Episode 41 - Jonathan ChaseLook into my eyes! From working men's clubs to the world stage - author and hypnotist shares one of the many conversations that counted for him
Jonathan Chase, Hypnotist and Author
Making Conversations about Hypnosis Count!
Look into my eyes! You will feel very sleepy!
You guessed it, we’re having one of our many conversations that count with hypnosis star Jonathan Chase.
Our conversations Queen Wendy Harris really enjoyed this conversation.
Jonathan’s not your typical podcast interview guest.
He shares with us his journey starting out in the working men’s clubs with his stage act.
He talks about how he identified a reality where he could use his skills to help people.
And when we say help, we mean really help. This isn’t just about some easy peasy quit smoking or fear of flying stuff.
As an author of many books including our favourite ‘How to make friends with yourself and influence people’, Jonathan has the following philosophy;
“Life shouldn’t be a battle to be fought, Life should be an experience to be enhanced.”
A career highlight has to be when he wrote, directed, produced and played in ‘The Marvellous Mechanical Mesmerist’; Britain’s first play where the hypnotised audience played the characters.
The Arts Council funded the project and it premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017 with all cast members being wheelchair users.
Jonathan himself is a ‘POW: Person On Wheelchair’
You’re going to love this conversation as it twists and turns.
Listen to other episodes on your favourite platform…
Full Episode Transcript
Making Conversations Count – Episode Forty-One
July 29th 2021
Wendy Harris & Jonathan Chase
00:01:00: Shout out
00:05:51: Limbic system
00:08:41: Taking back control
00:10:05: Talking to your subconscious mind
00:13:53: Productive not positive
00:15:55: Your mind travels the world
00:17:29: Digital audience
00:18:36: You can hear a smile
00:20:18: Hard learning curve
00:24:54: Paul McKenna
00:26:05: Teaching kids to be nervous
00:27:26: Success is personal
00:32:20: Jonathan’s pivotal conversation
00:39:46: Sales and influence
00:43:31: Final conversation
Wendy Harris: Today, we’re going to be making conversations about hypnosis count.
What’s new Wendy Woo? Well, we’ve cracked over 1,000 downloads just of the show resources, so where you see the show notes we have been putting documents from the guests with some free tips, tricks and help. Over on the website you’ve got offers, so make sure you take a look at what our guests are leaving for you and let us know what the best tips have been for you. I’m looking at getting more guests that will be able to help those start-up, scale-up and shake-up businesses. If there’s a topic that you want to know about, get in touch with me here at the show. Don’t forget to leave a review for us, I always shout you out every time we get one.
I received a lovely comment from Sharon in Leamington Spa. She’d been reading my book, Making Conversations Count, and her number one takeaway was that she’d loved the quote from page 104. She’d been struggling with meeting people in person, and I talk a little bit about personality types and how to be able to understand, being able to match and mirror. When it comes to the in-person, I’d left her this quote for everybody to read and it goes like this, “They say eyes are the door to the soul. I say the eyes are the door to the sale”. I’m really glad that helped you Sharon and I hope that it helps others too, because when you are in-person, that eye contact really does make a difference, thank you.
Do you fancy learning how to talk yourself into almost anything, a form of self-suggestion hypnosis; or is it that you would like to make friends with yourself and influence people? Well, you’re in for a real treat as this conversation with Jonathan Chase twists and turns. He’s really naughty, please stay tuned, brace yourself for the next half hour.
Jonathan Chase: Hello, Wendy, how are you?
Wendy Harris: I’m absolutely splendid.
Jonathan Chase: I love doing that with podcasters, you know. I love getting in first and saying, “How are you?” before they ask me, because I’m feeling crap.
Wendy Harris: Well, let’s get to the bottom of that. Have you not been doing any hypnosis on yourself to lighten this mood?
Jonathan Chase: No, there’s no such thing as self-hypnosis. You can programme yourself by repetition, by giving yourself, I don’t know; affirmations, you can call them. But if you talk to yourself — I did a TED talk on how to talk yourself into anything, and you can talk to yourself; but if you put yourself into trance and that’s a hypnotic trance, then your subconscious mind is totally dominant. Your subconscious mind, your imagination’s taking over completely and if you are consciously aware enough to give yourself suggestions, then you’re not hypnotised.
Wendy Harris: Yes, I see.
Jonathan Chase: So, you actually can’t do it, it’s a myth.
Wendy Harris: Can’t do it.
Jonathan Chase: There’s loads and loads and loads of really respected people I respect in business, who come out with long-winded explanations of how it’s all self-hypnosis, etc, and I do not believe that’s true. I think it’s a myth; I’ll tell you why. After hypnotising tens of thousands of people on stage and watching how they react to suggestions, I have never seen anybody capable of hypnotising themselves and not being able to remember their name.
I’ve not seen anybody who can hypnotise themselves and have a complete and absolute hallucination that they are talking to God. Okay, most people can do that, certainly in churches, but they don’t go through the complete and absolute hallucination that people who are properly hypnotised do; it’s as simple as that. Can you programme yourself? Yes, you do it all the time, absolutely, 100%. If I ask you how you feel right now, you won’t say, “Well, actually my shoulder’s slightly uncomfortable because I’m twisted a bit too much [or] I can feel the hair on the back of my neck’s getting a bit long”. You will say, “Actually, I’m quite happy today”, and you start giving me all these emotive things and all of those are opinions anyway.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, state of mind.
