Posted by: kristabella | January 7, 2008

Biggie, Biggie, Biggie Can’t You See

I was sitting at lunch this afternoon with a friend. (In the conference room. We both bring our lunch. Because we’re poor. And are trying to eat better. And I’m down 6.5 pounds! Yay!) And she was mentioning how she had a hard time sleeping last night because once she wakes up, her mind starts racing and she’s can’t relax. So I say “well, ever since I was hypnotized, I…”

“WHAT?!?!” she asks.

Oh. Right. Yeah. I was hypnotized once. By Flip Orley. He’s a comic hypnotist. I paid money to see him and I ended up being on stage as part of the show.

Back in college, some friends and I went to see Flip at the Tempe Improv. We just heard he would be funny and it would be something fun to do besides the same old shit of movies and drinking and classes. Having never seen a comic hypnotist, or any kind of hypnotist for that matter, I was pretty excited. Mostly because I thought it was a load of hooey. And that it was all for show. I wore a shirt that said SKEPTIC with a big arrow pointing up at my head.

Before the show starts, he asks for volunteers. Anyone who wants to try to be hypnotized is welcome on the stage. See, because not everyone can be hypnotized. It’s all about being completely vulnerable and a big, fucking sucker or some nonsense. And he assures the audience that he won’t make you do anything that would make you uncomfortable or that is humiliating. He wasn’t going to make you dance naked and screw the guy next to you. That’s at the X-Rated Hypnotist. And Flip, he is legit. Too legit to quit.

So my friend Ang makes me go up there. I literally have NO desire to be hypnotized, let alone be hypnotized in front of a bunch of strangers. Not that I could be hypnotized, since hello, skeptic, right here. (points to self) But Ang can be quite persuasive.

We head up on stage with about 50 other people from the audience. He tells us that less than half will actually fall prey. I know, right then, that I will NOT be one of those. Am strong-willed. And not an idiot. Clearly.

We all assemble on stage and he starts the whole process of getting us all relaxed and all that. I’d go into more detail, but I don’t want any of you passing out while reading. Well, it’s probably too late for that now anyway.

So he puts us all to sleep. And as we’re all completely relaxed and out of it, he tells us that when he counts to three, we are going to wake up and we’re going to shoot our hands in the air because there is a door prize and we all want to win it SO. BAD. To win the prize, all we have to do is tell him our names when he calls on us. And when he asks? We will NOT remember our names. Minds. Blank.

1. 2. 3.

We’re all awake and my hand? It shoots into the air. There is a prize. I must WIN it.

“That’s weird,” I think. “I didn’t really want to do that.”

As I’m sitting there waiting for him to call on me, I’m thinking in my head “Kristin. My name is Kristin. You can’t hypnotize me, bitch.”

He goes down the line and some people know their names, including my friend Ang, who bullied her brain not to succumb to all that hypnotizing nonsense, and some don’t. And I laugh inside my head. Idiots. How the fuck do you not know your name?

Finally he gets to me. And I’m still waving my arm in the air like a complete dumbass. He points to me. And nothing. Words have escaped me. I open my mouth and nothing comes out. I can’t even speak. I sit there with my mouth open, willing the words to come out. Why can’t I say KRISTIN? Fail.


Mouth: pahhhh

Brain: It’s KRISTIN! Say something at least, you fool!


So, hey, guess what? I was hypnotized. Me! Hypnotized! Like a commoner! A weak-brained simpleton! Hrumppphh.

I stayed on stage the entire show. I didn’t do anything really crazy. And I knew exactly what I was doing. I just didn’t know why I was doing it. Like one time, when he said green light, we had to act like we smelled the worst smell ever. And every time he said “green light” I sat there repulsed. All the while, inside that head of mine, I was like “I know I shouldn’t be doing this. But I can’t. Help. Myself.”

One of the other skits, I had to do baseball signs every time someone said a certain word. I was up there going nuts, tugging on my ear, wiping my nose, tapping my forearm, giving the sign of the cross. The runner on second got confused when I told him to sacrifice bunt while stealing second, taking the next pitch and to not forget to take communion.

Throughout the show, certain people would get tapped and sent back to their seats. Apparently you can’t fake out Flip Orley. A lot of people try to pretend to be hypnotized, but apparently there is a specific glassy-eyed look that goes with being under a spell. And the intense state of relaxation. When he snapped his fingers, my body would just turn to a big, jello-y mess in a chair.

