Alan Sands Entertainment


I create (5) copies of every P1-B, (1) copy goes to the Troupe Leader, (1) copy for my permanent record, (2) copies go to Homeland Security and (1) copy is submitted for a Union Approval Letter




For the last 20+ years I have helped a hundred entertainers enter the USA annually to entertain as variety performers by being involved in, or executing entirely, a P1-B visa application for them. The following is very formal, "Legaleze" and dry. This essay pertains to O and P applications, but probably covers a lot of other types of applications generally well, too.


I am not a lawyer or work for Homeland Security. This information is supplied informally. If you have legal questions, consult the USDHS or an attorney. I am happy to accept all criticisms, modifications, suggestions or critiques. Please email them to me at:


YOU – a performer, a leader of a troupe, a prepresentative, agent or producer bringing entertainers (or sports teams, speakers, etc.) into the USA
 I, My, Myself or Me – My name is Alan Sands, and I am not a lawyer. I am an entertainer and a talent agent/producer who has been involved with writing Visa Applications for 21 years. I am not a legal aid and have no law or business degrees. I have, over the years, represented a number of troupes of performers who have come from Canada and England to the USA to perform. I was taught this process by the late Barbara Brodnax (RIP-2018) who wrote entertainment visa applications for Disney World, other law offices and independantly.
USCIS – United States Citizenship and Immigration Service - a division of the USDHS
DHS – United States Department of Homeland Security (a division of and used synonymously with USCIS)
P1-A or P1-B Visas – an athletic team or entertainment troupe visa application for an entire troupe or group
O Visa – a visa application for an individual - usually a performer

The more of this you do for yourself, the less it costs to have myself, a legal aid or a lawyer do it.

If all I do is write the essay, and retype all of the forms you get me with most of the info on the forms, so they are uniform, neat and pretty, then my job takes less time. This is a very "LEFT" brain exercise. I know how to do them so they pass USCIS inspection. What people pay me for is my 20+ years of experience and proofing what they do for me.


It costs about $1500-$2700 in fees to do a P1 or O application. Members can divide the costs amongst themselves, so it costs each of them far less to maintain the permit each year. The first year is the most time consuming to create the permit. If there are no changes in the list of members each year, it takes far less time to reproduce the permit in future years. Even a small change can take an hour or two to change, update and modify in multiple places.

I do not add people to an existing permit unless they are going to become permanent members, year after year, into the future because I feel it can hurt the integrity of the permit.

Attached are links to see what the USCIS asks (instructions for filling out the forms and the forms themselves) so you can read it all in their language. I also outline it again in my own words. I do not say things in the same order they do.

FORM I-129

This form must be submitted with all applications:

• Print page 1-8 and fill out as best you can.
• For a P or an O permit; Print page 26-28 and filled out as best as possible.
• Page 35 & 36 are identical. Each performer must have one of these pages filled out.

These are the long form directions for filling out the above:


A Union Approval letter must be submitted with every P or O permit.


In the event you need the application reviewed by the USCIS in two weeks. Normal processing takes up to eight weeks.

Remember when you were in school, and you would read the chapter in your social studies book, then answer questions in the back of the chapter? The teacher wanted you to repeat the question in the answer; (i.e., Question - Why is the sky blue? Answer - The sky is blue because…). This is how one does a Visa Request. You take each of the requests, answer each one in a long form essay. The entire essay is 10-20 pages total. You repeat your answers over and over again in each of the replies. In this way you answer each of the requests accurately.

I also send them an outline of what is included in the package as an "Enclosure List " so they have a checklist that shows I covered everything. All of this needs to be completed before 12/31/18 to use the forms linked above, as these forms expire after 12/31/18 and I do not know what the new forms will request or need.

Cost outline:
$   325 – I-129 Application
$   250 – Union Letter from AGVA
$   250 – Federal Express costs to/from AGVA and USCIS
$   150 – Photocopies for five copies of everything (AGVA; USCIS x 2; my copy, your copy)
$1,250 – If Premium Processing is necessary plus additional time to include a 2nd essay with the Premium Processing Application.

