Joshua Seth at Centerstage

jimmy_au_s_part_one_583.jpgWhen most people think about onstage hypnosis, embarrassing images of grown-ups frolicking like animals come to mind. But according to internationally acclaimed stage hypnotist Joshua Seth, who’s putting on a show at the Center Stage this Sunday, “You won’t see anybody quacking like a chicken or barking like a dog. What you are going to see is unbound creativity let loose from the subconscious minds of the people I hypnotize.”

A registered hypnotherapist whose psychologist parents opened his mind early on, Seth uses his “rapid, modern hypnosis technique” to free the “inner creativity” of those audience members who volunteer in order to “live their dreams.” Sound goofy? Not so much when Seth explains that he hypnotizes people into believing that they’ve won the lottery or are driving their dream car. “You see people really going through that unrestricted emotional release,” Seth explained. In so doing, the volunteers and audience members are taught that what seems unattainable might actually be achievable. So powerful and entertaining is Seth’s show that he was once given a primetime slot on Japanese television, where he’d hypnotize people on the street, including a young, dentist-phobic girl whom he convinced to get two abscessed teeth yanked without painkillers. An American version is currently in the works, said Seth, who just moved to Santa Barbara and is doing this show to build hype for a possible performance at the Lobero or the Arlington.

Still not sure? Then take Seth’s promise to heart: “Anybody that comes in doubting leaves a believer.” He takes Center Stage on August 13, at 7:30 p.m. Call 963-0408, see, or check out for more info.

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