Listen to my voice
Hypnotism show gets laughs off (and on) stage
Audrey Dighans | copy editor
Once again students crowded the spiral staircase of Overman Student center in a line stretching from the doors of the Crimson and Gold Ballroom to outside the building. Tom DeLuca, hypnotist, returned to PSU for two laugh-out-loud shows.
“I go every year to this,” said Kyle Clingan, senior in computer information systems. “It’s that good.”
Tyler Loseke, sophomore in wood technology, was also among those students who attended last year’s show in which he was a volunteer.
“I don’t know yet if I’ll volunteer this year,” Loseke said. “I’m still deciding.”
When the doors opened, the crowd rushed into the ballroom for the best seats.
After a short welcome from SAC president Zac Wagner, DeLuca appeared onstage.
Selecting about 20 volunteers from the audience, DeLuca had them sit in provided chairs and began the hypnotism.
“I’ve been doing this for many years,” DeLuca said. “This is my second year coming to Pittsburg.”
DeLuca allows his audience to talk but asks that they talk quietly while he prepares the volunteers. A combination of soft, repetitive music and repeated phrases gets the volunteers to come to a state of relaxation, which DeLuca says all hypnotism is.
After a few test exercises, any volunteers who have not become hypnotized and any who happen to reawaken later during the show were asked to sit down in the audience to provide more space.
This year, 14 students managed to stay hypnotized through the entire show. From fishing to dancing to feeling the emotions of fruit, students responded humorously to the situations DeLuca created for them.
After the show, the volunteers had no recollection of the events. Instead, they felt as if they had been asleep for hours.
“I woke up with fruit in my hands,” said Karsten Creech, freshman in biology. “It must have been wild because the fruit was mauled.”
Loseke says that he didn’t remember any of his actions in last year’s show, either, though he does recall what some of the other participants did.
Even if they weren’t picked, students in the audience also had a good time.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” said Megan Peabody, freshman in political science. “I wish I would have been one of the people picked to be on stage.”
DeLuca says it is possible for most people to become hypnotized to some degree, though it depends on a lot of variables.
“Not everyone might be able to be hypnotized like what was up on stage tonight,” DeLuca said. “That was a deep level, but other forms of hypnotism lead people to medium or light levels, and those ensnare more people.”
DeLuca says that people can be hypnotized only if they want to. Also, they will not perform actions they would not do in a conscious state. How people behave under the spell depends on how they themselves would react in a similar real-life situation.
What we see in the show is up to the people who are in it. And that’s why the show is entertaining, said one student.
“They had no idea what they were doing and it was awesome,” said Derrick Smith, freshman in business management.