By Carly Thompson
Editor In Chief
Ron Diamond has been mesmerizing audiences with his hypnotist act at fairs across the country for 38 years.
At his height of performing, he would travel to 15 fairs a year spending 280 days on the road. During this time, he performed 600 shows. Diamond, a staple at the Kansas State Fair, has begun to reduce the amount of performances down to about 450 shows, spending less time on the road.
Diamond has a special place for performing at fairs in his heart. He said that he believes that it is important for children to get their hands on agriculture. Fairs can be amazing ways to expose children to career opportunities like farming, horticulture, and animal behaviorists. All careers that help keep food on our tables.
“I truly believe that our bodies heal with play, our minds heal with laughter, and our spirits heal with joy,” Diamond said.
Just last month, he hit his 21,000th hypnotist show. Diamond has been performing since he was 13. He started at Walt Disney World where he danced, choreographed, and designed shows for 10 years. After an injury, he returned to school, where he majored in clinical psychology. This led him to become certified as a surgical hypnotist.
Diamond missed performing, so he decided to take his skills and combine them to make his act. He lives the motto, “What gives me joy is your joy.”
A popular act among hypnotists involves a voodoo doll. One of Diamond’s most famous acts is a twist on the voodoo doll act and involves a sock monkey. While volunteers are under hypnosis, he has them replicate everything he does to the sock monkey.
Diamond made an appearance at Hutchinson Community College this week, during his annual trip to the Kansas State Fair, to visit the Psychology of Personality class. His introduction involved a volunteer. Randi Beaty, Iowa freshman, has never been to Ron Diamond’s show but volunteered. Beaty was asked to hold her hands in tight fists and put them behind her back. She was asked to quickly answer left or right when asked which one. Choosing left, he told her to imagine a small twig and imagine the feeling of it in her hand. He then held up an imaginary match and “lit the twig on fire” having Beaty fully focus on the feeling of it. Diamond had her open her hand and there was ash. The room was awed.
“I never felt him put (the ash) there and was completely shocked to see it,” Beaty said.
Diamond went on to explain to the class that hypnotism is not mind control. It is simply a combination of using endorphins and adrenaline, figuratively separating the sides of the brain to prevent them from communicating and being able to read one’s personality. The goal is to be able to engage one’s subconscious mind.
To see Diamond’s remaining performances at the Peoples Bank and Trust Arena, visit the Kansas State Fair’s website.