Jonathan Chase: So, I don’t do the self-hypnosis thing, because I’ve even tried it on stage where I’ve said, “Apparently all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, so I’ll just stand here and do nothing and you lot carry on with it”, and nothing has ever happened.
Wendy Harris: There needs to be some action and if they don’t know, if there’s no direction…
Jonathan Chase: Hypnosis has to be induced and it’s induced by fascinating somebody and by conversation which, let’s face it, that’s what this is all about, and by conversing with somebody’s subconscious to bring the imagination out so that the imagination is totally dominant. Some people call it the monkey brain, which is totally untrue because there’s no evidence that we were ever monkeys. Actually, we probably weren’t apes either, they’re our cousins; we’re not descended from them, we’re a different line of that particular family.
Wendy Harris: We’re getting very Darwin now.
Jonathan Chase: We are, we are. I was reading it yesterday, so it stuck in my bloody head.
Wendy Harris: It’s in your brain, yeah.
Jonathan Chase: But there is part of your brain called the limbic system and that’s where all your responses are decided before you rationalise why you’re doing that. So, everybody responds at that level and as far as we can tell, the limbic system is where the imagination is, is where the subconscious lies and that’s the bit that we want totally dominant. When that becomes dominant — my intro for years and years: three things happen here when you become hypnotised. First and foremost you feel amazing focused, secondly your imagination is expanded way beyond your wildest dreams and thirdly and most importantly for the stage hypnotist, your inhibitions are drastically lowered.
Wendy Harris: Hence being able to, I suppose, manipulate people on stage.
Jonathan Chase: Absolutely, it’s 100% manipulation, it’s mind control. Although hypnotherapists are going, “Argh!”
Wendy Harris: This leads me on nicely; we have a listener question for you, and when I say “listener” I mean my 12-year-old daughter.
Jonathan Chase: Right, okay.
Wendy Harris: This is for Alice. At the dinner table yesterday, she said something about sleep and she said, “What I get really confused about”, she said, “is that you can have a dream and you can come out of the dream and wake up and then you go back to that same dream”. Everybody’s still in the same place, doing whatever it was that she was doing before she woke up and she just said, “How do the people in the dream feel when I leave them and I’m just a shell in the dream?” I thought, “Oh God, how do I answer this?” because I could understand what she was trying to say.
Jonathan Chase: Okay, right. I was listening to another podcast earlier this morning, fabulous podcast you should listen to. It’s the only one that’s free, it’s Ricky Gervais and a psychologist friend of his, it’s called totallymental.com. You get the first episode free and then it’s Ricky Gervais, so he charges you £14.95 for the other ten.
Wendy Harris: Okay, yeah.
Jonathan Chase: But they’re talking about this sort of thing. They’re actually talking about dreams, and I love what the American said to a very similar question when Ricky asked him, “We don’t know. We have no idea. We only have half an idea of what dreaming is and what it’s for. We’ve got plenty of excuses why we dream that we’ve made up that are very logical and very cognitive, but literally we don’t know. We don’t even know what’s going on at a neurological level when we’re dreaming”. So, the answer for a 12-year-old for me, the perfect answer would be, they will feel whatever you want.
Wendy Harris: That’s a good one.
Jonathan Chase: It’s your dream.
Wendy Harris: Yes. No, that is a good one, because that’s really like affirming —
Jonathan Chase: I wished you’d have asked me that before we started this bloody thing, that’s just off the top of my head.
Wendy Harris: I know what a professional you are Jonathan and it’s about feeling like you’re in control, isn’t it? So, if you start to worry about something that’s on a different plain, whether that be dreaming, whether that be daydreaming even, or if you’re really struggling to focus, it is that ultimately, we are in charge of ourselves and we can take back control. I think this is where hypnosis can help if you get the right help.
Jonathan Chase: Yes, it depends. On the therapeutic level what you’re actually buying, what you’re actually getting mostly, most of the time off most people, is some psychotherapy and there may be some relaxation involved in that and they may induce trance and that sort of thing. That tends not to be in my book and there are several. There’s Deeper and Deeper: the secrets of stage hypnosis, there’s How to be an Original Hypnotist.
Wendy Harris: You see that.
Jonathan Chase: You’re the one, you bought it. How to Make Friends with Yourself and Influence People.
Wendy Harris: Yes.
Jonathan Chase: In my book, most therapeutic hypnosis isn’t — there’s some people like Tim Box who would be good to have on the show if he can ever find the time, he’s a TEDx speaker. I love being able to say that!
Wendy Harris: He’s on my bucket list.
Jonathan Chase: I’ve been waiting for years and years and years to be able to say that. I did it virtually with a university in India, last year.
Wendy Harris: What was your TEDx about?
Jonathan Chase: It’s called, How to Talk Yourself into Almost Anything. It’s about talking to your subconscious mind as if it’s a separate entity, because it is.
Wendy Harris: Okay, yeah.
Jonathan Chase: On a mental level, it is. I mean physiologically, there’s not a little person living inside your head.
