Have you ever seen a man pretend to be a woman? Or people losing their minds because they think dinosaurs are attacking them? Have you seen the genuine emotion of someone who has just won the lottery and hasn’t told his friends? If you happened to catch the X-rated hypnotist, Tony Lee, on Nov. 15 in the Sanctuary, you can answer yes to these questions.
The show at Conestoga College’s Doon campus was sold out, with students standing, sitting in chairs and at booths. It was a huge hit, as always, and the money made from the ticket sales was matched and donated to Movember.
For many, it was their first time seeing Lee. Others have seen him at previous performances either at Conestoga or other colleges or universities. His videos are also posted online.
Ashley Vlasic, a student from Sheridan College, attended the show with a friend.
“It was the first time I had ever seen it,” she said. “It was the most hilarious thing I had ever seen.”
Vlasic was most shocked by the part of the show where Lee had the hypnotized participants pleasure themselves. Though she would never volunteer, it’s not for lack of bravery.
“I’d be the person that if I went on stage, he would tap out.”
She was referring to the fact that volunteers who either aren’t susceptible to hypnosis or fall out of it during the process get a tap from Lee to leave the stage.
The hypnotist is well known for his crude brand of hypnosis where he essentially humiliates participants by making them mime sexual acts as well as suggestive performances.
In the mid-’80s, Lee accidentally hypnotized his girlfriend at the time. During his performance at Conestoga, he told the story of what he did to figure this out. What started as a game ended up as a career for about 28 years.
“It’s a long time,” he said.
Though he doesn’t really have any formal training in hypnosis, he did attend some classes in the ’90s. Still, he said there wasn’t anything in the class that he didn’t already know. And due to the absence of the Internet, there wasn’t a lot of information floating around about it.
“The simple rule to it is, there are no rules,” Lee said. “You make up whatever the comfort level is. Different people react different ways.”
Lee now performs about 160 times a year, mostly at campuses or areas rich with students, across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. He gets the most gratification from the surprise of the different participants.
“You never know,” he said. “The reaction’s always different. You’ll take a girl that’s super, super hot and when she has an orgasm it’s like, eep.”
He really enjoys how the show affects the volunteers later.
“Whether they do positive or negative things on stage, it’s all positive because it creates a commonality for people to talk to them,” said Lee. “Their social lives may just flourish.”
Lee said his show has won more awards than any Canadian performing artist in history. However, he does prefer his time in the United Kingdom. But mostly because the drinking age is lower.
Tony Lee hopes to be able to return to the Doon campus in March 2013 with a whole different set of tricks.