Hypnotist Don Spencer will use his powers to persuade residents
The travel destination was Dubai, and although the location was unique in itself hypnotist Don Spencer never expected to be sharing drinks and conversation with its sheikh, or ruler. That's exactly what happened one night after Spencer's comedy show.
"One of the great things about being on the road," Spencer said. "You get the chance to meet a lot of interesting people. It's a fun cultural experience."
Spencer will travel the road to Soldotna for a hypnosis comedy show tonight at Hooligan's Lodge and Saloon. Alaska hypnotist Tommy Kyte will accompany Spencer on stage.
The two have been traveling the state since Oct. 19, holding multiple shows in Anchorage and a single show in Wasilla as part of Spencer's "Alaska Hypnotic Tour." Hooligan's will host Spencer's second to last show in the state.
Hypnosis shows feature high audience participation. Attendees watch their loved ones turn into what Spencer calls "life-size animations," making people believe they are something they aren't, or making people do something they can't, such as speak a foreign language.
The shows meet the needs of the audience from general to mature themes.
Hooligan's will host a family-friendly show. The hypnotists keep the audience from doing acts that could possibly offend others, Spencer said.
"I have an 8-year-old boy, and it's something that I would take him to. I would not take my 8-year-old son to one of my nightclub shows," he laughed.
In addition to making audience members speak alien languages and believe they are diplomats, Spencer offers a perspective on the educational value of hypnotism.
Spencer began working as a hypnotherapist in 1989. His teachers included Charles Tebbetts, Ormand McGill and Al Krasner among others. Before alternative studies captivated his attention, Spencer studied psychology, philosophy, physiology, abnormal behavior and comparative religion.
He developed the Hypnotism Training Institute of Idaho in 1989, Hypnotism Training International in Utah in 1991 and the Personal Achievement Center for private consultations that morphed into SleepNow Productions, Inc.
SleepNow went online in 1994, and Spencer offers multiple services through the site.
Spencer's products include books and videos. "Hypnotism: Foundations of Belief" is based on course work that he teaches, from having absolutely no understanding to becoming proficient at hypnotism.
"It's a good book to help you understand the mind and how the mind works," he said. "How people are suggestible, and how those traits can be used to create positive changes in people's lives."
"HypnoSex: Embracing Your Sexuality" is geared toward people in relationships.
"If you're in a great relationship then the book can make it better, and if you're in a bad relationship it can teach you how to communicate more effectively with your partner," he said.
Often following shows, Spencer offers sessions to attendees for smoking and weight loss sessions. The sessions are supposed to prepare people's minds to stop smoking or eating by programming life affirming concepts into the subconscious.
"We're doing that here in Anchorage, and if there is interest in Soldotna we are available on Friday," Spencer said.
Kyte's background is primarily in hypnotherapy. Anchorage residents visit Kyte to change unwanted habits from smoking to nail biting. He came to the state to work in construction, but has long had an interest in hypnotherapy.
Spencer is now mentoring Kyte about stage shows.
"I came across some sites with some classes and met with Don through one of those classes, and it's developed from there," Kyte said.
Both agree that the Alaska tour has gone well, meeting residents and having fun all around.
"We've filled the venues to capacity," Spencer said. "And everybody seemed to enjoy our show and asked us to come back."
"It's been absolutely fantastic," Kyte said. "Don's a great mentor, and I recommend him to everybody."
The tour will end in Seward. Spencer and Kyte are scheduled to perform at The Pit on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online at sleepnow.com or at the door before the show. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
For more information on Spencer visit sleepnow.com, and for more information on Kyte visit thomekyte.com.
Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.