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Night makes audiences hypnotized

Ever since Michael Night was six, he wanted to be a magician. But he didn’t know magic would lead to another form of entertainment that’s even more mind-boggling.

Today hypnosis is Night’s passion and a profession he has spent a lot of time trying to perfect. It is a complicated procedure, but one that is actually quite normal, he said.

“It’s a natural state that people go in and out of many times a day and don’t even know it. If you find yourself zoning out you are in a form of hypnosis,” Night said. “I think the majority of people are scared of it because they don’t understand it.”

Night began performing magic at an early age, and by the time he was 10 years old, he was doing tricks all the time.

“My brother bought me a magic kit and I drove my family nuts saying watch this, watch this,” Night said.

Now an adult, Night has performed magic for over 20 years and his props could fill up two semi trucks, he said.

It was eight years ago that he decided to change gears from magic to hypnosis. It started when he attended a hypnosis show.

After the show, Night said he approached the hypnotist, Raven, and introduced himself as a local magician. He told Raven he was interested in becoming a hypnotist.

“He was in no way interested in teaching me,” Night said. Hypnotism, Raven told Night, was no easy thing to learn. But, Night was determined to master the strange skill.

“It took me a year and a half of studying on my own before I could prove to him I was serious,” Night said. “So then he taught me.”

One of Raven’s requirements though, was that Night would ever teach anyone else.

“I am so happy I did all this research and learned from someone so professional,” Night said. “Someone could go into a seizure or something so you don’t want just anyone hypnotizing people.”

When Night began practising hypnotism, he used his friends and family as guinea pigs, he said.

“The hardest thing was practising — it scared the hell out of people,” Night said, laughing. But eventually, he got good enought to work the club circuit.

Currently, Night works in comedy clubs and does adult shows where he hypnotizes 7-10 people at a time and puts on a show for an audience.

He gets people to think they are Elvis and sing a song, believe they lost their belly button and even believe they are holding animals and that’s just the beginning.

“If I tell them they are holding a cat, they actually feel its fur and claws,” Night said.

Night is also a licensed hypnotherapist helping patients quit smoking and lose weight.

Is this stuff for real?

Night will swear to anyone that hypnotism is indeed a very real thing, one tha t althought natural is quite complicated.

“Basically, it’s not a swinging watch or anything mystical,” Night said. “It’s almost like this — you know when you are sitting there and you think, ‘I am going to go get a pop.’ That voice becomes my voice and it enters their head, they think, ‘ok’ and accept it.”

According to Night, there are people who cannot be hypnotized, those include mentally handicapped people, people who are drunk and people who do not believe in hypnotism and don’t wish to be hypnotized.

“I tell people that they really hypnotize themselves,” Night said. “You have to want to be hypnotized for it to happen.”

Being able to hypnotize people, Night said, has a lot to do with how much he has studied the subject and the fact he has a perfect, deep voice for it.

People often have a lot of questions about what happens when they are actually under hypnosis, Night said. One question is usually what happens if Night did not bring the subject out of hypnosis?

Two things can happen, Night said, either subjects wake up when they stop hearing Night’s voice or fall into a deep sleep for 15-20 minutes before waking up.

Playing the mind game

One of the more complicated aspects of hypnosis is finding the line of what to have people do, especially for entertainment reasons, Night said.

“For me, it’s a hard line to draw,” Night said. Night said he has seen a hypnotist who asked a woman to go to the bathroom and return with her bra on the outside of her clothes.

“That is rude,” Night said. “Maybe funny, but who knows what her bra looked like that day.”

For him, there is also a line when it comes to age –he doesn’t hypnotize anyone who is not at least in high school.

Sometimes, people do and say things that Night just couldn’t expect, but this is something he enjoys.

“I have done this for so long that when something like that happens I take it off the cuff and run with it,” Night said. “I have done this long enough to get people to do things in a structured way.”

But, just in case someone freaks out and does not know what they did while hypnotized — which Night said sometimes happens — he videotapes every single performance and session he has with patients.

“In the beginning I tell them what is going to happen and video tape the performance,” Night said. “I decided to do that a long time ago.”

As for being “under” himself, Night said he has practiced self-hypnosis. He said, “It’s hard to describe your body gets really heavy — it is kind of an out-of-body experience.”

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