Today's Blast From My Past takes me back a few years. Okay, a couple of decades (now I really feel old!) So here's the setup...
What do Bermuda and George M. Dawson High School in BC have in common? Well, I was hypnotized in both places.
[Disclaimer: I may have gotten the hypnotists' names mixed up. I mean, they're darned close--Reveen and Romane. Also, remember...I was hypnotized. I was not responsible for my actions. Really!]
It started in Bermuda, about 1979. My best friend Annmarie and I sneaked in to see a performance of the amazing Reveen, a world renowned hypnotist. I say "sneaked" because we were underage. You had to be 18; we were 16. I had always been very curious about anything remotely paranormal--things like palm reading, tarot cards, tea leaf reading, psychics of all kinds--and hypnotists.
So there I was, trying to be incognito so we wouldn't get tossed out, and then Reveen goes into his audience routines. He had everyone clasp their hands and rest them on their heads (or something to this affect). Then he does his little hypnotizing spiel and--voila! Many people in the audience found they couldn't remove their hands from their heads.
Including me--the underaged teen who was trying not to be noticed.
Well, Reveen could have said something to make us unlock, but no, it wasn't going to be that easy. Instead, he asked everyone with locked hands to come up on stage. And there lay my dilemma. Do I go up, get unlocked and risk being kicked out? Or do I stay where I was and walk around with my hands stuck to my head for the rest of my life?
So up I go...Miss Incognito. I recall feeling petrified. Not about being hypnotized--that was kind of cool. I looked at Annmarie and thought, 'Great, now we'll get booted out and she'll hate me.'
One by one, each person's hands were unlocked by the mystical Reveen. Then it's my turn. He unlocks my hands, then says, "How old are you?"
"Uh...eight--eighteen," I lied in a quivering voice.
He smiled. "Good. Would you like to stay up on stage and be part of my show?"
What? That was not what I expected.
So Miss Incognito politely excused herself and went skulking back to her seat.
Well, the show continued, I relaxed and we had a great time. I couldn't believe all the crazy things he'd gotten people to do. It was a night I've never forgotten.
Flash forward...1981 - Masset, QCI, BC - George M. Dawson gymnasium. Our special guest? Romane, another well-known hypnotist.
The show starts with the same idea--audience participation. Of course, he wants to see whose mind is susceptible to being put under. And there goes Cheryl, up to the stage to have her hands unlocked. This time I decided to be part of the show. What the hell was I thinking?!
The skeptical part of my brain thought, 'There's no way he'll put me that far under.'
Well, all I can say is that by the end of the show, I "woke" up. It seemed like 5 minutes had passed. When I tried to remember, it was like I had my eyes closed and was having a very blurry, weird dream. I believe I was in a "fashion show" and did the catwalk or something. Good grief!
I vaguely recall being a concert pianist. Of course there was no piano on stage...but I know I played my heart out. (Maybe I should audition for the New York Symphony.) I think I ended up sitting on some poor guy's lap. Remember my disclaimer? NOT RESPONSIBLE!
Then after the show, every time someone said, "You were hypnotized, Cheryl", I had this Tourette's syndome-like compulsion to reply with, "Oh, go eat fish!" I couldn't understand why people kept coming up to me and telling me I'd been hypnotized. Wasn't it obvious? I mean, they saw the damned show, for crying out loud. And why the heck was I telling them to eat fish, when I really wanted to say snidely, "Wow, you're observant."
But instead, out pops, "Oh, go eat fish!"
There's nothing stranger than hearing something come out of your mouth that you had no idea you were going to say. Well, wait. There's one thing stranger...hearing your mother's words come out of your mouth. "Just wait until you have kids!"
Have you every been hypnotized? What did you do? Would you do it again? If not, would you like to be?
Please leave me a comment. :)
bestselling author of Whale Song