The main purpose of elimination tests is to identify the subjects who are, as well as those who are not, capable of entering deep hypnosis. They are generally used in the early stages of a show, either before or after a group induction is performed. Even in the waking state, subjects with somnambulistic tendencies will be responsive to tests of this type. They are quite entertaining to watch and fulfill a function critical to the success of your show.
You have been provided with four excellent tests, which can be used for this process. They are, in the order of the pages they appear on:
• INVISIBLE SHACKLES, page 38
The easiest test of the lot is Falling for You, followed in order of difficulty by Eyes Wide Shut, Invisible Shackles and Stiff Arm. In a performance situation, which tests you choose will depend primarily on the number of volunteers you have on stage. If you have a large number to work with, you can afford to start subjects off with a more challenging tests, such as Invisible Shackles and Stiff Arm. On the other hand, if the pool of prospective subjects is a bit meager, by all means begin with Falling for You or Eyes Wide Shut.
In most cases, a subject is given one opportunity to make the grade and it's pass or fail. There are important reasons for this. We already know that the effectiveness of suggestion grows with success and diminishes with failure.
So if the subject did not respond to first test, the chances of getting a positive response to the second are even less likely. Why risk it? The first failure can easily be attributed to the subject's own inability to concentrate, the second time it begins to look like the operator's failure, desperation, or lack of judgement. Whatever the reason, your prestige will begin to suffer and no hypnotist can afford that.
This is entirely different than a subject passing one test and failing the next. Subjects who pass each test may continue to be tested, until they fail-at which point, that person should be eliminated. Let's say, for example, that you are in the enviable position of having more than enough subjects to work with, but you're having a hard time thinning the field. By all means, give the successful candidates another more difficult test as a group. Those who fail will not reflect badly on you, since the audience will see many who do succeed. The same goes for the rehypnotization technique explained in Chapter Three. The audience understands this screening process will enable you to give them the best show possible by identifying the "stars" in the group.
Influencing subjects in the waking state is always more difficult than working with them under hypnosis-even in a light state. And so, to be successful, you must take a more forceful approach. It begins with eye contact. Whenever facing a subject, you must appear to look directly into the subject's eyes. In actuality, you stare at the bridge of the nose-right between the person's eyes. The effect is almost hypnotic. Look in the mirror and try it for yourself. Next, you must give each suggestion with complete confidence and self assurance. In your own mind, picture the subject carrying out the suggestion (ie. falling backward, struggling unsuccessfully to open his or her eyes, etc.). Never give a thought to failure. It can't happen. The resulting confidence will show on your face and be heard in your voice. Finally, make sure to keep the subject's mind locked around a single idea (ie. you can't open your eyes, your hands are stuck together, etc).
PLANNING THE SHOW
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