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When 'The Usual' Won't Do

How to Learn Comedy Stage Hypnotism [2024]

Updated: 26 Feb 2024

You’re thinking about learning to do comedy hypnosis stage shows and you’re looking for resources and guidance about how to do that.

While you’ll find plenty of material online and many people offering to train you for various sums of money, if you have come here it is hopefully because you’re not certain if any of that material is useful and you want to better understand the journey you must make to be successful on stage.

If you don’t want to waste your time and money with useless stuff, and you are determined to get it right. This article is for you.

I’m not aiming to teach you how to do a show, but rather, to give you the information to enable you to plan your own journey, to know what you need to learn, and to find some ways to learn those things.

Comedy Hypnotist Gerard V on stage at a family oriented event

There’s No TL;DR

Let’s start here. If you are looking for a very short simple explanation, or if you lack the motivation to go into detail, then this article is not for you. And likely the career of comedy stage hypnosis is not for you either. If it was that easy everyone would be doing it.

If you cannot work through all the info you need to know, you’re almost certain to fail. Just go watch some YouTube videos and knock yourself out. If you are serious however, read on.

Structure of This Article

I’ll break this article down into sections, if there is a section that you are confident with (say you’re already good on stage) then skim it or skip it. But please check everything out at least a little.

Language

This is in Australian English and uses British spellings frequently. Whether you hypnotise or hypnotize the point is the same. It even works for “hipnosis” (the Spanish word for it).

What You Need To Know To Be a Comedy Stage Hypnotist.

Hypnotised people on stage, some sitting, some flat on the floor

To be successful on stage as a comedy hypnotist you need obtain the following skills and capabilities.

  1. How to hypnotise people. And how to do that quickly in groups.
  2. How to structure a show, and then put together a show that will work (perhaps even write it out as a script).
  3. Stagecraft - how to talk on stage, how to hold and use a mic (most people get that wrong) so that you can deliver your show with at least some degree of confidence
  4. Ways to get some gigs to get started - shows that will enable you to practise your skills and refine your show (or script)
  5. How to market your show, and learn to sell it.
  6. Being funny. Learn comedy after you can already do a hypnosis show, because the shows can be pretty funny even if you are not.

Those are the main “front of house” skills you’ll need. And then along with those you need to:

  1. Learn about booking contracts and agreements, payments, invoices etc.
  2. Be confident with the different types of sound equipment you’ll encounter, and with having your own.
  3. Understand that there’s a whole bunch of basic administration and organising you’ll need to stay on top of in order to be taken seriously as a professional.

Training Courses, Videos and Other Training Materials

Before we dig into the things you need to learn in more detail, let’s take a minute to consider stage hypnosis training courses, whether in person, in books, or online.

You’ll find a multitude of options, and they all promise you amazing skill and a complete solution from someone who is (at least in their own eyes), god’s gift to comedy stage hypnotism. But they would say that wouldn’t they.

Proceed with caution.

Ask any seasoned professional comedy hypnotist and they’ll tell you that the majority of stage hypnotists are mediocre or worse. In this industry you can make some money being a below average hack. In this regard stage hypnosis is a better career than music or standup comedy because in those industries 99.9% of the participants starve.

Predictably, after struggling for a few years trying to make ends meet with their shows and failing, many hypnotists hit on the bright idea of running training courses to teach others and to make a little more money. The epitome of the saying “those who can’t do, teach”.

There’s an overwhelming number of training courses aimed at people becoming stage hypnotists (beginner courses). The sheer number of them should ring alarm bells. If there are so many courses churning out competent performers by the truckload, why are there so few actually successful comedy stage hypnotists? And why are there practically no “intermediate” and “advanced” stage hypnotist courses out there to serve those hundreds of successful beginners after a year or two?

This is not a huge industry; and after 20 years I know or know of most of the major players. There are only about 6 that could offer an “advanced” training with any credibility. And they’re mostly too busy doing their actual shows . . . .

I would suggest checking out any trainer or the maker of any online resource to see if they have actually had a successful career as a stage hypnotist before considering their training courses. Look beyond what they say and see if you can find evidence that they were doing dozens of shows 7 or 10 years ago, for instance? Ask yourself why they have started doing training now?

Yes, you should also view me with suspicion. The good thing is, most of what I cover here you can easily verify for yourself. And better, a lot of it is self evident when you stop to think about it.

Are you ready?

Let’s start the journey.

1. Learn how to hypnotise people. And to do that quickly in groups.

Somewhere near the start of your show you’re going to have to hypnotise some people and get that done without too much fuss. Without that your show is not a hypnosis show.

