did you start hypnotizing? How did
you find out you were able to do
When I was only twelve years old,
I watched an old black and white
movie with my younger brother (he
was 11). The movie feature a Svengali-type
old man with a white goatee beard
who hypnotized this young girl,
with a swinging pocket watch, to
go out and steal jewelry.
Well, I am very fond of jewellery
so decided to give it a try. My
father possessed an almost identical
watch. It was the best watch he
always wore for church on Sundays.
My brother and I sneaked into his
drawer and took the watch to see
if we could hypnotize each other.
Really, we were just role playing
as young children do. I didn’t
believe in hypnotism. I thought
hypnosis was just another one of
things like ‘flying carpets’
that is sort of make-belief and
only seen in the movies.
I had a big surprise when I tried
to hypnotize my brother.
I swung the watch in front of his
face and simply repeated the phrases
I had heard on the film, such as;
“look at the watch, your eyelids
are getting heavier and heavier.
They are starting to close”
At first, I thought he was just
pretending when he closed his eyes,
but there was something unusual
about his face. All the muscles
in his face had relaxed and his
jaw was open. I clapped my hands
together in front of his face and
he almost jumped out of his skin.
was a little bit confused
and upset, but I calmed him
down and convinced him to
let me try it again. This
was the point I knew something
had really happened and that
hypnosis could be real. The
next day, I went down to my
local library and borrowed
three books on hypnosis which
I devoured. I practiced what
I was reading on my brother
and became better at getting
him under. Eventually, I started
to hypnotize friends and fellow
pupils at school.
became an obsession for me
and I got to practice it everyday
which helped me to get better
long have you been hypnotizing?
I am 44 years old now, so I have
been hypnotizing people for 32 years,
but professionally, I have been
a hypnotist for 26 years.
did you realize/find out that you
could do hypnotizing for a living?
I was invited to give a lecture
on hypnosis, at school, when I was
15. There was a great deal of excitement
in the room as I spoke and I could
feel an atmosphere of expectancy
which thrilled me. I asked one of
the teachers for permission to demonstrate
hypnosis and this was granted. A
few student went under, but so did
one of the teachers who volunteered
to give it a try.
There wasn’t much I could
do with a hypnotized person at that
stage, except to make their hands
stick or make them like statues
–unable to move. When I did
this, there was tumultuous laughter
and I remember enjoying the feeling
of being the entertainer and being
completely in control of events.
placed the teacher’s finger
up his nose and he couldn’t
move it. The laughter was deafening.
This event was spoken about
everyday until the time I left
school. It made me a sort of
other teacher who witnessed
the event took me to one side
for a chat about it. He advised
me that he believed I could
have a successful career with
the skills he had seen and this
is the moment I decided I wanted
to do this for a living.
One other teacher who witnessed
the event took me to one side for
a chat about it. He advised me that
he believed I could have a successful
career with the skills he had seen
and this is the moment I decided
I wanted to do this for a living.
would you be doing if you weren’t
I’ve been a hypnotist for
so long that I don’t remember
ever wanting to do anything else.
It gives me so much pleasure that
I never become tired of it and often
consider how lucky I am to make
my living this way.
I have pondered on what I could
have been without hypnotism and
I can honestly tell you that I am
not good at anything else. There
is nothing else I can do from which
I could make a career.
you ever been hypnotized?
Yes! After hypnotizing my brother
for a while, I wanted to be hypnotized
for myself. My brother couldn’t
put me under and neither could some
of my friends, who I had asked to
try, so I saved up my pocket money
and went to see a professional hypnotherapist.
I was around 13 or 14 years of age.
The therapist was very confused
when I booked my appointment because
I didn’t need the therapy
part of what he did. I just wanted
the hypnosis. He was used to treating
people for their smoking habit or
for curing phobias, but I just wanted
to experience hypnosis. He got me
to lie down on a bed with earphones
on and then spoke to me through
I distinctly remember thinking that
this was a bad way to practice hypnosis.
The earphones were uncomfortable
and he kept swallowing and splashing
down the microphone.
It did work, though, and I found
the experience very interesting.
Later, when I was about 18 years
of age and a very new stage hypnotist,
I attended a meeting of about 14
very experienced hypnotists. Some
of them were very famous and the
top theatre hypnotists in the world,
so I was in awe of them. After the
meeting, we went to the bar for
a few drinks and had a conversation
about our best methods of hypnotizing.
He seemed quite impressed by my
knowledge and then he described
his favourite technique. He didn’t
just describe it. He held his finger
in front of my face and actually
hypnotized me there and then. When
I woke up, my shirt was completely
unbuttoned, but I didn’t know.
When he snapped his fingers, I remembered
and realized what I had done. This
was a powerful experience for me,
but the last time I ever allowed
anyone to hypnotize me.
It is possible to perform self-hypnosis
and I have become and expert at
this, using it many times.
I even hypnotized myself when filming
‘Peter Powers’ Payback
for a stunt that involved going
up in a small aircraft. I knew the
plane was going to make some crazy
maneuvers with the rear doors open.
