HobbyHarri











Sometimes the idea of this being a place in which I force myself to be totally honest & include all I can… makes me quite uncomfortable. I was going to say it’s the English ‘stiff-upper-lip’ thing, but it’s really more like Spock, pretending that that emotion does not exist. I’ve said more personally revealing things before, but this all feels much more personal in some way… When in doubt, do what you can which makes you uncomfortable! This post is a long one, but if you’re interested in hypnosis or the psychosis of a wannabe-hobbyist-magician or student, then this should be quite worth it. There’s also a basic outline for creating hypnosis scripts about 1/2 the way through.

 

 

On Wednesday I met with friends for lunch. We probably should have been with the rest of the University, protesting the pension cuts, but I knew too little to be an effective protester anyway. Oddly, my friends got their meals within the estimated 1-hour wait time (very crowded due to people away from jobs, “protesting”) – very elaborate, pork belly steaks and hot pots – while I had to wait the full hour for my beef in a bread roll with chips. Food is my weakness. As soon as I bit in they were forgiven for the crazy waiting time. Ah. Sorry – re-imagining the meal.

 

Afterwards, I went back with my friend to her place for a good ol’ sleepover. She’s Finnish, so naturally we watched an episode of Conan. We had a laugh about the milkshake shop with shakes named after people (“I’ll have a regular Dave” “Who ordered the large Alan?”. Alan is very tasty by the way). Then I did something unusual. I was worried that if I share it’ll belittle the experience and make it less special. But my instinct here is to share absolutely… I want my life to be an open book. My instincts are telling me to share my life. I wish you could hear me say this, because on the screen I think it’s reading very ‘love me because of my humility!’ That’s not me. Edit: My friend approves of my sharing. Awesome.

 

Me and my friend sat down on the sofa, and I spent a couple of minutes hypnotising her. DISCLAIMER: Hypnosis in real life is not “look into my eyes – and now you’re under my spell! Mwahaha!” It’s more like controlling the mental state of another so that they’re more receptive to ideas such as positive affirmations or eating an onion for the enjoyment of paying spectators. But in the case that I used it, it’s entirely the former. It’s a state which is created by the subject being both open to the idea, relaxed, and trusting in the hypnotist. You may trust someone like Derren Brown as a hypnotist because you know he’s very good at it and very experienced. In my case, I’m trusted for our friendship, my positive intent and my good character (that’s about as close as I get to bragging right there). Also I’m told I have a good voice for it. What she didn’t know was that rather than spending some time before attempting to remember the basis of the script that I’d read this morning in my new book on cold-reading, I was making one up. I feel really bad for lying, but it had a great effect that I hope outweighs the fact that I lied to someone who placed so much trust in me.

 

 

I started by explaining the hypnosis myths as myths – it’s not mind-control, it’s actually about trust and willingness and ability to relax, etc. As a hypnotist, you absolutely must create some feeling of power, confidence, experience and/or trust. The more you have, the more powerful & effective your sessions will be. So if you’re a beginner, you may need to lie and pretend you’re already awesome, or be slightly more honest and explain how you’ve studied it a lot (I have) and you have a professional-made script (LIE) and that you think they’d find it interesting and beneficial (she did). Then I began;

1) Prepping to get her into the right state. This included some relaxation and awareness instructions (in particular the importance of focusing on my voice & what I say), and to keep it up throughout, a short breathing exercise that I repeated throughout the session. All with eyes closed of course.

2) Once in an open state, I used positive affirmations, all around the theme of luck and general optimism, repeating the idea of ‘good things coming to you, and you accepting them fully’. As I did this, I quietly removed from my bag a pre-wrapped package with the words “Hello, I’m a good thing. Nice to meet you!” written on the front, and placed it on the sofa.

3) Once I’d given all the messages I’d set out to, I started to bring her gently out of the hypnotic state. A positive ending is just as important as a positive start. It should be like waking up from a very pleasant dream, say where you saved the world AND held hands with someone you love & admire. You need to bring them back to reality gently, so that they’re alert and ready to get on with things, but also keep all of those feelings and affirmations acquired in the session all muddling around. A good way to do this is combine the ideas within a visual metaphor. For example, I said to imagine a staircase, and that with every step down, she’d get closer and closer to being alert and awake, and to generic good things that were guaranteed to come into her life.

Then, she ‘woke up’, gave me a testimonial that I should have recorded, and noticed the present.

