Anyone who knows me knows that I claim to have once performed as “the World’s Youngest Hypnotist”. My dad was a professional stage hypnotist for many years, and at one time he put me on stage as part of the act. I only vaguely remember being part of the show myself, but I do remember quite a few of my dad’s performances. Last week, I visited my folks in North Carolina, and I uncovered an old folder full of memorabilia from his days as a “master of mesmerism”. I didn’t find anything mentioning the amazing spectacle of the “World’s Youngest Hypnotist”, but these still stirred some really great memories. I thought I’d share. These materials are from 1973 and 1974.
First up, a newspaper advertisement on improving your life thru hypnotism! Years later, I remember the Boy’s Club D&D group I was in wanting to hire my dad to hypnotize us all and have us “live out” a d&D adventure. A terrible, terrible idea that I’m glad died on the vine.
A flyer from a show. I like how the image has nothing to do with hypnosis.
My mom and dad trying to drum up business at the county fair. I’m sure I was hiding behind the booth, playing with Matchbox cars or Weebles or Planet of the Apes toys.
My dad also ran a photography studio (a business he would stick with for many years). They sponsored this event on Easter. I remember it pretty well. They hid 10,000 eggs! 10,000!
Ah, Easter in Fayetteville! My dad gets the show going. That’s a mesmer wheel that he’s standing behind.
I’m sure he’s telling the crowd how he learned hypnosis from a Frenchman while he was in the army. I have no idea if that’s true or not.
The show begins! “You walk down a dark hallway, and Tiamat eats you.” Hilarity!
I’m pretty sure my dad’s just revealed that the “apple” they were eating was really an onion or a lemon.
“There’s a fly on your face.” And shaving cream in your hand.
Another show, this one at a high school. “Here. Enjoy a refreshing Pepsi.” Of course, that’s really milk in a baby bottle.
“Mmm! That really is a delicious beverage!”
Well, he’s wearing one of the girl’s knit caps. I’m pretty sure he is acting as he sees her act. I’m also pretty sure he got his ass kicked when he got home.
A classic and a crowd favorite! “Your seat is on fire!”
And this is less about hypnotism and more about how far high school permission slips have come. Ah, the good old days!