Something that strikes fear into most hypnotists is performing hypnosis shows for small audiences.
Most hypnotists have a clause in the contract that they will not perform unless there is a minimum of 100 people in the audience. I’ve seen several times hypnotists cancel the shows when people are in the audience but the hypnotist feels there are not enough people there to do a show.
Another thing some hypnotists do when they see an audience too small to perform for (in their opinion) is carrying a magic show with them, and performing this if the audience.
I’ve never felt it was a good idea to cancel, or do alternate material. If someone comes to a hypnosis show, they want hypnosis!
As I see it, if a small number of people show up, then there is a small number of people who took time out of their day to watch a show. They chose to show up, and to not at least attempt to do a show is telling them that they are not important. Of course this is just my opinion.
I understand the fear most hypnotists have when they see a small audience. They may lack experience, have bad technique, or perhaps think too highly of themselves to perform for an audience that they feel is below them.
Are small shows the same as larger shows?
Doing a show for a smaller group can be challenging, but if you’re paid to show up you owe it to your audience to do the best show possible!
Over the years I’ve done some very small shows. One sticks out that was for 8 people. Many times I’ve done shows for 20. And, I’ve never had a time that I failed to do a show.
What got me thinking about this was today I visited Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. At showtime there were 3 people. That’s right, 3 people! And they were the 3 that scheduled the show. They apologized, but asked what I wanted to do. I asked if anyone else was around. They got the group up to 7.
So I started the show. I hypnotized one person and the small crowd had a great time. Everyone laughed and was able to leave with memories that will last a lifetime.
If I’d have packed it up and refused to do a show then i would have missed a fun show, and the small crowd that was there would have been disappointed.
Of course the best way to handle small audiences is by customizing the show: http://ianstewart.info/hypnosis-show-customization/
But now I have the satisfaction of knowing everyone had a great time, and they asked me back for next year!