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Cirque du Soleil Shows
By Caroline FonteinWatch the swinging pocket watch. You are getting sleepy, very sleepy. Sure that might be what a hypnotist connotes, but Anthony Cools- The Uncensored Hypnotist is anything but a typical hypnotist show. There is definitely hypnotism, but the unthinkable and hilarious acts that he persuades people to do on stage result in a night of "good, clean, dirty fun."
"You will be a star tonight," warns the screen hanging on both sides of the stage, letting everyone in attendance know that the real performers in this show are the people who are brave enough to be hypnotized.
Before the show starts, Natalie, the hostess and DJ for the night, appears to go over some ground rules. This show is "loud, raw, uncensored and extremely adult in nature," she explains, before the lights dim, the music gets louder and Cools appears on stage.
"Where the party people sitting?" exclaims Cools. His explosive energy and uninhibited personality let everyone know they are in for a crazy evening of fun. After greeting the audience, Cools does a "test of susceptibility," which involves some playful and funny interaction with the crowd. Although the end result is a lot of laughs, the test is actually done to determine if you are a good candidate for hypnotism.
Cools also explains three other restrictions for good candidates. You cannot be really drunk, high or in opposition to wanting to be hypnotized. So you can basically nix the idea of using liquid courage as an instigator to get yourself on stage. However, he encourages those who are not going to be hypnotized to indulge in a night of intoxicating fun.
"Raise your glasses and get ready to party!" shouts Cools. Then he asks everyone who wants to be a part of the show to come up on stage. During this time everyone has an opportunity to volunteer by walking up to one of the empty chairs on stage. Once all of the seats are taken, the real show begins.
"I have no magical mystical powers," explains Cools to his eclectic group of volunteers. "You people have to do this to yourself." He assures everyone that although they will be in a state of hypnosis, they will still be aware of everything that is going on around them.
After the volunteers have all been briefed, Cools initiates an "induction" period where he asks everyone in the theater to remain 100 percent silent in order for his volunteers to reach a complete state of hypnosis. During this time he does several different relaxation techniques until all of his volunteers are sitting with their heads slumped over as if they are sleeping. Cool gently taps those who do not appear to be in a hypnotic state and has them to return to their seats in the audience.
When he is satisfied that all the remaining volunteers are hypnotized he asks them to open their eyes and play instruments as though they were performing in a huge orchestra. In seconds they are awake and vivaciously playing non-existing instruments to a familiar classical symphony playing over the loudspeaker. Just imagine a really exaggerated version of air guitar but with an entire orchestra of instruments.
Laughter erupts from the audience as one female volunteer appears to be almost out of breath from her passionate performance on a cello. The volunteers sitting next to her give equally amusing performances as they "play" a violin and piano.
As the music fades, Cools asks everyone on stage to once again fall into a deep sleep.
"From this point on, the more noise you make the dirtier I get," says Cools to the audience, and everyone eagerly cheers for more.
Then he walks up to individuals on stage and asks them to perform certain commands in accordance with a song that might play or a word he might say.
He tells one guy that he will experience an extreme burning sensation in an unthinkable part of his body when he hears the Johnny Cash song "Ring of Fire." Then Cools assigns a female participant a talking body part that she will hear speak to her whenever he says her name.
It is hilarious to see the people on stage act out these absurd scenarios with complete conviction as if everything happening were real. Along with the song and word commands, Cools also hypnotizes the people to think they are in ridiculous situations.
One of the most outrageous of these scenes is when he asks everyone to again fall into a deep sleep, and then tells them that when they awake they are going to be naked and at an audition for a role that they really want in a pornographic film. He sets a chair in the middle of the stage and explains that it is going to be their partner for them to demonstrate their most "creative lovemaking techniques."
Words cannot begin to describe the ludicrous and lewd acts that occur on stage when the volunteers awake. Uproarious laughter spills over from everyone in the audience as each person does their audition.
Regardless of whether or not you chose to be a spectator or experience everything first hand on stage, this show is one mesmerizing night of hypnotic comedy that you will not want to miss.
"It was excellent. I had a great time," said Chris West from Austin, Texas. "I wouldn't spend my time anywhere else unless there was a female involved."
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