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Hypnotist turns audience members into attraction

By Nick Bailey
On September 7, 2011

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosted stage hypnotist Daniel James in The Club on Tuesday, Sept. 6. James brought various audience members up onto the stage with him and put them into a state of hypnosis, allowing their subconscious to take control while they remember nothing of what happened. CAB's Chair of Concerts, Music and Performing Arts LaQuarius Loudermilk was pleased to see students enjoying the event.

"I thought it would be something new and fresh for students to come and see," Loudermilk said. "I'm really glad to see students coming out. Most students don't believe you can be hypnotized, but I've seen it plenty of times, when people get hypnotized and don't know what's going on."

Loudermilk said CAB was drawn to James based on his past experience as a stage hypnotist in other settings.

"He was a performer in Las Vegas," she said. "We were attracted to that because we knew that he could perform at a professional level, and do a great job. Seeing his performance we can see that it gets everybody involved. You can here the students laughing."

While hypnotized, the students were put through multiple situations and scenarios, from eating their favorite ice cream to being ballet dancers. Some volunteers, such as sophomore Latrice Owens, were put through individual situations. Owens was convinced that she was a seatbelt and needed to lie across the laps of the people next to her.

"I thought it was ok, I mean nothing really happened," volunteer Latrice Owens said, "[The hypnotist] seemed pretty cool, he was really funny. Other than that we didn't do anything. I remember raising my hand and he told me to go on stage, and then that's it. I remember him shaking my hand and telling me thank you."

After the show was over, the volunteers were able to go back into the audience among their friends, but they had no memory of what went on moments before. Some of the students were humored to see videos of them doing things that they could not recall whatsoever, and even doing things that they felt they normally wouldn't do.

"They were awesome subjects," James said. "On a scale of one to ten, this was an eleven. They were perfect. Most of them will only remember a couple of little snippets here and there, but when they see a video then they say ‘I didn't do that.' Usually after about two weeks they have total recall, though."

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