Recently, one of my favorite bloggers at Kelley’s Breakroom, posted this post about her experience with a hypnotist.
Her post reminded me that I’ve never shared with you the story of my experience with a hypnotist.
Years and years ago, my parents got four tickets to see The Amazing Kreskin.
So, Real Man, my parents, and I went to a local theater and took our seats.
Kreskin went through the show doing “amazing” things, and he finally got to the point in the show where he invited people to volunteer to come on stage and be hypnotized.
No surprise, I raised my hand.
He picked his way through the audience, and chose about 10 people.
So, I made my way to the stage fully committed to try to be hypnotized.
I sat there. I listened to the sound of his voice. I did the counting in my head. I followed every direction he gave us.
I did not go under.
One by one, he made his way down the line of volunteers and gave them instructions.
“Whenever someone snaps, you will bark like a dog.”
“Whenever you hear the phrase ‘thank you’ you will twirl like a ballerina.”
And one by one, they did it.
The audience laughed and laughed, and I was faced with a dilemma.
Do I play along and give a good show, or do I become the grumpy old man on stage who crosses his arms and says “Nope…didn’t work on me.”
I’m an actress, by nature, so I went with the show.
Kreskin gave me my directions and I aped it up and played my role perfectly.
I’d say the whole thing went on for about ten minutes, and then, one by one, he released us from our compulsions.
He let us go back to our seats with a thunderous round of applause from the audience and when I got back to me seat, the people around us were looking and listening and so when my Dad asked “Were you really under?” I said, “I must have been! I don’t remember anything! What happened?”
Because the show doesn’t end just because the participants come off the stage.
However, as we got in the car, I said to my family, “That was ridiculous. You know I wasn’t under, right?”
Real Man looked at me and said “Yes, you were. You said so.”
I explained my earlier words and he and my parents looked at me and said “No way. You were under.”
And so, for the past twenty years, whenever the Amazing Kreskin comes up (which, admittedly, is not that often) my family defaults to the belief that I was under.
I don’t even bother to dispute them, anymore, because when you think about it, their belief is really just a testament to how great an actress I actually am.
And, let me tell you something, I don’t believe anyone was under.
I don’t believe that hypnotism works.
I don’t think I have a stronger mind than someone else and that’s why it didn’t work.
I think it didn’t work because it doesn’t work.
I can’t explain people who have stopped smoking through hypnosis or people who go through hypnosis in therapy to help them remember something they didn’t remember before.
The power of suggestion? That I believe, because I come from two of the most suggestible people I’ve ever met.
(Love you, Mom and Dad, but you know I’m right.)
They hear someone has some type of illness and they are pretty much instantly convinced that they have it to.
So, suggestion, yes…actual hypnosis? No.
So, there’s my story.
I hope you enjoyed it, and if you are someone I ever see in real life, I’d appreciate it if you could refrain from clapping your hands three times when you are around me.