Seniors get wild during Hypnotist Show


Photo by Laura Haas

Hypnotized seniors dance to "Thriller," by Michael Jackson during the show.

Dancing, playing hide and seek with themselves, conducting an entire orchestra with only legs, and finding local ‘celebrities’. This year’s Hypnotist Show on Oct. 24, made 18 seniors act out in front of the audience.

When faced with the opportunity to put her name in the basket of volunteers, senior Molly Norton knew that she had to take it.

“I decided to volunteer because thought I would regret not volunteering if I didn’t, and I thought it would be fun,” Norton said.

Though she was determined then, when it actually came time to read the names off, her resolve quickly started to fade.

“I was shaking. I was so nervous right before,” Norton said. “I wanted to take my name out of the basket, because it was so scary when it was actually happening.”

Senior Akolam Wambu’s nerves also kicked in, though they were unwarranted. 

“I was a little nervous at first because I was like ‘oh my gosh what if it doesn’t work and I have to fake it the whole time,’ but it ended up working for me, so it was okay,” Wambu said.

Norton wasn’t sure if she would actually get hypnotised but kept an open mind about it and gave it a try.

“I believe in this kind of stuff sometimes, but it depends, I think,” Norton said. “I wanted hypnotism to work, so maybe that’s why it did, because I believed in it.”

Wambu also went into it skeptical, but quickly learned to think otherwise.

“I wasn’t really expecting it to work, because I don’t usually believe in that stuff, and I’m not really a superstitious person or anything like that,” Wambu said. “I thought it could happen, I guess, but now after it actually worked, I believe in it more.”

Once the participants were selected, it was showtime, and they were put in a dream-like state.

“It felt like you were sleeping, but knew what was going on at the same time,” Norton said. “You knew what you were doing, but you couldn’t stop it from happening.”

Wambu also listened closely to the hypnotist’s instructions and fell into a sort of trance.

“It felt like when you’re sleep deprived, and you’re just in this kind of weird state,” Wambu said. “I could control what I was doing, but I felt almost delirious.”

Though she wasn’t really awake for it, Norton does remember some of what happened during the show, specifically senior Blaine Hopkins turning into the laughter police.

“I remember bits and pieces,” Norton said. “I remember Blaine yelling at people a lot. Like I could hear him, but I couldn’t figure out why he was doing it. There was one point when we had to pick someone from the audience, and they were a celebrity, and I remember that part, but I don’t remember who the girl was that I picked, because I didn’t actually know her.”

Wambu remembers more than Norton, but still has some confusing parts.

“I remember most of it,” Wambu said. “I just remember doing weird stuff and afterwards there were some things people told me I did that I didn’t know I did. I mostly remember hiding and dancing, which was so embarrassing. I don’t remember what I was hiding from or why. He just said I had to hide, so I did.”

Though the actual antics were fun, for Norton, the after-effect was even better.

“Waking up from it was my favorite part, because it was really weird,” Norton said. “They acted like the show didn’t happen, and then I slowly started to realize that it did. [The hypnotist] said that it doesn’t work on everyone, so I was thinking that I should go back and sit in the audience. I actually almost got up and walked away.”

Being hypnotized may seem embarrassing and kind of strange, but both Norton and Wambu want to encourage others to participate, when they get the opportunity to.

“It’s a cool experience, so volunteer when you’re a senior,” Wambu said. “Even if you just go to watch, you get to watch your classmates do silly stuff, so it’s fun.”

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