Trainee Hypnotizes Himself Wife finds hapless circus performer in trance By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Jan 7, 2010 4:22 AM CST 8 comments Comments Kichmeier has given his wife a key word to release him if he puts himself in any more trances. (Shutter Stock) (Newser) – A stage performer's hypnosis textbook apparently forgot to mention that practicing on yourself is a bad idea. Helmut Kichmeier—stage name Hannibal Helmurto—was found by his wife standing in front of a mirror in a zombie-like trance with an open book on hypnosis by his side. She called his mentor, who talked him out of the trance and he awoke with no memory of the previous five hours. "At first I panicked and tried to talk to Helmut, but he didn't respond," his wife told the Telegraph. "It was only then I noticed a letter next to the book, a letter from his mentor, and I knew what I had to do." Kichmeier, a performer in London's Circus of Horrors, is no stranger to mishaps. He was hospitalized after accidentally skewering himself in his sword-swallowing debut.