Wendy Harris: Numbskulls.
Jonathan Chase: Not as far as we know anyway, but the subconscious and the conscious mental processes are very, very different and very separate. So, if you want your subconscious mind to do something, go through an imaginative scenario where you put yourself on screen and you can say, “Right, okay, I’m talking to my subconscious now what should I do?” Just say the first thing that comes into your head. I’m thinking, “Scratch your earhole”, “Okay, I’ll do that and that didn’t seem to solve the problem”. “You want to solve a problem?”
I have conversations like this with myself all the time unless I’ve taken the medication, but if you talk to yourself if you actually talk to yourself and have a conversation like that, then you’re doing it but you’re doing it a low level and it’s not as effective. If you want to change your mind, ask your mind why it’s doing what it’s doing.
Wendy Harris: Would you say that talking out loud empowers your mind?
Jonathan Chase: Yes, 100%.
Wendy Harris: I think there’s a lot to be said and certainly, I’m going to touch on this now; it’s a big topic, we’ll try and keep it tight, but social media for example. There are conversations on —
Jonathan Chase: Millions of people talking to themselves.
Wendy Harris: To me, it can be a bit half-hearted, but I see a lot of conversations talking about the things that they worry about having a conversation about. Whereas, had they just grabbed somebody that they respect, not necessarily who’s a friend or family, because they will agree with you and support you in everything that you do. You need somebody unbiased, I think, sometimes to give you that kind of honesty.
Jonathan Chase: You don’t know my family!
Wendy Harris: They’re from my neck of the woods, so I can imagine they’re a good crowd! But it’s that talking it out. Sometimes the problems that we think we’ve got, as soon as we say them out loud, we feel, “It sounds as dumb as it is out loud”, but in my mind it was a big problem. I think we ought to practice talking about these things out loud more if it’s not to anybody, to ourselves perhaps.
Jonathan Chase: There’s that old adage, “Talking to yourself is the first sign of madness”. The first sign of madness is not listening.
Wendy Harris: Yes.
Jonathan Chase: That’s the thing, because we don’t listen to ourselves. You know and I know we’re having a conversation with somebody, and they’ll say 97 million bad things about themselves, and it’s like looking at a load of psychopaths, schizophrenics, because most people are different online than they are offline. But not having a conversation with yourself is a wasted opportunity, because otherwise you go online and you can’t mention that person down the road you don’t like and what they did, unless they just happen to be exactly the same history as you, the same ancestry as you, the same DNA as you, I didn’t say race, the same belief system as you, I didn’t say religion. The only person they can actually have a go at now is themselves, and they do.
Wendy Harris: It’s like cannibalism of the mind really, isn’t it? I like to keep all my conversations positive, to have some value or some purpose, to reach somebody as much as an affirmation to myself as to anybody else, because I think that it’s too easy to be negative, it’s too easy to run things down when it’s not going your own way.
Jonathan Chase: I’m a stoic, I don’t see any sense in positive or negative, there just is what there is and it just either works for you or it doesn’t.
Wendy Harris: I knew that I was going to get the wrong one!
Jonathan Chase: I think the productive overrides positive every day, you know why? I’ll tell you why, because you can do productive thinking, you can think, “Right, I live my life in a wheelchair, how do I get to the top of that mountain?” First of all, I’m either going to need a team of rugby players who want to lift me up there or I’m going to need a helicopter, and I can do that no matter what mood I’m in. I don’t have to be in a whole happy, jeery, positive mood to be practical.
Wendy Harris: Yes.
Jonathan Chase: But I don’t have to be a negative mood to be practical either, because it’s almost a Hippocratic thing in personal development where, “You’ve got to think positively, but you’ve got to make mistakes otherwise you’ll never learn anything. You’ve got to be comfortable, otherwise you’ll never learn anything”. “Hang on a minute, if I’m uncomfortable and I’m making mistakes, I’m not feeling very positive, so what am I learning?” “If you’re positive, then you won’t make mistakes”.
Wendy Harris: You’re going to take the lesson, yes. I see that.
Jonathan Chase: Yes, it’s the hypocrisy of the idea of personal development. Personal development comes from learning something new you didn’t know yesterday, and you can do that. You can do that reading, you can do that by watching some video or something, you can do it by picking up a really, really good book, like Subconscious Skills Success, or something like that. I wouldn’t promote on your podcast though, it’s not nice!
Wendy Harris: I actively endorse it, because I want listeners to be able to carry on the conversation, whether that be picking up the book and reading it, going to your website and seeing what videos or resources you’ve got. That is the point and purpose for me, the podcast. It’s great I get to have fab conversations with guests like you.
Jonathan Chase: Let’s face it, you cannot think of anything else to do, can you?
Wendy Harris: Yes, this is my productive passion that’s a bit of a sin, but I can travel the world without a passport and have conversations with great people.
Jonathan Chase: People have been saying to me, “Hasn’t lockdown been terrible?” The roads have been quiet, the shops have been quiet. There is no queue when I went down the front the other day and had a burger. The only people out and about were people of my age. I don’t like “senior” or “elderly”, but more mature people and I think it’s a bloody shame we’re getting rid of it. But a lot of people have also found that their borders don’t need to be this tiny little physical thing, where you’re only available to that little physical world anymore.
