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JonChase
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Well I've had 10 years semi retired from performing, writing and training but you know when it's in your blood it's in your blood.

So... Working on a new TV show for the states, and putting together the new stage show.

I was wondering what, if anything, you guys would put in it?
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Jon Chase



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Anthony Jacquin
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Build out from a single person and draw others into your show rather than traditional audience selection. Have 6 routines that entertain by encouraging a smidgen of thought rather than 36 that make people titter. Have sets rather than a row of chairs. Do it all with the eyes open.

Anthony
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bobser
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Like all of the above. Eyes wide open for sure, and.... no seemingly actual worded induction.
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
JonChase
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LOL Anthony, bit old fashioned that mate, Mr Brown has already done it. Thanks for the thoughts.

You know, audiences paying to see a hypnotist want to see a 'traditional' hypnotist. Just like the Uni show you have on facebook Ant. Smile

'Sets' are a pain in the arse and unnecessary, you can use a screen and projector nowadays.

Bob, thankyou [ actually the show is already written but it helps to see if you are going along the right lines by asking your peers what they would do and making *** sure you do something different - can't all be the same can we? ]

Been doing eyes open for years, and eyes closed. Induced and not induced. I was once told off at a uni for NOT zapping people lol. I always use Gill Boynes line somewhere, "Hypnosis is a state of mind not a state of eyelids."

I think a mixture is called for maybe?
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Jon Chase



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kissdadookie
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Perhaps start off with eyes closed and then lead into eyes open with subsequent volunteers?

Have you seen the clip on YouTube from the James Brown lecture online where he does a 10 minute long hypnosis routine? From the looks of the clip, it looks like he goes straight into it without putting the person under in the traditional sense (I could be wrong and there could have been a standard induction done prior, but it does not look like it from the video). I thought that it was highly entertaining and fresh compared to the standard shows I've seen with the typical group of potentials on stage.

Here's the clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKK8JZjdRUQ

Along the same lines, anybody tried doing a eyes open with a single subject, some routines with that subject, and then follow immediately with a eyes closed, sleep with the rest of the seated volunteers you already have on stage? Would performing with the first volunteer help with putting the rest of the volunteers under subsequently (after all, they've just witnessed you do some pretty incredible things with the one person and it didn't even appear that you've placed that person under).
JonChase
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I know what you mean Kiss.

James stuff is very good. I always think though that the average audience isn't actually aware in any way what the hell is going on.

The thing is if you're a bit old, and old fashioned like me even though the open eyed stuff is easily doable - and most people who think it's the best way to go still pull people forward or yell sleep at them - I can't help myself sometimes....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCAoNWbn9yE
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kissdadookie
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First off, great clip! Secondly, I totally agree with the point you made in that clip, if a suggestion is taken and tested and you get a positive response, the person is good to go even if you didn't go through with a standard induction.

I actually do agree that demonstrating the good ole "SLEEP" and putting a person under that way definitely adds to a performance rather than taking away from a performance. It is after all what the audience is expecting hypnotism to look like and it's advantageous for the performer to play to the audience first and then go in other directions if they wished, rather than doing things in an unexpected way for the audience, in which now you have to deal with the fact that you may have lost of a few of them after doing something unexpected Smile
JonChase
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Thank you very much Kiss


Quote:
On 2010-10-13 14:33, kissdadookie wrote:
First off, great clip! Secondly, I totally agree with the point you made in that clip, if a suggestion is taken and tested and you get a positive response, the person is good to go even if you didn't go through with a standard induction.

I actually do agree that demonstrating the good ole "SLEEP" and putting a person under that way definitely adds to a performance rather than taking away from a performance. It is after all what the audience is expecting hypnotism to look like and it's advantageous for the performer to play to the audience first and then go in other directions if they wished, rather than doing things in an unexpected way for the audience, in which now you have to deal with the fact that you may have lost of a few of them after doing something unexpected Smile
Smiles

Jon Chase



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JonChase
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I've just watched the James Brown video and it's brilliant. Although I had to smile at the line.
"It isn't my arm you GAVE IT TO ME!"

I'd love to see the full thing. Reminds me of this - sorry for the quality it's a very old video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqDCo_JZjoA#!
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Jon Chase



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kissdadookie
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You can really see how all of James experience and knowledge of both audience management and routining comes together in that demonstration. There's a very nice and natural progression. Just imagine if he actually had a few subjects seated already as he does what he does to the the single subject and if the demonstration was a bit shorter. I would expect that the already seated subjects would be very receptive at that point as the anticipation in their minds would be adequately built up (and there would probably be a good amount of nervousness which IMHO, works to the hypnotists advantage), just hitting them all with the sleep command would probably drop the majority of them relatively deep into it (including those who would have required a bit more work/conditioning). This I suspect would look great in a theatrical sense to the viewing audience as it would appear like an instant induction (but without all the run around) but done to a group.

