Over the years, the Cox Capitol Theatre has hosted a number of unique bands, artists, and movies, and now it plans to offer an even more intriguing performer to that list. Hypnotist and comedian Gary Conrad is inviting Macon residents to share the stage with him and partake in some entertaining, hypnotic hijinks.
Conrad offers three different performances, each one with a different rating. First, he will perform a PG-rated show at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 1, followed by a more bawdy R-rated performance later that night at 10:15 p.m. For audiences that wish to bring children along, Conrad will also perform a family-friendly matinee at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Conrad hopes to reach a larger audience by offering a wide amount of variety in his content.
“There’s an audience for every type of entertainment. We’re not telling people to be one way or the other. We’ve observed how people are, and we’re offering them three different takes on the show. You have the light kids show if you want to bring the kids along. Then there’s the PG show where we go about three quarters of the way crazy, as opposed to the R performance, where we go all the way,” Conrad said.
Conrad’s most popular performance is invariably his R-rated hypnotism act. In this “erotic hypnotic,” audience members that join Conrad on stage might be led in singing off-color songs or become convinced that they have switched genders. He often convinces men in the audience that they are Chippendales dancers. Conrad stresses, though, that while this is an adult-centered show, there will be no nudity.
Those who prefer a more restrained act should check out his earlier performance on Friday. While it’s still an edgy performance, it doesn’t quite push the boundaries as much as his R-rated act. In this act, Conrad likes to hypnotically convince his volunteers that they have become one of a variety of pop-culture figures.
“It’s something like a nightclub act. We get a little naughty in it, but basically you’d have people pretend to be different characters. They might think they’re Pee Wee Herman or Lady Gaga or Richard Simmons. We run the whole gamut of pop culture,” Conrad said.
Finally, his Saturday matinee is geared towards children and families. Parents can expect to see clean, family-friendly jokes instead of the cruder, adult-focused jokes of his other acts.
Conrad believes that hypnosis is not simply a fun stage trick, but that it can also improve a person’s life dramatically. At the end of every act, he invites audience members onstage and gives them hypnotic suggestions which push them to quit smoking or pick up diet and exercise. He even incorporates this into his kids shows, suggesting that kids spend more time studying and eating healthy.
“Most of us have an idea of an ideal us, of what we would be like if we had a magic wang. Well, I know that hypnosis is a powerful tool for realizing that. I remember going to San Antonio once after I hadn’t been there in a while, and a guy said to me ‘Conrad, you hypnotized me seven years ago, and I haven’t smoked a cigarette since,’” Conrad said.
So if you’re interested in seeing your more straight-laced friends break out of their comfort zones and act as if they’re a rock star, exotic dancer, or anything else Conrad can think of, check out one of his three acts at the Cox Capitol Theatre. You might even come away a healthier person, too.
“What most people want to know is ‘What’s in it for me?’ Well my answer is that it’s not only a whole lot of entertainment, where you, the volunteer, entertain yourself and your friends, but you walk away with a better you,” Conrad said.