Woman looming very spaced out and in trance

While many stage hypnosis training courses will teach you some basics of hypnotism, you can consider this part of the learning to be something you can do in any other way as well. Possibly better.

I first learned to hypnotise by attending an NLP workshop. And certainly the therapy based trainings I attended gave me a range of skills and experience in hypnosis that I could practise one-on-one without the need to do a show with the results.

I’ve not gone down the YouTube rabbit hole on this but I would suggest that Sean Michael Andrews is a serious contender for being a “hypnotic inductions guru” and you could start with him if you like the online stuff.

Inevitably there’ll be a local hypnotherapy training institute you could attend. Some frown upon stage hypnosis but others are kind and helpful. I did my initial stage hypnosis training at such an institute.

The advantage of learning to hypnotise “offline”, as it were, is that you can focus on that part of it without worrying about stages, tickets, microphones and an audience. At least initially. And this will allow you to later seek a comedy stage hypnosis training programme that has its strengths in the other aspects that are particular to a stage show, and not so much about “how to hypnotise”.

People getting hypnotised

Great - you’ve learned to hypnotise some people, somehow. Next . . .

2. Learn how to structure a show, and then put together a show that will work (perhaps even write it out as a script).

This is where your stage hypnosis training course comes in. Whether you read books, do online programmes, buy DVDs (do they still exist?) or attend an in person class, you need to learn how a show fits together.

I’ll outline that here, but there’s a lot to cover and that’s why you need this kind of training.

Man teaching others

In essence, the following are the main parts of a show, and understanding how they work and how to do them is key to your success.

  1. Introduction and pre-talk. This is where you get everyone’s attention, get them interested, convey any important information such as safety issues, and inform them who might be good candidates to be on stage.

    In this section you might also be funny yourself (see Comedy, later), and you might conduct some hypnotic conditioning routines (like a hand clasp or visualisation) or tricks that look like hypnosis to warm up your crowd. [Some performers get most of their hypnotising done in this part of the show, on the sly]
  2. The Invitation to The Stage. Getting people out of the crowd and onto the stage, filtering out the idiots, sorting the people into some kind of arrangement that minimises issues and increases your success.

    These all take a bit of experience and learning. For example you’ll likely be taught to separate the people who came together to your event if you can. I move the most obvious “d**khead” to the end of the row near the stairs so I can get them off the stage quickly if they act up etc.

    Even after 19 years on stage I am still refining how I do this part of the show for better results.
  3. The Hypnotising Part. With your volunteers on stage now you need to go through some kind of process to take them from “just arrived” to “hypnotised”. [See part 1].

    You’ll doubtless be nervous about this when starting out.

    Later you’ll realise that technically, this bit is easier that the pre talk and invitation, and getting those two things right sets you up for a great night and a number of rockstar subjects.
  4. Deepeners and Warmups. You’ll undoubtedly start your show with some routines designed to take your candidates deeper into trance, get them going and the audience laughing, while simultaneously allowing you to see who isn’t responsive and needs to be dismissed from the stage. [Even learning to dismiss people without ending up in a fistfight is a skill you need to learn].
  5. Skits Routines and Gags. Next you run your people through your silly routines. There’s lots of resources around for these, and you might be tempted simply to watch some videos and then copy what you see. This is a very bad idea.

    Your trainer should have given you a bunch of gags they have worked out, and you can find books and such too, but copying someone else’s material without permission isn’t just poor form, if you later have any success yourself you’ll quickly be shown up as a plagiarist and rightly scorned by your fellows.

    The only way no-one will notice that you stole a routine is if no-one sees your routines; in other words, if you are a failure.

    That said - there are only so many concepts you can use. Say I tell you to make your candidates feel like they are getting physically hot? Write a gag. Well surprise surprise its going to be at the beach or the aircon has broken - so write your own words but your underlying concepts cannot really be completely original.
  6. Wake Them Up, Thank You. Good Night. Every good thing will come to an end - and getting people out of trance and off your stage turns out to also require skill and practise. This part can also go wrong and your training course should to go into that too.

A good training programme will at least give you an understanding of these steps, and how to conduct them. Better programmes will give you a proven “starter script” that you can use and then refine into your own program while teaching you the skills and theory needed.

Safety: every course should cover safety and how to avoid causing danger to or harming anyone during your show. You want that person to eat that onion and think its an apple, great, now ask yourself if you know if they are allergic to either. Tell someone their water is vodka and they’re getting drunk - then get sued by the recovering alcoholic you just sent back into their own private hell.

