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#EdFringe16: Q&A with Asad Mecci of Hyprov

One of the most unique performers to appear at the Fringe this year is hypnotist Asad Mecci! He’s been working closely with Whose Line Is It Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Mike McShane to create this incredibly funny and exciting show. Catch them at 10pm in Assembly’s George Square Theatre until August 28th – get your tickets now!

Tell us about your show and what inspired you to create it?
The show is HYPROV, it is IMPROV under HYPNOSIS. I will start off by hypnotizing volunteers from the audience and then Colin and I will improvise with them. The show is absolutely hilarious. Every show is different because the subjects are constantly changing show to show. It is the ultimate comedy high wire act!

I had been performing as a professional stage hypnotist for a number of years and was taking improv classes at the second city to improve my presenting skills onstage when I realised something interesting. The warm up drills that the second city teaches forces the student into unconscious functioning. In other words, the warms ups were causing the students to get out of their heads and allowing for students to act automatically without critically analysing the information. That is the essence of great improv. You move out of your head, trust in the process and allow yourself to speak without thinking, react with out thinking and act without thinking. I realised that the conscious mind was being moved a side and the unconscious mind was being engaged. This is exactly what happens in hypnosis shows. The persons conscious mind is moved aside for a moment and you have unconscious functioning. I had an “AHA” moment. I thought-what would happen if I married the two art forms? Having people improvise – while being hypnotised. It takes years for great improvisers to hone their skills. What would happen to a person with no improv experience when placed under hypnosis and asked to improvise? My hunch was, you would get raw emotion completely uninhibited. HYPROV was born. From there, I have been refining the show with Colin Mochrie, Jeff Andrews and Linda Kash. With their guidance and expertise the show has grown leaps and bounds and we are ready now to take the show to the world stage!

Can you describe it in 140 characters?
Hyprov-improv under hypnosis! Two masters join together to give you one night of hilarious entertainment. The ultimate high wire comedy act!

Why should we go and see it?
HYPROV has never been done before. It will make you laugh so hard you will cry!

If you had to compare your show to a film or song, what would it be and why?
It would be 1 part Raising Arizona and two parts The Hangover; the frantic pace and series of events you will never remember.

Do you have any specific goals you’d like to achieve performing at the Fringe?
I would like investors to take interest in the project and finance the show in major cities across North America.

What do you love about Edinburgh that makes you come back year after year?
I have never had the opportunity to come to Edinburgh. That being said, I watched the documentary Hannibal takes Edinburgh and I’m psyched to experience the festival

Is there anybody else’s shows you really want to see at the Fringe?
I want to see Cafe Palestine. I’m fascinated by the subject matter.

Where would you be in August, if you were not in Edinburgh?
I would most likely be enjoying a wonderful summer in my home town of Toronto Ontario Canada.