant really comment on the induction because I'm not a hypnotist! But as for the rounines being too sexual, well I think that is a load of rubbish, it all depends on the type of performer you are. If you can carry them off without looking or being like a sleeze bag then its fine. You are being paid to entertain, and sex sells!! Turn on your tv and watch an advert!! People are out for a laugh and as long as your not getting people to strip off and give you a blow job I really don't see the problem!! Its time people stopped worrying about sex!! its not a bad thing!!
Simon knows not to start including these routines whilst performing for the local church!! If people laugh and have a good time and no-one is offended then keep doing it!

Sorry about the long post but it is my first time, I guess you can say I just lost my virginity!! Sorry if that offends anyone!!! Only a joke!!

Simon give me a call!!

Nick Crown
Message: Posted by: jerryshaun (Aug 2, 2006 02:46PM)
My views in regards to the "riske" contents of the video, more for the use of U.S. performers than the UK, are as follows (with a little background first). I was born in Germany, and spent my childhood mostly in Panama and Germany, and I think this video would work great in either of those places, and probably in parts of the U.S. However, I have lived in the "Bible Belt" for the last 15 years, and work in higher education (both in an administrative role and as an instructor), and have seen first-hand how some promo videos are treated here (ah, the trash cans fill with them at the first of every school year). The town I live in has three major colleges, one a state university and the other two are not religious institutions, but were founded by religious groups, and are extremely conservative. This type of thing would never get a gig in any of those colleges, and many others in this state (MO) would also reject them.

Like I stated above, this does not really apply to the original market in question (UK) and is not meant to attack the video, but I wanted to add my thoughts, from my experience and from the colleges' point of view, to the discussion.

Jerry
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Aug 3, 2006 10:10AM)
Hi Jerry,

Thanks very much for your post.

Just a question (and I'm not being sarcastic here) but do schools / colleges in bible belt or conservative areas actually books hypnotists at all?

Simon
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Aug 3, 2006 10:11AM)
Hi Nick,

I have called you - now please stop following me, :)

Simon


[quote]
On 2006-08-02 14:32, Nick Crown wrote:
Hi Simon!

Just joined this site, So I thought I would make my first post to you!! For everyone else reading, I am not an hypnotist, I specialise in close up magic and mind reading and consider myself a good performer! Simon is a good friend of mine and I would like to make a comment!! I cant really comment on the induction because I'm not a hypnotist! But as for the rounines being too sexual, well I think that is a load of rubbish, it all depends on the type of performer you are. If you can carry them off without looking or being like a sleeze bag then its fine. You are being paid to entertain, and sex sells!! Turn on your tv and watch an advert!! People are out for a laugh and as long as your not getting people to strip off and give you a blow job I really don't see the problem!! Its time people stopped worrying about sex!! its not a bad thing!!
Simon knows not to start including these routines whilst performing for the local church!! If people laugh and have a good time and no-one is offended then keep doing it!

Sorry about the long post but it is my first time, I guess you can say I just lost my virginity!! Sorry if that offends anyone!!! Only a joke!!

Simon give me a call!!

Nick Crown


[/quote]
Message: Posted by: jerryshaun (Aug 3, 2006 12:09PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-03 11:10, themindreader wrote:
Hi Jerry,

Thanks very much for your post.

Just a question (and I'm not being sarcastic here) but do schools / colleges in bible belt or conservative areas actually books hypnotists at all?

Simon
[/quote]

Most will, but if it is their first time, they usually have understandable reservations about it. I do know of a lot of colleges inside of the Bible Belt that have had a hypnotist every year for over a decade, but they ususally have the same hypnotist every time (may be a quality of show or a comfort thing). The college I work for, which is very conservative, hasn't had a hypnotist there since about ten years ago, but they do show interest in getting one in the future. I think there is still a lot of misconceptions about hypnosis, and as those are slowly dispelled, the market will start to heat up. I know of one college performer who did all three colleges in my town a number of years back (probably about ten), and has not been hired back to any of them, and I do not know of any of the three that have had one since. I do not really understand why---the shows went well and the hypnotist had a show that was very un-offensive, but he has not been rebooked at any of them. I think I am going to put some more thought into it and talk to a few people at the various colleges to get their perspective, and I will post a more-helpful answer than.

