Imagine you are at a poolside in the Bahamas, sipping out of a coconut; this is where hypnotist David Hall took volunteer students during his Cards Against Hypnosis show last Friday.
“I kind of forgot [what we did] halfway through until [Hall] reminded us that we went to the Bahamas and on the waters, and I was like ‘oh yeah, we did do that,’” volunteer Becca Myer said. “During it, it felt like I was in my true form.”
Hall created Cards Against Hypnosis—a spin on the popular Cards Against Humanity game.
“I used to do a regular hypnosis show, but I wanted a way to have the audience that doesn’t come up on stage still participate between each routine,” Hall said. “It’s kind of like a choose your own adventure hypnosis show.”
The audience was able to choose the fate of their hypnotized peers; Hall showed the audience a card with a space to be filled in by one of two options.
“When I first got up there I was really nervous because you’re in front of a bunch of people,” volunteer Gabrielle Matthews said. “Then, you start slowly breathing. Then, all of a sudden, you’re the only person there.”
One prompt, in particular, asked whether a hypnotized student would become Taylor Swift or Beyoncé.
William Shropshire took on the role of Beyoncé with Sierra Hunter and Matthews supporting as backup dancers. Together, they danced in time to “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”
“I didn’t know that I could dance like that, but it happened and I thought it was pretty cool,” Shropshire said. “When I got back to my seat, everyone was like ‘you could do that?’ and I was like ‘yes?’”
Some other prompts included hypnotized students doing the Harlem Shake, meeting Andrew Garfield, and winning a million dollars at a Las Vegas Casino.
“It’s just fun to just do whatever,” Hunter said. “I’ve been hypnotized twice before. This is definitely my favorite.
After returning to their normal state of being, students described the experience as incredibly refreshing or exhausting.
“I know they say you’re supposed to feel like you got a full night’s rest afterward, but I feel tired,” Shropshire said. “I feel like I could definitely take a nap.”
The Student Activities Council planned and coordinated the free event for students to attend. During the fall semester, GA of programming Jordan Urban and Shocker Night Life Chairperson Dylan Bray worked closely together to find a hypnotist to bring to campus.
“We found David, and we were so impressed and excited to see what he had to do,” Urban said. “Cards Against Humanity is a huge game among college students, so we thought it’d be fun.”
Originally inspired by shows he attended as a college student himself, Hall has performed routines and hypnotized since 2007. In addition to his hypnosis act, he also has a mentalist show with partner Antonina La.
“We met and decided that we wanted to do a mentalist act together,” Hall said. “Mentalism is kinda like magic tricks with your mind.”
More information about Hall’s, as well as Antonina’s, acts can be found on their website, admentalists.com, or Instagram, @admentalists.
“The dude was cool,” Matthews said. “I would recommend going to one of his shows.”