Geoff Brischke takes a break from losing horribly at Sky City’s roulette tables to talk to this Auckland-based hypnotist.
Guy Cater is giving me his impersonation of the effects of the “orgasmic handshake” – a young guy cautiously shaking his hand and having an eye-popping three-second orgasm, then reaching back in for another handshake – with a sly smile on his face. “I’ll turn people into Elvis Presley and Shania Twain and Michael Jackson, things like that. I’ll do the orgasmic handshake, but there is a fine line between what is funny and what is dirty and some of the stuff that I could do when I was thirty I can’t do anymore. The girls at university seem to be getting younger, but the guys are the funniest anyway.”
This is the kind of story that makes me squirm a little; I can see myself on stage, having an orgasm, and then hearing about for the next three weeks until I have to murder my friends because I can no longer take the mocking.
But with thirty years under his swinging watch Cater reassures me that the two biggest worries – embarrassment and memory loss – have never been an issue. Cater makes it a point to plant suggestions that will make his subjects remember what they’ve been through.
“People are not really embarrassed after the show, I give them a suggestion that they won’t be embarrassed. They’re not making fools of themselves, they’re entertaining the audience and I think that everybody involved or watching in the show understands that.”
“Everything that happens is a surprise, even when you know exactly what’s going to happen, because everybody sees things differently, everybody reacts differently. Eventually I’ll have [volunteers] playing non-existent musical instruments, we’ll have some James Bonds out in the audience, we’ll have men loving men and women loving women and hopefully they’re straight because it’s not so funny if they’re already gay.”
So did I give into the obvious temptation, you ask? Well, yes, but I’ve decided to keep the session between me, Guy and the tape recorder and when I am finished typing I am going to erase this tape so that no one else will ever, ever hear it, ever again, especially myself. Who knows what would happen if you listen to yourself getting hypnotised? I don’t want to be casually sitting in the Salient office, pop in the wrong tape and suddenly start jumping around screaming, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah!” Or having an orgasm. That would be worse.