If you start to feel sleepy while reading this, Tom Mattox must really be good at his job.
Well, actually it’s his side gig. Tom is an engineer at Raytheon by day, and a hypnotist/comedian nights and weekends, performing at functions and private parties. Tom runs Mattox Hypno Comedy out of his home in East Dracut.
Tom got into hypnosis in 2016 by way of reading up on the art of persuasion during a certain presidential campaign. He picked up a book on hypnosis, which, in turn, led to online classes on the subject. He started practicing on friends and family, then decided to hang a shingle at 1565 Lakeview Avenue, starting a small business helping people quit smoking or other habits.
He realized that he could better help people in larger groups, sprinkling a little comedy in at the same time, so he gave up the office, turning it over to his wife Emily’s accounting practice, Mattox Accounting.
Tom likes to do fundraisers for nonprofits, especially veterans’ causes, being a Navy veteran himself. One of his favorite audiences, though, is a high-school crowd, like a graduation party.
“Kids don’t have inhibitions,” he says. “They’re easier to put under and get to relax. They don’t mind being silly in front of their friends.”
During a typical show, Tom will hypnotize a group of volunteers and get them to do silly things. Though he’s billed as “Hypno Comedy,” he says the folks who are hypnotized are the “real stars of the show -- I just stand there and ask people to be funny.”
Like just about every other business, large or small, Maddox Hypno Comedy has been slowed by the pandemic, but he’s starting to see interest in people coming together again, so he’s breaking out the old routines and learning some new ones.
And if you’re wondering what it’s like to be hypnotized, Tom says we do it to ourselves every day.
“There are all sorts of ways people hypnotize themselves. When you’re driving and you turn the radio on. Or when you’re daydreaming – that’s a form of hypnosis, really. It comes down to relaxing and just letting it happen.”
Visit mattoxhypnosis.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 978-758-4575.
Now, when he snaps his fingers, you can wake up.