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  • Writer's pictureBen Waterworth

A hypnotising night of entertainment

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

If you find yourself getting a bit sleepy next weekend fear not: you might just be under the influence of one of New Zealand’s most renowned hypnotists.

Dave Uphold is set to wow audiences across three shows in Southland next weekend and the entertainer is looking forward to returning to the region for the first time in five years.

Mr Uphold has been a stage hypnotist for 23 years and transitioned into the industry after initially working as a stand-up comic and magician.

“I used to be the mayor of the town in South Africa and I always thought ‘I wish I could hypnotise people, I could get them to vote for me’,” Uphold joked.

The Auckland based performer said he holds particularly fond memories of performing in Southland after a 2010 show in Dipton set a record for funds raised at one of his shows of $26,000.

The record still stands to this day, he said.

Mr Uphold combines a variety of different elements to his shows including comedy, magic and hypnotism, with volunteer interaction a key part of his shows.

He also uses his hypnotism skills for therapy, helping a variety of people give up smoking and other addictions over the years, as well as helping out a variety of prominent people including politicians and athletes.

He said that after 3000 shows across his career he has never lost passion for entertaining people.

“You do 120 shows in a year and no two shows will ever be the same… I love it. Absolutely love it. Somebody said to me do you work and I said ‘no, I’m having fun. I’m laughing. Absolutely laughing all the time. I’m screaming, I’m falling off the chair.’ Because I never know what’s going to happen.”

The three fundraising shows will raise funds for three different causes, including the Lumsden Girls’ football team, Otautau friends of the school and two participants in the junior and senior rock ‘n’ roll nationals.

Tickets are currently available to all three shows.

Lumsden – Friday, April 5 at North Southland College. Tickets $30 adult, $20 student and $100 family

Otautau – Saturday, April 6 at Otautau Sports Complex. Tickets $25

Winton – Sunday, April 7 at Winton Memorial Hall. Tickets $25 adult, $20 student

This article was originally written for The Advocate. You can read the published version here

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