After injury, former police officer finds new life as hypnotist Freddie Justice
Dustin Reichert has gone by the stage name Freddie Justice for about 12 years and his last hypnotism show during the 2021 Kandiyohi County Fair was full of laughs.
WILLMAR, Minn. — The audience was full of laughter as hypnotist Freddie Justice led volunteers from the crowd into a trance-like state Thursday, Aug. 12, during his last show at the 2021 Kandiyohi County Fair in Willmar, Minnesota.
Dustin Reichert has gone by the stage name of Freddie Justice for about 12 years, saying that in the entertainment business you need something a bit more “outgoing and zany” that would be marketable.
Prior to working as an entertainer, Reichert worked as a law enforcement officer in Minnesota for 10 years before being injured in the line of duty.
“I fell into it,” Reichert said. “I retired as a police officer, and I had to find a way to make (a living) so I bought a DJ company from my neighbor.”
Being new to the entertainment industry Reichert attended different training events and eventually came across a training seminar in Las Vegas for hypnotism.
Though he doubted the legitimacy of hypnotism at first, Reichert found that his preconceived notions about hypnotism were just that, preconceived notions.
“I thought it was stupid; I thought it was fake,” he said. “But I went to Vegas to get trained and learned it was real and I knew it was (a great opportunity).”
Reichert said that skeptic or not, seeing the show firsthand is an experience in itself.
“My mom used to ask me how my ‘clown stuff’ was doing because she didn't understand it,” said Reichert. “So, when she was in town I brought her to a show. After that, she loved it. And (now) I hear her (making) positive comments. I'm always honored that she does that.”
While working as a hypnotist and entertainer, Reichert credits some of the training he received as an officer with his ability to read a crowd.
“Whether it be the interview and interrogation type stuff, or I was what's called a drug recognition expert,” said Reichert. “As a (drug recognition expert), we really were trained heavy about looking for the tiniest things as we were evaluating for influence (of narcotics). So I actually take a lot of those principles when I'm looking for the subtlest of changes. Where everybody else might think it's not working, you see me sitting next to them looking for the tiniest things. That might be the relaxation of a shoulder, a tiny fluttering in the eye, a twitch in the mouth, and stuff. That's easy to see if you look for it”
As Reichert moves around the audience, in what looks as though he’s getting ready to start. The show has started and he’s building a repport with the audience.
Even with the best audience, Reichert said that you need to be ready for those unexpected moments where the participant — who’s under hypnosis — doesn’t react in a way that’s conducive to entertaining.
If a suggestion is something that goes against what someone would do, such as asking a younger participant in his show that night to act as though they are doing laundry, “they just won't do it.”
True to his word, Reichert quickly rebounds, stating that they must still live at home with mom and dad.
“When you see me onstage, smiling and enjoying myself, I really am smiling and enjoying myself,” Reichert said. “I don't get to help people (in) the same way anymore, but I can (still) help through laughter.”