“The best way I can describe it … is that when you are hypnotized, you are still aware. You just don’t care,” corporate hypnotist and peak performance expert Wayne Lee said.
“It’s like drinking … without the hangover, because here are the benefits: One hour of hypnosis feels like eight hours of sleep, and when you are in that suggestible state, you can program yourself to focus on what you want so you can achieve more of what you want in life.”
Lee, billed as “Canada’s premier hypnotist,” will perform at the Rawlinson Centre on Feb. 14 in a special Valentine’s Day comedy event that starts at 7:30 p.m.
It won’t be his first show in the city. Long before he became the country’s most in-demand hypnotist, Lee honed his craft in the nightclubs of Prince Albert.
“A good 15 years ago, I would go there and I would play a bar called That Bar … and then it changed to, I think, the Madison,” he recalled. “But that bar is where I cut my teeth, meaning that I was doing nightclub shows there. So they were more risqué shows, they were more adult-oriented.
“The show in the theatre that you’re going to see is definitely family-oriented. It’s for anybody that wants to come out.”
Lee offers plenty of contrasting sensations for hypnotized audience members. For example, he might get them to believe they are at the North Pole before suddenly thrusting them onto the most beautiful beach in the world.
However, the Valentine’s scheduling of his Prince Albert show means this particular performance will include a greater focus on romance.
“There are going to be some Cupid-type routines,” Lee said coyly. “I’ll leave it at that … because I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, and it will have to do with people falling in love and those little things.
“They actually fall right into the routines I do already, but I will make sure that I have more of a Valentine’s theme on it, so it’s great for people that are taking their dates out, taking their spouse out.”
By providing couples with a hypnotist show as a date night option, Lee has in a sense come full circle. His career as a hypnotist first began 18 years ago while on a date with his former girlfriend.
“It was by accident,” Lee said of his career shift. “I was a … junior high schoolteacher just outside of Edmonton, and one night my girlfriend and I at the time … went out to see a hypnosis show in a nightclub, and it was absolutely fascinating -- so fascinating, in fact, I’d thought it was unreal, meaning a little bit phony.
“Lo and behold, I (saw) my girlfriend get hypnotized right in the audience beside me. So she’s searching for her bellybutton as if it was gone, and I was mystified and dumbfounded and I said, ‘I want to learn how to do that.’”
Hypnosis was a perfect fit for Lee’s background and interests. No stranger to the stage, he had previously dabbled in magic and used creative visualization as an amateur wrestler. Hypnosis skills combined entertainment with valuable insight into the power of the mind.
The best way I can describe it … is that when you are hypnotized, you are still aware. You just don’t care. - Wayne Lee
Picking it up as a hobby, Lee taught himself the ropes through books, videos and watching plenty of stage hypnosis shows. Following a full year of practice, he made a career shift and became a full-time hypnotist.
After 18 years in the field, Lee shows no signs of slowing down. Along with performances, he has a successful side business teaching his skills to aspiring stage hypnotists at the Wayne Lee Stage Hypnosis Academy.
Having written a pair of books, he has a third title coming out in the new year called Your GPS to Success, which expands on his concept of the Great Programmable Subconscious as a means of achieving one’s goals.
When it comes to shows, it is the constantly changing audience that keeps each performance fresh.
“The cool thing about the show is that people can either see the show or be the show,” Lee said.
He elaborated further: “I’m a director of the show, but the people make the show. So whoever comes, it’s always a different show because you get different people up on stage … They can be highly interactive being the stars of the show, or they can just sit back and watch it happen and watch their friends up there, which is absolutely fascinating.”
Tickets to the Wayne Lee Valentine’s Day comedy event at the Rawlinson Centre cost $37.80 for adults and $22.05 for children.