Randy Charach got his start as a magician at age five.
“I met my uncle, a Las Vegas magician, during a family vacation when I was five. He taught me my first magic trick, and from there I was hooked,” says Charach. “I started performing shows when I was ten, hiring myself out to birthday parties, that sort of thing.”
Since then he has gone onto headline in Las Vegas, make numerous television appearance, and has become a sought-after corporate performer. Having entertained audiences around the world, Charach plays to a hometown crowd later this month.
“The last time I did a public show in Vancouver was five years ago when I did four weeks of sold out shows at Yuk Yuk’s,” he says. “They were so much fun and I’m looking forward to being back.”
Starting his professional career as a comedy magician, after twenty years Charach eventually evolved into performing as a mentalist, and more recently, as a hypnotist.
“In the last two years, I started performing hypnosis on stage, although I have been hypnotizing people also since a young boy,” he says. “This show is a combination of comedy, mentalism, and hypnosis.”
Beyond his work on stage, Charach is also a certified practitioner of neurolinguistics programming (NLP), which he uses to connect with the volunteers who join him on stage during his performance.
“NLP is non-verbal and verbal communication, how to pick up on essentially what people are thinking through their actions and body language, and their linguistics as well,” he explains. “It allows me and other practitioners of NLP to mirror other people and create rapport and synergy and bonding without words.”
Creating a connection within a show requiring audience participation may be essential, but Charach also likes to demystify the art of hypnosis.
“Everyone’s hypnotized every day,” he says. “Hypnosis is really a focused state of mind, which occurs in the subconscious.”
Charach uses an everyday task as an example.
“When you’re driving to work, you’re not consciously thinking in your mind of every move that you’re making to drive,” he explains. “That’s happening in your subconscious. In your conscious mind, you’re thinking about all sorts of unrelated stuff. That’s a form of hypnosis, in that your subconscious mind is doing the driving for you.”
In his show, Charach taps into those self-hypnotic states to create his show. Guiding his subjects, he creates an environment allowing them to get into a state of mind where they are comfortable and aware, but can let go of their inhibitions.
“They’re so relaxed and the words and the messages that I give them are to simply allow their conscious mind to step aside for a bit, and allow the subconscious to take over,” he explains. “It’s kind of like a ‘roofie’ without the drugs or horrible things happening.”
For the skeptic, Charach says it is all in how he approaches his audience.
“The induction of hypnosis begins the second I walk on stage,” he says. “For someone to trust me enough to allow me to basically take over of their mental faculties, they have to know and trust me, which is the same in life, in sales, and in business.”
Taking time to educate his audiences, Charach also ensures any subjects who join him on stage know they cannot be forced to do anything on stage they would not otherwise do.
“I explain that I’m not going to have them do anything that they would regret or feel embarrassed about, that they can’t possibly say or do anything that they wouldn’t want to because their conscious mind is still watching over,” he says.
While it all may sound a little dry on paper, Charach’s stage show is anything but. A mix of comedy, mentalism, and hypnosis, the stars of the show may be Charach’s volunteers, but audiences will no doubt enjoy watching the antics of those who join him on stage.
Randy Charach performs two shows at the Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 West 41st Ave, Vancouver) on October 14. Visit http://randytickets.com for tickets and information.