Learning stage hypnosis has a series of layers, and some things cannot really be grasped until you’ve covered some miles with your initial material. There’s value in realising that you need to keep learning new things, however our industry is plagued by people who got to a “good place” and then stopped improving. Worse, many of them think and act as if they already know everything.

When you plan your journey, please also plan to keep it going. I have seen performers with 20 years on stage delivering the same show in the same way that they have done for 20 years - nothing has changed, nothing has improved. And they have trained others to do that too. . . .

3. Stagecraft

You may have heard it said that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death. I don’t really think that is true. But it is true that public speaking is viewed with horror by many, and being good at it will make the rest of your journey easier.

Let’s stake a step back. Imagine that you taught yourself how to hypnotise from some books and videos, and you have put together a script for your induction based on that - you’ve done a good job you think, but you haven’t yet tested it.

Using books and more videos you have put together a whole show as best you can. Heck, you’ve likely stolen some bits to play it safe and you’re hoping no-one will notice (you’ll surely put that right after you’ve gotten successful, eh? [no]), but you’ve never performed that show for real.

Now imagine you’re going to step on stage and deliver that untried material and hypnotise people with your new script and you’ve never even been on stage before.

Think how utterly terrifying that could be? And how many possible ways that could go wrong.

Now if you have been given a “whole show” script, one that you have learned and understand, and which has been proven by others to be a good one. And you have some confidence to present things on stage. Well, that sounds almost easy. And that’s the point.

Go to improv lessons, take acting classes, join toastmasters, go to open mic poetry or comedy nights. Volunteer as MC for any and every opportunity. Learn to just “do stage stuff” until it is a non-issue for you.

Learn to hold a microphone properly so you do it correctly without thinking while you’re busy on stage.

As with hypnotising, you don’t have to do that only in the context of a stage hypnosis training. It’s better if you get a wider range of experience.

4. Find a way to get some gigs to get started

Shows that will enable you to practise your skills and refine your show (or script)

You’ve got a show, you can do things on stage, you have experience hypnotising people, and you are tempted to do some shows. Let’s do this you think!

But most likely your trainer isn’t getting you bookings, most won’t do that, especially if they know that their training isn’t actually that good, or they’re desperate to get their own gigs. You’re on your own.

But “no bother” you think - I’ll get my friends and family into a group and practise on them. This is very common. And it comes with a huge risk, and possibly fatal flaw. Her name is Elisabeth Verschuren, and she is my mother.

Actually she has passed away so her influence on your show is limited, and I don’t know your family at all. But there was no way that Elisabeth could see her little boy as anything other than that - and no way would she allow me to have any kind of influence or authority over her - she would resist.

The established relationships that you have with people who know you well and who know you’re not a hypnotist (yet) often make them poor subjects to start with - and even their desire to be helpful can make it still worse, because by trying too hard to be a good subject they become a less responsive one (this actually happens even with strangers).

The ideal place to start is a largish group of strangers who believe you might just be what you say you are. Because then it really is up to you to perform and nothing else.

Moreover, while people who fear public speaking believe the stress increases with the size of the audience, the opposite is largely true for stage hypnosis. It is far easier to succeed with a crowd of 80 - 150 than with 50, or 30 or 12.

With 1000 people you could probably just say “Hey everyone, I’m a hypnotist. Take a deep breath. Breath it out slowly. And sleep!” and find that you have 8 people out in the audience with no more effort than that.

So your mission is to find that group of say 30 - 80 people (or more) who are almost all strangers and do a show for them. It’s important that your first few shows go okay or you might get put off.

You might be tempted to think that, if you’re going to struggle, that having your friends and family there might make it less scary. That might be true. But personally I am always more nervous when I know people in the crowd. If they’re all strangers I know that no matter what happens I wont have to see them again.

Yes, It Goes Wrong

If anyone tells you they never bombed starting out - they are lying. So you’ll need to decide in advance if you’ll let a setback put you off. There’s no way to stardom without paying your dues.

What I Would Do

I don’t know where you live or anything about your culture. Were I starting out again I’d approach some local sports clubs or charities and offer them a show for nothing in return for their assistance with promoting it. A local mum’s group might be able to get 50 people at $15 per head, they keep the money, you do the show, everyone’s a winner.

5. Learn to market your show, and learn to sell it.

One of the reasons you want to get your training from someone who is totally successful in their own market and not needing to make extra money is because you need someone to help you get your first gigs, somehow. Even if it is just by helping you brainstorm how to do that.

