FYIG recently had the chance to talk with the “Bad Boy of Hypnosis”, Dave Curran. Find out more about Dave’s journey to becoming a hypnotist and his new touring show Hypnosis Gone Wild!
Tell us a little bit about yourself for people who may not have heard of you before.
I am a professional comedy stage hypnotist. I hypnotize people for a living! I do it in a way though, that you may not have seen before. My show has an adult edge. No clucking like chickens or barking like dogs in my show. I’ve been dubbed the “Bad Boy of Hypnosis” for a reason.
You started off as an improviser on the stages of Second City and the Bad Dog Theatre Company. What did you learn from your experiences on those stages?
I have learned so much from my improv days. I always say without improv classes; I wouldn’t be where I am now. Improv classes gave me stage confidence. It gave me enough self-assurance that I felt I could walk out onto the stage and deal with anything that is thrown my way. I firmly believe that improv is good for anyone in any kind of work. For someone who wants to improve their communication skills, public speaking, or who just wants to break out of their shell.
What prompted you to pursue hypnotism?
I always wanted to be David Copperfield. He was my childhood idol. I think I set the bar a little bit too high. Regardless, that set off this chain of events that got me into magic, then improv, radio broadcasting, and then eventually hypnosis. They all contributed in some weird way. Basically one day I gave it a shot, and it worked! After that, it was all practicing, and researching, and reading, and watching other shows.
You have a new show touring Ontario and BC called Hypnosis Gone Wild. What can audiences expect from this show?
It always best to answer this question with what not to expect. Everyone always pictures the hypnotist with the long suit tail and the pocket watch hypnotizing his subject to do the same thing that every other hypnotist does – the same thing that your grandparents saw when they watched a hypnotist show. When I used to be just in the audience, I always thought to myself, “If I really had these powers, what would I suggest people do?”. That answer was not always congruent with what those hypnotists were doing. My show is for adults. It contains adult material. Nothing crude, or vulgar, but its edgy, and provocative. It’s definitely not for those who are easily offended.
How does Hypnosis Gone Wild differ from your existing show The Dave Curran Experience?
The two shows are completely different. “The Dave Curran Experience” can be enjoyed by the entire family. That show is a trip into your head that unlocks your imagination and enables you to do things, you never thought you would do.
What sets you apart from traditional hypnotists?
The material is what sets me apart from traditional hypnotists. There are only about 2-3 ways of getting people into the appropriate trance. It’s what we do from there that makes every hypnotist unique. Just like a stand-up comic that has their routines, and bits, so does a hypnotist.
What would you say to skeptics who might not believe in hypnotism?
“For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice.” – Joseph Dunninger.
To be honest, that quote explains it best. If you have a belief or disbelief there is nothing I can do to change your mind. However, I do say that if you don’t believe, come volunteer to be on stage. That’s truly the only way to convince you otherwise. The show is always better if you have a friend or family member on stage.
What advice would you have for people that want to become a hypnotist?
Don’t give up. It’s very hard at the start. A lot of people try to become a hypnotist after reading books and taking these crash courses. It doesn’t fully prepare you. You have to fail first before you succeed. A lot of people get deterred from those failures and they give up.
Do you have any funny stories to tell us from any of your shows?
I do this routine where the volunteers have a “relationship” with a blow-up doll. This one guy was really into it. He was going at it so hard his leg fell off. Not kidding at all! He had a prosthetic leg, and well he “used” it on the doll. The vision of this event will haunt my dreams forever.
What’s next for you after Hypnosis Gone Wild?
I got a couple of crazy goals; 1. Is to be on a late night talk show like Fallon, or Kimmel. 2. To have my own TV shows. I have a couple of amazing concepts, so if you are a TV producer, reach out to me (see below J)
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