After 28 years performing in South Africa, this will be the last time Joburg audiences will be able to enjoy Andre, the hilarious hypnotist in action as he presents his Andre The Hilarious Hypnotist Farewell Tour.
Andre will be taking his powers of suggestion, to practice his hypnosis on other willing participants abroad.
It all started after watching a performance of the late Max Collie in action.
Take me through that moment; what was it about this art form that spoke to you?
“I was already doing magic shows at kids parties and I had years of Drama training behind me when I first saw Max Collie perform. I was immediately fascinated with Hypnosis. It was a logical progression as I was already a entertainer and I was definitely going to stay in the industry. It was just the medium that I was not sure about and that is where Max Collie changed my perception.”
How did your family react when you told them that you were going to be a hypnotist?
“I did not tell my family. I was in the defence force Entertainment unit and I was hypnotising the troops as part of the entertainment program. When I left the army I continued performing. My parents had to accept that, that was going to be there son’s career.”
What preparations did you have to go through to learn to hypnotise people and do you have any rituals or do you do anything before a show to prepare yourself ?
“A person hypnotises himself, I have nothing to do with the results. I know what to say, where to say and when to give certain suggestions. If you follow along and you really want to be hypnotised you actually hypnotise yourself. I have trained in the art of hypnosis but I am only the facilitator. Those on stage Hypnotise themselves.”
Do you remember your very first show or first ‘subject’?
“I was in the defence force and we were doing guard duty. The one soldier dared me to hypnotise him and lucky for me he was a very good subject. He did not just go under but provided us with hours of entertainment while doing guard duty.”
You’ve seen so many people go under hypnosis, and I am sure met interesting characters – is there any specific moment or show that stands out for you at all?
“I think the biggest moments in my career was when I filled the Opera House in Durban (1800 seats) for two weeks and then went on to sell 3000 tickets at Carnival City with the show.”
Not everyone can be hypntoised – why is this?
“You hypnotise yourself and I have very little to do with the results, which is why some people can not be hypnotised. If you are not willing to be hypnotised nothing that I say or do will put you in a hypnotic state. If you are however willing you actually induce the hypnosis yourself.”
Hypnotising is quite a specific and delicate craft – what advice would you give someone who wants to delve in this as a career?
“The person should do a course through an accredited body; there are a lot of charlatans out there. Then you need to decide what you wish to specialise in. If you want to follow a medical career using hypnosis as therapy you might be better off following some form of medical training as hypnosis is used in conjunction with the therapy. If on the other hand, you wish to do stage hypnosis, training in Drama and Theatre will come in very handy.”
What made you decide to leave South Africa?
“I am spreading my wings, South Africa has a very limited Theatre market and I perform at all these venue’s during the year, sadly it no longer pays to perform on small scale. I am branching out, a lot of theatres and a lot of countries – this is only the beginning of many more years.”
Watch Andre in his last season here in South Africa – click on link for more details: