Not exactly hypnotic

You are getting bored. Very bored.
You are getting bored. Very bored.

Richard Davenport will put you to sleep. Well, technically not to sleep, but his power of suggestion in his act may leave you believing some very strange things.

Davenport was featured in “The Comedy of Hypnosis” last Wednesday evening at the Cocamo. While the show was entertaining, it also suffered from an abundance of problems.

The show started over an hour late. A small turn out of rowdy individuals and technical difficulties with the sound and microphone interfered with the induction of the volunteers. Of the twelve volunteers that eventually came onto the stage, only two female participants were successfully hypnotized.

The lack of suitable participants left Davenport having to improvise most of the show which he claimed to be somewhat dependent on the inclusion of male volunteers.

Having attended several hypnotist shows in the past, it’s safe to say crowd enthusiasm tends to be important to energize the act.

The undersized crowd, whilegenuinely sympathetic to the problems Davenport experienced, contained some individuals who were fairly boisterous. This made it difficult for the audience to really get involved in the show. As the problems combined, it became frustrating to see Davenport get frustrated.

Nevertheless, the show was entertaining and very funny in parts. While one girl was told to experience a “pleasant tingly feeling” when she heard the word ‘Cocamo’ (how appropriate), the other became Madonna when the crowd applauded. The two girls also engaged in a battle to rip off the other’s shoe to find a fictional cell phone, a grade two coloring contest, and howling like a werewolf.

The two volunteers also claimed to have a good time. While she is still not certain about everything that happened while she was “under”, Daniela Andrews, Com’03 said that she enjoyed herself. “I definitely had a good time. I’d probably do it again,” she said.

Davenport, who originates from the Kingston area, is a self-taught hypnotist. He has been performing since 1979 and is featured regularly in the Kingston Area. Davenport has also performed in locations all over North America.

Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the first time that Davenport experienced difficulties while performing at the Cocamo. Last spring, while conducting the finale with a subject, Davenport managed to shatter a chair and fall back against the wall. “It can be a hazardous profession,” he said with a grin.

While the act managed to be entertaining despite the odds stacked against it, both Davenport and the Cocamo should come away from this show with some lessons in being better prepared. The Cocamo could have done a better job in advertising Davenport’s appearance and arranging the sound. Davenport should work on better improvisation should an act in the near future go awry.

Still, the show demonstrated much potential and, given some better luck and a bigger crowd, it would be a worthwhile experience to check out.

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