Anthony Jacquin Lecture
Magical Mayhem, Hitchin, Hertfordshire
21st January 2010
Reviewed by Steve Milroy
Anthony Jacquin is a stage hypnotist, hypnotherapist, magician and mentalist. Since the publication of his book Reality is Plastic in 2007 Anthony Jacquin has become much in demand as a lecturer. Reality is Plastic (or RIP as it is affectionately known) is a book on the art of impromptu hypnosis published for the performer who wants to learn and use hypnosis but does not want to learn it by the conventional routes, being hypnotherapy and stage hypnotism. After discovering that a large proportion of copies were purchased by magicians and in having been inundated with so many questions by said magicians he developed a course and four DVD set both called The Manchurian Approach to answer their questions on essentially impromptu hypnosis for magicians.
I had been looking forward to the Anthony Jacquin lecture for some months and was not disappointed. A large group assembled in the spacious function room upstairs from where the Magical Mayhem usually meet. The attendees were an enthusiastic mixture comprising of not only magicians but also hypnotists, hypnotherapists, NLP students and practitioners.
Anthony encouraged members of the audience to participate, though not compulsory. About half the room stood up and engaged in a basic exercise or “set piece” as Anthony calls it - The Magnetic Fingers. It worked for some but sadly, I was one of those who would not be hypnotized that night. From those who had succeeded in the exercise three volunteers were picked to sit out front and take part in the first effect.
This was the only magic effect as such, entitled Mask of Sanity. A fascinating mixture of mentalism and hypnosis based on the idea of the participants taking on the role of serial killers - don’t worry it was all for fun and strictly tasteful.
The volunteers were shown a series of specially printed cards depicting the names of serial killers and pictures of murder weapons. After choosing their new identity and weapon, their choices were sealed in envelopes. This was done whilst Anthony had his back turned.
Anthony then revealed not only the identity of each serial killer but also their weapon of choice. The third helper was then asked to relay some information that only the serial killer himself would know. The information was revealed to correctly match a prediction in the form of a newspaper article. A stunning effect and I am told it will be released at some point in the future
Because magicians were not the sole audience there was little in the way of magic content as to avoid exposure. Therefore, the focus of the rest of the evening was on hypnosis demonstration and explanation.
Anthony proceeded with simple yet effective demonstrations such as “light and heavy arm“, name amnesia and uncontrollable laughter. At one point a volunteer was given an absurd silly name and believed it was his actual name much to the amusement of the audience. Also included was a very effective card force were hypnotic suggestion was the modus operandi rather the more conventional means. Anthony was also to hypnotise members of the audience at random to help illuminate points in his lecture.
Where Hypnosis may appear to be a “special power” or entertaining curiosity to many people that only a few can do Anthony has done much to dispel this myth. He has broken it down in to doable and achievable components making it an obtainable skill well within the grasp of those who wish to get to grips with it. Be you the magician or mentalist who wants to add it to you repertoire; the therapist who wants to give a simple yet effective demonstration of hypnosis to prospective clients; or merely someone who wants to amuse their friends down the pub, Anthony has helped to make the art of hypnosis something tangible through his work and products.
The evening ended with a questions and answers session. Anthony answered each question in detail. There was, of course. the inevitable question on how to get started. The answer, quite simply, was go out and do it. Stick at it, you will get failures but persevere, and you will get there in the end. From the general buzz of excitement in the air after the lecture, this is just what a large number of attendees were planning to do.
A thoroughly entertaining and enlightening lecture. If you have an interest in hypnosis, try and catch Anthony lecture at a magic club near you or, if you are in a position to do so, book him for your magic club. You will not be disappointed.
And as for the Magical Mayhem - a friendly magic club based in Hitchin, well worth a visit when you are next in the area.
© Steve Milroy, February 2010