Despite it being a Friday night in Boulder, chainsaw juggler “Mad Chad Taylor” and comedic hypnotist Dale K. had no problem filling the 250 seats of the Glenn Miller Ballroom.
Although the show began 15 minutes late, the audience didn’t hesitate to roar in applause and holler in excitement as Mad Chad rode onto the stage on his skateboard, which he didn’t waste time juggling along with his cell phone and pager.
Tennis balls, paddle tennis balls, plastic bats, and even saline implants were the first to be thrown up into the air. Some objects were simultaneously passed across his head, between his legs, under his arms and rolled around his neck.
Clearly raised as an entertainer and confident on stage, Mad Chad never stopped talking to and involving the audience for the entire hour and fifteen minutes he was on stage. At one point, he let the audience decide a combination of objects he was to juggle next. The audience challenged a chair from the stage, an egg and a 10-pound shot put.
Admittedly, Mad Chad had a few troubles with this trick (dropping the egg and chair twice before triumph) and others as he totaled six other periodic missteps within his routine.
These errors might have deterred some jugglers, but Mad Chad just smiled, corrected and asked two members of the audience to help him to his unicycle. He proceeded to “ooo” and “ahh” and crowd with his juggling of two machetes and an apple atop a unicycle. The apple didn’t last long; the crowd couldn’t resist an “eat it!” chant so Mad Chad began to eat the apple as he was juggling it.
Soon came the more dangerous tricks involving 100-volt stun guns and working chainsaws.
“The three chainsaw is my hardest trick,” Mad Chad said. “The weight, the smoke, the noise and the vibrating [chainsaws] all play into its difficulty.”
It was Mad Chad’s queue to leave the stage, but not before his grand finale: balancing on a skateboard that was situated on a 9-inch hollow cylinder that was balancing on a box about a foot tall while juggling a chainsaw and two balls. It was a trick he had neither performed or attempted ever before, leaving the audience in a wide-eyed, smiling and fantastic standing ovation.
When Dale K. appeared on stage ten minutes later, the crowd was still revved up and loud as ever from the last performance and eagerly anticipating this one to start. His portion of the show quickly began as he selected an even mixture of guys and gals from the audience, totaling around 20 volunteers.
“Hypnosis will work on everyone,” Dale K. said. “But we’ve only got an hour, so I may send you back to the audience to concentrate on those in deeper trance.” And with that, the show began.
The pulsing bass of a looped techno beat helped relax the volunteers as Dale K. instructed them to stiffen their neck, concentrate on a point on the ceiling and breathe deeply, in and out.
Only a few minutes of the volunteers’ relaxation had passed before Dale K. introduced the ideas of imagining one arm tied to a balloon and the other to a sand bag. Some students on stage were noticeably already feeling the effects of hypnosis; one student was lying horizontally in his chair to compensate for his heavy sand-bagged arm and his helium-balloon floating arm.
After a series of introductory methods to test the students’ imagination and ability to be hypnotized, Dale K. began sending volunteers off the stage whom he noticed to not be strongly affected.
When the student volunteers were down to a concise, and very out-of-it eight, the comedic side to Dale K.’s hypnosis really began to flourish and stun the crowd.
Hypnotized volunteers on stage were convinced they had X-Ray vision. Through their X-Ray vision, Dale K. told them they would only be able to see him naked, and extremely “hung.”
After a series of deep breathing exercises, the volunteers opened their eyes, and the expression on their faces was pricelessly hilarious to the audience. Girls could hardly take their eyes off the sight and appeared excited by their X-Ray gift, while the men left of stage could hardly, if at all, keep their eyes open to hold back their tears of fright and disgust.
Moving along in his show, volunteers were convinced they were kangaroos that needed to shove bread down their pants to feed their offspring, that they were glued to a chair, living in subzero temperatures, and that a leather belt was a king cobra.
The most audience-appealing tricks were when Dale K. singled out volunteers and led one to believe his penis had disappeared (but reappeared upon sitting down again), two boys to believe they were pregnant and elicited the help of two female hypnotized volunteers to be their nurses, and one to “moo” like a cow every time he heard Dale K.’s cowbell.
Members of the audience had their head in their laps because they were laughing so hard. Roaring enthusiasm could be heard from the UMC bookstore and thunderous applause bounced from the Glenn Miller Ballroom walls after every one of Dale K.’s comedic endeavors.
The night was considered an astounding success by both entertainers and goes to show that in an age of ever-increasing technology, it is still worthwhile to support live entertainment.