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Adelaide Fringe

The magic of the human mind

Adelaide Fringe

Entertainer Isaac Lomman, who gained acclaim by hypnotising Port Adelaide football players, tells us what he has in store for Fringe audiences, why he switched from marketing to mind games, and how you can hypnotise yourself.

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Your Adelaide Fringe show promises “a uniquely different experience” – what exactly can people expect?

People can expect a show that will both amaze and delight, based in comedy of course, but with the underlying message that our minds and imaginations are so powerful, depending on how we work them.

People will leave having had some epic belly-laughs and in awe of the human mind.

Will it include new routines audiences haven’t seen before?

Absolutely! I’m planning to really play at Fringe this year and try out new material but mix it in with some of the well-loved stuff, too. The plan is to have a completely different show for every night of the week with new content in every one.

What are some examples of the more bizarre or hilarious ways in which your subjects have responded under hypnosis?

I do a routine where I change someone’s name to EIEIO; they’re very proud of this name and get irritated if people laugh at them. I had one woman stand up and tell the whole audience to shut up, which of course meant they laughed harder – it was outrageously funny.

You previously worked as a marketing consultant – what led you to such a dramatic change in career direction?

Funnily enough, there’s a tight connection between marketing and sales, and hypnosis. They’re both different examples of trance, so it wasn’t a huge leap and it was my initial fascination with marketing that got me interested in hypnosis in the first place, as hypnotic principles are used in almost every good marketing campaign.

It was after I’d pursued learning hypnosis and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) for marketing and sales that my real passion for this field bloomed as I saw the power it has to transform lives for the better. This has led me to wanting to get it out to as many people as I can through my shows.

What was the experience like when you performed hypnosis on your first subject?

It was surreal. I had just been trained in the techniques and I applied them as taught and it all just started happening.

The feedback I got from those first few was that my voice really allowed them to go deep into trance and I guess I felt like I had the natural resources to make it work as a career from that point.

Have you ever been hypnotised yourself? Is it possible to hypnotise yourself accidently?

People “accidentally” hypnotise themselves every day when they fall into a daydream. Trance occurs all the time and deep trances can happen often – we all know that one person who zones out so much that you try and talk to them but they’re off with the fairies. That’s hypnosis.

I was hypnotised when I was learning and really enjoy the state of mind. I hypnotise myself all the time.

Self-hypnosis is basically self-guided meditation or going into trance with a goal in mind. So I might use it to have more energy before a show, calm nerves before going on TV, etc.

It’s this practice that I want people to know about because we can all do it and it can affect our lives dramatically.

Some people are skeptical about hypnosis. How do you deal with this and what would you say to those who are adamant they couldn’t be hypnotised?

Skeptics come with the territory and it’s quite healthy to be skeptical to begin with. I have converted many people over my career, as they see the show and understand the process.

The rule is: if you can learn, you can be hypnotised to some degree.

There’s a percentage of people who will still be difficult to hypnotise, there’s a big majority who can go either way, and there’s another group who are somnambulists who just go super deep –these are the people I try and get on stage with me.

The reality is, I’m not trying to prove hypnosis is real at my show. My focus is entertainment and having a great time with the people that have already cottoned on that this is an actual thing.

There’s plenty of experiments done through authority organisations like Harvard University to prove it’s real and I don’t feel the need to push it hard on people at the show. We’re there to have fun and celebrate the human mind!

Isaac Lomman is performing his Fringe show Comedy Hypnosis! Entranced at The Peacock, Gluttony, from February 16 until March 14.

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