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Hypnotist ‘convinces’ audience of good show

Daniel+James%2C+a+hypnotist%2C+preparing+to+hypnotize+a+group+of+volunteers+Thursday+night+at+the+CAC+Theater.
Daniel James, a hypnotist, preparing to hypnotize a group of volunteers Thursday night at the CAC Theater.

Daniel James, a hypnotist, preparing to hypnotize a group of volunteers Thursday night at the CAC Theater.

Selena Favela

Selena Favela

Daniel James, a hypnotist, preparing to hypnotize a group of volunteers Thursday night at the CAC Theater.

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Comedy and hypnotism came together Saturday at “comic hypnotist” Daniel James’ performance at Wichita State’s CAC Theater.

James, who has appearances on The Tonight Show, The Ellen Show and America’s Got Talent, entertained an audience who participated in a set of illusions.

For one of his first activities, James asked the audience to focus on their fingers and “pretend they are magnets that always come back together when you try to separate them.”

After the audience voluntarily pulled their fingers apart and put them together, he directed them to separate their fingers again. By the fifth time their fingers involuntarily came back together, the audience cheered.

James pulled about 20 enthusiastic audience members to join him on stage. In under five minutes, they fell under his illusion.

If James told them they were cold, they would start shivering; if he said it was hot out, they felt hot. One participant was so hot he removed his shirt.

Others were convinced they were dogs. Some were convinced to be cows. One a firefighter.

A female audience member forgot her name. Another forgot the number seven.

The Student Activities Council sponsored the event, which drew a crowd of about 200.

Some left convinced, others left questioning the act.

“I thought it was amazing,” Jonathan Karstensen said. “I went in being really skeptical, but I think there were definitely some people on that stage that were fully hypnotized, so I absolutely believe it now.”

Karstensen said he doesn’t believe those who were “really hypnotized.”

“You could tell that there were a few people on the stage that weren’t hypnotized at all, but then there were others who seemed like they were completely under,” Karstensen said.

SAC member Richy Thach said regardless of if you believe it or not, it’s a fun show to watch.

“So maybe I’m on the edge of believing and not believing,” he said.

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