HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis comes to ECC


Aaron Cobb

Asad Mecci (right) and Colin Mochrie (left)

Nat Leon, Staff Reporter

Are you looking for something fun to do this weekend? Hypnotist Asad Mecci and improviser, Colin Mochrie are performing their show HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis, at the Blizzard Theater on Saturday, April 2 at 7:00pm. 

During the show, Mochrie, performer from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, improvises with five volunteers from the audience. What’s the catch? The volunteers have been put under hypnosis by Mecci. 

“The show is fast-paced, it is action-packed, and above all else, it is hilarious,” Mecci said.

The concept was formed when Mecci took courses at the Second City in Toronto. The emphasis on an improviser’s ability to get out of their own head and allow their natural reactions to create the comedy gave him an idea.

“I wanted to see if I could use hypnosis to take somebody who is an ordinary individual and turn them into an extraordinary improviser,” Mecci said.

According to Mecci, hypnosis hinders the act of self-reflection and allows people to follow through without the hesitation or self-consciousness that new performers often feel. 

Mecci reached out to Mochrie’s manager and they went on to perform their first show at the Second City where Mecci’s belief that hypnosis had the capability to unlock a person’s improv potential was proven correct.

“There was certainly no guarantees when Asaad came to me with this idea and I’m really glad that I was either stupid enough or smart enough to go with it because it’s just been great and so different from anything else that I do,” Mochrie said. 

Since conceptualization in 2016, the show has performed in over 50 cities across America and is coming to Elgin Community College for one night. 

Audience members can expect to take away a night full of laughter and fun. Mochrie and Mecci describe the show as a way to get away from the world and enjoy entertainment without controversial or political topics. 

Additionally, audience members have taken away life-changing experiences from the show. 

“Every night we have a star,” Mochrie said. “One night it was this young woman and afterward I was talking to her and she said, ‘you know I suffer from crippling social anxiety and I have no idea why I volunteered, but that was the best hour of my life. I’ve never felt more in charge of myself. I had fun and I was so totally out of my head. It made us feel really good that this show had this side effect that we didn’t realize it could have.”

Mochrie’s favorite part of the show is what he also describes as the most terrifying part, which is a duet he sings at the end. He explains that the things he enjoys in life are the things that allow him to step out of his comfort zone; he likes being in situations that feel like ‘life or death’ in essence but are not in reality. 

Mecci’s favorite part is getting to watch Mochrie perform live.

Overall, the show demonstrates the success that can be brought with taking a risk. When it comes to the pursuit of a new, unconventional endeavor, Mochrie and Mecci support the effort. 

“Just do it, sometimes you fall flat on your face and sometimes you don’t. Even when you fall flat on your face it’s a learning experience which is something to take to the next level. So it’s better to try it and see what happens rather than think about it and not do anything at all,” Mochrie said.

Tickets are on sale online.