Real Hypnosis, Real Volunteers, REAL Fun


INTERVIEW WITH STEF THE HYPNOTIST


1. You have traveled extensively, and speak numerous languages, tell us more about that. How does it influence your shows?

Travelling will open up new worlds to you. I encourage everyone to hit the road as much as they can. It doesn’t have to cost much and its fantastic what comes from seeing other places, people and their ways. Speaking 6 languages allows me to freely communicate with people that we would normally only be able to “um” , “aah” and do sign language to.

2. What got you into entertainment?

5 years at university is enough to push anyone to laugh! A family friend suggested I try being a clown, I thought it a mad idea… until she explained that I could earn my living from it, so I tried, digged it, and made a profession of it.

3. What exactly is Stef and Friends Entertainment?

An agency accommodating corporates, fund-raisers, shopping centers and privates with any entertainers they can think of!

4. When did you start it?

In 1994 after I was overloaded with clown work and had to delegate clown jobs. It took off from there, with fire-types, musicians, tumblers, you name it!

5. How does it work?

Clients call and ask for 2 magicians and a juggler at their year-end function, and I call around to see who is available at the right price. Client is happy, clowns are happy, im happy…. Everyone is happy.

6. What is the most exciting part of it all? Basically what keeps you doing what you’re doing?

The interaction with people, the look of satisfaction on the clients face when the gig goes down well (most of the time). I love what I do.

7. What's your greatest success story? Basically your biggest challenge so far?

On one day (my busiest day so far) I organized 58 functions’ entertainment and knowing that 1000’s of kids and adults were enjoying the entertainment I provided, made my heart warm.

8. What's been the most rewarding thing for you?

When little under-priveledged kids laugh. When doing benefit shows in the townships, or at clinics, the “magic moment” in those kids is priceless.

9. What’s the weirdest thing you have ever done?

Probably organising a promotion with 10 stilt walkers, 10 dwarves (Little people) and 10 identical twins, handing out flyers in the traffic in Jhb.

10. How does your audience react to the hypnosis (Sidesplitting Hypnosis) in your shows?

They love it. Volunteers just want to go off (be mad) and audience members are only too keen to see them doing this!

11. I understand that you also do hypnotherapy, tell us more about that?

Hypnotherapy is amazing. Anybody who have any Trauma, bad habits (Nail-biting/smoking/sleep) or has anything that they want to improve or change in their lives, should seek the help of a Hypnotherapist. In one session, a person can quit smoking. See my website for details www.stefandfriends.com .

12. You’ve been coming to the National Arts Festival for a while, how long have you been involved?

This is my 11th year at the fest. I have the honour of being on the Main festival with an Escapology show, in the style of Houdini. In the finale of this street-theater show (entitled “The great escape”) I manage to break out from a locked mail-bag, immersed in a large tub of water. This requires a big breath and guts. This show free and thus a good opportunity for festinos to say WOW at an amazing show.

13. What are the best parts about it, what keeps you coming to Grahamstown?

I love the fest, its flavours and people, the diversity of shows and the absolute talent! Anyone who hasn’t visited the fest most definitely should not miss it!

14. What are your expectations for the fest this year?

Yet again Bigger, better, maybe some new hidden talent to be found… who knows, a new marketing idea by some entrepreneur, its always such a gas.

15. You are running one of the winter schools at the fest this year, how do you feel about it?

It will be an interactive speech about hypnosis, its advantages and a good start for anyone interested in this fascinating field.

16. When and where will your winter school be? How long?

Please check this with Cate Axe at Fest office – but I think on the Monday at 12pm

17. How else will you be involved this year?

Sidesplitting Hypnosis 8 shows, The great Escape 8 shows, 1 winter school lecture, that’s 17 shows – plus a lot of marketing, action on the side and who knows what else? I think that will keep me in check and sleeping well at night!

18. If you’re not entertaining others, what do you do for your entertainment?

I am very active and love adventure sports – I mountain bike, kitesurf and also own a paragliding tandem business in Capetown – see www.parapax.com . I also love art movies, galleries and museums. Along with traveling a lot, this keeps me outta trouble.

19. What are your plans for the future?

I am busy with other (secret ) projects at the moment, but will always entertain. I am also helping a lot more individuals and groups of people with hypnotherapy.

20. What are your long-term goals?

My long-term goals are to retire early to create a self-help project for those less fortunate than us and to travel even more (I would like to visit 100 countries before I die).

A message for all those unsure of themselves: If you have a dream, a goal or a vision; Go out and make it a reality, otherwise it will only remain in your head forever. No matter how far-fetched it may be, I assure you that unless you do something about it, nobody will!

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