Stage hypnosis question

Postby stephan » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:31 pm

https://youtu.be/sp0qqs5t5PU
https://youtu.be/Ext_4LWZ_kQ
In the 2 links above, you can see 2 full stage hypnosis shows, Pat Collins and Terry Stokes.
Both did use a progressive induction.
How is it possible that they obtain complex hypnotic phenomena right in the beginning?
I only do street hypnosis, and I always go from the most easiest phenomena to the most complex.
How do they work?
Is there a kind of pre-show where the volunteers are hypnotized by forehand?
Thank you for your replies and sorry for my poor English.
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#1

Postby saladinsmith » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:22 pm

Stage hypnotists have some advantages over street hypnotists.

Look at the Pat Collins show, for example. She's performing in a very prestigious venue, which tells people a lot about her skill before they even get there. Once they do get there, everyone around them is talking about how amazing the show was the last five times they came. Then Pat Collins herself starts talking, completely confident in her ability. Before she asks for volunteers, most of the audience is probably convinced she's all-powerful.

Then volunteers are invited up on stage, and they have to run to be the first ones there--only the six who are most excited to be hypnotized make it up.

As a street hypnotist, you don't have any of that going for you. People don't know who you are, they don't know how successful you've been, they're more curious than excited, and they may not even understand what's going to happen.

As a street hypnotist, it will always be more difficult for you than a stage hypnotist. The best you can do is show confidence, select your subjects carefully, and use a good induction.
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#2

Postby stephan » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:28 pm

Well, thank you for this answer. Actually, my street hypnosis is doing great. But I would never dare to begin a session by telling someone he is naked or without testing if he is receptive or resisting. I really suspect Pat Collins and Terry Stokes to use volunteers who were hypnotized by forehand and tested to see if they can hallucinate.
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#3

Postby saladinsmith » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:48 pm

I think you and I are defining "hallucination" differently. If I tell a subject "when you look at your clothes, you will be unable to see them", that is a hallucination to me. The subject will resist that, because I'm trying to change their reality. I'm trying to convince them that something they know to be real does not exist. Many subjects have the idea that only crazy people can completely reject reality, and they don't want to be crazy, so they'll reject that. It can be done, but it's difficult without a skilled subject.

On the other hand, if I tell a subject "when I snap my fingers, you will believe that you're naked", I don't consider that a hallucination--it's a temporary belief change. On some level, the subject knows that he's still wearing clothes, and I've never tried to destroy that reality--all I've asked him to do is to believe something different for a little while.

To put it differently, if I tell a subject that they can't see a chair, and the suggestion works, and then I ask them to walk across the room, they will walk into the chair. That's a hallucination, in my book.

If I tell the subject the chair doesn't exist, they still see the chair, but are not aware of it consciously. If I tell them to walk across the room, they will walk around the chair, and then make up a reason for why they didn't walk through that part of the room. Unconsciously, they're still aware of the chair, but consciously they have another reason for not walking there. It's not a hallucination, it's a belief.

Does that make sense? It's easier to tell a subject "you now believe you have the body of a chicken" than it is to tell them "you now see and feel your body as being that of a chicken".
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#4

Postby stephan » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:25 am

This is an interesting point of view, thank you for this detailed answer.
I never thought this way, but it sounds plausible.
I would be interested to read a book where this is explained.
From easy to difficult, where is this change of belief located?
The simple levels I try to respect are catalepsy - amnesia - hallucination - personality change.
Can you change the beliefs before you have amnesia?
Thank you again.
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#5

Postby saladinsmith » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:40 pm

Unfortunately, I can't point you toward a book, because I'm mostly taking this from my own experience.

I've never changed someone's belief before getting amnesia, but I imagine it's possible with some people.

You could really look at most of what happens in hypnosis as some form of belief change. For most people, it tends to go in a certain order, like the one you presented, but it depends on what the person finds easiest to believe.

I worked with a woman once who found it easier to believe major changes to her reality than to believe she was hallucinating. So I could give her hallucinations very easily, but I could never get her to admit that she had hallucinated.
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