There are distinctly three classes of hypnotic entertainments: The first is the twenty-minute vaudeville act, an entirely new departure from the old lines of entertainment; the second is the two-hour hypnotic entertainment, and the third is the thirty-minute lecture. These three classes cover all that could be popular in the ...
There are distinctly three classes of hypnotic entertainments: The first is the twenty-minute vaudeville act, an entirely new departure from the old lines of entertainment; the second is the two-hour hypnotic entertainment, and the third is the thirty-minute lecture. These three classes cover all that could be popular in the hypnotic show. The first two aim at the entertaining features and are designed to please; the last is to instruct and must be dealt with in accordance with the well established rules of the hall, the fraternal assemblage or the clinic.
Hypnotic entertainments are something new. It is a field that is entered less than any other field of entertainment. It offers a paying profession to the man or the woman who will enter to win. But that can not be done without an understanding of the principles of a well-regulated entertainment of the hypnotic variety.
Never before has there been anything along the lines of hypnotism in the vaudeville bill offered to the public. There has been a great deal of fake work on the stage under the name or levitation, etc., all of which are due to legerdemain or mechanism constructed for producing optical illusions.
The old line Hypnotic show has been seen in, perhaps, a fourth of the fair sized towns of the country. The larger cities generally have witnessed it to a certain extent. To them can be given the hypnotic vaudeville act. But to the residents of our smaller cities and towns, nothing appeals and draws like a good hypnotic show. A fair-minded above- board operator will always obtain audiences. His name will always draw. But he must give something to the public worth their while.
We are to first look at the personal make-up of the hypnotist before we take up the programme. A lady or a gentleman may be the interested and aspiring one. First, the operator must possess knowledge of his profession and then he can execute.
The popular costume is evening dress. The hypnotist who steps out upon the stage clothed in Prince Albert and high collar is the one who will win the attention of the audience. He must be the self-possessed individual who immediately steps into the good will and confidence of his audience. Were he to display nervousness or lack of confidence his doom is sealed and failure grasps his hand, and eventually holds it during the performance. The lady of genteel bearing is the woman for the hypnotic stage. She must never assume the masculine attitude. If she compels her audience to show her respect and to look upon her as a lady as well as a hypnotist she will always succeed.
The old vaudeville star needs no instruction as to his bearing. The moment he dons the high collar and the dress coat he is a vastly different man from the comedian he may have been in last season's play. The actor, trained by years or experience, or so born. mayhap, is the one who most be the character he portrays. He can not be otherwise. But the young men or women who have appeared in nothing besides parlor entertainments will find that the story is vastly different. The audience have come to be amused; they are there to kill time and to go away light- hearted or filled with deep thought, as the temperament or the mood of the mind may dictate. You, professor, will deal with thinking, reasoning beings who know the true from the false, and who will never countenance the false unless it is cleverly clothed and given to them with a blasé air. . Clever people can do nearly anything on the stage. To be clever and to possess reason at the same time is to possess a sure means to wealth and the key to happiness. You cannot hide your thoughts and your feelings from the audience. If you step out before your patrons and the lights swim before you and you trip on a rug, you will hear from the gallery at once. The gallery is the critic. I speak of them collectively; there is nothing individual about them: they possess one thought, and express it in one way. The gallery likes the spectacular; it loves climaxes. The balcony and parquet are more considerate. They will feel sorry for you and look longingly for the next act. So much for fear.
But step out with a feeling of confidence; go through your act because you are in love with it and before you are away from the wings the gallery will give you a cheer that will set the whole theater vibrating, and the balcony and parquet will fall in line with a wholesome applause. There is nothing that cheers the heart of an actor, be he super or leading man, as an applause from all parts of the house. It is a powerful tonic. But acting, in any and every form, must be felt; it must come from the soul itself, or it falls short and loses its ring.
Personal neatness is, then, the first requisite. No matter how good an actor one may be, he cannot pose as a professor of hypnotism unless...