We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » A disappointment that's led to questioning! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
Muzz
View Profile
Regular user
171 Posts

Profile of Muzz
I've been thinking about this for a while and bear with this post as it is not simply a rant.

A while ago I attended a show of a prominent and well respected stage hypnotist. I had bought quite a bit of his material and he has always billed himself as an outstanding hypnotist. I dare say he used to be. To say that the show was disappointing would be an understatement. The show was awful as, due to barely any advertising about 20 people showed up. Out of these twenty people 8 of us were attending a hypnosis course put on by the hypnotist.

The show was dated and of the four people he got on stage it became obvious that none of them were 'under'. They made silly comments and during the Apples as Onions routine when asked how his apple tasted one person said 'very oniony' before laughing. The hypnotist then did a 'mental effect' that went wrong and overall the entire show was cringe-worthy. Most of us left feeling rather cheated that such an 'expert in the field' had put on such a terrible performance.

But it gets worse. After the show he acted as though the whole thing had been incredibly successful and the people had been hypnotised. Given that as I left I heard a participant say 'I can't believe he thought we couldn't see him' about his disappearing hypnotist routine.

Needless to say quite a few of us on his course were unhappy and asked for a percentage at least of our money back.

My very genuine question is this. As hypnotist do you have a 'mentalism act' or anything to fall back on if the show is going badly? As I watched the carnage on stage unfold it made me think, as a magician, it would have been easy to do some pseudo hypnosis and mentalism as a back-up for if you get an unresponsive audience? The whole experience has left me feeling that the person that night who was hypnotised the most was the hypnotist, clearly performing a dated show in a boring and deluded way.

I'm sure there are better shows out there, but as a first show it has left me feeling uninspired and definitely questioning whether having a mentalism set as a backup is the way to go. What do others think?
friend2cptsolo
View Profile
Elite user
Spent all this time on the Cafe' and all I have to show for it is
445 Posts

Profile of friend2cptsolo
Did you go to the course before or after the show.
Muzz
View Profile
Regular user
171 Posts

Profile of Muzz
Before the show. The show was supposed to be an example of all that we had learnt in practise. Instead it put most people off due to the terrible performance.
A.G.
View Profile
Special user
Vancouver Canada
959 Posts

Profile of A.G.
Around 8 years ago I used to do the clubs, venues that held 200-300 people, the rule was: If 100 did not show up, no show. the deal was, the promotion was the clubs responsibility, as often I would be coming from out of town to do the show etc.
With 20 people in the crowd, trying to do a classic Hyp act would be rough. I think all of us have been there at least once. I used to have a back up show in case of this situation, only happened once, in a rural area where the club put a poster up in the mens washroom.... LOL

I remember it as clear as day, terrible show.

"Your only as good as your last show"

So don't judge too hard, you may be that guy one day ! LOL

Now I don't know about trying to play it off like a win...... I have always been able to separate my actual self from any situation and have a laugh at myself.

I don't know if this has anything to do with your question anymore, but I feel better....


best
AG
Mindpro
View Profile
Inner circle
9963 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Andrew is right, it does and will happen to each of us at one time or another. We each have our own ways of dealing with it. Some choose to have a minimal attendance requirement as Andrew mentioned, my rider says minimum of 80 guests or no show. Some chose to have a "pseudo-hypnosis act" ready in the event of this type of scenario, yet others have chosen to use a Mentalism show to cover these types of situations. I actually have all three.

However, more importantly is to position yourself so that he situation of a small attendance show is minimized or doesn't happen. This is done by targeting only markets, venues and events where larger attendance is guaranteed or where you reduce the chances of this occurring. Even then, things can still happen I remember doing a theater show where just under six hundred seats were sold, but a terrible blizzard hit and even though they went on with the show only 44 people showed up. What can you do? The show must go on, maybe not the exact planned performance but hey, we are entertainers, our job is to figure it out.

As for your trainer (I would like to know who this is just out of curiousity, but I'm sure it has happened to all of them), rather than being disappointed about what happened, you got to experience a very unique situation from the inside, while it not happening to you. This should be an educational lesson for you, but one that more than likely you will not understand it's true value until much further down the road in your career. Few people get to experience this without themselves being the one in the hot seat.

I'm not sure it is proper to ask for a partial refund. While it was included as part of the training event, the important material should have come outside the performance, not in the performance itself. You can attend any performance on your own to see it in action. You actually received something of much greater value than perhaps you even realize.

As far as treating it like nothing happened (the hypnotist/trainer) one of the things that is quite important in hypnosis is to remain confident and in control. If he would have buckled, put his tail between his legs and admitted defeat, this would not have been good instruction or a demonstration of confidence and control.

As for having subjects that are not at all under, that too will happen to each and every one of us, at mostly every show. More than likely he was faced with a dilemma - to get rid of them immediately as they could damage the show and the audiences perception (as it did to you and the other trainees), or to keep them and continue to work with them in the hopes of hooking them and getting them to relax and accept the suggestions. This is always, even in a good show, something we must content with continuously - to keep or not keep them, and if to dismiss, when?

