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Posted: March 24, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Get fooled

Hypnotist performs in fundraiser for NHS band

 On a day traditionally associated with pranks — April Fool’s Day — Atlanta’s most popular hypnotist, Sean Wheeler, will be performing an honest-to-goodness, comedy hypnosis show to help raise funds for the Newton High School Marching Band.

 "Comedy hypnosis shows are a hilarious way to introduce the power of hypnosis to people who’ve never experienced it," said Wheeler, who famously hypnotized popular radio personality Jenn Hobby of Q100’s "The Bert Show" to quit smoking in January of 2010. "This will be a great opportunity to generate big laughs and generate big funds for a worthy cause."

 Audiences can expect to see willing volunteers rapidly induced into a hypnotic trance and then given funny suggestions. Some of Wheeler’s favorite suggestions include turning the volunteers into misbehaving second graders, or even the offspring of famous super heroes.

 "Hypnosis shows in the past involved humor at the expense of the volunteers," Wheeler said. "During my show, I highlight the talents and creativity of the volunteers to make them the stars of the show. No one feels embarrassed, and no one has any regrets about what took place."

 Wheeler is a certified member of the National Guild of Hypnotists and has established a leading hypnotherapy practice in Atlanta, where he helps individuals to stop smoking, lose weight and eliminate fears and phobias.

 In spite of the image portrayed in movies and on TV, hypnotists aren’t all-powerful.

 "A hypnotist can’t make people do anything against their will, whether it’s on a stage or in therapy. Otherwise, I’d take the first plane to D.C. and hypnotize Congress," Wheeler laughed.

 The event will take place at 7 p.m. April 1 in the Newton High School Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now for $8, and will cost $10 at the door. Information on purchasing tickets is available by calling (678) 342-5865.

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