Maybe it may be possible to not even face your seated subjects when issuing the sleep command and have the seat participants follow? I've seen a few examples where the hypnotist would say "sleep" without looking or appearing to have his/her attention focused on the subject and immediately see the subject go under. I had always felt this was very very impressive to watch as it's the perfect demonstration of the "power" and "control" of the hypnotist which if you think about it, that's what the audience usually thinks of hypnosis in the first place (that the hypnotist has some kind of special mojoe to get people to do what he/she suggests) and that kind of demonstration is essential confirming the audience's expectations in a very dramatic way.
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Jon, Great to see you enthusiastic about being "back."
I too get a lot of mileage out of your "my arm" routine...

I like what you're suggesting Anthony and it would probably be fine for a friendly, attentive, middle class audience at a magic convention or fringe theater for example, but I think you overestimate the intelligence and attention span of the average audience a hypnotist attracts these days: A younger audience more used to TV, stand-up comedy and (at the best) improv shows and who probably don't know you from Adam. Often drunk and even downright hostile. (Few of us are fortunate enough to have had the exposure and profile of Derren Brown.)

As for your new show Jon, I think you already know my thoughts.
The hypnosis parts of my show are very traditional. You'll find there's a whole generation of audience out there who've never seen a traditional hypnosis show.
However, I like the counterpoint produced when performing some traditional routines in an untraditional, intimate setting: Bar or small theatre with smaller audiences and less volunteers on stage.

As part of your research, you should go along as an audience member to some of the places where I honed my stage skills as a comedian: Places like Jongleurs, The Comedy Store, Kings Head Crouch End, Balham Banana, Up the Creek Greenwich or The Bearcat Twickenham and I'd recommend anybody considering exposing their skills to the UK public do the same.

They ain't no cruise ship crowd!

Reg
Anthony Jacquin
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Up The Creek!. That was my favorite comedy spot of all when I lived in London.

Did you survive Reg? It seemed like one of the harsher clubs on the circuit when Malcolm ran it?
Anthony Jacquin

Reality is Plastic! The Art of Impromptu Hypnosis
Updated for 2016

Now on Kindle and Audible!
quicknotist
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Malcolm was a friend Ant. He always looked after me and I did my best to return the favours whenever he came up to see me in Brum.
But no. It was horribly memorable!
Great club to be in the audience at though, especially when combined with the famous Hardee hospitality which usually started early in the afternoon with copious pints of Stellar and games of pool in the pub next door.
Ah. Memories...
Anthony Jacquin
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Wow lucky you, I look forward to catching some of those stories one day.

Yes. Known for having the biggest 'bollox' in showbusiness and only having 6 gags and two of them were the same - that's how I remember him. Oh and that night he decided to take a leak from the stage into an unfunny hecklers hat Smile

Ant
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Reality is Plastic! The Art of Impromptu Hypnosis
Updated for 2016

Now on Kindle and Audible!
quicknotist
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I have two memories from the last time I saw Malcolm. (I left the UK in 2000.)
The first was when he was MCing The Glee Club in Birmingham.
In a nearby bar before the show, he was having a drink with my Kiwi wife and I and a couple of other comics and unbeknown to her he asked me if I'd come to the show and shout out for him to "show them." (Turns out he was a bit concerned his infamous anatomy wasn't known well enough to Birmingham audiences.)
We weren't planning on seeing the show but he got us in for free, so we went.
Imagine my wife's surprise when in the middle of Malcolm's rambling, he went silent, glared at me and nodded. Without missing a beat, I shouted out "Show us your bollox!" which of course he was more than happy to do...
The other memory I'll reserve for an in-person chat.





Quote:
On 2010-10-13 16:02, Anthony Jacquin wrote:
Wow lucky you, I look forward to catching some of those stories one day.

Yes. Known for having the biggest 'bollox' in showbusiness and only having 6 gags and two of them were the same - that's how I remember him. Oh and that night he decided to take a leak from the stage into an unfunny hecklers hat Smile

Ant
JonChase
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I don't know about comedy clubs Reg but I did my apprenticeship about a million years ago in the social, working men's clubs and miners welfare clubs of the Midlands, Wales, Essex, Kent and the West country. I hear all this about so called tough audiences but in London you want to try a working men's club in the East End to discover what really tough audiences are like. Most of the comedy club guys would be foetal in five minutes going out to that lot.

