Written by Christina on April 16, 2012

When I heard I’d be attending a hypnosis show I thought, oh great, a bunch of people running around on stage pretending to be hypnotized and making chicken noises. Liam Vincent, a hypnotist and comedian, promised that this would be different. Volunteers would be the stars of the show and not a point of ridicule. I’d seen some other shows before and I guess you could say I’d never been much of a believer. I was eager to be convinced otherwise.

I showed up early to the second show and sneaked in. It was an intimate setting and the audience was deeply engrossed. Two women were on stage in a deep “waking-sleep” trance under Liam’s influence. Before me stood a young Portuguese woman not only perfectly convinced, but insisting, that her name was John Miranda and that today was her 93rd birthday. Even Liam laughed along as she explored her new identity. He then put her back to sleep and suggested to her that she would not remember the number 7 existed when she awoke. “No way,” I thought. “This will work for a minute and she’ll slip up.” I stared in disbelief as she awoke and counted her fingers, forwards, backwards, out loud, to herself, always forgetting the number 7. She answered question after question looking completely bewildered when the answer was meant to be 7. I had to see how this worked from the beginning.

Vince Lynch, who I’m told specializes in the psychology of making anyone do anything, took the stage and asked the biggest skeptic in the audience to volunteer. If I didn’t have a need to stay conscious, that would have been me. In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t volunteer. Vince was convincing and hilarious. Here’s what he did get her to do: impersonate a narcotics officer, sing like Macy Gray, and answer questions as Santa Claus. Things he did not get her to do: sit on his lap (turns out most women don’t), think hypnotists are the coolest people (again, most women don’t), and see being a hypnotist as a real job (his mom isn’t sold on this either). I was so surprised to see self proclaimed skeptic fall under Vince’s spell that I had to talk to her after the show. She described her experience as being in a trance-like state and found herself letting go and giving in to Vince’s requests

The flyers for event read as follows: “Influence? Thought control? Demonstration of the impossible.” As far as I’m concerned they demonstrated the impossible. Call it mind control or just plain peer pressure, whatever it might be, Liam Vincent and Vince Lynch succeeded in influencing me. I walked in thinking hypnosis was silly and not real and walked out a believer.