Paul Kitagaki Jr. / firstname.lastname@example.org
A volunteer from the audience, center, is lead to believe the person sitting next to her is entertainer Justin Bieber after a suggestion from hypnotist Suzy Haner during her show at the California State Fair Wednesday July 17, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif.
By Brittany Torrez
Published: Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2013
The packed audience watching the California State Fair's center stage cheered - and sometimes cringed - at the 15 people gyrating wildly.
The participants had been hypnotized to think they were hula-hooping.
"I'm just a ringleader, I'm just trying to get everybody to have fun," hypnotist Suzy Haner said after the show she performs three times daily during the fair at Cal Expo.
Stage hypnotism has become a staple at many fairs across the country, and Haner has held court as the California State Fair's own for four years running.
She seems to have an endless supply of willing participants. An estimated 1,200 to 1,500 people attend each show, according to Paul Gillingham, Cal Expo entertainment director.
"Every show is different," Haner said. "I never know what I'm going to do until I get up there."
Haner's natural stage presence comes after 15 years of fronting her band, Suzy and the Knockouts, which covered acts ranging from the Beatles to Janis Joplin.
"Suzy and the Knockouts was doing a lot of the fairs," she said. "And so I went and got certified, and then I called all the fairs I was working at and told them I was a hypnotist now."
"I immediately had a career because of the fair industry, so I'm really grateful for that," she said. "The transition was really smooth."
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/23/5590107/singer-turned-hypnotist-mesmerizes.html#storylink=cpy