With each word I spoke, the volunteer sunk deeper into my thrall, her trance deepening, and her compliance to my will increasing. All the while, the audience watched in rapt attention, unaware that they too had been subject to some gentle suggestions, and were behaving exactly as I wished.
This was the point where the cheap acts would go for the cheap thrill, either making the their volunteer behave in irredeemably silly ways, or believe they were performing acts not normally seen in polite company, let alone in public.
But my act was not cheap.
Nor, really, was it an act in the strictest sense of the word. Not that the marks were fully aware of that latter detail, any more than my agent was, or the venues where I performed. As far as the public knows I am merely a classier version of the cheap hypnosis acts you’d find anywhere. But an occasional volunteer sees through the act to the deeper truth. And then I need to walk a careful line.
This volunteer was not going to be that sort of trouble, and this audience was almost entirely just as suggestible.
So in place of the cheap thrills and humiliations, I led my volunteer on an inner journey where they recreated their youth in an idealized form, and remembered to let their inner beauty shine forth. She walked the stage as proud as any beauty queen or runway model, and the audience ate it up. She remembered winning baking contests at the state fairs of her youth. Her memories of the pies and cakes were so vivid that the audience could almost taste them.
She demonstrated her iron will by refusing to be lifted, despite the efforts of several of the strongest in the audience. Neither could she be pushed over, easily resisting the combined push of ten men.
Believing herself rigid as a board, she easily rested across the backs of two folding chairs, and then to the amazement of the audience did not budge when one of the chairs was removed.
When the trance lifted, she was amazed to find a standing ovation for her feats, made all the more remarkable by her advanced age and obvious frailty. She had indeed proven that she was spry for a septuagenarian.