Welcome Week Dives into Hypnosis

Joann Wolwowicz

Closing out Tuesday’s Welcome Week events, returning hypnotist Jim Spinnato once again put on a show his audience won’t soon forget, even if the participants can’t remember it. Some skeptical freshman and many upperclassmen, who remember the shows from last year, packed the quad waiting for the show to begin. Many of those in the crowd grasped at the chance to be hypnotized on stage in front of friends. Spinnato had many volunteers to choose from as he tested each of their abilities to be hypnotized, filling the twenty seats on stage. “Everyone can do this,” Spinnato said, “but not everyone can do this every night”. Then with his hypnotic music, he slowly walked each person on stage into deeper and deeper sleep, while keeping a close watch as to who the process did not work on. Then it was time for the fun part to begin.

Common knowledge with hypnosis shows tends to include participants clucking or barking when their name is called or making people react a certain way to a certain word. Basically, the people on stage will believe anything you tell them and do anything they are asked to do, from becoming angry when you say their name to seeing their favorite celebrity in the audience. Anything to make the audience laugh, right? Spinnato also had each person on stage respond to a specific song he picked out for them, resulting in an orchestra leader, a drummer, body builders, a chip n’ dale dancer, and even “Flo Rida” graced the audience with a song. Then just before it was time to wake up those on stage, Spinnato had them switch seats with each other. When they were back to their original selves, everyone on stage thought that they had been sitting there for only a minute thinking the show was about to begin, having no remembrance of their performances just minutes before. Only when they noticed that they were in different seats, did it become clear: there had already been a show. The mind is a complex thing, as any of the people on stage will tell you; well if they could remember. In any case, maybe it’s better they do not.