HYPNOTISM was an obsession for Peter Powers when he was in his teens.
Years later he's a celebrity hypnotist who's developed a reputation for turning the most straight-laced person into a weird and wacky performer.
But his nickname, "The Ali G of Stage Hypnosis", wasn't earned overnight. It started before his teens.
"I was 12 and I saw hypnosis on TV and I tried it out on my younger brother," he said.
"I went to the library and read up on books so I could practise on him and school friends.
"I had no repertoire back then. I just used to make his arms stick in all different places."
Day after day, Powers practised his hypnosis skills on different people.
Word got around and the sceptics wanted Powers to prove his abilities on others and more and more people came to watch. Soon he had his first performance in front of his classmates at 15.
"The school teachers invited us to give a lecture on any subject we wanted — usually a hobby," he said.
"I started talking about hypnotism and I asked if I could demonstrate it and the teacher said yes.
"I did this susceptibility test and one of the teachers caught on. What I did with this teacher was stick his finger up his nostril and said: 'your finger's stuck'. Everyone roared with laughter."
Since then he's had performances all around the world and made 60 TV shows which were broadcast in more than 20 countries.
The celebrity hypnotist has been travelling around Australia with his newest show, Peter Powers: Live on Stage tour.
One of his stops will be at Rooty Hill RSL on Saturday, November 16.
The show has new props and routines and a stripper's pole.
"It's slightly more adult in flavour. The stripper's pole might put people off," he said.
"It's always audience participation. But I don't choose people out of the audience because lots of people say to me: 'I'd like to come to your show but I didn't because I thought I might end up on stage'."
■ Details: rootyhillrsl.com.au.