If they see you as a potential competitor, and not as a protege, then they’ll generally not be generous or informative with this part of it.

And remember - most people offering stage hypnosis training are doing so because they are not really making it as a performer themselves. They might not really know how to do this part of it or they’d likely be doing shows and not wasting their time teaching you (no offence).

Let’s talk about Marketing and Selling

Selling

Some people think “selling” is a bit cringe but it need not be. If you are reluctant to “sell” at all then you’re handicapping yourself when it comes to getting bookings. If someone calls you and asks you if you’d do a show for them because they heard about you somewhere, that is a sales call. Own it.

The great thing about selling is that there are abundant resources available online and in person that are going to teach you how to do that.

If I wanted to start a career again as a stage performer I would learn my sales skills from sales professionals, not from hypnotists. In fact the only things you should learn from hypnotists are hypnosis and how to do shows. They’re not experts at much else by and large.

I recommend that no matter what you feel about this you take some basic sales training.

These days it’s tempting to think that you can get all your business by doing great social media and possibly cold emails. You and 10,000,000 other people have had that thought. It will be very hard to stand out that way.

Marketing

This is not selling and almost no-one in the industry either teaches this or even really understands it.

You cannot start out by being all things to all people. You’ll need to choose one or two markets to focus on.

I started with fundraisers, clean hens and bucks parties, and sports clubs as my targets. I researched what people looked for for these, how much they’d be willing to spend, and then put together offers and supporting materials, a website etc. [Note my pricing was based on their budgets, not on my desires or ego]

The markets that are available to you are unique to your context. Perhaps you’re a rough looking biker girl - you might get bar gigs in mining towns, whereas the church fundraisers might pass you by. These are things you need to think about. How you’ll position yourself and who you’ll target initially for your sales. And why should they choose you.

Building a history of successful shows in a market makes it much easier to get more of those shows, you can become the go-to person in that market.

The stage hypnotist who trains you, if they’ve been around a while, will be successful in markets that might be hard for you to enter initially, and maybe their knowledge of how to get started is also out of date. For example if they started with a listing in the “yellow pages phone book . . .” and now their fame and network gets them corporate bookings . What can they tell you? “First get famous !”?

Look for a niche or two where people are spending some money on entertainment. The narrower the niche the easier it is to “own” it completely. If lots of other performers are targeting a market and doing the same things, that might be an indication that you should focus elsewhere, unless you can do it so much better than they do for some reason particular to you.

Find a niche that is available to you, or a market that you can do so much better than the incumbents. If your strategy is simply to be cheaper, know that that will not work, as someone else will come along (with a bigger bank roll) and simply undercut you. You need to be “better” in some way even if it is that you are better to deal with.

Find a way to learn about these aspects of marketing. This knowledge will help you succeed where others stay stuck.

Push or Pull?

You’ll also want to decide how you’ll pursue the markets that you choose. Will you adopt a “build it and they will come” approach? An attractive website, ads to support it, and sit back while the leads and bookings come through the door (I call this “pull marketing”).

Or will you get out there and contact people, approach them directly, send emails etc. This is push marketing.

In some cases you’ll have little by way of choice, some markets can only be engaged in one way.

Advertising

Regardless of your market and how you approach it, you’ll be advertsing. Whether it is a free post on FaceBook or paid spot on a TV station you’ll need to do something to attract attention.

Learning to advertise and what works best for you and your market takes time and money. If there is a way to get serious attention for free - then it will immediately become saturated with other people doing that too.

Currently my customers are more likely to be on FaceBook than on TikTok. Where are yours going to be found? That is where you neeed to promote your shows.

Pricing

This is a tricky subject. Some people will even boast about how much they charge. But it need not be tricky and your pricing will often be determined by your market and your place in it. This also comes back to marketing. Maybe you really can get $5k for a couple of big events each year. But is that better than, say, $2500 every Friday night without fail?

You might think you’re worth $5k for a show. But if you’re doing fundraisers for your local cheerleading teams they’ll figure out that they cannot afford you . . . until you’re famous that is.

When starting out I was frequently told “don’t discount, never work for free etc.” by well meaning people, or simply those who wanted no price competition.

However realistically, as a freshly trained and inexperienced performer, I’m going to advise you to do whatever it takes to get some gigs done so that you are worth paying for. When there is demand for your talents, you can price accordingly, when there is no demand - the price is zero, or nearly so.

