Meet Comedian Flip Orley.
Meet Hypnotist Flip Orley.
Flip was generous enough to answer a few questions about his show, an act that combines hypnotism and comedy. Be sure to grab your tickets as he’ll be in DC this weekend.
1. What is your favorite part of a performance?
My favorite part of performing is knowing every show is different. The shows are spontaneous, improvisational, and no two shows have ever been the same.
2. Your act stands out because of the unique combo, what is the inspiration behind joining hypnotism and comedy?
I combined the two almost on a bet. I was going to college during the day and going to clubs at night looking for stage time working towards becoming a stand-up comic. I was also doing hypnosis privately mostly with student clients. Typically I was helping people with a number of self-improvement issues, when my roommate got the idea that I should combine comedy with hypnosis on stage. When he approached me with the idea I told him I wasn’t interested. For some reason he was unwilling to let go of the idea and over the course of several weeks continued to ask me about it. One day I finally gave in. I asked him if I gave it a shot would he leave me alone. He agreed to drop the subject if I gave it a try. I contacted a club owner explaining my interest in combining comedy and hypnosis on stage and asked if he would be willing to let me try it on his stage. He agreed to let me have the last slot on a Monday open mic night. I had roughly 30 – 45 minutes to do my entire set. I didn’t think there was a chance in hell anyone would take me or it seriously, I didn’t expect to get volunteers, and if I did, I didn’t expect it to work. To my surprise, the audience was very receptive, I filled the stage with volunteers, roughly 75% of the volunteers experienced hypnosis, the show went well, the audience had fun, I had fun, and my career was forever altered.
3. You’ve been to DC before, what was your most memorable moment here? Maybe a politician or hill staffer that quacked on stage?
I love coming to DC, and I have more memorable moments in DC than anywhere else. I would love to say my wild memories are politically based, but they really aren’t. In DC, I was doing a show one night with an amazing group of volunteers and decided to do an hypnotic roller-coaster. As I had the carts bank to the right, to the left, and to the right again, one of my volunteers went flying off the stage. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt and I have figured out how to prevent that from happening again, but in the moment, during thatshow, I ran over to the guy to see if he was ok. He was fine, but a little bit angry. I asked him what happened,and with a tone of frustration he said, “Seat belt broke”. I felt horrible at the time and I have really learned a lotfrom it, but it really is a great memory.
4. You played a show in Birmingham, Alabama in 1997 and a table of “youngguys” volunteered their friend “Moe” to come on stage and get hypnotized. During his hypnotized Q/A section you asked if he was “of age” to drink beer and Moe said “no.” Did the authorities ever follow-up with you about that? Any follow-up police calls that you can remember?
How the hell do you remember my show from Birmingham? Wow, you really are going back. Birmingham brings back many memories, but i don’t remember Moe. If I had to guess, I would bet everything worked out ok for him.
I was doing a show in Dallas, TX and got the idea it would be really fun to encourage the volunteers to become verbal in a very random way where any odd thing that came to mind would quickly develop into a public conversation. Once again, that required a learning curve, and although I have that suggestion worked out really well now, that first time in Dallas was quite a surprise. Suddenly, a volunteer took the microphone and began to tell the audience that he was growing pot at his house and it was some “killer stuff” and they could talk to him after the show if they were interested. As soon as I realized he was talking about and trying to sell home grown pot, I quickly moved in to try and take the microphone away. We literally had a tug of war with the microphone, and although I ultimately got the microphone away from him, he had already made some pretty damaging comments. Now, I insist when the volunteers never talk about personal subjects. That has made all the difference.
5. What makes you laugh aside from your own material?
I love comedy and a variety of comics. Bill Burr, and Daniel Tosh are really funny to me. Greg Giraldo was an amazing comic and is really missed.
I love to laugh at daily life. I am always looking for silly things, unusual things, comments and behavior that can’t be explained, and things that make you scratch your head. A stupid example; a few years ago I was at a Harley Owners Group meeting in South Louisiana (lots of fried food, lots of heart disease). The speaker stopped the meeting for a moment to update the group about one of the members who recently suffered a heart attack. The speaker said, “Our friend just had triple bypass surgery. He will be home in a couple of days and he really appreciates all of your thoughts and prayers. Also, to all members please don’t forget about next weeks “ride for life” to the Pork Rinds Festival (actually called the Cracklins Festival). I laughed so hard I literally fell out of the chair. I got a lot of looks from everyone in the room. No one was laughing but me. When asked what I thought was so funny, I tried to explain that in one breath they were discussing a friend’s heart attack, and in the next breath they were talking about “a ride for life” to the Pork Rind festival. Still, nothing from the crowd. So, I just smiled and said it was a silly thought and didn’t matter.
I was getting some groceries last week, and when I handed the cashier my credit card, she asked me how to pronounce my name. I started to tell her how to pronounce my last name and she stopped me to say, “No, how do you pronounce your first name”? I asked if she was kidding and she said no. I asked her to give it a shot and she said, “um, is it Flipe”? By the way, not Fillipe, she actually pronounced my name with a “long i” (as in Swipe). I laughed almost to the point of choking.