Brisbane hypnotist Dizzy removes the banal elements of traditional hypnosis, turns it on its mesmerised head and leaves a crowd shocked and comically satisfied. We chat to Dizzy about his upcoming hometown show, his most monumental stunt and the basics of clinical hypnosis.
Hypnosis is considered one of the more supernatural sciences, what’s your educational background?
Some people say I've had the very best training at Hogwarts. However, my actual educational background is Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemistry).
I think there are a lot of common misconceptions about hypnosis being something dark or evil. It was actually first used for the benefit of humanity back in the 1830s when an English surgeon John Elliotson performed nearly 2000 surgeries using hypnosis to manage pain.
An attraction to rewiring the human mind is very unique, what first got you hooked?
I wouldn't describe what I do as rewiring the human mind, I'm not a qualified electrician. I started out performing magic a number of years ago and I was attracted to hypnosis because it was so dramatic and amazing to an audience.
What made you choose stage hypnosis over clinical hypnotherapy?
I love entertaining people and making them laugh. With hypnosis I get to show the crowd the beauty and wonder of the human mind. From time to time when I do street hypnosis, I help people achieve goals or get over fears using hypnotherapy.
Tell us a little about your act and how you devised it.
I have trained with world-renowned US and UK hypnotists, so I’ve taken ideas from many of them to form my own show. The most important difference between my show and other hypnotists out there is that I don't believe in humiliating my volunteers on stage. But I still maintain big laughs for the crowd. All my volunteers go through a number of different positive experiences and at the end of my show I give them a personal gift via some hypnotherapy.
What’s the most monumental stunt you’ve pulled on an audience member so far?
I love the stunts the Nitro Circus guys perform. But I don't do anything with motorbikes in my show…
The best reaction I ever got was when I told a woman she won 1 million dollars. You can check out her reaction in my latest promo reel on my website.
Where do you come up with ideas like that?
When I first designed my show I wanted to take my volunteers through every enjoyable human experience: dancing, fun, excitement and pleasure.
There’s a lot of skepticism surrounding hypnosis because it can’t actually be proven scientifically. Can you explain how and why it works?
It's funny, I actually have a lot of skeptics attend my shows and they end up being the best volunteers. Actually, some compelling evidence supporting the effects of hypnosis on the brain has been presented by a Stanford University School of Medicine study in 2004. Put simply, Dave Elman describes hypnosis as "The bypass of the critical faculty of the conscious mind and the establishment of acceptable selective thinking.”
Is it possible to erase a person’s memory through hypnosis?
You should volunteer and find out. You won't remember a thing.
Has there ever been a time where you felt you’d crossed the line during a show?
My lawyer advises me safety is of prime importance during my shows. I can guarantee everyone that volunteers always has a great time. They wake up feeling relaxed and refreshed, like they took a 30-minute nap.
What kind of characteristics make someone perfect for initiation?
I'm generally not quite as strict as the Scientologists. In fact, everyone is hypnotisable otherwise we couldn't learn, or advertising wouldn't work.
For more information on Dizzy, head to his official website here.