Jerry
Message: Posted by: DaiBato (Aug 19, 2006 01:53PM)
Also be careful with your lighting; the room in the opening shot is poorly lit and hard to see throughout your demo.

Dai Bato
Message: Posted by: shrink (Aug 20, 2006 06:06AM)
Sex in hypnosis sketches it isn't really about sex. I doubt if anyone ever gets turned on. The humour comes from putting the audience members in really surreal and crazy situations. The audience reacts by trying to put themselves in the place of the volunteer. This is what elicits the laugh and entertainment.

While I agree with the commercial considerations depending upon the market I don't feel adult content in hypnosis shows is a problem. Its all about presenting it properly.

Needs edited. Cut out the start when you are selecting volunteers it is like watching paint dry. Minimise the shots of the inductions. Fast cuts between just one or two.

You really need to be much gentler with the handshake you are far far to rough. Listen to Lee he is correct.

Don't try and fill 8 mins. 4 mins would be much better by being very selective to what you put in. plus as said before better camera shots and editing.

Also the venue doesn't give the impression you do well paid shows. Hire a nice venue or offer to share door money and film a nice venue.

That looked like the local youth centre. It doesn't give the right impression.

Shrink
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Aug 20, 2006 01:01PM)
Promo videos are about perception, not about actuality. When a corporation like, for instance Siemans, views a promotional video, they view it in several ways - including how the performance will reflect on THEIR company.

And sexual material being presented at a corporate event, unless it is a closed, employees only event, is NOT going to be booked. Period.

This would rule out trade show work, hospitality events and banquet work for performers who want to work for these mega-corporations - I speak from direct exeprience on this one because I work FOR these corporations, including the one I just mentioned.

Upper management is VERY strict with regards to propriety and corporate image when it relates to anything that THEY sponsor. However, for the more private, employees only events, this may not be as true, DEPENDING on the division and the managers and VP's you will be dealing with. If someone had presented a promo like that to Jurgen Kurpa, who was the head on North American Operations for Siemans Data communications back in the 80's when I did my first series of trade shows for their Canadian data com test equipment division, it not only would not have flown, but that performer would have been black-balled throughout the entire Siemans organization.

Akzo-Nobel is another good example of the same kind of corporate mentality. VERY conservative and, frankly, even at an employees only event, just getting volunteers on stage is difficult because of the corporate ecology - no one wants to screw up their career by making a fool of themself in front of the "top brass" from Switzerland. And sexually oriented material is right out. And even stated so in the contract.

So, I disagree with several people on here who do not seem to be working for the kinds of clients that I am discussing.

With regards to Bible Belt colleges, yes, they DO hire hypnotists, but you had better be SQUEAKY CLEAN in your act - no kissing and, in some cases no TOUCHING even! I did one Uiversity show in Tennessee last year which had one of the most restrictive codicils attached to the contract that I have ever had to work with - and it was really NO problem because I had a long sit-down with the Administrator and made SURE I knew EXACTLY where the line was and made SURE that I didn't even get close to it.

because, if I HAD crossed that line, I would have been paid only HALF of my fee as a fine for violating school regulations!

The promo in question, if she had seen it, would have closed the doors of that institution, permenantly, to ALL hypnotists, in my opinion.

However, some venues will allow that kind of material and, if one wants to work that way, it's up to the performer, as I said.

Personally, I like keeping as many options open as I can.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: shrink (Aug 20, 2006 05:25PM)
Lee,

As far as I am aware in this part of the world few companies would employ hypnotists anyway. We don't seem to enjoy the diversity of opportunities you seem to have over in the States.

I respect the discipline and your knowledge in your market you seem to be very professional.

I agree that material on a promo should match the market. That really is common sense.

It is different over here. And even so adult material will close doors but it can also open them depending on where you are performing.

The real trick is to find the right venues and be good no matter what type of show you are doing.

When I was performing I exclusively performed adult shows. Hopefully very skillful shows. At least eventually they became skilled beyond "cheap shots".

However I hired a theatre and sold out for about three years around 1000 seats and made a small fortune. Mostly with students and drunks.

I did the University circuit too and would say that if you did the kind of shows you do for your clients they probably would've went down like a lead balloon.

It really depends upon the market. Personally I have no problem with any material so long as its done well and in the right context.

And personally I wouldn't enjoy working to some of the audiences you mention.

