Santos’s hypnosis puts WA in a trance

Frank Santos Jr. brings hypnosis to WA annually for the DECA fundraiser.

Frank Santos Jr. brings hypnosis to WA annually for the DECA fundraiser.

Mahi Kandage, Staff Writer

Although hypnosis seems magical for most, to Frank Santos Jr., it is second nature. Santos has been performing at corporate events, schools, and nightclubs for over fifteen years, and has performed at WA for over seven years.

Santos grew up in Rhode Island surrounded by hypnosis. His father had been a hypnotist for over thirty years, and is Santos’s main inspiration for his career path.

Originally, Santos worked as a chef, as both a saute and fry cook. When in college, his father suggested to him a hypnosis course, where Santos eventually received his certification.

“‘Just try it out, see if you like it’ and I had a blast, and from there I kept doing more and more,” said Santos, regarding his father’s involvement in the business.

Over 20 years ago, Santos received his certification in hypnosis, where it was originally taught as a form of therapy. Those trying to lose weight, or quit smoking could be assisted by a certified hypnotist to motivate them to achieve their goals. Santos also became certified to teach hypnosis, but he now concentrates on stage hypnosis.

Though having a set routine he performs, each of Santos’s shows turns out differently, depending on the participants and the audience. The aim of Santos’s shows is to make the audience laugh, and make them the stars of the show.

“I’m not one to be the star of the show, I like to produce the show,” said Santos.

Before transitioning to stage hypnosis, Santos worked with smokers, using his skills to help wean them off cigarettes and tobacco by boosting their willpower.

Hypnosis can be deceiving to those not knowledgeable about it, but Santos describes it simply as “a state of relaxation.” According to Santos, even though he is the hypnotist, the hypnosis comes from within. The person must simply listen to a hypnotist’s voice and be in a relaxed state for the hypnosis to be effective.

“And all hypnosis is, is your sense being heightened,” said Santos, describing the experience.

For example, a person cannot be hypnotized into robbing a bank, because they are aware of the consequences. Hypnosis cannot force a person to do something they do not want to do. Santos compares hypnosis to meditation. Listening to Santos’s voice helps the body relate to something it has already done, such as sticking out the tongue, or placing hands in pockets.

Those who possess a vivid imagination are ideal, because they have the ability to imagine themselves being, or doing something they are not.

For Santos, watching his father perform shows was the norm. For inexperienced, aspiring hypnotists however, the process can be lengthy, and difficult, because it requires the talent for engaging an audience as well ask the skills of a hypnotist.

Santos has been performing for the DECA fundraiser at Westford Academy for close to a decade, and hopes to continue to delight audiences for years to come. Stage hypnosis fulfills Santos’s criteria for his ideal career, bringing smiles to faces.

Santos said, “I love making people laugh. Seeing people laugh, that’s what I like to do.”