A night of fun with a professional mentalist | PostIndependent.com

A night of fun with a professional mentalist

April E. Clark
Post Independent Contributor
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Professional mentalist Brian Imbus became interested in his craft after seeing his first hypnosis show as a high school sophomore.

Today he could have the same effect.

“I went to a training school when I was 17 and have been performing ever since,” said the Dubuque, Iowa-based hypnotist.

To help raise funds for this year’s Glenwood Springs High School prom, Imbus will entertain the audience at 7 p.m. this evening at the GSHS Jeannie Miller Theater. He guides volunteers through what is described as a “journey of imagination” where willing participants are hypnotized, ultimately becoming stars of the show.

“The great aspect of an hypnosis performance is that the audience is the show,” Imbus said. “The show isn’t about me – it’s completely audience-driven.”

Imbus said audience members worldwide have enjoyed seeing their friends and family hypnotized on stage at the thousands of shows he’s put on during the last 18 years.

“It adds a spontaneity factor to the show as we never know what will happen,” he said. “The audience feedback from the show is always positive, as this is completely different than what most people have seen.”

Performing several times a year in Colorado, Imbus’ show will be a happy return for him.

“I performed at an assembly for GSHS last year, and I’m really looking forward to my return,” he said. “My goal is to bring my performance in front of as many people as possible, and I really enjoy traveling to different parts of the world.”

From Las Vegas to Paris, Imbus’ national and international travels have brought him a wealth of stage experience that could fill a library of scrapbooks with memories.

“I perform about six times a year in Las Vegas, and I always look forward to visiting,” he said. “There is a certain energy in Vegas that can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world.”

Along with Sin City shows for adults, Imbus specializes in corporate events, college performances and high school presentations like the one featured tonight in Glenwood. He enjoys high school shows as he loves making an early impression like his own during his teens.

“About 40 percent of my shows are for high schools – assemblies, conferences, banquets, proms, project grads, etc., and I really enjoy presenting my show for this generation,” Imbus said. “It keeps me motivated to continually come up with new material that is relevant with popular culture.”

Imbus said that in his line of work, there are often misconceptions associated with the art.

“People think hypnosis is a form of mind control and manipulation,” he said. “Not true, hypnosis is a natural state of mind, and we experience hypnosis every single day.”

He also said people believe once they are hypnotized, they can remain stuck in that state.

“Also not true,” he said. “If I were to hypnotize someone and leave them alone they would come out of the hypnotic state within a couple of minutes.”

Imbus said people sometimes think they’ll do something regrettable when hypnotized.

“You will not do anything in the state of hypnosis you are uncomfortable with or anything that is against your moral standards,” he said.

Along with being a certified stage hypnotist, Imbus is also a certified hypnotherapist. He ran a full-time clinical practice in Illinois helping patients before making the transition to full-time entertainer.

“I still do private sessions on rare occasions,” he said. “I have helped people with several different phobias and habits, almost too many to list. Hypnosis can be helpful with smoking, weight loss, stress, study habits, test taking, attention deficit disorder, insomnia, anxiety, etc.”

In almost two decades of serving as a mentalist and hypnotist, Imbus said he has had many adventures along the way.

“There is one thing that happened during a show I will never forget,” he said. “I had a 350-pound college football player who tackled me on stage because he was convinced I had stolen his belly button.”

Such experiences lend to the unpredictability and fun nature of his shows.

“There is always something that will happen during the show that has never happened before, and that’s what makes each show unique in its own way,” Imbus said. “I’m sure one of those moments will happen in today’s show.”

Tickets for tonight’s show are $12 for adults and $8 for students and children, and may be purchased until 5 p.m. today at Gran Farnum Printing.

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