Promotional Material for each of the acts, 20 pages per act. I photocopy them back to back, so each act has ten (10) – two-sided pages of promo.
Promo should include Newspaper articles, magazine articles, letters of recommendation, photos, bio, credits, references, advertisements - They must all be IN ENGLISH.
If they are not in English, they must include an English translation or they are NOT to be included! Example: Newspaper cover pages in Chinese will deny the application being accepted (they will send it back with an RMI {request for more information} if there is no translation. It is best to not include non-translated documents regardless of how prestigious they are.

Photocopy of all Passports' inside page - This is for the AGVA Letter of Approval submission, not the USCIS Visa Application

List of awards, television appearances, outstanding performance credits, website link.

I need to know if they have ever been on another visa application to enter the USA, and if they have copies of that visa application, please include it. If they do not have copies, reference numbers for that visa application and a history of who, when, where, why all help.

Full legal name, home address, phone #'s, email addresses, web address, passport # (I keep all this info in an Excel Spreadsheet for my own records and references)

A copy of any and all contracts or letters of invitation and intent - with you and them - or them and others in the USA. Letter of intent or agreements spelling out what is being paid or supplies being furnished (i.e., housing, per diem, travel, etc.) all add to the application.

Any and all supporting documents about your event that make it so that the USCIS says, "yes - they are unique, special, best in class, real pretty, award winning, top selling..."

I need to know if they have legal convictions (including DUI) on their permanent record, or have ever been denied entry to the USA for any reason, when and why.

A lawyer will charge you $5,000 to $10,000 (possibly plus expenses) to do this, I have heard.
I charge $150 an hour plus expenses.
I believe it takes me approx. 3 days (24 hours) to do this if I have everything in place when I sit down to organize and execute it. The longest it ever took me was two weeks the first time I did this. lately, it takes me two days to repeat an application I have done in the past and up to seven days to do a new application if I have to do everything myself and no one does any organizing of the different acts before I attack it.

Alan Sands
(601) 490-2999


I coach Stage Hypnotists. Every year, I do one or two sessions where I bring future stage hypnotists to a county or state fairgrounds and I put them on stage and I coach them in a very personal, intimate setting. ( I encourage the students to ask questions before the class and am there to answer questions anytime they need me after the class as well. The following is an answer to someone asking me how to "Find the Right Music."

Finding and adding music to your act:

I am going to make this sound worse than it is, but I want to give you all the variations, then we will work on getting you up and running as simple as we can, and enhance it as we go. OK?
One of the things that "evolves" over time is your music choices and putting them together into a show. When I started, I had no music. It is one of the reasons why I think I do so many vocal sound effects now in my act, even though I have 30-40 sound cues now.
I have an endless variety of music that others have given me, including recordings made just for hypnotists with popular sound effects and popular songs. I also collect sound tracks from major motion pictures and sound effects libraries.
One problem you will run into is if you use copy written music, when you go to post your videos on youtube, you may have problems with copyright infringement. Sometimes they are only blocked in certain countries (Enya music can't be played in Germany) or they will put advertisements on your youtube videos without asking permission - but the music rights dictates they have the right to do this.
Because I am a Macintosh user, I use iTunes for my music purchases.
• I do a lot of iTunes searches. One BIG advantage to using iTunes is I get the album cover art with the download, and this makes it easier for me to see the song on my iPod as I look for the sound bite.
• I have purchased copyright free libraries of music (these are filled with a lot of junk, but if you find that right sound for something, the price does not matter.)
• I have software on my computer and can pull Youtube and Vimeo files off the internet and strip out the music or sound effects from the video.
My most recent example of this is my "Scary Movie" sound track. I have been doing a scary movie for ever, but my music corrupts itself all the time. I loss the songs I use, or it begins to sound bad. I looked on youtube and found "The Scariest Movies Recorded" with a great sound track to a movie short. I then added a wind track behind it in GarageBand (a music editing program that comes with Macintosh) I bought on iTunes. I love this new creation.
One needs to write the routine, then find the right music, not the other way around.
My nephew, Malcolm Fife, does post production sound for major motion pictures. he works for major SF Bay Area Studios including Lucas Films. Lucas is now owned by Disney, so he does Disney films as well and his credits are endless. He is the LAST person to see a film and add his enhancements before the film is released. I share this because understanding that music and sound effects added to the show is the LAST thing you add. You can't write a show around sound, you need the show to be written, then add the sound enhancements afterwards.
You would not take the sound of a horse drawn wagon crossing cobblestones, then try and create a movie about the sound. Instead you film the wagon crossing the stones, then add the sound track in.
One of the things we do at The SandMan's Stage Hypnosis Boot Camp is I will show you my show on a computer, stopping as it plays and I will give you a "director's cut" of what I am doing, how my show evolved, and what my intentions are - the good and the bad of it all. I may also show you other people's shows and do something similar with them.
However, if you need my direction before we get to class to help you find something in my libraries, or help you find a good example of a sound effect - let me know your routine thinking, and I will do my best to help you find the effect before we get to Wyoming August 13-19.
pop tops and pull tabs