 

 

A few days ago she said she’d love to have a pair of new, red leather gloves with a circular hole at the wrist with a band around. I decided I couldn’t live without gloves in this freezing cold, so I went looking for new ones and found the perfect pair – just as she’d described except with a heart-shaped hole. Perfect for me too. I bought 2 & wrapped one up for her. I’m not a fan of birthdays. And I only like Christmas because it brings the family together. Don’t get me wrong – LOVE piles of presents with chocolate and a big roast by a log fire and a Christmas tree and so on… But I really dislike the whole idea of buying presents for someone because it’s a certain day. In that sense I’ve abandoned Christmas and birthdays. Instead, friends and family can expect to get no presents on ‘special’ days, but to get gifts and displays of affection on apparently random dates, any time of year. Isn’t that much better? I don’t want to show affection because it’s the day that I’m expected to. I want to show affection because I have affection that I want to share.

 

Anyway, I wanted to share what the experience of being a hypnotist was like. I don’t think that I’ve ever read about the hypnotist’s experience. Maybe I’m offering something unique. Cool.

It is very strange. For however many minutes, someone is paying full attention to everything that you’re saying and the way you say it. They are putting their full trust in you. When I was coming up with the initial idea I was trying to come up with a sneaky comedy routine in which I could use the ‘eyes-closed’ format to steal some food from my friend’s plate. This was very quickly abandoned, as I identified food-theivery as the most heinous of betrayals one can do to a friend. When I saw the gloves, the trick became a treat. With that in mind, I cannot emphasise enough how bizarre it was to see evidence of someone putting all their trust in me. As someone with a bit of a prankster/magician’s mindset, it is just incredible to be able to see how strong the trust is, and then reward it. As a magician, you do reward with entertainment, but underlying it all is that fact that you’re lying to do so. With hypnosis… it’s pure.

 

I still want to pursue magic as my main hobby, but I sure as heck am gonna keep up with this hypnosis malarky.

 

I need to go eat now.

ox

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{October 5, 2011}   Blood, Money and Magic

Today I earned a fiver. There’s a common cold research clinic at the University which needs volunteers who have just got a cold so that they can test some non-harmful but probably not beneficial medicine on them to see whether or not it is indeed beneficial. All you have to do is get ill and go to them. If your timetable fits when they need to see you, you go to them later for a 5 hour session in which you can’t eat or leave. You then take their meds for however long it is, come back for one more 1 hour session, and then they pay you EIGHTY WHOLE NON-COUNTERFEIT POUNDS. If your timetable doesn’t fit with theirs, then you get a fiver for your time. I may not have earned £80, but considering I was only there for around 10 minutes and all I did was fill out a couple of forms and breathe heavily through my nose for 15 seconds, £5 is pretty kick-ass.

Went off to the shops and promptly spent it and a bit more on a pair of shiny new headphones from David & Goliath, who do plenty of funny and cute and yet cool clothes & accessories. They’re brilliant – so much louder than my weedy, tin-noise earphones, totally immersive when I want to block out annoying noises or just want to really involve myself in a movie, and they look pretty funky too.

The shopping didn’t stop there though. There was a really rubbish box of magic tricks I just had to buy. It’s been really annoying me, seeing it and not having one. Did I mention that Cardiff has a ‘Hawkins’ Bazaar’? Brilliant shop, great for the kid inside. They sell all sorts; toys, joke items, beginners’ juggling equipment, magic tricks, pranks, outdoor games, funny books, and so on forever. In the magic section they only have beginners’/kids’ things – really tacky tricks, plastic magic hats, sponges in rabbit shapes… I only have professional things. Half of magic is tacky rubbish. It’s time I knew the tacky side. It’s great and awful all at the same time! I mean I know it’s meant for kids and all, but I wouldn’t put it past any magician to have once used any of these seriously at some point in their life… ahah… and it’s weird because it has the whole ‘as a magician, you must be mysterious and superior to your audience at all times’ thing going on in the instructions. Here’s a quotation; “Pick up the cards which didn’t get into the hat and make a big noise about how poorly [your volunteer from the audience] did!” Oh dear. Yes that’s the way to impress people and make friends as a kid – humiliate and make fun of them when they volunteer to help your performance, and prove your superiority through your knowledge of how best to drop cards so that they fall straight down instead of fluttering off course.

My favourite is the thumb tip.

I may sound like I’m being mean about this, but I love it. While I don’t know if I’d do any of the tricks here seriously and regularly, I certainly don’t regret buying it. They’re all very gimmick-based, and all the props are very obviously specially made, and therefore obviously gimmicks, which makes the audience’s job a little easier… which now that I think about it sounds like a challenge… to pull off a tacky little trick with tacky props, but still trick a grown-up audience and be entertaining… Maybe later.

