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
I found your comments about being hypnotized and wanted you to know I had a few experiences that were quite similar. Some I'd do again and others would make me think twice.
The first experience was when I was thinking about writing an article on hypnosis for a newspaper and I remembered a teacher from high school who was into it.
I called him and he decided if I wanted to write about it I should experience it. Not what I was expecting but he was pretty insistent.
We went to a spare room and he put a candle in front of me as I sat in a chair. He asked me to look at it and as I did I would begin to feel sleepy and my eyes would water. Sure enough I had a hard time keeping my eyes open and before I knew I was "under."
I thought I was not going to be able to be hypnotized but for the next two hours I did all manner of things. He was intent on making sure I experienced as much of hypnotic phenomena as possible and he told me later I was one of his best subjects. Go figure.
Anyway, I had no memory of what happened and felt like I was only under about ten minutes. But I woke up in his living room where his wife was. There was no one there besides us when he started so it was a little disorientating to be in another room and it being that much later.
My hypnotic experiences with this man was not done. The next night he wanted me to see other people be hypnotized so we met at another house where some women were interested in be hypnotized to lose weight and stop smoking.
I thought I was going to watch but he wanted all of us to try it and sure enough I went right out again.
So for the next two hours I ended up putting on a show for them since I was the only one who went under deeply.
All in all these two experiences were enjoyable. The next one was totally unexpected.
I went to a comedy club on a double date and when I got there they had a stage hypnotist. I had never seen one so I figured it would be fun.
He asked for volunteers and I declined because I wanted to watch the show. But as he begin his induction I found myself getting a little light headed. It felt good and I thought I'd just relax for a second and enjoy the feeling.
You guessed it. Two and half hours later I found myself putting my shirt and shoes back on going back to my seat. I had gone under in the audience and of course my date told the hypnotist to put me on stage.
This show was somewhat more risque. It was an "R" rated show and I was totally under and doing everything the guy suggested. This ran the gamut from using the women next to me as a pillow to being a male stripper. I had no idea what had happened but everyone was more than happy to tell all about it.
If you want to know more, I got a tape of it and could always watch it again. I just have to be careful I don't watch too closely...
Oh my gosh, Dwayne! Your comment post had me in stitches.
Some people are just so easily hypnotized. I know the feeling. However, as far as I know I kept all my clothes on--both times. Or at least I think I did...oh my...didn't I?
As for having it on video, I am very happy there is no evidence of whamy "performance", even if all I did was jump into some guy's lap, play an invisible piano, walk the catwalk thinking I was a model or whatever else I did.
Is yours on YouTube yet? lol
By the way, I'm looking for an agent. I have no idea what you do for a living (apparently stripping isn't it), but on the offchance that you're a literary agent looking for new clients or an editor working at Bantam, I have one thing to say to you...
You are getting sleeeeepy....verrrry, verrry sleeeepy...
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