04/23/17 Pop Top Blog

I have been collecting pop tops since my daughter was 15. She just turned 25, so my collection so far has taken me nine years or more. My goal is to collect one million pop tops. I tell people, "I do not expect to have 1,000,000 of anything else in my lifetime and I want to leave something for my daughter." The truth is, I want to show people what one million looks like. I estimate my one million pop tops will fill the back of my pick up truck bed including the camping shell. One million multiplied by one million is one trillion. If our national debt is 19 trillion, then it will take 19 million pick up trucks filled with one million pop tops each to equal our national debt in pop tops.

People tell me they collect them for Ronald McDonald house, and this is honorable, but the value of these pop tops is so little, they might realize the effort is not worth the reward.

May I share some basic statistics with you? To collect 1,000,000 pop tops @ 1,000 a month it will take me 83 years to reach my goal. I am doing much better than this thanks to alcoholics and people who drink a lot of soda pop helping me, but after 9 years, I think I am at about 250,000. Pop tops weigh 10.4 oz. per 1,000. Therefore, my 1,000,000 pop tops will weigh 104,000 ozs. or 650 lbs.

Today's price of Aluminum (April 2017) as a commodity is selling for 88¢ a pound. One million pop tops is worth approx. $574.00 if I got the full commodity price for them.

I know, you are saying they help with dialysis. No, not true. It's a myth.

You say, "the aluminum is far purer than the rest of the can and it is used for hypodermic needles." Also a myth. The aluminum in the pop tops is no different than the can it came from.

Do they help buy wheel chairs in Canada? Yes, but again, the value of the pop tops is far less than one might think and you are far better off donating $10 to the cause of your choice and giving me your pop tops to help me meet my 1,000,000 goal. $10 worth of pop tops at 88¢ a lb. is 11.36 lbs. of pop tops. at 10.4 oz per 1,000 pop tops this is 17,483 pop tops or a little more than four - one gallon milk jugs filled with pop tops.

SNOPES says: (

Pull Tab Redemption Rumor

Do pull tabs from aluminum cans have special redemption value for time on dialysis machines?

CLAIM: Do pull tabs from aluminum cans have special redemption value for time on dialysis machines.


ORIGINS: A legend this good-hearted should be true. But it’s not. And a lot of really nice people end up sadly disappointed when they eventually discover all their hard work pretty much went for naught.

Pulltabs have no special value that makes them redeemable for time on dialysis machines, or indeed which make them worth far in excess of their ordinary scrap metal recycle value. While a handful of charitable concerns, including McDonald’s Ronald McDonald House and Shriners Hospitals for Children accept donations of can tabs, said tabs fetch such groups no more than the items’ ordinary recycle value of about 10¢ per lb..

 The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) says this of the dialysis rumor that has been dogging them for quite a while:

A false rumor that has plagued the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the aluminum industry for decades has recently resurfaced, perhaps fueled by the Internet. Individuals and groups believe they can donate the pull tabs on aluminum cans in exchange for time on a kidney dialysis machine.  Such a program has never existed through the NKF, nor have there ever been programs through the foundation allowing people to exchange any type of item (box tops, product points, etc.) for time on dialysis.

I don’t think anyone is ever going to figure out where what have come to be called “redemption rumors” first came from. The notion of something of little value (pull-tabs, empty cigarette packs) being collected by good-hearted people and then turned over to a public-spirited company who would redeem them for an item that would help the less fortunate (time on a dialysis machine, a wheelchair, a seeing eye  ) goes back a long way — ours is far from the first generation to fall for this canard.

A 2002 article described a common experience with the rumor:

Back when 15-year-old Elizabeth Bohli was in the third grade, she had a friend who had a friend who had leukemia. Word was that the sick girl’s doctor told her about a program in which the Coca-Cola Co. would pay for one chemotherapy session for every 1,000 aluminum pop-tops collected.

