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February 21, 2011 | by  | in Features |
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Hypnotist Guy Cater

Registered Master Hypnotist Guy Cater is an award-winning New Zealand hypnotist, who has taken his show around the world.

From headlining in Las Vegas to performing shows in the deserts of Abu Dhabi, Cater has all the experience in the world. He’s also performing at VUWSA O Week. Salient talked to him to find out just what we can expect.

How does stage hypnotism differ from hypnotherapy?

Stage Hypnosis is purely for fun and entertainment. Hypnotherapy is used to make desired changes in a person’s life by making suggestions to the subconscious.

What can we expect from your O Week show?

It really is a funny show. You see, under hypnosis a person is incredibly relaxed and the extrovert within comes out. Part of the fun of a Hypnosis show is talking to the people when the show is over. On stage you will see large blokes becoming ballet dancers, everyone will look through the X-ray glasses, the subjects will perform dances they normally would rather die than perform, personalities will show up, movies will be watched, body parts will be found missing—oh and so much much more.

Does anyone ever get upset at things they have done under hypnosis?

In the past I had some folk upset when told of their actions by friends who have exaggerated the antics, but now I allow (and ensure) my subjects leave the stage remembering everything that has happened in the show and give them feelings of wellbeing. Remember two things: the people who volunteer do so knowing what a hypnotism show is all about and they just won’t do anything that they subconsciously object to. It is all very safe.

Have you ever seen any remarkable or unexpected reactions to hypnosis?

Probably the most remarkable and unexpected thing that ever happened was in Dubai. Performed a show for a nightclub called The Cyclone, which has been used in two spy novels, and I was doing the ‘Cops and Robbers’ thing when a guy pulled out a pistol and discharged it into the ceiling. I have never made anyone go back to sleep so fast. Turned out he was a high-up cop from Istanbul and was training local cops. Only the lady who washed my clothes knew how much that frightened me!

Does hypnosis have a one hundred per cent success rate?

No, in fact for stage performances most Hypnotists work on five per cent of the audience being suitable candidates for the show. On a one-to-one basis, such as in hypnotherapy, the success rate is a hell of a lot higher, but it still only works if the subject wants it to. Really, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

Are you ever tempted to use hypnosis in your daily life?

In the early days of training it always seemed a fun thing to do, but now my skills are strictly left on the stage.

You’ve taken your show to some pretty far-flung places, but where is the most interesting place you have performed?

Headlining in Las Vegas is probably the most exciting and rewarding for me, but by far the most interesting place was 50 miles away from a town called El Bar just south of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. They have ‘Desert Adventures’ where folk are driven out into the desert and stay overnight in a Bedouin camp where they eat like the Arabs, ride camels etc… The owner of the company saw my show in a hotel in Abu Dhabi and asked me to perform for one of their groups. It was on a large Persian rug on the sand, with four-wheel-drive headlights as stage lights and I went on after the belly dancer. My music was played through a ghetto blaster with 12 camels standing about 4 metres behind me as I worked. Amazing fun!

What would you say to any sceptics who don’t believe hypnosis is possible?

I’d ask them if they had ever been driving a long distance and suddenly realised they couldn’t remember the last 5 ks, or if they had ever been so engrossed in a book they never heard the person next to them speaking.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in becoming a stage hypnotist?

Contact a registered body such as ‘Hypnosis New Zealand’ or ‘The New Zealand Hypnotherapists Association’ and learn basic Hypnosis from them. Online courses from America are usually a scam and not recognised here. Hypnosis NZ has a great online course. Once you have mastered Hypnosis then move to the stage, but you have to be a showman/woman. Knowing how to hypnotise is not enough. You have to remember Stage Hypnosis is entertainment and if you are not competent onstage you will never make it.

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