Sometime keeping too many options open can be worse than closing a few doors. You can't be everything to everybody. "Branding" is about catering to a certain market.

Shrink
I saw an opening the timing was right so I went in a certain direction. Sure it closed a few doors but I didn't want to walk through them anyways..If I were to perform now I may take a completely different stance depending upon what opportunities were open to me.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Aug 21, 2006 03:24AM)
Shrink, you make a very compelling argument and I have no problem with "horses for courses" as the saying goes. However, we also have a different problem over here and that is the problem of the professional associations.

Literally ALL of the professional associations have fairly strict bans on the use of X-rated presentations in stage hypnosis shows. Period.

If a member gets caught doing such material, their membership in the organization gets pulled, their certification gets revoked and, because of the insurance requirements, if their insurer finds out, their liability insurance gets pulled out from under them as well as the insurers are now more and more requiring certification by a professional hypnotherapy organization in order for ther underwriters to approve a liability policy.

No certification means no performance liability insurance. And that means no work. Period.

Which is why I tend to work pretty clean.

But it is ALWAYS a matter of choice for the performer and I have no problem with that at all.

To each his own.

Heck, I've been booked blind into a "lifestyles" convention as a magician before - and the "lifestyle in question was NOT the lifestyles of the rich and famous, but had more to do with things like chains and such - but the agent didn't see fit to TELL me about it! And, because the cancellation clause had some real teeth in it, I had to work the *@@^%( thing, too!

Fortunately, that was about fifteen years ago, before I met my current wife...! But that gig was a bit of a shock... not because of the people running around a major hotel in the nearly buff and wearing all sorts of kinky gear, but because of how many people I ran into there who I KNEW from my daily life and that I had NO idea were into that kind of stuff!

:wow:

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 21, 2006 08:35AM)
Ok I would like to chime in here on a couple misrepresented points.

First Lee you know fully well you don't have to be "certifiec" in anything to get insurance. Not for what it is we do. Yes I believe in certification, yes obviously you need insurance,( unless the venue covers it for you ) but it is really easy to find without the paper.

Second shrink, something I tell all comics when they start. Many use "blue" adult humor, as it gets an "easy laugh". And it indeed does. BUT if you learn to be funny without it, then you are funny no matter what.

This is the same thing. Being funny with the show gets you work anywhere, even in "adult" places. I do NOT believe for one second that adult material is "required" in any situation. The material used can be a bit more than "squeaky clean", but you can do a fantastic, engaging and funny show, without crossing over this line. You can be a fantastic comic without crossing it too.

Many use it as a "crutch" and never stop. Nobody in particular mind you.

The point is you close 0 doors by working for everyone, and close LOTS of doors by spacifically working in this fashion. Funny is funny and sells no matter what. Not so with adult humor.

Just my 2 cents.
Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Aug 21, 2006 01:57PM)
US commentators should note that Benny Hill was mainstream TV entertainment in the UK. Generally audiences there are much more tolerant of that kind of thing.

Plus does anyone here actually know what role faculty advisors play in selecting acts over there? (And remember that said UK advisors may well find Benny Hill-type comedy totally acceptable.)

I'm not sure how useful comments from a "mustn't risk offending even one person" US perspective are in this context.
Message: Posted by: shrink (Aug 21, 2006 03:56PM)
Danny,

While you can express an opinion based upon your experience it is just an opinion. You dislike adult humour then that's your preference and I respect that.

And perhaps your market gives you plenty of opportunities that makes it work well not to ever indulge in adult humour. That doesn't mean its the same for everyone everywhere.

In scotland and probably the rest of the UK hypnotists clean or otherwise don't get work "anywhere" opportunities are very few. And our student circuits are different from your high school circuits. It is very different.

And certainly the venues I hired and played in the past would've flopped with what you suggest. They wouldn't have bought the tickets. My shows sold mostly on word of mouth.

I am not disagreeing with you or Lee what you do works best for you in your circumstances and within your value system. If the opportunity came around again to pack out 1000 seaters with an adult show I would be booking venues tommorow.

Packing out a theatre for three years isn't easy no matter what type of show you do. You don't have to be squeaky clean either to be successful. that's all I'm saying

You don't "have" to do anything. Adult shows done poorly can be awful. But that doesn't mean they can't be done well. Or that they can be highly commercial which was the reason for doing them!