I don't know about New Zealand but do know that large theatres are not the places for hypnosis in the UK at the moment, it's tough to get bums on seats, this year Ken Dodd, Chubby Brown and Jethro have all cancelled gigs. And I've seen Jimmy Carr and others going out to half houses. Sure televised gigs are usually crammed but that's down to advertising and a liberal papering. [That's giving away free seats for the uninitiated.]

Safe gigs are places like Edinburgh in full fringe and Uni shows, but I've been told some of them have been tweaked if not hit.

My new show is aimed at smaller houses and more intimate audiences. I've done the 2,000 seater's and at my age think I'd rather like a bit more intimacy. I got that with the past lives shows I did and it will be nice me thinks. Now for me it's way more about the experience than the money.

In saying that just had an enquiry for the full monty old fashioned bang em under and feed em onions show. Never can trust an audience can you?
Smiles

Jon Chase



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mindpunisher
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Actually edinburgh festival isn't a safe venue at all. Its bloody hard. End of October is probably much safer. I always avoided the festival simply because there is too much going on. And your marketing gets washed away. I sold out 1000 seaters in October for weeks on end. I did my first festival this summer and it was the most stressful thing I have ever done. it lived up to what I always thought it would be like.

We got on average 300 a night. But we had to seriously work like hell to get them in. Not all were paying full ticket price either. Another thing about Edinburgh is that especially during the festival you will pay absolutely crazy prices to hire venues. I made nothing out of it. I was making 4k a night back in the mid 90s. 4k then was a LOT of money. If I had sold out the HMV I would only have made 2K.

I would NEVER do the festival again. Its really only good for TV comics that want to get TV work. Hardly anyone makes any money and the vast majority make nothing.

>>>Never can trust an audience can you?<<<

I don't know Jon I think the audience is a great judge of what it wants. its made Simon Cowel one of the most powerful men in the history of entertainment

I think successful hypnosis shows have a basic structure. Start by creeping them out and getting the audience nervous/excited - pretalk establishes you and sets the scene - blow their minds with the "impossibilty" of the trance induction - build up the laughs to an unblievable peak. Send the volunteers into the audience so they can get a closer look. Then finish with a climax.

Always go for the maximum response and development of trance personalities rather than tell them to do silly things. Allow them to develop.

I think sets etc just dilute the hypnosis experience. If you think back to the old Mckenna shows he tried all of that and introduced celebs and elaborate plots and settings. It just didn't work. They drowned the personalities of those hypnotised. A good hypnosis show amplfies their personalities. That is the unique usp.

If I were doing a tv show I would tie in stage hypnosis with "how wonderful our minds are" and give insights and examples of how hypnsis is and can be used in other contexts. I wouldn't necessarily go for the obvious ones.

Derren Brown does mentalism shows not hypnosis shows although he may use some hypnosis. But it's still a different thing altogether.

The recession has hit just about everybody I know who is self employed hard. I think it has hit entertainment too.
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Quote:
On 2010-10-13 18:23, JonChase wrote:

In saying that just had an enquiry for the full monty old fashioned bang em under and feed em onions show. Never can trust an audience can you?


In my very humble opinion, as a spectator, that's what I'd love to see, I think that's where Derren nailed it, taking things backwards but with a modern edge.
'The prestige' and 'the illusionist' made that period look so interesting too.
I think it helps create the notion of 'real' powers.
I had a quick flick through McGill's encyclopaedia the other day, all the little tricks for 'Challenge Hypnosis' LOL I love things like that!

I think its drama that I like now I think about it.
JonChase
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I agree on some things MP

I'd do Edinburgh simply because it's on my bucket list and the money isn't important.

I agree with the sets thing, although staging can be done black box as effectively.

I disagree with the developing their personality. I just direct them as I figure I am the best judge of my audience and what's funny or not. And I deliberately go for small numbers as it hones the audience view and pulls them in. That is of course personal preference and style.

Derren's shows may be different things to people o the inside but go out into the street and ask anyone to name two hypnotists in the UK and you will almost always get McKenna and Derren Brown.

I disagree McKennas show diluted the hypnosis and a lot of the stuff was funny, some of it was mine though so I'm slightly biased. Lol In my lowly and totaly unworthy opinion it was McKenna who diluted it being sans-personality but there you go.

Catweazle, Hypnosis is a power! That is to the audience, I think if you try to suggest other things you are completely waiting your time because audiences get whatever it is they want, no matter what you do almost.

And you know at the end of the day what they want more than anything is entertaining.
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Jon Chase



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mindpunisher
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Derren may be thought of as a hypnotist but he doesn't really do hypnosis shows. He does something totally different.

I guess we do have different preferences and styles.

Many of the participants on Meckenna just sat there and made a few facial expressions while all the elaborate plots and upstaging celebs were much bigger than those that volunteered.

But then I always thought hypnosis was a live experience and never really came across very well on tv.
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