By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN Comedy stage hypnotist Blane “Blaze” Driscoll of Dassel is used to his profession being widely misunderstood even to the harsh extent of being called the “devil’s work.”
He contributes hypnotism’s bad reputation to Hollywood’s sensationalism.
“Hypnosis has been around since the beginning of time,” Driscoll said, who moved to Dassel with his wife, Karen in 2006.
Driscoll has been a full-time professional hypnotist for six years. He became a certified comedy stage hypnotist through Geoffrey Ronning’s Stage Hypnosis Center. Ronning is a world-renowned comedy stage hypnotist and his school is one of the best, Driscoll said.
Mirriam-Webster defines hypnosis as a trancelike state that resembles sleep, but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject.
Hypnosis is used in therapy and is the equivalent to meditation, relaxation therapy, visualization, and even yoga, Driscoll said. He has a degree is social work and psychology.
The act of breathing and quieting the mind is a form of hypnotic induction, he said.
“Hypnosis is used tremendously in the medical field,” Driscoll said, adding that in the early- to mid-1800s, hypnosis was performed on surgical patients for anaesthesia.
Hypnosis, when used correctly, can help a person quit smoking, lose weight, and manage stress, according to Driscoll.
When a person is in a hypnotic state of mind, they are much more open to suggestions, Driscoll said.
When trying to quit smoking for example, suggestions are made to a person under hypnosis that they are a nonsmoker and that they like clean, fresh air.
Driscoll said using hypnosis to quit smoking is 100 percent successful, though the person can still choose to begin smoking following hypnosis, as they did the first time.
It takes a conscious effort to want to quit, Driscoll explained.
“Whatever caused them to start smoking can resurface again,” Driscoll said.
The fun part of his job are the parties and venues where Driscoll can perform comedy stage hypnotism.
His shows are designed for high school, college, and corporate events.
Before moving to Minnesota, Driscoll owned an entertainment business offering music and stand-up comedy.
As a therapist for 12 years, Driscoll had used hypnosis by other names (relaxation therapy, guided imagery, meditation, etc.) and decided to incorporate that knowledge with his ability to entertain audiences.
“Learning to do hypnosis is not that difficult. It is a skill that needs to be practiced to improve, much like an athlete or musician,” Driscoll said.
When putting someone into a hypnotic state of mind, Driscoll can’t make them do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do.
For example, if the act of dancing is against the person’s religious values, they won’t dance under hypnosis.
Because everyone is different; each show is, therefore, different.
“There is no way for me to know how people on stage will react to suggestions,” Driscoll said.
“It’s open to their interpretation,” he added.
“It’s funny it’s very funny,” Driscoll said.
He would also never make someone do something they would later regret, Driscoll said, adding that it would only be career suicide and that he is just “not that kind of guy.”
“I just think God wants us to laugh and have a good time, and not at the risk of humiliating somebody,” he commented.
Booking a show for an event would require a flat fee. However, Blaze is also available for fundraisers at a reduced cost.
For more information, or to book a show, contact Driscoll at (888) 4HYP-FUN (449-7386) or visit www.blazedriscoll.com.