To this day, if I am having trouble sleeping, I just focus on relaxing my body from head to toe. (Hence how this conversation came up at lunch today.) It is really helpful for those nights when you have eleventy hundred thoughts going through your head. So essentially I paid for a ticket to watch a show and instead was part of the show and learned how to relax in the future.

Well that and the fact that I cluck like a chicken every time someone says salvation. You can imagine what fun I am in church.



  1. When I was in college we went to a hypnotist’s show, too! No idea if it was Flip Orley or not, but my good friend Kurt still gets called, “Shasta”, which is the name given to him by a fellow hypnotizee on stage when she was his owner and he was her POODLE. Named Shasta.

    I’m going to be singing Hypnotize for the next eleventy-hundred nights, now… but that’s ok, I love that song!

    SALVATION! (hee hee, I just want to hear you cluck)

    House of Jules

  2. HA! This is awesome! Where were you last night??? Thanks for another great post!

  3. or tonight for that matter? I just realized its 2am!

  4. Jules beat me to the salvation bit! It’s always the ones who think they can’t that are which is why I was always too chicken to to be a part of it. I’m the big wuss in the audience shaking my head and throwing the “back off hypnodude” look.

    I love the fact that a lunch conversation spawned this post!

  5. I didnt know offices allowed employees to bring and consume copious quantities of alcohol at work!

    Was this after the third bloody mary, or what?

    LOL, yeah, its always the strong willed ones that fall the farthest. Simple minded igits like myself would be clucking WITHOUT being hypnotized!

  6. Oh my god, this post made me laugh so hard! I wish you had a video of that. We had one of those comic hypnotists come to my college for freshman orientation but I didn’t get picked to go on stage…I was so disappointed!
    But anyway, you are hysterical. I’m still laughing at the image of you doing baseball signs 🙂

  7. OMG! I would have loved to have seen that. Your a better sport than I am, Taj has the right idea I hide in the corner. Oh, and I learned to meditate in english class my senior year. Now we know why my punctuation is so horrible.

  8. Oh how I wish there was a video record of your hypnosis on YouTube!

  9. That is too funny! I’ve been to a couple hypnotists shows, but I’ve always been too afraid to go up on stage. I feel like I’ll flash the crowd or something.

    I did go to one once though and the guy that was hypnotized thought that his penis had shrunk and the only way he would grow would be for someone from the crowd to pour water down his pants. Enter…me. They got a glass from the bar, he asked his girlfriend’s permission, and I started pouring. I emptied the whole glass because he wanted to be large and in charge…it was great. And he got to walk around the rest of the night like he peed his pants.

    Fabulous post…brought back a lot of memories!

  10. That’s awesome! Absolutely fantastic! And I agree with Laurel that a YouTube of it would have been excellent.

  11. By the way…if you go to Flip’s web site, and you go to “performance clips,” he has a clip on the door prize and what’s your name.

    From your show?

  12. Classic Kristabella!

    Speaking of the Tempe Improv, Frank Caliende (or whatever his name is) from Frank TV was there last week and we talked about going but the timing didn’t work out. I love his Charles Barkley impression…

  13. Omg I’m taking you to church with me!

  14. This had me in stitches at my desk. Great story!

  15. I was always scared to volunteer, but someone told me about how doing something while hypnotized that you wouldn’t do normally. That makes me sorta consider it.

  16. I about lost it. Bonus on the fact that at least that’s a lifelong skill you learned. (The relaxing -not the cluckin’ like a chicken *LOL*)

  17. I’m still laughing. I just pictured you sending the running to third base with your signals. That sounds like so much fun and it’s nice that he didn’t make you do anything really embarrassing.

  18. Wow, I had no idea that being hypnotized would make it easy for you to fall asleep years later. That’s… kind of awesome.

  19. Interesting post 🙂

    Thanks for your comment – nice to meet you!

  20. LOVE IT! I worked at a comedy club for about 5 years, and the comic hypnotist was one of my favorite acts! Hmmmm. Anyone have a clip of you? 🙂

  21. Too darn funny. I am at work trying not to laugh out loud all by myself in my office. That was the hardest I have EVER laughed in my life. I would LOVE to see him again. Love the post! Thanks for telling me about it! 🙂

  22. I was giggling like crazy reading this – I’m much too shy to ever get up and get involved in a show. But I’ve always WANTED to see if I could get hypnotised or not… I’m a bit skeptical too!

  23. Seriously that stuff is for real? I can’t even believe it.

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