Elizabeth remembered that program when her 12-year-old sister, Jenny, was diagnosed with melanoma in September, and a massive collection drive began at Pelham High School. For two months, students, teachers and parents brought in thousands of the tiny aluminum objects.  Soon, other schools were calling, asking how they could donate their pop-tops. Word spread to churches, which eagerly jumped in to help. And one friend told another, and another and another. Since then, the pop-tops campaign has gone, well, a little over the top. As of this week, more than 276,000 had been collected.

But none of that metal will translate into free treatments for Jenny. “It was just an old myth,” she said this week.  Jenny’s mother, Jo, called Coca-Cola recently, feeling as though she held a winning lottery ticket in her hands. Then she asked how she could cash in the pop-tops for money to pay for her daughter’s immunotherapy treatments. At first, there was laughter. Then the voice on the other end told her there’s no such program. 

“She actually laughed because she couldn’t believe that the kids had collected so many,” Bohli said. “To me, it was just so outstanding that these kids made such a fantastic effort to help Jenny.” 

Walker Jones, community relations director for Coca-Cola in Birmingham, said that while the company works with some cancer-related charities, it does not redeem pop-tops for medical treatments.  Jones doesn’t know who perpetuates the pop-tops rumor, but it has been fizzing around for some time. “I think the myth has been going on for over 20 years,” she said.

There’s nothing special about pull tabs which makes them exchangeable for time on a dialysis machine. These bits of metal are worth nothing more than the ordinary recycle value of the aluminum they contain. 

Though rumor claims pull tabs are especially valuable because they’re made of “pure aluminum,” they’re actually formed from an aluminum alloy, just like the rest of the can (albeit of a slightly different type). 

A million pull tabs have a recycle value of about $366 U.S. And that’s before you factor in what it costs to collect, store, and transport them to a recycling center which will pay cash for them. When you consider the time and effort it takes to collect a million of anything, it’s a wonder anyone would go to all that trouble for a mere $366. Far better to ask everyone you know for a penny in place of each pull tab they would have given you — at least then when you were done collecting your million, you’d have $10,000 to donate to your charity.

To put this in even clearer perspective, 100 pull tabs have a scrap metal value of about 3½¢.

That old “something for nothing” dream gets people every time. Spring 1997 produced a poignant example of this madness in the form of a news story about a crippled child in a remote Canadian community and that community’s good-hearted belief that if only they could save up eight million pull tabs, they could get her a much-needed wheelchair. The local community health center made a project of collecting these little bits of metal, and it was only after they’d gathered more than a million that they realized not only didn’t they have a buyer for them, they also hadn’t figured out how they were going to transport them from their town (roughly 2500 miles north of Montreal) to any place with a recycling plant:

“We just thought we needed eight million tabs,” said Linda Tucktoo, who helped organize the drive and assumed there was a program to trade tabs for wheelchairs. “I didn’t know it was so much trouble.” 

Charity groups and the aluminum industry say they have been fighting misconceptions about collecting pop can tabs for years. “Unfortunately, it’s one of those urban myths,” said Denise Bekkema, executive director of Storefront for Volunteer Agencies in Yellowknife. “We actually get calls, probably about two a year, from people who have collected oodles and oodles of tabs from pop cans and then wanting to donate them to make wheelchairs. But there’s actually no such program.”

This tale had a happy ending in that the Royal Canadian Legion arranged and paid for the transportation costs of getting all those pull tabs to a recycling centre, someone else donated a used wheelchair, Air Canada shipped the chair for free to the little girl, and a Canadian wheelchair manufacturer also offered to make a brand-new chair for her.

Others whose hearts were in the right place haven’t been as fortunate. The experience of Dave and Beryl Hodge of Houston is typical. They saved pull tabs for two years, enlisting the help of friends, neighbors and relatives in their project. A local service club (who had themselves been taken in by this rumor) had led them to believe these tabs could be redeemed for dialysis treatment for a kidney patient:

“It’s folklore. It’s something that people want to believe, and people are just heartsick when they find out no one will redeem these things.” Mrs. Hodge, 64, said she was indeed heartsick when she recently learned her time, energy and tabs were devoted to a non-existent cause.

