Hudson Hails Hypnotist

WESTERN RESERVE ACADEMY- The Knight Fine Art Center slowly fills with teachers and students while quiet pop music plays in the background. There is a strong air of anticipation as everyone waits for the show to begin, laughing and surrounded by friends. 

On April 15th, hypnotist Brian Imbus returned to Western Reserve Academy to perform his hypnotism show for the Reserve community. 

At boarding school, Friday nights begin the three days where Reserve students can switch from their academic sides to their less composed, teenager sides. Imbus kicked off the weekend with an environment that gave students the opportunity to enjoy themselves in a relaxed space with the chance to laugh with–or maybe even at– their friends.

Within the first 10 minutes of the show, Imbus had the majority of the crowd hypnotized, causing confusion and laughter when many placed their hands onto their cheeks when actually asked to put them onto their chins. After this small taste of what hypnotism is like, Imbus randomly selected 20 volunteers who were welcomed onto the stage to be hypnotized for the entire show.

To begin, participants were asked to look into a colorful spinning light and relax. They were prompted to take deep breaths and imagine themselves in their favorite vacation location. The participants began slumping over and fell into a sleep-like state, some even falling asleep on each other. 

Imbus was able to elicit either shivering or sweating responses from the participants just by telling them either how hot or cold it was. The participant Sheila Muligande ‘23 said “I just remember it being very very cold at one point, it stayed like that for the rest of the show until I woke up.” The majority of the participants seem to have very little to no recollection of the events that occured.

A popular portion of the show was the Hide-and-Seek game which Imbus played with the hypnotized students. Imbus explained the rules to the students and they were all given three seconds to hide. Some students, though, managed to cheat even in their subconcious, sneaking off the stage before the game even began. Alyssa Clark ‘23 became the star participant of this part of the show when she began sliding under her chair and beneath the KFAC curtain before her three seconds to hide even began. Her disregard of any one of Imbus’s suggestions caused many chuckles as they watched her slowly disappear under the curtain.

Overall, Brian Imbus’s hypnotism show seemed like a hit amongst Reserve’s students. Five out of five interviewed audience members said they would happily go see Imbus’s show next year if he were to come again. Two out of three interviewed participants said they enjoyed participating in the show, but might just want to watch next year. If Imbus returns to Reserve next year, it will surely be with great anticipation from many Reserve students.

-Nea Mentor ’23

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