Jane and I were talking the other day and she said, “We’re living in our science fiction”. I had to agree to it, because when we were teenagers, we were reading books by people like Asimov, and we were reading those, and they were saying you could have a video conversation with somebody on the other side of the world. “Rubbish, total fiction”, and I was talking to a guy in New Zealand yesterday. I can’t get further away from Great Britain than New Zealand.
Wendy Harris: No, that’s true. I was in Thailand last week and Oman, Cannock.
Jonathan Chase: Well, somebody’s got to be.
Wendy Harris: I’ve got family there.
Jonathan Chase: Wouldn’t admit to that.
Wendy Harris: Why?
Jonathan Chase: Well, I’ve got family there.
Wendy Harris: No, they probably wouldn’t admit to knowing me.
Jonathan Chase: My youngest just moved to a house. Anyway, we digress.
Wendy Harris: Communication has been the underpin of you career really, hasn’t it, Jonathan, with being on stage, celebrity status, being able to get up and do your TEDx, you’ve got to be able to engage that audience whether they’re interactive or not.
Jonathan Chase: TEDx it’s a just digital, I just recorded it, yes.
Wendy Harris: You’ve got to still imagine that conversation hitting home, haven’t you?
Jonathan Chase: Absolutely.
Wendy Harris: You’ve still got to be able to deliver that for the audience.
Jonathan Chase: Absolutely. What I asked the students, I think it was Bengal University and Bengal Engineering University, and what I asked them to do was get me six students on a zoom and I recorded my bit of it, but I presented to the students. It’s as we were discussing before we started. The one thing about showbiz which zoom does give you, and it’s shown it with programmes like BGT where they’ve had virtual audiences and The Voice where they’ve had virtual audiences, having that virtual audience, seeing people’s faces and that gives you instant feedback that you can perform to and ride the energy of. A lot of people can’t do that.
I do when I have a telephone conversation, because I’m old, so I actually sometimes actually pick the phone up and talk to people like this. I’m not looking at them but, in my head, I’m imaging that person and I’m imagining the reactions and working off that. Our imagination is just so vastly underused and sadly in school we teach how to do logical things, we don’t teach really how to do creative and imaginative.
Wendy Harris: No. It’s something that I certainly stumble across when I’m training, because being a telephone trainer, people don’t want to pick up the phone because all the different reasons that they say is that, “What if I’m interrupting them?” “What if they answer the phone and they’re like ‘Hello!'” At the end of the day, you don’t know what’s going on the other end of the phone, but we do quickly multi-switch. If we hear something to tap into that’s pleasing, we won’t mind being interrupted.
Jonathan Chase: I always say to people this, “If you want to have a really, really good telephone conversation, stick a picture up on your screen or next to your phone or whatever of somebody or something that makes you feel good and makes you smile, and smile”. Instead of picking the phone up and going, “Hello”, pick the phone up and go “Hello!” because people can hear a smile. It’s incredible, but people can hear a smile.
Wendy Harris: Smile while you dial is an industry statement.
Jonathan Chase: Is it? I don’t know about that, I’m just a glutton for people not being nasty with me; it’s called self-preservation. It comes from, I did my showbiz training in the working men’s clubs and the miners’ welfare clubs. Apart from two collieries that were working at the time in the 1990s, apart from two, I’ve worked the social club or the welfare club in every single colliery in the country, because I started in Cannock where at the time there were 6 collieries; there used to be 15. I did Lea Hall, and Cannock West No.5 and Mid Cannock and I did all those.
Then people from other collieries were there and they’d come up to you afterwards, “Come and do our club, I’ll have a word with you in a second”. You’re going out on a Friday or a Saturday night, the guy’s gone into the club to meet his mates, have a couple of pints, watch whatever’s on the stage, because they’re sitting in that room so they might as well, it’s free. The women are there for a couple houses of bingo and the kids are there to make as much noise as possible running round, in my day with a bottle of Vimto and a packet of crisps.
Wendy Harris: It’s always Smokey Bacon.
Jonathan Chase: No, Cheese and Onion! But in my day, there was Cheese and Onion or Salt. I’d walk out on stage, and I’d have 250 guys sitting there who had spent seven hours a day for the last seven days in a hole in the bloody ground, and they were sitting there with their arms folded, “Go on then, entertain us and if you don’t, we’re good shots”. So you learn that self-preservation thing and you learn that if you’re nice, they’re nice back.
Wendy Harris: Mind you 250 pieces of coal would keep you warm in winter, wouldn’t it?
Jonathan Chase: I didn’t have to worry about that, because I was still living at my dad’s. Miners got a full coalhouse as part of their wages; they were never very rich, but they were never cold.
Wendy Harris: What I think is sometimes lacking today, and we did touch on this as we were chatting before we came on, is that resilience. It’s also that fear, if you haven’t got that fear that you’re not going to do well. Your mindset is fairly similar to mine I think is that even if you had nerves and wanted to run off and retch, because it’s something new and that overriding feeling of a wave of fear was coming over you, that you’d still want to do well. Whereas, I think it’s kind of agreeable that you can run off and retch and you don’t have to come back and people would go, “Oh don’t worry”.
