Savvas Varitimos

Game show assemblies, slam poets and published authors, but a hypnotist? Last year Pingree invited well-known hypnotist Dan Candell to the campus for the first time. This was the first time he performed his gig in front of the Friday night audience, and by the end of the night the show received much commendation. As a follow-up from the last two shows, New Columns has decided to change things up by looking at all sides to the story.

We interviewed a few individuals who were hypnotized to observe their reactions to the performance as a whole: considering their own psychological experience while under hypnosis and their feedback to Candell’s commands. I had the opportunity to talk to a few individuals who some could say, ‘took the spotlight’. Jazzmine Sanderson ‘20, was one of these natural-born performers who received a lot of rave from those in the crowd. One might recall how students on stage fell into a subconscious state with the tap of a shoulder. Sanderson described the experience of being placed under subconsciousness by command as something surreal. “I feel like I wasn’t fully gone, but like I was still aware”, she said. “Throughout the whole thing, I had doubts about what was going on and what would happen.” Her attitude towards the hypnosis had successfully changed by the end of the show, as she was fully compelled that he had control over her. Another star performer, Jason Nuñez ‘20 agreed by saying that the experience felt very out-of-body. Nuñez listened to Candell as he was giving out his commands, but was consciously opposed to the actions that he made. On the contrary to what some may think, both upperclassmen do remember the show in its entirety, and were also given plenty of reminders for their embarrassing roles.

Generally speaking, the hypnotist gathered great reviews and many of whom who could not make it were sad to miss out. As this was my first time going to the hypnotist, I was unsure of what to expect. I did not go up on stage as a volunteer since I had not seen hypnosis performed before. Now, after having talked to some individuals who were hypnotized, and learning more about the mental experience for them, I think that I might try it next year.