ROXBURY, NJ – The unnerving part about talking to hypnotist John Cerbone, even on the phone, is the uncertainty. Has he hypnotized you with his voice over the airwaves? How can you be sure?
After all, Cerbone – who is performing Feb. 4 in Roxbury - is a guy who “dropped strangers into a hypnotic trance in split-seconds,” according to his website.
Asked the question during a recent phone interview (How do I know I’m not hypnotized right now, John?) the so-called “fastest hypnotist alive” is pretty fast with a funny answer: “Because you didn’t pay me.”
Yes, Cerbone, “The Trance-Master,” charges for his services, whether they be for group entertainment or personal self-improvement. But those who want to see him in action Saturday at Roxbury High School won’t go into a stupor over the price; Tickets to the 6 p.m. event are only $7.
“While there are many other things someone can do on a Saturday night in Roxbury, for the cost of $7 at the door you’re going to certainly get your money’s worth in terms of entertainment value,” said Roxbury Rotary Club member Steve Alford.
The Rotary’s arm in Roxbury High School, the Interact Club, is helping organize Cerbone’s appearance. The Staten Island, N.Y. resident is coming to Succasunna to help the high school’s “mini-THON” campaign, which raises money to help fight pediatric cancer in conjunction with Penn State University’s Thon weekend.
“Once again, in true Interact fashion, every dollar raised that night will go to the organization we’re raising funds for,” said Alford.
Cerbone, a former Rotarian, said he agreed to do the Roxbury show when Interact Club President Kaila Mathis “got hold” of him and mentioned the Rotary involvement.
“I was like, ‘Let’s do this,’” Cerbone said. “The bottom line is as soon as I heard this was something to do with a Rotary project, I was all in. That’s all you have to do to get me involved in something like this. I like the idea of making a difference in the world and Rotary is a very giving organization.”
Cerbone does many “Project Graduation” performances around the region. He’s been there at several of Roxbury’s, showing up well after midnight to entertain the graduates before they are released from the all-night, alcohol- and drug-free post-graduation gathering.
‘I’m the closing act,” he said. “I do the show at 3 o’clock and then they feed them afterward.”
Those attending Saturday’s performance can expect to laugh as Cerbone takes volunteers from the audience, brings them onstage and has them do silly things the might never live down. “What makes the hypnosis show so unique is that you can either be one of the 25 people he selects to be hypnotized but sometimes it’s more fun to be an audience member,” said Alford. “There may not be a funnier thing to watch on the planet. It’s just hysterical.”