Jonathan Chase: That seems to be the point. The point seems to be, “I’m nervous”, “That’s okay, then we’ll put you through to the final”. “I’m upset, that offended me”, “Good”. This sounds either arrogant or disingenuous: I have never felt nervous in the situation where I’ve been on stage, or I’ve been talking to strangers or I’m learning something new. I don’t do that; I just don’t do that.
I think being born with a disability that’s been with me my whole life, I was the clumsy kid in class. If anybody was going to fall over, it’d be me. I thought my name, “He’s gone again”, for the first 12 years of my life. What was that? “He’s gone again”. “Oh all right”, and there’d be me in a pile of chairs.
Wendy Harris: Not just 10.30pm in the bar?
Jonathan Chase: God, no. I was in Blackpool, we were all about 16 and we’d walk up this club and we were going up there getting some girls of a weekend. We never used to, we used to just stand around looking as if we meant something and get drunk.
Wendy Harris: The intention was, but you never did.
Jonathan Chase: The girls would dance round their handbags and then we’d go, “That was a good night”. But I walked up to the door and because of the way I used to walk, because I have a muscular dystrophy, so up until about 20 years ago when I started walking on crutches, I walked but I walked different, badly. The bouncer says, “Sorry, mate you’re not coming in. You’ve had way too much to drink”. I said, “Smell my breath”, he says, “Yeah, yeah, I’ve had that one before”. I said, “No, I haven’t”.
So, I eventually got in, did all the sobriety tests and fell over, so he said, “Well, you’re not going to cause any harm are you? Go on”. But resilience comes in-built with that sort of thing. I’ve not been in that situation. My one drive when I walked out on the stage was get paid.
Wendy Harris: That fear was greater than anything else.
Jonathan Chase: It wasn’t fear; I was just in love with money and what it could get me. I am so narcissistic as well; I love being in the bar after a great show and having 100 people who’d hung around after the show who all wanted to talk to me, or get me to sign Paul McKenna on bits of paper and that sort of thing. Well, I didn’t know I might have been signing cheques, so I always signed, “Paul McKenna”.
Wendy Harris: Let’s face it, he can afford it.
Jonathan Chase: Don’t tell him. Don’t tell Paul. That’s always been my drive and I stand aghast at people who were saying, “You’ve got to go outside of your comfort zone”. If you’re not comfortable doing what you’re doing, you’re not doing the right thing; because you’re told that you’ve got to be uncomfortable to learn something new, like Tony Robbins, who’s been doing exactly the same thing that he’s comfortable doing for the last 40 years. They’ll say, “Oh, he takes risks”. If your business is turning over £100 million a year, investing £10 million of that into a project is not taking a bloody risk. It’s just not, because you’ve got so much, that’s nothing.
I worry about people, because we’re teaching kids now to be nervous. We’re saying that you should be nervous in that situation, well why should you be nervous? What’s the worst thing that can happen? My philosophy is to always ask yourself that question. I’m going into this situation, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
Wendy Harris: What’s the consequences if you don’t do it, I usually say.
Jonathan Chase: Have you ever come across Alex Mandossian, the productivity guy? Great guy from America, lives mostly in Australia now. Alex always said the same thing, “It’s not the ROI, it’s not the return on investment; it’s the COI, the cost of inaction”. What’s it going to cost you if you don’t do it?”
Wendy Harris: Yes.
Jonathan Chase: It’s no good being nervous about it. Two things that can happen in any situation: it works, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you’re exactly where you were when you started.
Wendy Harris: Yet you tried.
Jonathan Chase: You can say that if you want, okay.
Wendy Harris: If you don’t try, then you’ve got nothing to test and measure it against have you; so if you can’t test it and if it fails, then you can change it. You’re going to always be hopefully progressing to something that is nearer to success if you’re trying.
Jonathan Chase: What’s your success? How will you know? I’ve talked to loads of people, “How will you know when you are successful?”
Wendy Harris: That’s got to be my opinion versus the rest of the world, hasn’t it?
Jonathan Chase: No, because only your opinion counts for you, nobody else’s does. How would you know when you’re successful?
Wendy Harris: I’ll be dead.
Jonathan Chase: Will you? That’s not very successful. Well that’s fairly easy to do, stick a pen in your ear, and then batter your head against a wall, that should do that. People used to say to me, “How do you know when you’re successful doing what you do?” The audience would stand up, and when 2,000 people stand up and do that, you can feel the wind. You don’t feel it very often, you don’t feel it every time; that’s when you know you’re a success.
When somebody comes after your act and says, “I enjoyed that”, that’s why folks. Listen very carefully, you should subscribe to this podcast, you should leave a review and say, “Wendy’s wonderful”, because she is. Even though she’s from Yoxall, she’s wonderful! That’s a Staffordshire joke, a South Staffs and an East Staffs joke. You’d have to live there to understand that.
It’s very much a case of, if you know what success is for you, then you can achieve that. If you don’t know what it is, then you’re never going to be successful.
Wendy Harris: I think it’s quite an ambiguous question.
Jonathan Chase: Of course it is and it’s a very personal one.