I said it before its not about sex or turning anyone on its about creating ridiculous situations that are funny.

Funny is a matter of taste and tastes vary according to the market.Not everyone finds the same things funny or you would find adult shows funny. Because some adult shows are very funny. There are also trends and timing to consider. The market over here is different from yours.

Shrink
The insurance situation for one makes it a market I am no longer interested in.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Aug 22, 2006 01:48AM)
Danny, when I went to get MY insurance from my insurer, they DEMANDED a copy of my Certification. Period. And they were adamant that they could not get underwriting for the policy without it.

When I renewed the policy this year, I asked if they needed a copy of my renewed Certification and I was told that they did not, that the copy that they had on file was sufficient.

But when I originally applied, I was REQUIRED to supply them with a copy of my Certification.

In checking with several insurers that I work for (I hold a Life Insurance license in Illinois, but not a property and casualty license), I was told in no uncertain terms, by no fewer that FOUR insurance companies that NO policies would be issued by their companies without a copy of the performer's Certification being on file with the Insurer.

Some companies may have different rules, but that has been MY experience.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: shrink (Aug 26, 2006 05:57PM)
While we are on the topic of humour:

I believe that there is a level of stage hypnosis that few hypnotists are aware of or ever reach.

For me the real skill and art of high level stage hypnosis is not about getting audience members to do silly things.

The real skill is to be vigilant to naturally occuring quirky behaviour and language that comes from the volunteers. And whenever possible tease and develop that so that as much as possible you let the volunteers "trance personalities" expand into something surreal and wonderful.

This means sometimes stepping back, sometimes provoking it gently and setting up situations where the show becomes almost organic and takes on a direction of its own.

This takes a lot of self control and skill to get the best out of people. It has nothing to do with being funny yourself.

Its almost like being an explorer of the minds of your volunteers. You can't get it every show. But when your audience sit in their seats after the show is finished and don't want to leave you know you have touched on something special.

It has nothing to do with being funny yourself. Or even a performer its about being a master stage hypnotist and I don't mean the title given away on three day certificates either.

That is just my point of view of course

Shrink

Also shock confusion suprise are all techniques that can be used on the audience to allow them to experience something special as well on the volunteers...I also consider the mental states of the audience as well as the volunteers..
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Aug 27, 2006 07:47PM)
Shrink, you have just nailed the method that makes a Pat Collins what she became and what keeps many people from being employed as stage hypnotists. In improvisational comedy, it's called "feeding" the other players. Giving them something more to work with than just the basic set up of the skit or routine that you are going with.

In one show I did, I had only two men, and about twenty women on stage. Both men were grossly overweight. So,m when I did the macho man bit, I asked them what they did to make themselves so macho.

The first guy practically yelled "I bench press!"

The second guy yelled, "I bench press!"

Sensing an opening, as they were on opposite sides of the stage, I said to the second guy, "Well, the guy down there says he's more macho than you are. What do you say to that?"

The fellow leaned over, looked down the row of people at the first guy, smirked and said, calmly, "That's the guy I bench press!"

You can't WRITE better material than that! You can only engineer situations where people can be creative and hope that they WILL be. And, more often than not, you will not be disappointed!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Spinnato (Aug 28, 2006 12:18AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-20 07:06, shrink wrote:
Sex in hypnosis sketches it isn't really about sex. I doubt if anyone ever gets turned on. The humour comes from putting the audience members in really surreal and crazy situations. The audience reacts by trying to put themselves in the place of the volunteer. This is what elicits the laugh and entertainment.

While I agree with the commercial considerations depending upon the market I don't feel adult content in hypnosis shows is a problem. Its all about presenting it properly.

Needs edited. Cut out the start when you are selecting volunteers it is like watching paint dry. Minimise the shots of the inductions. Fast cuts between just one or two.

You really need to be much gentler with the handshake you are far far to rough. Listen to Lee he is correct.

Don't try and fill 8 mins. 4 mins would be much better by being very selective to what you put in. plus as said before better camera shots and editing.

Also the venue doesn't give the impression you do well paid shows. Hire a nice venue or offer to share door money and film a nice venue.

That looked like the local youth centre. It doesn't give the right impression.

