Traveling the hypnotic trail set by Tina Marie

James Macias, Features Editor

Tina Marie, 54, is a stage hypnotist and self-styled “Master Hypnotist” from Las Vegas; she played the fair this year with fantastic style. I saw her show three times because I have what can only be called “Weapons Grade ADHD,” and sometimes it takes a lot of traction to get anything through my skull. The show never got boring.

Marie has a stage presence that could fill the Grand Canyon and enough charisma to charm a rock into rolling. She is absolutely the kind of person who seems more comfortable on stage than anywhere else.

The first time I attended the show, I volunteered to be hypnotized along with about a dozen other willing victims and I am not disappointed with that decision at all.

The show starts when she has a fairly large group (20 seems to be her average) on stage. She bounces around making little suggestions to everyone on the stage and making clever puns to the audience. As she makes her way around the horseshoe shaped row of chairs, she evaluates each occupant and touches them on the forehead with a very sharp word: “sleep”— people dropped out right on cue. As if they had been unplugged from the Matrix without exiting first. One girl literally fell out of her chair and ended up sprawled out in the middle of the stage. If she doesn’t think they are relaxed enough she sends them back to their seats with a very gracious demeanor, thanking them several times.

At least one person in the audience fell asleep during this part of the demonstration and the crew brought him up to join us at the beginning of the next stage of Marie’s presentation.

I didn’t feel anything special when she came to me and ordered me to sleep but I wanted to stay in the show and participate so I chose to play along. I understand that this is not an uncommon way for one to experience a successful hypnotism; maintaining an illusion of control is apparently a very common internal coping mechanism.

Marie and her crew run a very fast paced and dynamic show with lots of bells and whistles yet they still do not miss a thing, they get their advertising plugs in right on cue at several points during the show. Tina Marie is passionate about using her gifts to help people, and to this end, she sells CDs for $20 meant to help you lose weight or quit smoking.

After I dropped my head I heard Marie and her assistant Steve Poncar comparing notes about us with the kind of mischievous whisper that I have not heard anyone use since I was in junior high. I remember telling myself to relax and just go with it and thinking that I was thinking too much.

“With every word I say, every breath you take, you are becoming more relaxed. Deeper and deeper relaxed,” she said.

Marie says the most common misconception about hypnotism is that it works better on dumber people than anyone else.

“The truth is actually the opposite; the more intelligent you are the easier it is for you to be hypnotized,” she said.

She was telling us to breath deeply and tune out everything but the sound of her voice. I found that was not difficult for me to do, which should have seemed strange to me, but it didn’t. She told us about a clear blue sky with a single cloud, which came closer until it enveloped us and than I was drifting pleasantly until I wasn’t and then realized the show was over.

In retrospect, I do remember everything that happened on that stage, but it is worth mentioning that I was rather foggy about it right afterword. Of course, I am adamant that I was never under any outside influence, but simply chose to do the comedic and outlandish things she suggested because I am an outgoing, exhibitionist kind of guy in the first place. The audience certainly loved my exploits, or at least that is what I remember. Though, this is just about what Marie would say I’m supposed to think. She would wink and tell you to have the best day of your life after she said it too. It was the end of her show that really stayed with me though; Tina Marie ends every show with one final suggestion to the participants. She tells them they are going to be much more confident from now on then they ever have been before. Marie goes on to tell them how precious life will be to them from now (very, very) and therefore none of them will ever text and drive again. The crowd goes nuts as she bows out tossing around quick acknowledgements to all of the volunteers and to her assistants.