Wendy Harris: Because it’s context as well, I would say that I’m more successful today than I am 10 years ago and 20 years ago and 30 years ago and that’s purely by starting to do the things that I want to do. Will I be more successful? God, I hope so, don’t we all? But I think it’s the timing thing. I’m here right now, because this is where I’m meant to be, this is what I love doing, so please don’t take it away from me. Please listen, please share this with your friends!
Jonathan Chase: Subscribe and review, folks! You can tell I sometimes do my own podcasts; subscribe and review! The thing is, I agreed to do this podcast because we’ve had chats before through LinkedIn. I haven’t been on LinkedIn for so long, I’ve got 984 notifications.
Wendy Harris: I’m glad that my name rose to the top of those.
Jonathan Chase: No, you’re a follower, so you came just came through the email, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it. But the thing is like I said right at the beginning, I think practicality is better than positivity, because you can be practical at any time. I’m a stoic, I’m very stoic, I don’t do the then and when and I’m not hobbled by my history, and I’m not fired by my future. I’m doing this now and we will see what the result is.
If it makes me happy, I’m successful. If it brings the things that make me able to enjoy what I’m doing, then I’m successful. I think that is the sign of success and it loses some of its ambiguity if you just say, “Success is knowing that you did something you wanted to do well”, it didn’t harm anybody, because let’s face it we don’t want to know about the success levels of people who are paedophiles or serial killers or stuff like that, because their idea of success we would find foreign.
Wendy Harris: We only have to put the news on for that, don’t we?
Jonathan Chase: We’d find that abhorrent; but to them, that’s success.
Wendy Harris: Yes.
Jonathan Chase: Success to a criminal is not getting bloody caught. What’s it called where you think that somebody is going to catch you out at not being very good at what you do? What’s it called?
Wendy Harris: The imposter syndrome.
Jonathan Chase: The imposter syndrome, what a load of rubbish that is. A total excuse for doing nothing if ever there was one.
Wendy Harris: People that know me —
Jonathan Chase: Are you going publish this? You’re not going to publish?
Wendy Harris: There’s quite a lot of people that know me and I’ve said this before with previous guests, I think. You should never mention to me something that you want to do with passion and feeling and emotion, because if it means that much to you to voice it and to tell me, I will make sure I do everything to do it for you. I’ll give you an example, my husband said, “I love Rag’n’Bone Man. I’d really like to see him in concert”, booked. It might be next year, but it’s booked, and that’s how I apply myself to work as well. If there’s something that needs to be done, get it done, take action.
Jonathan Chase: I wish you lived with me. I absolutely love putting the rubbish out, I love going to Tesco’s and buying stuff. You can do all that for me, good Lord.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, get yourself organised. Jonathan, one thing that I ask every guest.
Jonathan Chase: Here it is, I’m prepared.
Wendy Harris: This is the bit that I really love, because I never know what anybody’s going to say, and it is to share that conversation that can bring value to other listeners, maybe in a similar situation, and how you’ve handled that through conversation and what’s happened afterwards. It can be a real lesson, it can be a real guide to us, so I’m going to sit back and I’m going let you take over.
Jonathan Chase: Let me introduce you to somebody, this guy here. I’m showing Wendy a picture, if you’re listening to this. That guy is Jay Ruffley. It says, “The world foremost hypnologist”, which he isn’t because a hypnologist is actually a scientific term for somebody who studies sleep. But when I met Jay, he was Cherokee knife throwing act. He’s from Liverpool, he’s my mentor, my showbusiness mentor. He taught me how to stage a hypnosis show, he taught me about comedy, he taught about all sorts of things, using music, putting a show together, everything.
I’d been lapping all this up for about 12 months after I learned to be a hypnotist and I even went on hypnosis training courses with Will Prowforth up in Scarborough and got all these nice bits of paper to make it easier to get a licence to do a show, but I hadn’t actually done a show. I rang him up and we’re talking one night, and I was going on about, “Yeah, when I’m doing my show, I’ll be doing this”. He said, “Hang on a minute”, now I can’t do a Liverpudlian accent otherwise I’d do it. He said, “Hang on a minute, you will never make a stage hypnotist so long as you’ve got a hole in your bottom”. He didn’t say bottom he said, [Bleep] and that made me really angry.
The next day, I was in my mate’s leather shop, where he makes woggles for scouts and stuff, and the local police officer, the local bobby walks in for his usual morning cup of tea, because we had beat police officers in them days. I said, “What’s up Cedric?” He said, “I’ve been asked to do the entertainment for the police social club Christmas Dinner”, this was about November time. I said, “Oh right”, he said, “I’m looking for something different”. He said, “We have singers and comics every year”, and I said, “I’m a stage hypnotist”. “Are you?” He said, “I’ve seen one of them in Jersey”. He said, “How much are you?” I said, “£250”, which was the first thing that came into my head which was a massive amount of money in the late 1980s. It was a lot of money; it was like three times what a singer would get paid.
He said, “Go on, I think we can just stretch to that”. I went straight upstairs, I rang Jay, and of course he wasn’t doing anything because he was in showbusiness, and this was the middle of the afternoon. I said, “I’ve booked my first show, don’t ever say I’m no –” and he went, “Yeah, I knew you would”, because he knew how to drive me.
Wendy Harris: Yes.
