Hypnotist amuses, amazes fair audience
After hearing the trigger word, Katlyn Crawford scrambled to pull off her white shoe and throw it across the stage while Comedy Hypnotist Mike Bishop asked her "what's wrong?" during the performer's first Thursday night show at the Lee Regional Fair.
"It's hot," she said, looking slightly puzzled by the audience members' laughter. "My shoe is hot."
"Well, that's weird," Bishop responded.
Later, Crawford pulled her shoe off the stage floor, held it to her ear and proclaimed she heard music coming from the sandal.
To onlookers, the on-stage shenanigans may seem odd, but they are the norm for the "Wild Mind Comedy Hypnosis Show."
"I want people to laugh," Bishop said after the performance. "For people who have never attended a hypnosis show before, I want to make their day and make sure they have a good time."
This is the first year the Lee Regional Fair has hosted the hypnotist, and Bishop said it's one of the nicest fairs in which he's participated.
"You guys have got yourself a great fair," Bishop said. "You've got an amazing array of rides, and the grounds are very nice. There are a lot of places where that is not the case."
Hypnotists have begun to grow in popularity, according to Sanford Lions Club Fair Committee Chairman Ronnie Turner, and they wanted to add Bishop to their fair lineup.
Throughout the show, a portion of the volunteers couldn't remember their names or thought the hypnotist's clothes were ripped off, and one man thought he was constantly being pinched whenever the word "Hypnosis" was said. Without the willingness of volunteers, Bishop would be unable to perform his interactive show.
"It's not only fun for the participants, but for the audience members," Bishop said. "People who see this show ... know their husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or whoever would never act that way, and know it is real."
Bishop, who is originally from North Canton, Ohio, used to perform magic shows as a teenager but saw a hypnotist while in high school. After the show, he approached the man and offered to assist during his performances to learn the craft. Now, Bishop performs more than 250 times a year across the country.
Bishop is scheduled to perform at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday on the Amphitheater Stage.