February 5, 2009

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Highly suggestive
R-rated hypnotist Frank Santos at the Palace
By Dana Unger dunger@hippopress.com

Comedian and hypnotist Frank Santos has made a career out of getting total strangers to do the wildest and most bizarre things with his R-rated stage show.

“Sometimes crazy things will happen,” Santos admitted in a Jan. 29 interview.

Santos will bring his crazy and often raunchy show to The Palace Theatre in Manchester on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m. Though Santos has a touring schedule to rival that of any rock band, he says he loves coming to New Hampshire.

“I’m always working, but I always have a good time,” Santos said. “Anytime I play Manchester, I always have a great time.”

Santos prides himself on his fun and racy shows, and no two performances are the same. He’s played for professionals, college and high school students, and is a headlining act at The Riviera in Las Vegas and Foxwoods Casino.

The individuals Santos hypnotizes are volunteers from the audience, and usually there are more volunteers willing to be a part of the raunchy action than even Santos himself bargains for, particularly with the younger crowds.

“Colleges are my favorite, because no one is afraid of it,” Santos said. “No one has any fears. With college and high school crowds there are always volunteers — everybody wants to do it.”

Santos takes the willing victims through the hypnosis act, having them listen to the sound of his voice as he puts them in a suggestive state. Though he does get people who will occasionally “fake” their trances, Santos has a way of sorting the actors from the real deal, and it’s not unusual for him to whittle down a group of 15 volunteers to a group of seven. Santos says some people are more easily suggestible than others.

“If you can’t get a person who can concentrate, you can’t go under,” Santos said.

The content of his shows varies depending on the type of show he’s playing. With shows on the more innocuous side, he will suggest to his hypnotized participants that they have taken a “happy pill” that makes them feel drunk and giddy, or make them think they have a bird on their arm, or that their tongue is stuck to their chin.

But Santos wouldn’t be known as the R-rated hypnotist if he didn’t feature a few sexually charged elements in his act.

“I never swear, but I do things that are a little racy,” Santos said.

Those things can include anything from female participants watching their breasts triple in size to making the guys think they have lost a particularly important appendage. At one point in his R-rated show, Santos will instruct the participants to feel more and more aroused whenever he taps his forehead, with the volunteers then proceeding to moan and writhe in front of the audience. Santos is always firmly in control, though, and never lets things get too far out of hand for his victims. He says that even when a person is deeply hypnotized, their mind would never allow them to do something they wouldn’t do in their normal state.

Comedy hypnosis has now become the family business, with Frank’s son Frank Santos Jr. getting in on the act, performing hundreds of shows every year in many of the same venues as his father.

What started out as a last-minute bachelor party performance has extended into a 28-year career, and Santos says he has no plans to hang up his blow-up doll anytime soon.

“I’m so happy with what I do,” Santos said.


Adults only
What: R-Rated hypnotist Frank Santos
When: Saturday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester
Tickets: $23.50, at 668-5588 or www.palacetheatre.org