Jonathan Chase: He put me in that position where, “Don’t tell me I can’t do anything”. That was probably the most profound conversation I ever had with anybody, just somebody turning round and saying, “You can’t do that”.
Wendy Harris: Yes.
Jonathan Chase: I mean lots of people would say, “Yeah, but that came from a negative or that just shows how anger can be a positive thing”, it’s just I was totally manipulated by somebody who knew me well enough to manipulate me and press my buttons.
Wendy Harris: How was the show?
Jonathan Chase: [Bleep] I was terrible, I was awful.
Wendy Harris: Did you get paid?
Jonathan Chase: I got paid. I don’t know if you ever heard of it, but there’s a restaurant in the middle of Cannock Chase called The White House, and it was at The White House and it was the middle of December, I went out. There was a couple of hundred of people in the room, half of them were police officers. I thought, “Right, if I get this wrong, I’m going to get parking and jay walking and everything”.
Wendy Harris: Be worse than those miners, that’s for sure!
Jonathan Chase: I was using a borrowed karaoke machine, because I’d got no equipment of my own. I’d gone out that afternoon and bought a £30 suit from Burtons in Cannock that didn’t quite fit, because I’m a big, tall guy, I’m 6 foot 1 and quite broad, so it sort of fit me. I went out and I did my spiel and everything; that bit went okay, because that was scripted and I knew what to do. And then I invited them to come up on stage, but I only managed to hypnotise two women.
I was so adamant I was going to get them hypnotised, I worked on the so long, one of them actually fell asleep and started snoring. The other one was so out of it, when I asked a question, she just mumbled. As I’m sitting here, this is the gospel truth, I turned round to all these people who were trying to have a laugh and a good night out, I said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, a remarkable thing’s happened. We’ve hypnotised her so deeply, she’s gone back to a past life as a caveman!” Anyway, at the end of it when he was paying me, because he was paying me, he said, “That wasn’t what I was expecting”.
So, I went home, I sat down, and I scripted a whole show, and I went up to Liverpool, and Jay tore it apart and said, “That might work, that might work, that’s good, that’s funny”. Then I spent the next three months on borrowed cash basically, and I must have spent about £50K altogether doing this sort of thing. I went and watched every single stage hypnotist I could find that was working in the UK at the time.
I went and watched all their shows and mostly watching the audience and what the audience were reacting to and stuff like that, and of course nicking stuff. We have a saying in showbusiness, “Nick the best, ignore the rest”.
Wendy Harris: Same in any industry, I think.
Jonathan Chase: So, you would nick it and rewrite and make it your own. Let people say, “You shouldn’t steal other people’s stuff”, “Hang on a minute, there’s only 12 notes on a guitar”, you cannot not nick stuff.
Wendy Harris: You can’t reinvent the wheel, can you?
Jonathan Chase: No.
Wendy Harris: No.
Jonathan Chase: Then the next time I went out, I stormed it and then, this sounds arrogant, I don’t think I totally died on my backside. That’s what we say, “I died”; I never got paid off, I never got anybody — there was one night that was really, really hard in the sergeants’ mess, but the next day they’d just been told that they were going out to Iraq. So, that was a very difficult night, because people were saying goodbye to their families and going to war, and that was a hard one, that was a tough one. It’s probably the next worst one that I ever did, but I still got people up, still got laughs and I still got rebooked for the next year.
So, if you know the person you’re having the conversation with, pull chains, press buttons. I’m all for being manipulated and for manipulating people if it’s for their benefit. That’s a hard choice, it’s a hard choice.
Wendy Harris: Influence is a fine line, isn’t it, because in sales for example, it’s got to be a win/win? If the win is for them first and you second, then it becomes more about motives, isn’t it? If the motive is about you driving it for you to win and it’s just a subsidiary by product that they happen to win too, that’s where my value —
Jonathan Chase: I don’t know. The approach in showbusiness, which is a business let’s face it, you’re going to go out there, you’re going to sell yourself to an audience. If you’re somebody like Ricky Gervais or Billy Connolly or somebody like that, or Lee Evans, then the audience is already sold on the fact that they’re going to have a great night; but if they’ve never seen you before then you’ve got to sell that and you’ve got to sell that to the audience.
The only thing I can do is what I was always told to do by my Gran, “Do your best”.
Wendy Harris: Yes, yes.
Jonathan Chase: I go out and I do my best and if my best got me a standing ovation in Derby and it gets the seal clapping when there’s only one person doing that, it sounds like a seal, in Stoke, then if I know I’m doing my best, I know it’s not me, I know it’s them. I understand that sales have to be a win/win situation, but they rarely are. They are usually a win for the salesperson first, because they’re the ones making the profit. It depends, I suppose, it depends on what you’re selling.
Wendy Harris: Yes, and how you look at it as to what a win is, yeah.
Jonathan Chase: If the person who’s buying is happy with what they’ve got and they haven’t got any complaints, which is probably unusual nowadays, then that’s fine.
Wendy Harris: Just be careful; there are lots of social media platforms where you can throw your spear for good or bad these days, isn’t there?
Jonathan Chase: I was looking at Instagram, because I’m actually retired from teaching now, I don’t teach. I’ve got a couple of people chasing me for mentoring. If they ask the right questions and answer the questions I ask, I might mentor them, but I don’t do the training anymore apart from my digital training, which is available off my website.
