By Moa Golster
Male students were pregnant, someone rebuffed annoying sales people on an imaginary shoe phone, and others slept on stage when hypnotist Dale K visited the Gold Coast Cinema in Hillwood Commons on Feb. 12.
Nearly 200 curious students entered the Cinema on Wednesday night, for LIU Post’s Association for Campus Programming (ACP)’s sponsored event of the Canadian hypnotist’s show “Campus Tour.”
Those who were expecting to see a man in a tuxedo swinging a pocket watch were in for surprised when the man of the hour took to the stage in jeans and a hoodie.
Not only has Dale K abandoned the old, stereotypical props, but he also repudiates the common idea that hypnosis is a matter of controlling people. On his website, he explains that he is “proving that hypnosis is simply the power of suggestion,” and that “it’s not a matter of control. It’s really encouragement and motivation through relaxation.” If he is right about that, he successfully motivated the LIU Post student volunteers, to put it mildly.
Six students were picked to join the hypnotist on stage. Dale K made them perform several relaxing exercises, including having their eyes closed, taking deep breaths, and using their imaginations. Meanwhile, he talked constantly, fast, and with no room for deep interpretation. He encouraged them to trust their own intuition, reminded them of how well they were doing, and told them that they could feel safe.
As the volunteers got visibly more relaxed, they also became surprisingly willing to follow Dale K’s increasingly bizarre instructions. The early giggle from the audience eventually turned into hysterical laughter, and countless stunned faces, as the show escalated.
Invisible body parts, nudity, horrible smells, extreme heat and freezing cold were just a few of the things the student volunteers imagined they were experiencing.
Dale K was happy with the evening. “It was successful. My volunteers really managed to get motivated and use their imagination,” he said. The hypnotist explained that every show is different from the others, depending on the volunteers. “Tonight, they were quite tame. Usually, volunteers tend to be more physical,” he added.
At one point, a girl was allowed to use Dale K’s “magical wand.” She learned that a touch with the wand on the forehead would result in instant sleeping. However, when a “bee” landed on her forehead, and she was told to use the wand to kill it, she did not hesitate. A quick hit and she collapsed on her chair. Without thinking, she had put herself to sleep instantaneously.
Jesus Cardenas, a senior Business Film major, was one of the student volunteers—perhaps mostly recognized for giving birth to “little Baby Jesus.”
Friends and strangers surrounded Cardenas after the show. Everyone was curious to hear about his experience, but most of all they were eager to shake hands with him. And no wonder why; every handshake made him jump around like a cowboy, swinging an imaginary lasso in the air and cheering “Yee haw!”
The funny cowboy imitation was Dale K’s last trick of the night, before telling the volunteers that they would not remember the show as well as their own participation.
Cardenas was laughing, but clearly confused, as his friends told him about the night he could not seem to remember.
“People are asking about my baby. How did I get pregnant? It’s weird, random. I don’t know what to tell you,” Cardenas said.
Apparently, a successful hypnosis show doesn’t need any hired actors, pocket watches, or tuxedos. All it takes is a talented guy in jeans and a hoodie, and it will either be mind blowing or mind motivating.
Dale K delivered a show that will not soon be forgotten. Well, at least for some of us.