6. Now learn to be funny.

Learn Comedy after you can already do a hypnosis show, because the shows can be pretty funny even if you are not.

Comedy itself is both an art and a science. Unfortunately, the stand-up comedy industry is even more plagued when it comes to mediocre hacks offering to teach you because they cannot make money doing it themselves.

Then again it is much harder to make money in stand-up than in stage hypnotism so in their shoes I’d likely be doing the same.

The good news is that a competent hypnosis stage show is funny even if you are not a funny performer and even if you do the whole thing “straight”. Watching your friends and colleagues using their shoes as phones is funny in itself - the hypnotist need not be remotely so.

That said, if you have created a good show, then one way to make it a better show is to make every single part of it even funnier.

If you take some time to learn about comedy and comedy writing you can take the parts of your show that might be a bit flat and put some humour in there yourself. This will make your whole show better.

The comedy journey can go in parallel to your stage show development and never ends. You can always be funnier, and working on that will make you one of the best stage performers in the world.

Other than timing (from the note above), one of the other secrets of comedy that isn’t taught nearly enough is brevity. Your show gets better and your laughter more intense when you remove as much unnecessary baggage, wording and filler as you can.

When starting out we all pick up linguistic crutches and sayings that we come to feel are part of the hypnosis show but are really just empty filler. Learning to edit those out makes your show tighter, snappier, and more suited to that 45 minute slot you just managed to book.

Learn to drop your good material to make room for better.

Welcome to Your New Career as a Comedy Stage Hypnotist.

You’ve made it. Keep going, keep getting better and you’re set. Well, except for these other things you’re going to need to know.

Comedy Hypnotist Gerard V - empty stage at large venue

7. Learn about booking contracts and agreements, payments, invoices etc.

Contracts

As soon as you agree to do a show or someone agrees to allow you to trot out your new skill somewhere, you’ll be struck by the need to confirm what the actual “deal” is. Especially if there is money involved.

Who pays who, and how much? When will that happen, can they pay you in Yen or Zucchinis? What about credit cards?

If something goes wrong who pays? If you break something? If a guest breaks something?

What about cancellation. You cancel, they cancel, the government cancels you all (remember Covid)?

Are there fees for cancellation? Will there be a deposit?

The list goes on and it is worth having a basic “booking agreement” or contract form that you can use. Again your stage hypnosis trainer should get you started on this but not all of them do. By asking around other entertainers and other hypnotists though you’ll get an example or two.

The form/contract is relatively easy to put together, but what to put on it is harder. Will you take a deposit? How much? When is it due? What about your cancellation terms? Insurances? Video release?

If you want to sell the DVD or video of the show then you’ll likely want to embargo people from videoing it themselves. You might also want to limit the ability for people to post your disasters online (see Reddit r/whatcouldgowrong ).

You’ll need to decide these “policies” early on and put them in your agreement so that later there can be no disputes.

Get insured. If your speaker catches fire and burns down the club you want cover. If a guest trips over your props case and breaks their leg . . . you get it. You’ll want this. You’ll need it.

Payments and Invoices

Get set up to bill people, receive payments (credit cards? cash? etc.). And learn how to prepare and submit a proper invoice. This stuff is easy to learn online but be careful to find out the rules for your jurisdiction. If you are based in state A and perform in state B is there a different sales tax you need to account for? What legal info must you provide on your invoice?

For example here in Australia I have to charge GST (like VAT) but to do that I must have a registration and provide that registration number on my invoice. The invoice itself must be titled “Tax Invoice”; and if you leave those two words and the registration number off then your customer’s accounts department might simply not pay it. And they might take a few weeks to get around to telling that that is why.

8. Be confident with the different types of sound equipment you’ll encounter, and with having your own.

To be a serious professional you will need to come to terms with audio equipment at a bare minimum. This section will cover the basics of what you need to learn about, and some advice on what you actually need.

Microphones.

Get your own if you can. Whether you prefer a handheld or a headset, that’s a style thing. But they all vary in how they sound and finding one that sounds good with your voice is ideal.

They come in different price brackets; and when you get into the professional ranges they appear expensive. One of the reasons for the price is that the professional microphones work, they work all the time, and they don’t stop working during your show.

No matter whether you have your own or you use what you’re provided at the venue you must learn how to use a mic. Most stage performers and musicians surprisingly do not know how to use their mics.

If you do what you see most other hypnotists or comedians doing you’re not getting the best from the gear and there will be times when you’ll not be heard or will get other technical issues like feedback.

