World famous hypnotist and voice actor Joshua Seth held a hypnosis-centered comedy event in the Ceddia Union Building on Jan. 28 at 9 p.m. The event explored some of the fun and interesting aspects of hypnosis.
When one thinks of a hypnotist, they may imagine a man with a stringy mustache waving a pocket watch around to force someone under their command, like something seen in comics or TV. However, this depiction bears little resemblance to what hypnotism is.
Hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy, is the technique of relaxing one’s mind into a state of extreme suggestion, Seth said. The actual science behind hypnotism is far from being completely understood, yet it has remained a part of entertainment for years. Real hypnosis can be described as more of a trance-like state which someone can be coaxed into through meditation.
“Hypnosis is not like what you see on TV,” Seth said. “Hypnosis, when you get down to it, is just focus and relaxation.” His father, a hypnotherapist himself, started teaching Seth at a young age. In his collegiate years, Seth studied psychology at Hampshire College, and then enrolled in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he learned to voice act.
He went on to voice in many popular cartoons and video games from Akira to Digimon to SpongeBob SquarePants. Since 2006, Seth has focused primarily on live performances involving magic and hypnotism, starring in five of his own television specials and performing at over 2,000 events all over the world.
The performance at Shippensburg University was the first live event he has held in two years. His routine involved participants from the crowd coming to the stage and partaking in hypnosis, getting students to do anything from freestyle rapping as aliens, to convincing boys they were pregnant, to slow motion marathon running. When asked, some of the participants had no recollection at all as to what occurred on stage that night.
“You never know how a seed can be planted on a show and grow from there,” Seth said, referencing how beyond the comedy that is shown on stage, hypnosis is believed to have many practical uses in psychiatric care, such as helping treat addictions.
Seth himself is the author of many books discussing the benefits of hypnotism, such as “Finding Focus In A Changing World: The Magic Of Thinking Differently” and “The Weight Loss Hypnosis Solution.”
“Hypnosis and meditation are a way to achieve self-mastery- and that way we can reach others… the better you get at this, the more potential (for yourself) you create,” Seth said.
Although most people do not have the know-how to properly conduct hypnotherapy sessions, there are things we can do individually to help better ourselves. When asked about what students could do to help alleviate some of their stressors, Joshua had this to say:
“Know thyself-focus on what you can control, not what you can’t… it’s really important that you stay in the present moment.”
To learn more about Joshua Seth and his new upcoming tour, you can visit his website at joshuaseth.com