I’m not comfortable with heights
and knew that I would be the only
person on board not wearing a life-jacket.
The last thing I wanted was for
the cameras to catch the hypnotist
looking terrified, so I hypnotized
myself to enjoy the experience.
Self-Hypnosis works very well.
is the weirdest thing that
happened in a show?
There have been so many weird
things happen, but I’ll
tell you about an experience
I had in Sydney, Austalia.
It illustrates how differently
people behave when hypnotized
and that is what keeps it
so interesting for me.
In one stage routine, I will
tell a guy that his chair
is hot and he jumps out of
it rubbing the burning part.
I then tell him that his feet
are burning and he starts
to hop up and down as the
Finally I tell him that his
penis is burning and that
it is getting hotter and hotter.
You can imagine what he now
start to do. He is jumping
up and down with both hands
on his crotch. I offer him
(kindly) a glass of water
which then pours down the
front of his trousers.
sure you can imagine how funny this
scene is. Now, I have performed
and seem it happen hundreds and
hundreds of times and the result
is always the same – the guy
pours the water down his pants.
NOT this time!
On this particular show, I gave
him the water, but was then distracted
by another hypnotized subject who
appeared to be sliding off their
chair while still asleep. As I went
stop the sleeping subject from falling,
I heard an uproarious, loud scream
from the audience and looked up.
The guy had flopped his hot penis
into the glass of water.
It was hilarious. All the years
I had been performing this routine,
I had never seen anyone react in
there a difference in hypnotizing
people from different countries?
Are some countries easier to hypnotise
There is a bit of difference in
hypnotizability between different
At first, I found Irish people difficult
to hypnotize, on stage, and discovered
an identical problem in Malta. I
managed to find a way around this
and then it became just as easy
to hypnotize them as anyone else.
The secret was to avoid laughing
or creating laughter right at the
beginning of the show which is something
I usually try to achieve. Instead,
I made everything serious. Only
after they had been fully hypnotized
they were no longer concerned about
being laughed at and the shows went
I found it a little bit harder to
hypnotize Dutch people. This is
because I speak English and that
is not the first language of Dutch
people and it does make a difference.
I am very impressed by the ability
and skill of the Dutch people in
speaking English, so I must explain
I come from a region in the north
of England, named Bolton, in Lancashire.
We have rather an unusual accent
and also tend to speak very quickly.
My first attempt to hypnotize people
in The Netherlands was at the TV
studios in Hilversum, watched on
TV monitors by nervous producers
from RTL. They had paid for me to
fly from Australia (where I was
touring) and were very worried that
I may not be able to hypnotize Dutch
I did manage to hypnotize some of
the volunteers, but it was a bit
harder for me. Some people didn’t
understand everything I was saying,
so I was advised to speak more slowly
and to use plain vocabulary.
With a few adjustments it became
I started to learn the Dutch language
and attempted to hypnotize one or
two people who didn’t speak
English too well using Dutch.
It was difficult because I speak
Dutch with a pronounced accent and
when you are trying to hypnotize
someone, you need them to concentrate
fully on WHAT you are saying, not
the WAY you are saying it. It was
interesting to perform a stage shows
in Amsterdam at Theatre Fabriek.
There were some people on stage
who didn’t understand what
I was asking them to do, so I spoke
to them in my best Dutch, OFF MICROPHONE
(I was far too shy let the audience
hear me) and said: “Knijp
je handen stevig samen. Sluit je
ogen. Als ik tot drie tel, voel
je dat je achterover vallen. Je
valt niet, want ik laat je niet
vallen” etc. etc.
To my delight, the instructions
were carried out.
One interesting thing that observers
noticed was that after being hypnotized,
my Dutch subjects understood what
I was saying much more easily that
when in a normal state of consciousness.
which country/countries you haven’t
been to would you like to do shows?
I would love to perform in Las Vegas
and New York, USA, Germany, Japan
is your biggest/funnniest blooper?
On stage in Scotland, I hypnotized
one of my subjects to believe
that he had just won millions
on the lottery.
He grabbed my microphone and
told his boss, who was sitting
on the 5th row of the audience,
that he was an “arsehole”
and that he could “shove
his f****** job up his arse!!!”
are your plans for the future?
I am writing new shows for TV and
have negotiations taking place with
networks in 4 different countries.
I am touring with my live show quite
It is my intention to continue learning
Within the next few years, I want
to open a retreat in a beautiful,
mountainous region in Queensland,
This will be a place where people
can come for healing, to explore
consciousness, other realms, develop
psychic abilities, learn hypnosis
and stay in a relaxed and peaceful
I’m about to complete my first
book about my life and adventures
on the road, as a hypnotist. Then,
I can start on my next books, for
which I have numerous ideas.
is your favorite food?
OYSTERS!! I just love them. When
I last stayed in Amsterdam, I discovered
a little place on the Leidseplein
called the Oester Bar.
I went in there every day and ate
between 36 and 48 oysters with a
good bottle of white wine. Yummy!!
Powers fan site: www.peterpowersfans.com