Sophie Genovese didn’t talk much while under hypnosis. When she did, it was usually in an extraterrestrial language in front of a sea of strangers.
In the Student Union, attendees of the UPB-sponsored hypnosis event stared ahead, transfixed and giggling as their peers were heavily influenced by suggestibility last Wednesday. While most volunteers were affected by hypnotist Tom DeLuca to a degree, some, like Genovese, quickly became crowd favorites.
Deluca took his participants through a variety of simulations, after assuring the audience it would not be comparable to the experience in the recent hit horror film, “Get Out”.
From participating in a body-builder competition, experiencing a missing bottom, being chief of the Fun Police, and of course, realizing she’s from a different planet, Genovese underwent a spectrum of sensations in about a two-hour time span.
“It felt like 30 minutes, maybe an hour pushing it,” Genovese said. “But next thing I know it’s 9 p.m.! I didn’t expect how long it was versus how it felt. I loved it though.”
Genovese vaguely remembers a few moments during the show but said the rest is a blur.
Another memorable participant, Donovan Jones, remembers nothing at all after going up to the stage.
“I feel like I’m catching up on time I lost,” Jones said.
Jones had a lot to catch up on following the show. Also a popular choice of DeLuca, Jones became the top UMKC cheerleader as well as the Genovese’s alien interpreter. He ended the show with a dance off.
Utilizing the power of suggestion for laughs and fun, DeLuca gave his participants a little hypnosis to take with them in the weeks to come. He spent a few minutes encouraging students to decrease their stress and study more.
While students can’t know for sure whether or not this verbal medicine will work, the consensus after last evening’s performance lends itself in favor of credibility.
“It’s real,” Jones said.