Hypnotist puts fairgoers center stage in comedy show
Written by BILL RYAN, Sentinel Farm Editor
Friday, 02 August 2013 09:00
After his first few days at the Wood County Fair, hypnotist Mike Bishop and his mostly capacity audiences at the Free Tent are having a great time.
|P.J. Brandel (from left), Andrew Shiley, Aaron Roberts, and Logan Beardsley are seen under hypnotist during a show at the Wood County Fair. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Volunteers were literally jumping out of their chairs and rolling on the floor laughing to the delight of the rest of the audience.
They would see, feel and hear things in their mind, but those sights and sounds were only real to them. The victims, err, volunteers forgot how to tie their shoes or count, while at other times became stuck in their seats. One young lady was defiant her name was the one Bishop gave her, not her real name.
Bishop uses some suggestions at most of his shows, but also varies the show for the returnees.
One of the most popular parts of the late show Wednesday involved a "voo-doo" doll and the "Banana Boat Song (Day O)." He had all his volunteers duplicating his movements of the doll in time with the music.
The laughs filled the Free Tent from all the generations.
Following the first show, some of the young men who had been hypnotized said they enjoyed the experience.
"It was wild," said P.J. Brandel of Grand Rapids. "I remember my shoe being very hot."
Logan Beardsley, of Bowling Green, said his initial reaction was very relaxed, saying, "Right now I feel great."
He later shared how much he enjoyed a massage he didn't receive. That was apparently what he visualized at a time when Bishop suggested he was enjoying the sensation in his chair.
Weston resident, Andrew Shiley clearly remembered seeing the back of Bishop's clothes being gone. Though Bishop remained fully clothed, Shiley and the others turned their heads during the show.
"He was really hairy and gross looking," Shiley recalled of Bishop.
Beardsley agreed, "The back of his clothes were gone and he had a real hairy back."
|Mike Bishop entertains.
The hypnotist said that is a common reaction. He also said, though he tells them he is without his clothes, they remember more their reaction than they do any actual visualization of Bishop without clothes. During the show Bishop had also suggested the front of his clothes were gone at one point, but none of the four to whom we spoke recalled that fact.
Aaron Roberts of Weston, said he truly did not remember anything from the show after Bishop told everyone to "relax their ankles."
Following the final show Wednesday a young man asked, "What time does the show start? I was supposed to be in it."
He indeed was, but could not recall.
Catching up with him a few minutes later, Logan Dangler of Bowling Green said he was finally starting to remember some of the things from the show, but his mother Cheri was not able to convince him of some of his actions.
Cheri Dangler said, "I was very skeptical of the whole thing, but after seeing what Logan did, it's real, for sure."
Bishop, of North Canton, is making his first visit to the fair and provides three shows daily.
After warming up the audience, he gets a dozen or more volunteers to come up on stage and places them under hypnosis.
At the first show Wednesday, the volunteers were primarily younger fairgoers. Bishop requires volunteers be 13 or older and the youth must have a parent's permission.
Bishop explained how people react differently to being under hypnosis. Some will remember many things in detail, while others will not.
He calls the latter type of volunteers, Roberts and Logan Dangler, somnambulists or sleep-walkers.
Bishop never seeks to embarrass anyone and his shows are all family-friendly.
He said he is very pleased with the crowds and the location of the Free Tent to increase traffic to his show.
"I have had a lot of people who wanted to be part of the show. Coming off the stage, they feel very good about it," he said.
During his shows, he will sometimes dismiss a volunteer from the stage.
"They usually self dismiss," Bishop said. "Some people are just not a match for the show."
Bishop's remaining shows are slated for noon, 7 and 9 p.m. today; 4, 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday; and 1, 4 and 6 p.m. Sunday.