 “We had so many people saving these for us that it reached the point where every time we’d see a friend or neighbor, they’d hand over some tabs to us,” she said. “We had family back in Connecticut mailing them to us. We were turning cans without the tabs over to the senior citizens at the YWCA, and they in turn were giving us their tabs.”

Rumor not only dashes the hopes of those trying to do a good deed; it also causes endless headaches for those in the recycling business:

“We don’t even take tabs and we’ve never advertised that we do,” says Phil McEvers of Houston’s American Reclaiming Corp. “But it’s not unusual for us to get 30 or 40 calls a day from people who say they’ve heard these things.” While some Houston recycling companies do buy tabs, dealers say the prices range from about 10 cents to 28 cents per pound — much less than prices purported for gallon quantities.

“People will come up here and just swear to you that these tabs can get an hour for somebody on a (dialysis) machine, and nothing you tell them will convince them that it’s not so,” says O’Neil Short, president of Houston’s Micon Recycling. “Some of them come with the gallon containers wanting $75 a gallon, and when we explain it’s not worth $75, they pull out of the driveway mad.”

“They just flat think we’re lying to them.” Micon no longer will buy the tabs at all, said Short.

One of the many companies victimized by this rumor is Reynolds Aluminum. They’ve come up with an effective reply to the pull-tabs question: a redirection of these lovingly-collected tabs into their normal recycling program, for which they pay standard scrap metal rates. (Obviously, collecting whole cans would be far more effective, but facts have never slowed down anyone running with a good rumor firmly between his teeth.) As one of their 1993 brochures read:


This Program Might Have A Familiar Ring

False rumors have plagued the aluminum industry and the National Kidney Foundation for years concerning beverage can pull tabs and kidney dialysis. Across the nation, at various times, word has spread that aluminum can pull tabs could be recycled in exchange for time on a kidney dialysis machine for someone with kidney disease. Many well intentioned yet misinformed groups and individuals collected pull tabs only to find that there was no pull tab/kidney dialysis donation program. It never existed. Anywhere.

In some cases it was even very difficult to collect the tabs because of the fact that many cans now have a device called Stay-On-Tab ™, a design improvement to all-aluminum cans which keep the tab attached to the can after opening. Yet even then people would remove the tabs and bring them to a Reynolds Aluminum recycling center, only to find the sum of their efforts much less than they had hoped . . . no dialysis and much less money than if they had brought the cans that were originally attached to the tab.

There was nothing they could do, and nothing we could do . . .


Reynolds Aluminum Recycling Company (RARCO) and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF)
affiliates and chapters have initiated this “Keep Tabs on Your Cans” turnaround drive. RARCO and NKF are seeking groups and individuals who will recycle aluminum through Reynolds, donating the proceeds to the National Kidney Foundation local chapters and affiliates.


The group or individual collects recyclable used aluminum beverage cans, aluminum pie plates, foil, frozen food and dinner trays, as well as many other forms of recyclable aluminum, then brings it to a Reynolds recycling center. The recycler then requests that the money earned from the recycling transaction be donated directly to the National Kidney Foundation. Reynolds provides the recycler/contributor with an itemized receipt for record keeping and tax purposes. Periodically, the donations are totaled, and Reynolds sends a donation to the nearest chapter or affiliate of the National Kidney Foundation. 


Diseases of the kidney and urinary tract are a major cause of illness and death in the United States. The National Kidney Foundation and its 50 affiliates and 200 chapters comprise the primary health organization in the U.S. which fights this disease. Your donation will finance research, treatment, diagnosis, detection, and cure of kidney and urinary tract diseases.


Bring your aluminum cans and other household aluminum to any Reynolds Aluminum Recycling center and ask to have the proceeds sent to the National Kidney Foundation. For the location and schedule of the (Reynolds Aluminum) recycling center nearest you, simply call (toll-free) [out-of-service number removed], or for more information write the National Kidney Foundation, Inc., 30 East 33rd Street, New York, New York, 10016.

(Reynolds has since sold off its recycling operation to Wise Metals.)

Seeing as how folks were bound and determined to collect pull-tabs for charity, in 1987 McDonald’s found it a good idea to get into the act. Their Pop Tab Collection program is a response to pull tab mania, and 

Pull tab removalit at least provides folks with a place to dump the tabs they’ve been hoarding over the years in the belief they could use them to purchase dialysis time for an ailing child. Tabs dropped off at various McDonald’s are taken to a local recycling company, and the money made from selling them for their scrap value is given to the local Ronald McDonald House to help defray operating costs.