Do not ask hypnotists to advise you on microphones or how to use a mic. They don’t know and they have been sharing that same lack of knowledge between themselves for decades.

Ask a sound engineer who does live sound at venues. Especially when it comes to how to use the mic. They all are a bit different and knowing that is what makes you a pro.

Hand Holding a Microphone

Sound engineers can really help advise you how to make your show better. If you suck, they will make you suck loudly and clearly . . . . if you are brilliant, it makes no difference if the audience cannot hear you all. It is vital to get this right.

Headset or Handheld

There’s some discussion about whether or not a headset or a handheld is the better option for stage hypnosis. Some people have strong opinions on this [I’m looking at you Terry Stokes ], but in truth it is just preference.

I use a headset because I like it - and I can use both my hands to catch people . . . .

Sennheiser Headset Microphone

Speakers

When you go to buy your first speakers, mixer, microphones whatever you’ll be immediately struck by the huge range of prices, sizes and complexity available.

Most shops are keen to sell you something and most will try to find out how much you have and get you to spend it all. The people working there often don’t really know that much, and very few have the faintest idea what a comedy hypnotist stage show involves. They usually think you’re like a comedian - one mic and a small speaker thingy will do the job, as they see it.

This is a complex area in some ways, and deserving of an article in itself. The shorter version is that the pro gear is pro gear for two main reasons. It works and keeps working even under arduous conditions, and more or less the pricier it is the better it sounds. [This deserves debate but basically truish].

Don’t ask about brands that other hypnotists use. JBL makes everything from trashy party boxes to amazing concert systems that will make you weep with the beauty of their sound. So when I tell you I have a JBL front-of-house PA, you are no better off knowing that.

JBL Bluetooth Speaker

One way to find out what the best most reliable speakers are in your area is to see what the majority of audio hire companies are using - they are using those for a reason (mostly because they won’t break).

If you get good gear it lasts decades. I have 18 year old Subwoofers, 9 year old wireless headset systems, 16 year old LED lighting. And more. They all felt expensive when I purchased them but they have simply kept going when all my cheaper stuff (looking at you Behringer) has failed too soon, sometimes within 2 years.

If you’re going to be serious about this career don’t plan to fail, plan to succeed and buy gear that will travel that road with you.

As a performer the last thing you need is to be struck with technical issues during your show. Get decent gear. And learn how to use it properly.

9. There’s a whole bunch of basic administration and organising you’ll need to stay on top of.

Once you start to get a few shows, you’ll need to also get organised. When will you buy your flights, or what time do you need to drive off to make that distant gig. Did you remember to charge the batteries for your gear? Have you brought all the cables with you? The power supply for your laptop?

Did you remember to book accomodation or if someone did that for you where is it? What time can you check in? Where and how will you keep all your receipts for expenses?

Starting out these seem to be distant and peripheral concerns but over time you’ll need to get good at them to make your life easy and to avoid disaster.

The best time to start sorting this out is at the very beginning. The first time you book flights for a show, ask yourself “if I had to do this 1000 times, how would I organise it?” And start working towards that. For example I immediately set up a folder on my computer for all travel and then shared it with my partner (now ex) so that she’d always have my detailed plans.

A booking agreement takes me 10 minutes, a trip to another city with flights, cars, hotel, equipment and ground transfers takes 30 minutes or less to book. That’s for everything. And mostly because I don’t have to do much extra thinking to do it. Where is the gig - what is the drive time? Where is my better hotel option for the night - easy.

Before a local show - I charge the batteries for the mics, charge the battery lights, cameras, iPad, phone. All the gear is on one set of shelves, I always take it all . . . just in case.

Simple and well organised systems will take the stress and mistakes out of regular shows.

Bored Office Workers

Thinking about how things might go wrong helps set you up for success. Arrive at a gig and the batteries are flat? There are spare batteries. Of course there are. Dodgy cable, there’s a spare. And so on.

I personally hate getting caught by surprise when the unavoidable happens simply because I didn’t give it any thought.

Empty Stage with Red Curtains

Conclusion

Reading this was not intended to make you a stage hypnotist, but to show you the whole journey you will probably need to take. Some areas will be easy for you, some you will not care much about but will be necessary to some degree, and some things you can outsource to others.

I think these are the main things though. Good luck.

And let me know how it goes. Tell me your stories - and feel free to email me with questions or if you think I can improve this guide in some way. I will keep improving it as feedback comes in.

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Author: Gerard V Comedy Hypnotist, MC and Corporate Entertainer
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Comedy Hypnotist Gerard V trading as Wonderstruck Corporation