Ty Reveen (right)

Ty Reveen (right)

The son they call Reveen

The legend continues as Ty Reveen arrives in Vernon, where he once went to school.

It’s hard to tell the difference between father and son.

Looking at pictures of the men they call Reveen, the thick, wavy hair, goatee and piercing eyes could make them one and the same.

Peter Reveen, the elder statesman of illusion, died at the age of 77 in 2013, but passed on his wisdom and showbiz talent to his four sons.

His second eldest, Tyrone,“Ty,” Reveen has followed in his father’s footsteps and is currently touring his show, The Superconscious Experience, in B.C.

It arrives at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre March 11.

“The name Reveen is synonymous with the industry. He was considered the greatest hypnotist in the world,” said Ty, calling from Chilliwack, where his father first immigrated to when he left his birthplace of Adelaide, Australia.

The Reveens also have a tie to this region.

All four boys boarded at the Vernon Preparatory School, a private school run by the Mackie family at what is now Coldstream Meadows.

“I’m looking forward to stepping into the past,” said Ty, who now lives in New Brunswick with his own family. “My oldest brother went there for four years. It was the greatest time of our lives.”

Known to western and Atlantic Canadian audiences as “The Impossibilist,” you could say that Reveen made hypnosis “hip” around the world. Many still remember the commercials and TV appearances from “the man they call Reveen.”

His work would take him and his family to the U.S., where Reveen taught doctors throughout the medical community how to apply the science of superconscious psychology to their patients. He was also the author of numerous books on the subject.

Touring with his father was comparable to the circus coming to town, remembers Ty.

“We played 20 nights straight to full theatres. People were buying back row tickets to these huge theatres. In Vancouver, he made a record at The Orpheum when he played six-night weeks to 60,000 people. There’s even a plaque in his name in the theatre,” he said.

After touring with his dad through most of his younger years, Ty took a break in the ‘80s to venture out into the entertainment industry alone.

He ended up in the U.S., and at a birthday party for Exorcist actress Linda Blair, met ZZ Top guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons, who was coming off the success of the band’s album Eliminator.

“I told him I am the best special effects designer. I knew theatre managers and took him to visit some of them,” said Ty. “I had a logistical knowledge of how to tour with these shows. My father implanted in my mind that we are very creative and have beautiful imaginations.”

Ty came up with the idea and models to show the dashboard of the 1933 Ford used on the Eliminator album cover that would turn into a rocket ship for the band’s stage show. Another effect included King Tut’s head, which shot lasers out of its eyes and sucked up a white sheet through its nose.

“It became the greatest cocaine gag in the history of rock and roll,” laughed Ty. “It sold the hype and sold tickets and was nominated as one of the top three stage shows that year.”

Ty is also the inventor of the portable confetti and streamer cannons, which have been used in tours by numerous artists such as Paul McCartney, Madonna, Christine Aguilera, Usher, Coldplay and also sporting events such as the Grey Cup.

With a crew that runs his company (Streamer Effects) when he is on the road, Ty says he is having fun performing the show his dad left off.

“It was a simple transition for me to do this because I grew up around it and in the heart of the entertainment industry. I inherited things that came naturally for me to work in show business. I watched my father do it my whole life.”

Like his father, Ty is fascinated with the power of the superconscious mind.

He cites the history of hypnosis, how it was first used on surgical patients before anesthetics.

“Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer used it when he started applying his theory of animal magnetism. He discovered hypnosis through the process of suggestion and pioneered that science of mental medicine. It took a succession of many doctors after him to find out what was really going on.”

Now an accepted treatment by the medical and psychiatric community, hypnosis as entertainment has had its detractors. It’s one of the reasons Reveen senior did not use the word hypnosis in his act, but also because it suggested someone under sedation.

“For 25 years, my dad was banned from performing in Toronto as you had to be a doctor or psychiatrist to use hypnosis in Ontario,” said Ty. “My dad decided then to change the name of his show to the superconscious world. It was a more apt description, the state of suggestion and the superconsciousness instead of it sounding like people are just going to sleep.

“There are occasionally people that do fall asleep and when that happens, they are absolutely useless to us.”

It is, however, a great medium to bring out the talent in people, he added.

“The show is extremely popular because it lives up to its reputation of applied suggestion, commonly known as hypnosis. It is better described as the creative forces of the human mind to achieve a superconscious state. The mind is guided towards a complete relaxed state so that creative abilities and fears are freed from limitations,” he said. “We guide them into a spotlight. We tell them they are the world’s greatest poet and they come out with great confidence and then they do it. That’s why the show lives up to its reputation.”

As can be imagined, the antics of some with super-confidence can also bring out the humour, however, Ty stresses the show is family friendly.

“We’ve had so many people from every imaginable age group and everyone in between, from politicians to punk rockers, surgeons to lawyers and every imaginable group of people under one roof. The show is loved and admired by all walks of life.”

The Legend Continues with Reveen, A Superconscious Experience takes the stage at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 (all seats) at the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.