When asked if I would be interested in interviewing Colin Mochrie and Asad Mecci before their upcoming Edmonds Hyprov show, I found myself giddy at the prospect, a sensation that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I quickly jumped at the chance and made sure to purchase my tickets to this much-anticipated comedic delight.
Colin Mochrie is an improvisational comedian who is best known for his appearances on both the British and U.S. versions of Whose Line is it Anyway? Having spent many years watching Whose Line and being impressed with the ability for the performers to be funny on the spot, I was excited for the opportunity to talk to Colin directly. After getting past my worries (like, do I need to be funny in the conversation?) I started doing my research on the new Hyprov show that is scheduled for the Edmonds Center for the Arts this Saturday, March 5.
The Hyprov show brings together master hypnotist Asad Mecci and Mochrie in a unique, one-of-a-kind experience. Asad initially came up with the idea a couple of years ago and pitched it to Colin. Jeff Andrews, Colin’s manager, set up the meeting and they hit it off right away. Colin agreed to put on the show within a couple weeks of meeting.
One of the first questions I asked was, what is it like to be hypnotized on stage and be part of this show? Asad shared that you are completely aware of what is going on, you won’t do anything against your morals, it is more being in a state of relaxation and flow. He added that it is a lot like being caught up in a movie, so caught up that you have an emotional response and it feels real — and is very similar to daydreaming. During the show Asad, a trained master hypnotist, performs the relaxation techniques and is looking for physiological responses when picking which audience member he will work with. He is looking for things like skin changes, breathing rate changes, and how someone is responding.
While Asad is hypnotizing individuals, Colin said he is alongside “making up crap.” Colin uses improvisational comedy to respond to what Asad is doing and the outcome is hilarious. Every show is an entirely new experience for both of them, based on the audience. Every audience who gets to experience Hyprov gets a once in a lifetime show that will never be replicated, and you get to see people you might know up on stage participating at the same time, leading to hilarious results.
Something I am always curious about when talking with individuals who perform for a living is whether they still get nervous before a show. Colin shared that yes, he is always nervous before a show. Running through his mind five minutes before the show starts is that “people paid for a show we don’t even have yet.” He said it requires a lot of trust in your performance partner before heading on stage each time. It was pretty evident talking with Colin and Asad that they have built that trust and camaraderie to put on a great performance.
They noted that one of the biggest differences in audiences since the pandemic is how excited they are to be back, and how much more responsive they are from all of the pent-up energy.
For the aspiring comedians and hypnotists out there, I asked both Colin and Asad what advice they have for interested individuals. Colin quickly responded with, “if there is anything else you love, do it, as a career at least.” For honing improv skills, he suggested to take workshops, find local improv troupes in your area, and learn your strengths and weaknesses by getting out there. For learning hypnosis, Asad recommends going to a university for psychology and also studying art.
The upcoming Hyprov show at ECA is almost fully sold out with limited solo seats left (make some new friends and enjoy the show!). If you missed out on tickets, there are other shows happening in Washington, you can check out the rest of the tour dates and locations here.
Both Colin and Asad are looking forward to their first visit to Edmonds. If you see them wandering around town this weekend, make sure to wave. They are a small team on the tour and keep each other laughing while they travel and perform. There was a hint at the end of the interview that this show might become a production in New York someday, so keep your eyes out for Hyprov in the future — and a chance to be part of this hilarious show.
— By Rachel Gardner
Rachel Gardner has a heartfelt appreciation for art in all forms and believes everyone is an artist, some just don’t know it yet. A dedicated and involved Edmonds resident, she can often be spotted onstage cracking jokes between sets or in the audience enjoying local live performances. She enjoys being playful with her art and finding unique ways of expression, like forming a boho-grunge-folk ukulele trio with local Edmonds moms.