Shrink
[/quote]

My opinion EXACTLY!
Message: Posted by: Sven Heubes (Aug 30, 2006 04:17PM)
My question after watching the promo is, what makes you different from most of the other Hypnotists? I'm missing your own originality and personality. This is the kind of Hypnosis-Show I've seen a lot of before I started my way in Hypnosis about 20 years ago? Still, if College-Shows is the thing you're after, go on... But with Hypnosis (and you know already how it works on the technical side) you can do so much more. Shows of the kind you do, have been the reason stopping me performing it for a while, because all were the same. I don't know if you're also in magic, but it seems so because you've got magic friends. I started thinking about how to combine these two forms of art. Nowadays I combine Hypnosis with mental-magic. What a powerful tool. Name it, if you will, the Derren Brown style of show, but I already did it before I knew Derren at all. Just imagine, if you stop making fun (and embarras) your volunteers, but give them telepathic powers. Think about using a CEREBRO on a hypnotised person. In a normal mental act, the volunteer is used as an instant-stooge. In combination with Hypnosis it is normal that they forget everything that happened on stage and will never be able to talk about what they experienced. Wow, that's great! Volunteers never remebering that they were instant-stooges... By the way, the combination of mental effects and Hypnosis has an unbelivable impact on the audiance.

And to be honest:

[quote]You are being paid to entertain, and sex sells!! Turn on your tv and watch an advert!![/quote]

Nick, is that it, what you really want? Using the same cheap principles of going for the primitve hebetude?

I mean, it's worth thinking about...

Greetz, Sven
Message: Posted by: themindreader (Aug 30, 2006 05:11PM)
Hi Guys,

As an update - I've changed the promo completely. I've taken out the x-ray glasses skit and put some more shots in it.

It's now about 3.5 minutes long

Thanks for your comments
Message: Posted by: Christophercarter (Sep 18, 2006 01:03PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-21 14:57, cheesewrestler wrote:

Plus does anyone here actually know what role faculty advisors play in selecting acts over there? (And remember that said UK advisors may well find Benny Hill-type comedy totally acceptable.)

[/quote]

You make very good point. I thought I had made it clear that there were likely differences between the ways University work was booked in the UK and the way it is booked in the USA. My comments were only intended to provide food for thought. If I created another impression, it was unintentional.

--Chris
Message: Posted by: Nongard1 (Sep 18, 2006 06:04PM)
Danny, I worked a "lifestyles" type event once. It was the worst show I have ever done. They expected cruder than I was ready to perform, and oddly the men didn't respond, but that is becasue it is a female dominated social structure and the men fear crossing lines in a way that is socially different than other groups. It was just an odd event. And people were seriously drunker than usual.

As for the video. I would shorten it, get rid of all sexual refrences, if you want to use it as a promovideo or anything but adult audiences, and highlight you. You don't need to show a full rountine in a promo video. They aren't going to understand it anyway without watching a whole show. Instead, but together three minutes that shows the following:

1.) You dress well
2.) You speak well
3.) You respect the audience
4.) You have fun
5.) The crowd laughs
6.) People get hypnotized. Showing clips of the induction and the response illustrates this. This was the best part of your video.

You want people to get a flavor for YOU and the crowd response, not nescesarily a demonstration of the skits you will be doing.... artfully vague is the key to a promo video.

~Richard
Message: Posted by: Harry Lucas (Sep 25, 2007 03:42AM)
Just got a chance to see Simon's Hypnosis DVD and I can say that I really enjoyed it watching. For me it was the right thing for this audience, students like this sense of humour.

Some of the things may not be appropriate for business audiences but it's a matter of seconds to leave these bits in or take them out, depending on the circumstances. Generally I found that as long as you imply and not say out loudly what everybody is thinking, the audience is loving you. They know that you know that they know.

I had the impression that Simon's hypnotised helpers were treated with respect. I hate to see people eating lemons and doing impressions of animals and you won't find such bits in Simon's act. The dismissal of some people in the middle of the act was smooth and without calling attention to it.

Overall I enjoyed watching the act and think it had some very funny moments in it. :)

Harry
Message: Posted by: MagicalPirate (Sep 26, 2007 02:50AM)
Well I've never gotten certification and carry insurance as a hypnotist. It is the carrier commonly referred to when people ask and they don't. I guess it just depends on who your going with.

Martin :pirate: