“Ladies and Gentlemen on stage, when I count to three, underneath your chair there will be a very finely tuned musical instrument, and upon hearing music, you will start to play the instrument that you have never played before. One, Two, Three, wide awake.”
These were some of the peculiar instructions that Sailesh, the famous hypnotist, gave the many brave students on stage that he seemingly controlled.
On Friday, Feb. 2, the University Program Council (UPC) invited Sailesh to Denison’s campus for the second time in a single school year. Having been here for freshman orientation, Sailesh set the stage again with eager student volunteers.
He started the evening with a comedy skit about the movie Get Out, attempting to make people scared of hypnotists.
“To all the colored people in the room,” Sailesh said pointing to his own colored skin, “I’ve got you.”
He invited students to come and sit in the chair arranged in a semi-circle on stage, and after students rushed to grab a seat, Sailesh began by relaxing the students. He put them in a trance where they were aware of what they were doing, but still did what Sailesh said.
Sailesh made the students on stage perform various things such as making them believe they were the opposite sex to being made of rubber.
“Pretty crazy, I don’t have the words to describe what I saw. I saw it during orientation, and I was still surprised that [Sailesh] was able to do it again,” said Shruti Shankar ‘21, a studio art major from Indian.
Sailesh was APCA 2017 entertainer of the year, and dubbed the “The World’s Best Hypnotist,” by MTV Europe. He has performed over 5,000 shows, where he makes participants the stars of the show and entertains the audience, all while giving them a positive message and memories that will last a lifetime.
“It is so crazy that it seemed like it was fake. I wanna know how it happened,” said Shraddha Shankar ‘21, a math major from India.
Most people had the same reaction when they saw their friends on stage do things they would usually never do.
The Stanford Medical School researched the importance of hypnosis in 2016 to discover the performance of the brain as a person was put in a trance.
“Hypnosis is the oldest Western form of psychotherapy. In fact, it’s a very powerful means of changing the way we use our minds to control perception and our bodies,” said David Spiegel, holder of the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Wilson Professorship in Medicine in a article from Stanford about hypnotic trances altering brain activity.
A clear example of this effect was how Sailesh was able to influence students and how he was able to end the show with leaving the participants with a positive message that will last a lifetime.
“I want to know how he did it, and I want to experience it, though I’m not sure I ever will,” said Medha Lallbeeharry ‘21 physics major from Mauritius.
One may never understand hypnosis, but it is sure to return to Denison for students to try and figure out.