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Posted July 26, 2010
A good resource for learning, refining skills, and developing an entertaining stage hypnotism show.
Though hypnosis has been used for both hypnotherapy and entertainment, these applications have fundamental differences. Alongside Ormond McGill's reputation as a skilled hypnotherapist, he also had a very successful career as a stage hypnotist. Hypnotism for entertainment is the application to which he devotes over 600 pages in The New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This nicely bound encyclopedic volume contains over a hundred methods for hypnotic induction and many tests for suggestibility and trance depth. Despite it's 1996 date of publication, some of the inductions are ridiculously antiquated (probably dating back to the 19th century) and others are downright dangerous (i.e. chemical methods of induction). Therefore, some of this material is unfit for contemporary performance and should be considered for academic purposes only.
On the other hand, much of the information has practical value. Case in point: It very much displeases me when I see a 'hypnotist' do only one or two different inductions with every subject, every time I see them work. Experience has made it hard for me to believe that any person can be put into trance with such little variation in technique. A simple solution would be to get more creative with the inductions without loosing functionality; this encyclopedia ought to provide a valuable resource for generating ideas.
There is enough information here to move a beginner through the process of refining skills and developing an entertaining stage hypnotism show. The only things McGill cannot provide are your time, your creativity, and your audience.
Posted August 28, 2001