Saskatoon

Last brave Reginans to be hypnotized in final Wayne Lee shows at Queen City Ex

The unpredictability of what can happen on stage when people are “in it” has kept hypnotist Wayne Lee in the business for more than 20 years.

Lee scaling back public shows in 2018

Wayne Lee is retiring after more than 20 years as a hypnotist. (CBC News)

The unpredictability of what can happen on stage when people are "in it" has kept hypnotist Wayne Lee in the business for more than 20 years.

This weekend, as he prepares to scale back his public shows in 2018, Lee is pulling the strings behind his last series of shows at the Queen City Ex in Regina.

After two decades leading the show, he said he still never knows what to expect.

"Even though the routines are the same, and I can switch it up here and there, but there's always different people up there so they react differently, respond differently," said Lee.

Wayne Lee says his ability to tell when a person is not fully hypnotized has become instinctual over the course of his career. (CBC News)

Over the years, Lee has noticed two groups of people who are drawn to his shows: those who want to be on stage, and those who just want to watch.

In some cases, he said people swap groups once they are inside the theatre.

"Sometimes people come to watch it, they don't even know they're going to be on stage, but for some reason they get an urge or a motivation to go up there," he said.

"And they go up there and some of them are the best stars."

Wayne Lee thanked his Regina fans for making his shows possible over the years. (CBC News)

Lee said his ability to know when a person isn't fully hypnotized has become almost instinctual over the course of his career. He said it comes down to their body language and the speed of their responses to his commands.

Lee prefers to use the term "in it" rather than "under" to describe the hypnotic state because the people on stage are not asleep.

"They're aware, they just don't care," said Lee.

"If they don't hear me, they've fallen asleep, which isn't hypnosis."

Lee said he is not retiring fully in 2018 but scaling back his performances to smaller corporate events.

He is performing at the Great Western Stage at 7 p.m. CST on Sunday before musician Brett Kissel performs at 8:30 p.m. 

With files from CBC's Christy Climenhaga