Street Hypnosis. My thoughts on head hacking anywhere are:….

First off. I taught Anthony Jacquin and Kevin Sheldrake impromptu techniques on my stage hypnosis masterclass in 2004. They have taken it way beyond anything I have ever done with it and have found a market for it. I would like to think I somehow played a small part in getting them going, although Ant was already a very good and successful hypnotherapist.

But I have to admit I’m totally jealous of their Youth – compared to me – their energy and their following. I think they should be banned and possibly imprisoned! Or at the very least hung drawn and quartered. How dare they have a whale of time being well known and successful!

The ‘Problem’ with street hypnosis seems to ME to be this…

Except for my friend in New Zealand Reg Blackwood and the head hacking team themselves, the exponents of the Street form don’t appear to make money from it, even at a busking level. And let’s face it the odd free drink or cucumber may be refreshing or bowel cleansing but you can’t buy your Broadband with it.

So the point seems to be to entertain the performer more than a paying audience, but then that can be said of most people who do magic as well as over 80% of people buying tricks today will never use them outside of a small group of friends or colleagues.

And what seems to upset many established stage pros is that street hypnosis is way more popular than full blown stage hypnosis at the moment.

The difference between Stage and Street for me is that whilst one can be passably executed with a knowledge of simple technique, the other can Only be presented with just a simple basic knowledge of technique.

I can think of several professional stage performers whose shows are not very good in theatrical terms.

However unlike singers, dancers or actors not being very good doesn’t show that much as we are still a very small bunch and for everyone who has seen a full stage show there are a dozen who have not. Although the InterWeb is certainly putting a few heads on blocks.

Most stage ‘shows’ are just a collection of routines with no shape or finesse.

Few of them are actually ‘shows’ but nothing more than Street done on stage. Most ‘Comedy’ hypnotists are not themselves funny – for the record I’ve never used that term – with the exception of perhaps Ken Webster that certainly covers most UK players.

So perhaps the problem with Street Hypnosis as far as the stage performers are concerned is that it shows how anyone can hypnotise and when the amazing ‘skill’ is shown to be a shallow disguise of simple psychological procedures, then presentation skills and showmanship is up for scrutiny.

Stage hypnosis took a knock along with all forms of stage entertainment in the 90’s in the UK. No, not because there were more people doing shows as some people think, it was the fall of the Miners Welfare clubs and working mens clubs which taught people to go to live shows from being children, right up to the simple fact that it was shown on TV and people then only wanted to see the bloke on the Tele.

Then as the century turned we entered the age of ‘Show Me’ where with the internet and the Karaoke mindset more people want to do rather than watch. In 1999 when we started teaching there were 13 schools of hypnosis, at last count there are 162 and 10 of those are ‘stage’.

The truth is I didn’t like the street approach at first. Not sure I do now. For my old head they looked as if they should be taking a box of tissues with them and in the early videos came across as a group of giggling schoolboys playing pranks and copping a quick feel from drunk birds in pubs.

Some still do. But to be honest and when I Really look at it, there is little difference between that and me making people’s arms go stiff without bothering to hypnotise in recognisable fashion – certainly not using a trance state, or removing someones phobia at a party with my ‘Hypnotic Powers!’ when there is no chance of that becoming a booking.

Then, I am doing it for Me.

I am after all, above all else, a SHOW OFF, and that is what street hypnosis is all about. It’s about showing off. Pure egotism. Having a laff at the expense of others which, to be frank is what hypnosis relies on, the fact that people laugh AT other people in embarrassing situations. People doing ridiculous things, that’s right, being ridiculed.

So for me the difference is this. Street Hypnosis is about mind manipulation techniques entertaining the protagonists and little else. Stage Hypnosis is, or should be, about the art of making those techniques a Show and entertaining a fee paying audience.

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