To me you are viewing this as a laymen, as someone that is disappointed, rather than seeing it for what it is. There is so much to be learned from this that typically is not or can't be taught as part of typical training. In reality I hope it was videotaped as it would be of great benefit for future trainings. I would love to have a copy of this.

Now, one of the things many performance hypnosis training does not cover well is the business side of stage hypnosis. The business, marketing and booking part of the business. This is equally as important as the hypnosis itself. Seems that perhaps this person's business and promotional strategies to produce a show may be lacking, which also offers some great lessons.

Sorry for the bad taste in your mouth but I truly feel for the hypnotist and the experience. Don't let it tarnish what you learned or have taken from the training. But also, don't expect that you will in anyway become anbeliveable as the disappointing show you experienced.
TonyB2009
View Profile
Inner circle
5006 Posts

Profile of TonyB2009
I am guessing that the training happened in America. I think that there is a bit of a numbers game going on, from what I gather from speaking to people who have done the training. Over here the emphasis seems to be on hypnotising smaller crowds.

It has already been mentioned that it is a lot easier to hypnotise a large crowd than a small crowd. The guy might have done great with an audience of 200. I know I would struggle with twenty - but would still put on a satisfactory show. He should have had the honesty to admit to the situation, though.
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20322 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Well welcome to live entertainment. I have never understood canceling a show for lack of attendance. 75 people pay and want to see a show. How could you refuse? Just an opinion.

I have done shows with 20 people quite often. When they leave they all think they have seen a hypnosis show. Not mentalism or magic. They paid for hypnosis. I call it my emergency show.

In 20 people you will find one good subject. It is what it is. The show dynamics change but use your head. It is where you separate performers from showmen. Don't convince yourself ahead of time it can't be done or ir can't.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TonyB2009
View Profile
Inner circle
5006 Posts

Profile of TonyB2009
Quote:
On 2013-02-23 13:47, Dannydoyle wrote:
Well welcome to live entertainment. I have never understood canceling a show for lack of attendance. 75 people pay and want to see a show. How could you refuse? Just an opinion.

I have done shows with 20 people quite often. When they leave they all think they have seen a hypnosis show. Not mentalism or magic. They paid for hypnosis. I call it my emergency show.

In 20 people you will find one good subject. It is what it is. The show dynamics change but use your head. It is where you separate performers from showmen. Don't convince yourself ahead of time it can't be done or ir can't.

Great post.
Last year a college hired me for the orientation week - a week prior to the college opening. Of course, none of the students had returned! I began with four, but had to put on the show, as they were paying a big fat fee. I did one-on-one hypnosis with one of the people, had some fun, and by the end of that numbers had swelled to eight. By show end we had seventeen, but four were on stage, and everyone accounted a fun hypnosis show. I don't cancel unless no one shows up.

As to the original poster, a bad show does not necessarily invalidate the training you received. So don't get disheartened.
Mindpro
View Profile
Inner circle
9963 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
I myself truly felt this was not an American hypnotist/trainer by a few of the things that were said. But in reality it could have been either. I've never been to any American training that was a small event or based on smaller crowds. Usually 50-200 attendees. That's a new one for me.
Muzz
View Profile
Regular user
171 Posts

Profile of Muzz
Hi, thanks for all of the interesting replies. No this was a UK trainer but I obviously won't be naming names. I suppose what got to me was his seemingly deluded outlook that he had performed a great show, it seemed to lack integrity. I certainly learnt from the experience - firstly advertise advertise advertise, as he was self-publicising his show - and secondly, have a mentalism show in your back pocket for when the punters don't bite. A sad lesson to learn, however, from someone so experienced in the field. I understand that as a performer you need confidence - even more so in hypnosis perhaps - but his self-confidence bordered on the self-delusional which benefited neither him nor his audience. Thanks for your thoughts, I won't be hurrying on to another course any time soon...
dmkraig
View Profile
Inner circle
1949 Posts

Profile of dmkraig
While I agree with Tony that "a bad show does not necessarily invalidate the training." Sometimes, people who are great trainers don't do very well putting what they teach into practice. On the other hand, if what they teach is what they do, and what they do sucks, you might consider looking elsewhere for training.

As you can see from the responses, some people have a minimum number of attendees required. My solution is a bit different. Instead of a typical show, I change it to a lecture about hypnosis with plenty of audience participation. It concludes with me hypnotizing everyone in the audience who wishes to go into hypnosis so they can experience it themselves. I give them several positive suggestions and bring them out. Because of all the participation and laughter, everyone seems to enjoy it.
A.G.
View Profile
Special user
Vancouver Canada
959 Posts

Profile of A.G.
Quote:
On 2013-02-23 13:47, Dannydoyle wrote:
Well welcome to live entertainment. I have never understood canceling a show for lack of attendance. 75 people pay and want to see a show. How could you refuse? Just an opinion.

