Great question, Bri. I am so blessed to work in an entertainment medium that is unique from other live acts because it doesn’t put the artist at the center, but takes everyday people from the audience and transforms them into the act. So really think about that…
I’m not like a comedian who can perform the same joke over and over, and polish the delivery of that joke so that it kills with audiences. I’m not like a musical artist who can rehearse each song until they are perfect. Every night that I perform, I get a new group of total strangers seated in front of me, and I must convince them to let me hypnotize them, put them on stage, and then transform them into a cast of characters who will entertain the people still in the audience.
I have to split my energy and attention between the functional aspects of hypnotism and the creative development of the show. I have to be a little bit like a master of ceremonies, a little bit like an improv artist, and a little bit like a clinical hypnotist (in terms of managing their hypnotic state and keeping everyone safe).
When I do all these things well, it allows people to truly transform on stage. They hallucinate, take on different personality traits, and behave in ways that they typically wouldn’t. It’s this transformation that compels audiences, I think. Watching your college roommate, or your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your best friend behave on stage in a way that you never thought they would.