(Ronald McDonald houses are inexpensive family lodgings located near hospitals. Families of sick children stay there so as to be close to their hospitalized child. Typically, it costs the house $40 a night a room to operate and families are asked to make a donation of $10 a night when they stay. The shortfall is made up through various charitable endeavors, of which the pull-tab collection and recycling program is but one.)

It needs be stressed yet again that pull tabs are far from “found money” — even the Shriners Hospitals for Children, another organization that uses money received from the recycling of aluminum tabs for a good cause, noted in April 2007 that the recycling price for aluminum tabs is $0.50 to $0.70 per pound, which means that even at the upper end of that price range, they’re only getting about $427 per million tabs collected. Prospective donors could still do far more good by organizing a local soda can recycling program and donating the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House (or any other charity).

THE BOTTOM LINE:   No charitable organization will pay out a premium (in cash, goods, or services) for pull tabs from aluminum cans. Some of them will indeed accept donations of pull tabs, but all they pay (or receive) in exchange for those tabs is their marginal value as scrap aluminum. Anyone gathering pull tabs for charity would do far better to collect whole cans; accumulating nothing but pull tabs is like eschewing quarters in order to collect pennies. 

(From time to time, various companies will run programs under which they offer to donate money to charities in exchange for consumers’ collecting and returning some item of product packaging [e.g., pull tabs, boxtops, wrappers], but such companies only accept packaging from their own products, and their object in operating these programs is to promote and advertise their brands.)

Next time someone asks you to donate a few pull-tabs for a good cause, donate a few facts instead. You’ll be doing everyone a favor.

Barbara “donate make your brown eyes blue?” Mikkelson

LAST UPDATED:   24 March 2012

April 3rd, 2017

A potential student asked questions about The Sandman's Stage Hypnosis Boot Camp August 13-19 at the Wyoming State Fair. I thought my long reply might be of interest.

Clinical Hypnosis and Stage Hypnosis have as much in common as pasta and bread. Both are made from grain, but that is where the similarity ends.

Clinical hypnosis is intimate - and almost everyone likes participating in intimacy.
Stage hypnosis is exhibitionism - not everyone likes participating in public exhibitionism
I am not going to explain more about clinical hypnosis, or hypnotherapy other than to say we use hypnosis in both stage and clinical applications.
Stage Hypnosis is a very unique form of entertainment compared to other forms of entertainment. Not only is is based on science and spirituality vs. simply entertaining but it has very different needs and methods of being mastered.

Does a Hypnosis Show need a quiet space to do your show?

Not necessarily, but it improves the quality of the show. Do you like quiet when you watch TV, go to the theater or movies? People want to give the show their undivided attention without distractions. So avoid conflicting noise or activity going on. 

Is it OK if we have several activities going on at the same time as your show?

We highly discourage it. You are having a late-night party for high school students and paying for a premium service. Why would you want other activities going on at the same time?

We are serving dinner during this time, also. Will they need to be finished eating before you start?

Unless people are paying for the entertainment out of their pocket, food beats entertainment almost every time. People do not want to look up from their food to watch a show. There are types of entertainment that work during a meal. They are the type of entertainment that does not need your undivided attention, like background music. However, Variety Acts like hypnotists, magicians, jugglers & ventriloquists need the audience's full attention. Please do not serve meals at the same time as the show.

Begin the entertainment after people have eaten, especially if the show requires volunteers. No one wants to leave their meal and participate.

Hypnosis shows are a LOT of FUN! However, sometimes you have to make people sit and watch to discover they like what they are watching and see it themselves. If one has never seen a hypnosis show, they are naive and won' know what they missed if you don't make them watch the show. My wife forced me to see Wayne Newton. I am GLAD she did!!!

Late Night parties have a formula that works for 90+% of the time.

HOT FOOD wins over everything else. If you serve food, nothing else should be going on except {a.} music and maybe {b.} raffles.

When the party ends, guests will not remember the food, games, or prizes except quality prizes like iPods, iPads, computers, bicycles, dorm room refrigerators, microwaves, etc. But, they will remember the comedy show that made them laugh so hard, they cried.