I have the min attendance in place to make sure the bar/club holds up their end of the deal to promote ! This is common practice if your a touring pro.
When your a travelling show, you will have to rely on the houses promo, simple as that... effectively, you want to have as many people present as possible, it's just good business.



I have done shows with 20 people quite often. When they leave they all think they have seen a hypnosis show. Not mentalism or magic. They paid for hypnosis. I call it my emergency show.

If you have a min attendance you will not have to use this, in 16 years and over a thousand hyp shows,I have had to use my back up show once.


In 20 people you will find one good subject. It is what it is. The show dynamics change but use your head. It is where you separate performers from showmen. Don't convince yourself ahead of time it can't be done or ir can't.


It is a result of bad promo, that is what it is. Why would you want to put yourself in the worst possible scenario, the do the best with what you have ? just my opinion.

Up until 30 min before the show, I have myself and anyone working with me wrangling people from the surrounding area, casino, out front , down the street etc.... bums in seats is where its at.


Promo is king.


just form my experience anyway,


AG
Muzz
View Profile
Regular user
171 Posts

Profile of Muzz
Thanks Dmkraig, an interesting solution. As a magician just starting to dabble in hypnosis my first instinct if a show was going badly would be to rely on a mentalism set, I never thought about a more open hypnosis 'lecture/seminar'. An interesting solution. Thanks
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20322 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Quote:
On 2013-02-23 19:28, A.G. wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-02-23 13:47, Dannydoyle wrote:
Well welcome to live entertainment. I have never understood canceling a show for lack of attendance. 75 people pay and want to see a show. How could you refuse? Just an opinion.

I have the min attendance in place to make sure the bar/club holds up their end of the deal to promote ! This is common practice if your a touring pro.
When your a travelling show, you will have to rely on the houses promo, simple as that... effectively, you want to have as many people present as possible, it's just good business.



I have done shows with 20 people quite often. When they leave they all think they have seen a hypnosis show. Not mentalism or magic. They paid for hypnosis. I call it my emergency show.

If you have a min attendance you will not have to use this, in 16 years and over a thousand hyp shows,I have had to use my back up show once.


In 20 people you will find one good subject. It is what it is. The show dynamics change but use your head. It is where you separate performers from showmen. Don't convince yourself ahead of time it can't be done or ir can't.


It is a result of bad promo, that is what it is. Why would you want to put yourself in the worst possible scenario, the do the best with what you have ? just my opinion.

Up until 30 min before the show, I have myself and anyone working with me wrangling people from the surrounding area, casino, out front , down the street etc.... bums in seats is where its at.


Promo is king.


just form my experience anyway,


AG


Bums in seats? Man I would rather have 25 people excited about the show than 200 of them as you describe.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
View Profile
Inner circle
9963 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Just FYI...a mentalism show is not always the answer either. Do not be misled that people that come for a hypnosis show will be content seeing a mentalist show instead. Most times not. I have had a couple of experienced where I did just that and while they are entertained and "it's better than nothing" in some people's eyes (usually the manger, booker, agent, promoter, etc.), they are not the same thing.

Mentalism rarely plays as fun, amazing, intriguing, and as large and interactive as mentalism. People are paying for something (a hypnosis show), they have expectations, and anything less than that can be unacceptable. Even it you try to spin it as "it's all mind-based entertainment", it is not he same thing and there will, without a doubt be disappointment, regardless of how great of a mentalism how you perform.

I only say this so you don't fall under false beliefs, expectations and pretenses.
TonyB2009
View Profile
Inner circle
5006 Posts

Profile of TonyB2009
I agree with Mindpro that a mentalism show is not a substitute for a hypnotism show. That is why I don't carry one. You need a bag of strategies for the bad days, and there are things you can do. One is to have a number of sketches you can do with only one or two volunteers. I would rather do an hour long show with only one volunteer at the heart of it, than fill in with mentalism. At least they get what they paid for.

I stand corrected on the training. I assumed it was American, because I spoke to a man who attended training in Vegas, and it sounded eerily similar!
Muzz
View Profile
Regular user
171 Posts

Profile of Muzz
I'm hoping my experience was a one off. I did training with the Headhacking team and they were fantastic. Due to how much I learnt with them I thought I would do a more in depth training course. Now I wish I hadn't bothered.
Muzz
View Profile
Regular user
171 Posts

Profile of Muzz
Just to clear up any ambiguity to what I just posted. As I learnt a lot with the headhacking team I decided to enroll on a more in depth course, this time NOT with the headhacking team. I learnt more with headhacking team in their short course though than the longer one.
quicknotist
View Profile
Special user
888 Posts

Profile of quicknotist
Can I just assure everyone: It wasn't me either!
;-)
Muzz
View Profile
Regular user
171 Posts

Profile of Muzz
I can back that up! Reg is excellent! Nothing to do with him Smile
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » A disappointment that's led to questioning! (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.38 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL