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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » Your preferred type of STAGE induction. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Owen Mc Ginty
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On saturday I talked to a guy who is just getting started in stage hypnosis and his confidence took a big blow recently:

After calling for volunteers, a load of his FRIENDS filled the volunteers chairs. He proceeded to attempt inductions one by one, failing again and again.
This is the main reason that I don´t do individual inductions myself. Instead I do a group induction, and until now I´ve never failed 100% (despite the odd mobile phone ringing in the middle of the induction!)

My worst has been a 50% success rate with just 3 out of 6 being hypnotized, and the best was 4 out of 4. My gigs have been in small places with not a lot of space for volunteers chairs, but I want to move on to bigger and better shows, so I´m curious to hear what the pros prefer.

So, what is your preferred method of induction ON STAGE, and why?
If you never fail, you're not trying hard enough.
dmkraig
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Owen, there are a lot of assumptions and challenges to directly answer your questions.

First, I'd like to look as the problems in your examples.

Hypnotizing friends can be a real challenge because they don't think of you as THE HYPNOTIST (to use ANT's expression), they think of you as a friend. The guy you mention, from your description, clearly did not have control of the audience. He could have said something like, "If you're one of my friends, please stay where you are to enjoy the show." He could have worked some tests to prep the volunteers for going into hypnosis. He could have had an introduction that made it clear that no matter how you knew him, he was THE HYPNOTIST.

There are many types of individual inductions. You don't reveal what individual induction(s) he used. My *guess*, and it is only a guess, is that he attempted to use the same induction on all of the volunteers. The thing is, failure breeds failure and success breeds success. Everyone who saw him fail with the first volunteer saw him as a failure, not THE HYPNOTIST. With each failure that impression increased. By the time he got to the third or fourth person he would not have been able to hypnotize anyone there. That's not to say he can't hypnotize, only that he built up his failures and gave the message to the other volunteers--on an unconscious level--that he would fail with them.

There are a few solutions--in my opinion and based upon the limited amount of information you presented--to this problem.
1) He needs a better introduction
2) He needs a better pre-talk
3) He needs to work with volunteers before hypnotizing any of them. This includes sending back to the audience those who don't follow directions.
4) My assumption is that he uses just one induction format. Besides being boring to the audience, one or two failures result in a failure response to the rest of the volunteers.

I would think that any trained hypnotist would know these principles, so my guess is that this guy who is "just getting started" is, at best, an IROB ("I Read One Book" and I can do it!) and really doesn't know much about hypnosis. Personally, I like that he has the cojones to put himself out there and do it. I know lots of book-learned, self-styled "experts" who don't dare go out and actually hypnotize people. I also know many people who have gone through hypnosis trainingS and still don't have the courage to hypnotize anyone. So I admire his courage. Now, however, he needs the information and training to go with that courage. In short, he should get trained. Combined with his courage he could become a great hypnotist.

Now on to your question. First, about your previous work.

Again, good on ya for having the courage to do this. Small places can be quite challenging due to the minimum number of potential volunteers. The key, therefore, is to get good volunteers, not just fill the seats in front. When doing a pre-talk, of course, it is common to give some "tests" such as magnetic fingers, light/heavy hands, etc. as an entertainment and as a way for people to see the power of hypnosis. But there is something else: As you are doing this LOOK AT YOUR AUDIENCE! Who is responding the best? If someone doesn't respond but jumps on stage to volunteer, it's possible that their goal is to "prove" you can't hypnotize them and actually screw you (and your show). Since they are volunteers who come up you can't force people to the stage, but you can begin by enthusiastically pointing to people (the good responders) and asking them to the stage.

The implication of the way you word your question is that we have a choice of either a group induction or an individual induction. I think this is a false dichotomy. What I like to do (YMMV) is give more tests on stage and then pick a person who is most responsive for an individual induction. When the rest of the volunteers "see my power" (actually, they choose to give up their power to my suggestions), doing a group induction becomes easier.

Besides the implication of your post that there is either a group or individual induction, your statement "what is your preferred method of induction" implies that professionals have one method they prefer to use. I would respectfully suggest that you discard that notion. IMO a professional needs to know many forms of induction and even create them at a moment's notice. The inductions I'll use for a group of rowdy drunks are not the same as for professional businessmen. The inductions for a group of women is not the same as for a group of college students.

Generally speaking, I like to use a fast progressive relaxation, a pattern interrupt instant, and a modified Elman for the group. I'm not saying that's what I always do or that this is "the best," it just works for me. Each is modified on the fly for the group. Deepeners are used depending upon need.

Respectfully, since you're asking, I would also suggest that you get some [more?] in-person training. All of these questions would not only be answered in a good training, but you'd also have a chance to practice with others and come out far more assured of yourself.

It's one thing to be able to project the image that you're THE HYPNOTIST to others. It's just as important--perhaps more so--to know, beyond any doubt, that indeed, YOU ARE THE HYPNOTIST.
Mindpro
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Well said. That was one hell of a 1400th post!
dmkraig
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Thank you kindly.
Owen Mc Ginty
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Hi mr. Kraig,
Thanks for your detailed reply. My post wasnt very well explained. I wrote it in a hurry and didn't word it well.
I realise that the guy in question had a tough job when his friends filled the chairs, I reckon that could have had a lot to do with his failure to hypnotize the first volunteer. He has had some training, but that was in a rather controlled environment, and he only practiced with other trainees during the course. He had then hypnotized some friends and following this, he jumped right in to doing a show.