While I was there, I thought I’d buy a little tube of fake blood. A couple of reasons:

1. If I leave it in view in my room, I’ll always have it partially in mind, so I might get some inspiration for Halloween. Don’t know exactly what I mean by that, if I’m planning to do a Halloween magic trick or prank or gruesome gift, costume… Just general inspiration so far as I know.

2. To help my blood phobia. I figure that if I occasionally have a look at it or put some on my skin, it might help me get more comfortable with it. Just writing this is making the flap of skin between my thumb and forefinger feel tingly, weak and full of veins. Also, having put some on my left arm earlier, that area’s feeling a little like it’s actually bleeding gently – no pain, just… seepage. Well, I’ve certainly done well to write this! But then I’ve always been good with not visualising what I think and say.

I’m feeling very ill now. Not from the blood talk, it’s the cold. Very sore throat which apparently can’t be soothed by healthy fruits, water, tea or honey & lemon flavour gum. I really hope I don’t get properly ill. My energy’s low enough to start with… ahhrgh. Well I won’t let it get in the way of my plans. If cancer can’t get in the way of someone living life to the full, then why the hell should a cold, eh? Yeah!

I need to go drink tea now. Na-night. o



{September 3, 2011}   The Joy Of Pickle

The productivity today is the kind that puts other days to shame. Woke energised, happy to leave my comfy warm bed, went downstairs & sorted out everything! I’ve sorted things with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs and filed about a wardrobe’s worth of papers, books & folders from school, haaa..

I’ve got the same hunger pangs as yesterday, but I guess this time it’s brain food. I had hoped to make it a day for magic trick learning, but after all that I’m plastered to my guitar & paying intense attention to the TV. HUgely looking forward to Doctor Who in an hour in which there are monsters under the bed for real. I Love Doctor Who, that’s one of the fundamental things you need to know about me – I will work for that show some day somehow. I will.

Mmm, Cornichons… that’s the 3rd thing I’m doing now, eating mini-pickles straight from the jar, very vinegary, could hardly be happier right now – wait, Bowie music on the tele! Ah, happiness! Shit, out of gherkins, must hunt/gather.

Well, perhaps if I get more sorting out of the way today while I’m still in the mood then I can have all of tomorrow to focus on either hobbying or blogging about preparing for Uni… I may do both.



{September 2, 2011}   Booster!

Well today was my dad’s birthday so we had cake after breakfast & a soundtrack of the Kinks to the morning – great, simple, pleasant day. My neck was fixed in the night & I dreamt of adventuring & saving everyone in the dream hotel who gets sucked into this scary parallel world at the end of each day. Why? Well while sorting through my room I found this old rabbit doll that I don’t ever remember having. He looks pretty grumpy in a sinister way, so I named him Frank (from Donnie Darko, love trippy weird films like that).

Ma & Dad had a spa day after lunch & bro left for Amsterdam (and to think we’re at the poor end of the rich kid spectrum – the hell do they do on a normal Friday?), so I had the house to myself for about 5 hours. I spent the time getting back into doing exercises again. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m living in Uni… all the constant inputs from everywhere & everyone will mean I’ll never get that bored to care about the future of my body. I’ve taken some photos to make a before & after and made a note to try to do exercises every day for the next 3 weeks so I’m in shape for trying out bunches of athletic societies at Cardiff.

Still, it is incredible what proper exercise does for your energy. I knew it was good, but I’d forgotten just how good it was – I’ve been racing around the house all day & getting little jobs done, quick shower, juggling session, more tidying, lots of singing, and my appetite’s exploded and I’m telling you; if you’re not a permanently lanky kid, you have no idea just how satisfying it is to find yourself eating much more than you normally do. Not to mention I Love food.

Oh, & I drove Ma mad this morn by finding her chosen card once and then making sure it appeared at every possible moment in the most improbable places. Very hard to describe but it’s very fun & surprisingly impressive. Oddly though I got tired of it before she did. Apparently she “misses” having the 9 of Hearts appear under her plate or on the door or where ever, constantly. I thought It’d piss her off. I’m not sure I want to keep doing these sorts of things now – I don’t want her to miss me too much. It was hard enough when bro left for Uni, but this time there isn’t another child at home. I want her to be proud, not heart-aching.

Next week me & Ma are hoping to go day-tripping in London, maybe find Davenport’s magic shop, maybe get into a TV audience if we can. I adore behind-the-scenes stuff, plus I could learn a thing or two. I’ll be involved in TV making one day – it’s my one true ambition – I just don’t know in what way…



et cetera