Wendy Harris: We’ll stick in all the show notes, don’t you worry!
Jonathan Chase: But as a place to produce art and to move people and to interact with people, get people to smile or to get them to cry, I am becoming a total obsessive about TikTok. It’s absolutely amazing platform where for a minute — I’ve got ADHD, I’ve got the attention span of a gnat, actually no; I’ve got the attention span of a gnat’s toe, really short.
Somebody said, “What do you think about that?” I said to them, “I think it’s the way we’ve evolved. I think it’s an evolution, I don’t think it’s a discrepancy of the human mind, it’s the way we’ve evolved. We used to have to get an abacus out and count on our fingers.
Wendy Harris: We adapt, don’t we?
Jonathan Chase: We just pick up a phone up now, don’t we, and we just get the calculator and it’s done? So, nothing’s faster than the speed of thought, nothing. You react faster than any computer ever could, but in a much more complicated and diverse way as well, especially you because you happen to be female. Did I say that out loud?
Wendy Harris: You said that out loud! There’s a series that we’ve gotten into on TV, I don’t know what channel it is because you have to press a lot of buttons, but it’s called the OA. I don’t know what the OA stands for at all, it’s like a couple of years old I think and it’s about this girl who is Russian, and she has a near death experience, and as a scientist that gets five people together that have all had near death experiences and he’s experimenting on them for want of a better word. I can’t give it away because I haven’t seen the end, but it’s one of those that makes you really think hard about, “He keeps taking them to a point of stop and bringing them back”. There are scenes of this dreamlike state.
Jonathan Chase: My career has sort of segued. I was a comedy stage hypnotist, I prefer a humorous hypnotist, but another thing that I did a lot of, I was the first one to do a series on radio for Beacon Radio in Wolverhampton, of past life regressions; but I don’t call them regression, I don’t call it taking you back to your past life, I’ve called it recall, because obviously you can’t go back in time. But you may be able to imagine that you can remember, recall.
Somebody asked me about it, and they said, “As a stoic, surely when you’re dead, you’re dead”. I said, “Yeah, but there’s an essence of life and there’s no scientific proof that that doesn’t exist, yet”. When there is scientific proof that that doesn’t exist, then maybe we can do something about it, but maybe it’s ancestry, maybe it’s a memory; I call it hypnotic tourism. But the thing is I never, ever, ever tell anybody, but I have taken lots of people through that imagination of the death experience from their past lives, and regardless of age, regardless of gender, regardless of background, regardless of history, regardless of religion, regardless of anything, with little bits of interpretation making them different, every single one of them has said the same thing on how it feels and what’s happening.
Now, I think that because thought is energy and that sort of thing, there is an essence that we can call life and we don’t know what that is. Now, I think you can only change energy, you can’t destroy it, basic science. Maybe, just maybe, that thing carries on and finds a suitable receptacle, which would probably be a brain, that’s ready for it in whatever stage of development it needs it to be.
Jonathan Chase: I didn’t hear that one.
Wendy Harris: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and she was saying that ideas are in fact essence; there’s ideas all around us. And she doesn’t feel that there’s a coincidence that you can have scientists working on the same problem that actually come to the conclusion more or less simultaneously, because that idea needs to be broken through. It’s by finding the people prepared to break through as well, which kind of takes us back to there’s a timing for everything and the reason behind things happening when they need to. It’s kind of interwoven, don’t you think?
Jonathan Chase: There is definitely a causality.
Wendy Harris: I find it fascinating.
Jonathan Chase: Yeah, but it’s so nuanced, it’s so disparate, it’s so convoluted and so complex, so like somebody in Russia — and I think it’s happening more and more and more now than it’s ever done before, because people are sharing the same information, in the very same instant, in the very same time.
Wendy Harris: Do you think that that’s perhaps because there’s more of us, so there are more vessels to voice it?
Jonathan Chase: No, it’s this bloody thing.
Wendy Harris: Okay, we’ll go with that!
Jonathan Chase: It’s the internet.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, more outlets for it to break free, I suppose.
Jonathan Chase: Let’s face it, if you went back in time to big manipulators, and all leaders are; if you went back in time to big manipulators and said, “What’s going to manipulate a population more than anything else?” I mean printing press; but this is wonderful for manipulators, you can manipulate people’s thoughts and emotions so easily in this media. Most of the hypnotists I know with one-on-one clients, 90% of them have been doing more work than less work, because they’ve been doing it remotely with people in their own homes all over the world. I think the ideas process is now getting faster because the tools we’re using aren’t an abacus anymore.
Wendy Harris: Yeah.
Jonathan Chase: Almost instant feedback; it’s just amazing. And the numbers involved are just crazy, and when you feed something with that much energy, it’s going to spread and have an effect and good thing/bad thing.
Wendy Harris: That’s down to each of us.
Jonathan Chase: It’s down to each of us.
Wendy Harris: Okay, I’m really pleased to have brought Jonathan’s conversation to you. There’s lots of information on the website, all of the details for the various multiple titles that he has written, and you’ll find much more about Jonathan on the website. That’s www.makingconversationscount.com. Until next time.
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