Are you a hypnosis cover band? Or are you an artist? Here’s what I’d like you to do. I’d like you to think of some of the very top musical artists today. Taylor Swift. Miley Cyrus. Eminem. Drake.
If you were going to go see their music performed live, would you want to go see them or a cover band? Or maybe you would be okay with just going out to the local karaoke bar and seeing people do “Stairway to Heaven” badly.
One of the things about all these artists is they’re constantly creating new material and they’re performing their own material. Let’s take a look at The Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones have been performing onstage longer than I’ve even been alive. As a matter of fact, and this really hurts my soul, they’re going on tour this coming year, and they’re going to be sponsored by the AARP. And guess what? They’re going to be performing not just some of their greatest hits; they’re going to be doing new material that they created.
If we look at the magicians who you know, people like Cris Angel, people like David Blaine, those people who are known, they’re creating their own material. When somebody like Chris Angel goes out there and does something based on something that, say, Harry Houdini did, he’s doing it as an homage. He’s giving credit and he’s adding something extra to it.
As hypnotists, what we usually see when we go to a hypnosis show is somebody’s doing material we’ve all seen before. How often have you been to somebody else’s show and you’ve walked away thinking, “I’ve seen every single one of those routines before”?
Artists are doing their material. Artists are creating new material, nonstop. Artists are going out there and giving credit where credit is due.
The result of us doing the same material that others have done and not giving the original creators credit, it’s got some real downsides. Some performing hypnotists end up with burnout. Other times, people who are the staff at different venues get so familiar with a performing hypnotist’s act they know what’s going to be done before it’s even done. They have seen the same exact show so many times they know it by heart already. Just like the hypnotist.
Take a look at comedians. Comedians would never go out there and perform somebody else’s work. A comedian would go out there and after a year, they’re going to go ahead and they’re going to do an entirely new set. Sure there are some exceptions. Like if you go see Bert Kreischer, you’re going to get “The Machine” most of the time on every tour. Why? Because it’s a “greatest hit.” A hit that was so great, so original, so unique, they even made a movie about it.
What is stopping us as hypnotists from being artists instead of hypnosis cover bands? The only thing that’s stopping us is ourselves. The only thing that’s stopping us is being comfortable.
If we want to achieve great things as entertainers, it’s time to start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s time to start being fearless about creating new material, being okay with doing a routine here and there that might completely and totally tank and fail. You grow from it. You learn from it. And the end result is you start to be like Taylor Swift and make some beautiful music.
Who knows? You might even get to hook up with a Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Champion tight end.