Let's discuss formulas that work best:

#1 - Use the Hypnosis Show as the first thing of the event, used to gather them quickly into one place before they are shipped off to the off-site event.
A few schools have had me perform at the school, in the gym, or theater as the first thing of the night. All the kids gather and park, go into the show (after being searched - all wallets, money, beverages, purses, etc., must be left in the car). They watch the hypnosis show for 90 minutes, then are put on busses and taken to the event at an off-site location. (Arcades with go-carts, H20 Parks, or Bay Cruise Ships, usually).

#2 -THE MOST POPULAR FORMULA - The Comedy Hypnosis Show is the last activity of the night.
Say the event goes from 9 pm - 5 am, do the hypnosis show at 3–4:30 am. The only thing that follows is the big raffle and more food - but very little of that food will get eaten. Few people eat at 4:30 am. Make servings elementary school-sized finger foods like donuts cut in half and tiny 6 oz—boxes of orange juice. If you cook a hot breakfast, make servings small. Enormous portions of french toast, pancakes, and sausage get thrown away at 5 am.

My final share: No one goes home after 4 am and drinks or does drugs. I see these events pushed to 5, 6, 7 am... You can end at 4 am, or 5 am, and you will have fulfilled your mission of seeing the kids safe, and you will leave them saying, "I had an awesome time."



I have Light Pencil, Dark Pencil and Pen & Ink way of recording when people contact me for Gigs.

 A Light Pencil means they inquired, but that is all it was - It was a casual inquiry as to whether I am available, prices and other questions. Sometimes they fill out my form found on line here: No one is promising anything to anyone else. It was just a friendly inquiry. 

Dark Pencil is a more serious inquiry. It means you have asked I keep you informed of my availability because you are seriously considering me, or one of my acts for this event. Some call this a “First Right of Refusal” Again, there is no obligation on either parties side, but I have made notes and will talk to you again. I also ask that if you decide to say, “NO” you give me the courtesy of letting me know, just like you’d like me to tell you if I can no longer wait for a reply and am taking another gig that date.

Pen & Ink - Means you have requested a contract. To make me Pen and Ink something, you have to fill out my form on line - - and then I will get you an agreement. I will ask for a deposit. We are "Good-to-go" as long as negative energy in the universe does not interfere.

My Cancellation Policy:

Even if you send me a deposit, even if you sign my contract, I know “shit happens.” When shit happens and nothing can be done about it, I do not hold people responsible.

As long as a non-refundable plane ticket or rental car has not been purchased, as long as the performer has not gotten in their car and driven to the event, as long as another event has not been passed on to accommodate your event, I will allow someone to cancel a signed contract and I will refund any refundable / not spent portion of a deposit.

I do not wish to treat people the way airlines, insurance companies and leasing companies treat my daughter and me. Yes, it costs me money - but my disappointment is easier to stomach than your being pissed off at me. Life is short. I do not want people remembering me in negative ways over money. There are so many other creative ways I can piss you off and I am an artist, not a business man :-)

I also expect you will allow me to get you another performer of equal or better value for the same price to perform the same services if I need to get out of the agreement for any reason, whether it be a career opportunity or more money, less travel to make the same money, or any other reason that is reasonable.

I believe in Win/Win relationships.

I did a private party last night for a wealthy woman in the Omaha region. She owns a ranch with really large metal barns (the $250,000 type) and she sponsors and puts on a Halloween party for friends, church members and family. She catered the event and paid her handyman to build a haunted house that rivals any I have ever seen, anywhere!

I charged $1695 to do the show. Asked for a deposit of $600, which she deposited in my account for me, and - something interesting took place...
I video every show with the purpose of selling the videos to the people in the show, or anyone else who wants to buy a copy. As I came to the 'end of show pitch', I realized (1) I was getting paid by an individual at her private party and I thought to myself 'it's rude to sell something to her friends and family' as well as I knew they all knew each other and sharing, pirating or buying one copy was all the group needed, as well as I knew the client's own family was on stage - it just felt wrong to charge them for DVDs, so I announced, "I will set business cards out and I will post the video on my private Vimeo site. If you email me, I will send you the private URL to see the show." I also added that "if anyone feels embarrassed by the video and you ask me to remove it, I will."
I figured, what a great way to attract more business from this group and - an unexpected result also happened; the client tipped me $405.00. Normally I sell the DVDs for $20 each at the show ($32 on my web site) and I rarely sell 20 DVDs following a show, so the tip more than compensated for any DVDs I might have sold.
It was a rare occurrence, the timing was right. I don't think I will do this all the time, but it certainly worked well this time!
I think I will put a note on the free DVD when I put it on-line stating the Video will only remain up for 1 month, and if they want a copy forever, they can buy a copy from my web site - but the "free on my Vimeo channel" idea is something to discuss. 
If I put it on my web site and there is where they go to find it, it will also drive traffic to my web site. It seems to be a win/win in every way!


