Recent article by the one and only Tumbleweed Smith ..
DON WARREN ENTERTAINS BY HYPNOTIZING PEOPLEWhen I first heard about The Cowboy Hypnotist I really didn’t know what to think. Was it a joke? Was he a real cowboy? A professional psychologist? All the questions were answered when I interviewed him after one of his performances. I saw two of them and they are amazing. He is very good at what he does.
His shows are two hours long. Once he was on stage four hours at a high school after graduation party where the graduates spent the night in the school gymnasium heavily chaperoned by school officials and parents. At that event, he hypnotized about 200 students. “Some are real easy. I just look at them and they go under,” says Don.
His fascination with the unusual form of entertainment came when he saw a hypnotist in Las Vegas. “It was the funniest thing I had ever seen,” says Don. “I couldn’t believe that this guy just with his voice could make people do crazy things.” He went home and started studying hypnosis from books, the internet and Utube. He attended a five-day seminar on how to become a stage show hypnotist. When it was over, he called his wife. “I told her this is me. This is my true calling. This is what I want to do.”
Don graduated from Permian High School in Odessa in 1977, went to work for Phillips Petroleum in 1980 and is within a few years of retiring. He used to have a band and played in honky tonks and beer joints in West Texas, so he’s not new to show business. But he had this epiphany about hypnosis. He gathered up friends and family and rented the community center in Gardendale and put on a hypnosis show. He called about 75 people on stage and hypnotized 3 of them. “I was scared to death because I wasn’t sure I could do it,” says Don, “but the show was hilarious.”
With his first show under his belt he decided to rent the banquet room at the Barn Door Restaurant in Odessa, invite the public and charge for tickets. That was on Valentine’s Day of 2013. That show was a success, too and Don knew he was on to something. He has done nearly 40 shows since then and now hypnotizes about 60% of his volunteers. “I love doing it,” he says. “I have more fun than anybody.” He is looking forward to retirement so he can do his hypnosis fulltime, perhaps on cruise ships.
Don bills himself as the Cowboy Hypnotist. He looks more like a cowboy than a hypnotist. He wears blue jeans, a white shirt, boots and a western hat on stage and moves his 300-pound frame with ease. When he performs outdoors, his booming voice can get rid of a barking dog or coax a timid cowboy to wave his hands in the air like everybody else in the audience is doing. On stage, the people under his spell laugh, cry, get scared on a roller coaster and do dozens of things Don commands them to do. I saw a young man think he had given birth to a baby. Yes, a man. He even nursed the little one.
Don is a real cowboy. He and his wife have five horses on their property in Weatherford and they help neighbors do cow work. Don says he has always lived the western life. His website is thecowboyhypnotist.com.
When Tumbleweed Smith is not on the road looking for characters, he lives in Big Spring with his wife Susan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org