Kevin Hurley is a cutting edge performer, specializing in hypnotism. He is no stranger to the stage, but is he really taking control over his audience’s actions?
“I have faked being hypnotized once before, but this guy was really good.” Andrew Waple, a freshman at Springfield College, said. “He looked like more of a magician than a hypnotist.”
“Magician” is an accurate title for someone who seems to have total control over another person.
Hurley has had his own show for eight years in which he performs hypnotism, comedy, magic, and mindreading. In the past, his show has been featured as special entertainment for the NHL, Aerosmith, and Wiz Khalifa.
The Union was packed for Hurley’s most recent show, here at Springfield College. Waple was one of about 15 students to be hypnotized by Hurley on Friday, Nov. 14.
“I was not faking it this time,” Waple said. “I knew exactly what’s going on and what I was doing, but I didn’t know why was doing it.”
Hurley made Waple the star of the show. The freshman performed as a lion, a dancer, and he even believed that he was giving birth. “All my fantasies came true,” he said.
“I saw some videos (of the show) and apparently I thought I was giving birth to a kid named Chewy,” Waple said. “Somebody had my legs on their shoulders while someone else was giving me a back massage.”
At this point Dylan Rubin, a student tech worker at the show, was convinced that Waple was hypnotized. “At first I didn’t think that they were really hypnotized, but looking at them more carefully, I could tell that they were under some sort of control,” Rubin said.
Students were roaring with laughter as their friends and peers performed without control. “I think I laughed the hardest that I have ever laughed in my life,” Rubin said. “Just seeing my friends getting hypnotized on stage was hilarious.”
The key to Hurley’s show was his gift as a comedian. He easily made everyone ecstatic, as though he was conducting the audience’s mood.
“He was most definitely a funny dude, he put a spin on what he did, adding a lot of humor to the show,” Rubin said.
He witnessed his friends embarrass themselves while dancing, acting like animals, and chasing after fake money. Although Rubin enjoyed the show, he is one of many people in the audience who wishes he knew what it felt like to be under a hypnotist’s spell.
“It was interesting to see the kind of state that the human mind can go into,” Rubin said. “I wasn’t able to volunteer to be hypnotized because I was working, but it seemed like it would be a cool experience that I would like to try in the future.”
After Waple’s experience, he too is eager to experience being hypnotized further. “It ended with me suddenly opening my eyes and it felt like I was up there for only three minutes, but it was actually an hour and 15 minutes,” he said. “I felt 15 lbs lighter when I walked off stage, which was really weird.”
So the question remains, “Is hypnotism real?” It could be the power of influence, or maybe it’s just empowering to make your peers laugh.
Either way, if you don’t believe that hypnosis is real, volunteer for the next show and allow your mind to be blown.