Please leave comments here for others to read. Thank you.

Using an iWatch to do musical cues in your hypnosis show

Hold a microphone, hairbrush or a stick in your hand like a microphone. Notice that to look at your watch you must turn your wrist, moving the microphone away from your mouth, to see the watch face. If you wear a headset, this would not apply, but I use a hand-held mic myself.
Touch the watch face with a finger from your other hand. Notice you are not looking anywhere but down at the watch and it takes all your focus away from everything else.
The iWatch has small print; the print is on a watch. If you wear glasses or contact lenses while doing your show, you might be fine, but I do not so I could not read the fine print on the watch to determine what song I was on and the watch is very sensitive, so I found it difficult to get to my sound cues QUICKLY if a song ended or I wanted to change songs or adjust the volume with a moments notice.
The watch takes a bit of handling to get used to. You can use on-screen controls or spin the pin to change songs, and increase and decrease the volume. Learning to spin it one way or the other was confusing to me if I was not looking at the watch screen. Perhaps with more time, I'd get used to knowing these things more instinctually.
I like the watch for other reasons: it tells me when I get messages and emails, vibrates left (2x) and right (3x) when I use Maps as my GPS. If I leave my cell phone in another room when I leave the room or in the car while loading or unloading, and the phone rings, I can answer the phone like Dick Tracy and talk to my watch like a phone. 
When I am not doing a show, playing with the music function was fun! 
I have not played with it for more than a week, so all the pluses have not accumulated yet, but as for it doing my sound cues in the show - It's not going to work for me. Sorry Apple. I love you, and I will always use an iPod for my music, but the watch is not gonna be in the show!
leave comments here so others can see them, please


This article is written for Hypnotists that carry a mixer with them. It will teach some basic attributes of a better mixer over a cheaper, smaller mixer with less buttons, knobs, dials and switches.

When you know how to use all the buttons, knobs and switches on a sound console the flexibility it give you is sometimes subtle but for a fickle ear or for optimizing what you are working with it does make a difference.

Metaphor: I don't know any professional photographers that use an automatic camera. They want to be able to set a white balance, set the F Stop (the speed of the shutter) and aperture (how big the lens opens to allow more or less light in) themselves. It is similar with sound. I can hear the difference and it drives me nuts when the sound is not tuned correctly, if there are no dynamics and worst of all is the sound is distorting.

Personalized Training:


In Sept - Oct 2013, I worked with two students for two weeks. Dr. Dan Anders and Brian Verrano in Greenville, NC and Lumberton, NC

In June 2014, I worked with Michael Mayo in Merced, CA.

In October 2014, I worked with Vanessa Lindgren, Jeff harpring nad Martin Baratz in Lumberton, NC.


Brian Varano on stage October 2014 Lumberton, NC


Brian had never done a show, but had memorized Justin Tranz’s routine after training with Justin, and he was able to get on stage five times, record a demo video he now uses and he was very successful at getting his feet wet and pulling off some successful shows. He also purchased sound equipment for his act with great confidence as well as downloaded Show Cues, bought the iJet remote and worked with the application and his remote to do his music cues.






Dan Anders worked diligently on writing his script, and bought a good, small sound system after he left. He has done a dozen or two shows before coming, and has since then done another half dozen shows - including one I got for him that paid him $1,200, and he seems to let me know how each show went and what he learned from our time together. (Brian Varano on left, Dan Anders on right)






In June 2014, I worked with, Michael Mayo, for five days. Michael had previously done about 20 shows, and we were able to work on some opening material, strengthen his middle act - making it run smoother so it was not so choppy - and we polish his closing so that when the show ended, the audience felt like there was some finality to the show. He also got to get on stage four times and do shows and we videotaped his shows so he will now be able to create a good demo for himself.


Every student I work with has specific, individual needs. Each student was very different than the previous student. All of them were “working it” but needed some pointers and attention to the details to make them become tighter.