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September 22, 200 on page 5E of the Mobile Register's Bay Weekend section:
L'Estrade to feature hypnotist Gary Conrad
By LAWRENCE SPECKER
Imagine sitting in a crowd, laughing as some of your fellow
members entertain you with the antics they conduct while under the influence of hypnosis.
Now imagine wishing you were up there on the stage with them.
The first spell is a hypnotist's bread and butter. But the second is
the one master hypnotist Gary Conrad really wants to cast. He'll be
appearing a series of shows beginning Thursday at L'Estrade comedy club on Dauphin Street.
What they can expect is a great time," Conrad said of the shows.
Conrad said shows begin with a selection of volunteers going into
hypnosis, then carrying out different missions. Typical skits might have
volunteers acting out an episode of the Jerry Springer Show, or
impersonating famous stars, or searching for something they think they've
lost, or watching something they think is happening. With Oktoberfest coming
up, maybe they'll even do the chicken dance.
But, said Conrad, the show won't include people making fools of themselves.
I'm not into them being humiliated," he said. That's not my style."
After all, the volunteers have paid to be entertained too. Conrad
said there's no element of coercion in what he does, and that even
hypnotized people can't easily be pushed to violate their own standards.
Good hypnotists show people how to hypnotize themselves. You're
teaching them, really, to go into hypnosis. "The trick is ... you make it fun for them ."
The hypnotist said that his 7 p.m. shows will be more modest that
his 10 p.m. appearances, which may contain more erotic" exercises.
That's where we turn 'em loose and let 'em fly," he said. Men
convinced that they are Chippendale dancers, for example, may take things
kind of a step farther."
Conrad was quick to add that neither laws nor propriety will be violated.
As long as they've got their underwear on, it's fine with me," he said.
Conrad, a constantly touring performer who says his home is on the
road," said he has one guiding principle that governs his shows.
We want the people in the audience to be jealous of the people
on-stage," he said.
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