I didn't see his show, so I don't know how many types of induction he used, but I have little doubt that his compounding of failures made the show an uphill struggle.
The possibility of having the same thing happen to me is the reason I like to use a modified elman induction on a group - to date it has served me well in so much as I'm never really seen to fail (so far anyway) because I always manage to get some of the volunteers into trance with this.

I would like to have more options, and have been practicing other inductions live in my shows - using them as " re-inductions" and on saturday I was rather pleased to have used the expectancy induction (3 handshakes) on the guy I mention at the start of this thread - we were having coffee, no pretalk, ( he already knows the drill!) I just asked for permission to hypnotise him, and seconds later he was well and truly in trance.

You've answered my question when you said you use different inductions for different groups, I havent yet had different types of groups in my shows - the crowds have been rather alike so that's something I hadn't thought of.

What I meant to ask was if people had a preference for group v's individual induction, but you reply has helped me to realise that a " one size fits all " induction is probably less than optimal.
Thanks!
If you never fail, you're not trying hard enough.
TonyB2009
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For what it is worth for a decade I used a quickish progressive relaxation induction on the entire group on stage (about five minutes in total). But now I have progressed a lot, and what I tend to do is (if I get the right volunteers) to do an instant induction on the most suggestible, and have a bit of fun (hand stuck to head, forgetting their name, etc) before moving on to any of the others. It demonstrates that I do have the power to put them under - even though I don't believe in any of it myself!

Then I do a handshake induction on the four or five most suggestible, then tell the rest to close their eyes and go through a far faster progressive relaxation induction (three minutes or so).

That has been working for me for the past six months. I had five volunteers tonight. The most suggestible did not want to be there, so after sticking her hands to her head, getting arm catalepsy, etc, I let her rejoin the audience. The other four had seen enough; they went under rapidly and we had a fun show.

For me I seem to be best mixing a few rapid individual inductions with a group induction.

I am glad you asked the question; I am looking forward to some more answers.
Dannydoyle
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The problem with single inductions is a concept called "modeling behavior. Once they see it doesn't work on the first, it will not be so easy from then on out.

It is about a few things. WHO you pick, and HOW you get them to volunteer. Those two factors are MOST important in a run up to an induction. I don't let people volunteer without me giving them the ok. This alone lets them know who is in charge. Those LITTLE things become HUGE.

I use words like "when you come to MY stage tonight" and so forth.

The thing is EVERY WORD means something and needs to be considered carefully.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
dmkraig
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I agree with Danny and go one step further (well, at least further than he elaborated). Not only does every word count, but your every feeling and emotion counts, too.

If you think or feel, "this won't work" or "I screwed up" or "I didn't get him to go under, will I fail with everyone else?" or "I hate these people" or something similar, it will show up in your body language. People will pick up on that at an unconscious level and react to it. So if you think "this won't work" it probably wont. If you wonder if you'll fail with everyone you probably will.

That's why, as I described in my post, you need to be THE HYPNOTIST, totally sure of what you're doing and sure that you will succeed, even if you're not sure.
Nongard1
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I thought you might find these clips interesting. These are some clips form some shows John and I have recently done.
Some rapid inductions for stage hypnosis:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNrPlvhBPg8

And

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKe1pm51jB4&feature=relmfu

I don't think the "type" of induction really matters. In fact, neither does hypnosis. What matter is do they follow your instrucitons and as DMkraig pointed out, do they percieve you as "the hypnotist".
Dr. Richard Nongard, Professional Hypnosis Training
Learn how to master the art of SpeedTrance, Clinical and Stage Hypnosis
Dannydoyle
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The last 2 posts really sum it up.

THE INDUCTION IS NOT RELEVANT, the fact that they buy it is.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
dmkraig
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Danny, on this I only partially agree with you. In my experience, the induction is relevant, but it is relevant as part of the show. Doing a long prog. relax. induction is going to bore the audience into either sleeping, making insults, or just leaving. The important thing, IMO, is to have inductions that will work with the volunteers you choose AND be entertaining to the audience.

Entertainment, IMO, must come first. I would say that if someone is learning stage hypnosis they should NOT focus on induction, rather they should focus on being THE ENTERTAINING HYPNOTIST. They should work on have a great introduction and pre-talk. They should work on having a wide variety of skits. They should work on having great stage presence. They should work on blocking. Perhaps most important of all they should work on volunteer safety. Oh, and they should also learn and practice numerous inductions so they can use exactly what is needed and just get it done.

Perhaps the best way to look at it is that the induction is simply the tunnel that moves between choosing the best volunteers and doing the skits.

Nobody wants to be stuck in a tunnel.
nevarillusions
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Is it tony lee I thiiiiink
if you simply hypnoyizzed the entire of you spectators you can just pick who is suggestable and it work cuz if there suggestable they will come up if you ask !!
Dannydoyle
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Oh lord.

Yea I should have mentioned I was assuming a certain level of proficiencey when I said it "didn't matter". My bad.

(The "Oh lord" was for the above post.)
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
RSD
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Way to go Danny. Lets see what new monster you just created.

:)
Dannydoyle
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Yea this has that on it doesn't it?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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