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Reprinted with Permission from Convention South, P.O. Box 2267, Gulf Shores, Al 36547
There is nothing "magical" about Harrison Smith's shows. While he does hypnotize his volunteers and mystify them with ESP performances, Smith says that he is just the conductor or director of the show. "You are the hypnotist of yourself," he said.

The hypnotism shows that Smith currently performs at conventions, festivals, fairs and other special events are much more sophisticated than his first practice of the art at the age of 12 with a playmate. "I make it almost a theatrical performance with improvisation sketches and volunteers from the audience," said this popular mentalist. "I also use a lot of music and sound. There may be 10 (now 20) audio changes in a one-hour show."

Smith involves his audience by encouraging volunteers to step to the front to participate in the show. The most desirable volunteers have a good imagination, a strong ability to concentrate and a genuine willingness to participate.

Researching the background of any potential performer is standard operating procedure for most meeting and event planners. And the range of education and experience included on Smith's resume would impress even the most difficult-to-impress planner. As Smith says, he went "to regular school and didn't study hypnotism." And since he registered for that first college class, he has earned a Jurisprudence Degree from the University of Georgia, he has become a practiced musician (he was once a member of a Jerry Lee Lewis warm-up band), he has honed his skills as a magician, and he has even served two terms in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Neither this mentalist's promotional literature nor conversations highlight his legal or political background, and Smith says that it is because the people who are hiring him are not paying a lawyer to act as a hypnotist. They want to be entertained by a professional mentalist---and Smith is clearly successful and proficient in this arena.

Smith obviously considers hypnosis and ESP serious business, but he says that he is not out to change anyone's belief in the psychic. His performances are designed strictly to entertain.

Smith bills himself as the "Southern Gentleman" in an effort to indicate the kind of tone his shows take. "My shows are kind---they aren't risque'. And I want to underline the fact that I am not up there to get cheap laughs by making fools of the volunteers. I try to treat the volunteers as I would like to be treated," Smith said.

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