Hair Raising Hypnosis: Motivational hypnotist boggles minds and spreads laughter

BY TAYLOR JAMES SARRATT
PHOTOS BY KERISA BROWN

To many, hypnosis is seen as an almost mystical art, used to either manipulate the minds of others, or to trick people out of a dollar. However, former NCAA coach and stage hypnotist Tim Miller and his wife Michelle have traveled across the U.S., and stopped at Fort Hays to show that hypnosis is not a form of magic, but is very much real. 

Before the hypnosis began, Miller started the show with a brief telling of who he is. The former coach of 20 years (coaching both Football and Basketball across multiple schools and universities) explained that he identifies himself as a motivational hypnotist.

“Too many hypnotists also call themselves illusionists and magicians alongside hypnotists, which makes it seem like just another trick,” Miller said. 

To which he adamantly explained was not the case, that hypnosis is no stage magic, but a very real and natural force.

“Have you ever been on a 15-minute drive, where you barely remember what the drive was like when you reached your destination?” Miller asked the audience. Going on to explain that situations like that are natural forms of hypnosis. He also went on to state that he uses his hypnosis as a means to fill a room with positive energy, by making those who watch laugh, and those who partake in the hypnosis itself feel energized and relaxed.  

As Miller began to call for volunteers for his performance, I decided to take a leap, and document the experience of being hypnotized first hand. Firstly, the induction was a simple matter, where the lights were dimmed, as he softly spoke to all volunteers, with their eyes closed. After a few minutes, we were all inducted, from this point onward my memory of the event is blurred due to the dream-like state I was in. 

The events, while I was hypnotized, was recorded via notes from my colleague, Mariah Moore. Miller also wanted to establish to everyone that all actions done while under hypnosis are consensual, anyone who is uncomfortable doing an action while hypnotized can easily snap out of the state. The first exercises Miller had the volunteers perform were a series of activities where each volunteer had to envision a scenario with their eyes closed. These activities ranged from performing in an orchestra to acting like a toddler.  Between each segment of the show, Miller would reset everyone by going back into a default “sleep” position. 

After the third activity with closed eyes, everyone who volunteered opened their eyes, still affected by the hypnosis, in which everyone proceeded to go forth and do even more vigorous activities, some specifically for certain volunteers. Hissing upon verbal triggers, viewing a microphone stand as the love of their life. And even a “twerk off” between myself and an audience member. Eventually after a final comedic show, specifically made for this performance, all of the volunteers were sat down, as all triggers were removed, with the exception of one. 

The final trigger Miller placed in each volunteer, was a showing of his experience as a coach, hypnotist and motivational speaker, where all volunteers were given a trigger on how to look at life, how the world, our jobs, our classes are all things we get to do. That even when the world is at its absolute worst, there’s always some positivity to look forward to. As Tim Miller closed out the show, audience members got to exit with smiles on their faces, while those hypnotized got to leave with a new-found wind beneath their wings. 

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