<i>Your eyes are getting heavy...</i> A modern take on an age-old act

One could say the evening went pretty well. It involved some bull-riding, lion-taming, disco dancing and some aggressive makeout sessions, to top it all off.

But this was far from the bright lights and towering big tops of any Ringling Brothers production. Rather, it took place in Pioneer Square's Last Supper Club during its weekly showing of HypnoBob's modern take on the hypnotist act.


University District resident Bob Greenspun (HypnoBob to his fans) has been practicing the art of hypnosis since he was a kid.

Inspired by a teacher he had during the '70s who led his 10-year-old mind in guided meditation and self-hypnosis, Greenspun was hooked by his ability "to be so young and to become so conscious."

After pursuing other careers, he said, the idea of a hypnosis act came to him around 2002.

"I was looking for something new," he explained. After receiving positive response for his performances, Greenspun realized he had tapped into an unfilled void in Seattle. "There hasn't been a long-running hypnotist show in Seattle since the '70s."


While he makes it a point to let audiences know he is not a hypno-therapist, rather simply a performer, Greenspun still feels the benefits of his hypnosis methods are vast.

He cites several friends who have used hypnotherapy very effectively to overcome nicotine addictions, anxiety or other personal afflictions. Greenspun, however, prefers to enlist his own talents when it comes to easing his everyday maladies.

"I personally use self-hypnosis almost every night to help me sleep," he said. He has even introduced hypnosis to his 20-month-old daughter.

HypnoBob claims a mere 30 minutes of successful hypnosis is equivalent to six hours of deep sleep, leaving participants energetic and eager to take on the rest of the evening.

HypnoBob is not alone in his faith.

Saturday's most entertaining hypnosis patient, local sex educator Anita Bettone, has also used hypnosis for to cure her anxiety. This show was her first hypnotic experience purely for entertainment.

Still a bit groggy from her induced trance, Bettone could only reply, "I don't know, I don't know. It was weird. But I feel good, but like I just worked out. I'm sweating."


Even more reclusive individuals can participate, using the text-message option from their phones to send suggestions directly to Bob throughout the night, or even attempting the hypnosis from their seats.

One guest in particular, an elderly gentleman, seemed to need a little persuasion of this as he eagerly crossed his legs, folded his hands across his lap and nodded off to HypnoBob's trance-inducing voice.

What follows is a post-hypnotic suggestion/word association that has participants behaving in ways otherwise best left behind closed doors. Luckily, the show's $12 cover charge let's one play voyeur, guilt-free.

"It would be cool to have a long-running, weekly show in the area," Greenspun said. His ultimate goal would be to perform this show in a Theatre of Hypnosis that would cater to Seattle's healthy tourist crowd.

"A lot of what I do is being a performer," Greenspun said, "and I can't think of another type of performance that's less predictable."

HypnoBob performs at The Last Supper Club, 124 S. Washington St., on Saturdays at 8 p.m., through May 26. This is a 21-and-older show. For more information, go on-line to www. hypnobob.net.

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