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Brookdale Newsroom

Students Left ‘Dazed and Confused’ by Hypnotist Sailesh
A hypnotist encourages students to "sleep" during a performance on stage in the Student Life Center.

The award-winning hypnotist known simply as Sailesh entertained attendees while leaving a handful of volunteers in a stupor as part of the Spring 2017 Laugh at Lunch series on Feb. 28 in the Student Life Center.

While most students were content dining on free pizza and refreshments, nearly a dozen brave Brookdalians volunteered to join in the act, allowing the experienced enchanter to put them into a stupor with subliminal commands as relaxing music played in the background.

Some were originally skeptical about Sailesh’s abilities in the art of hypnosis, but many in attendance were shocked to learn that the average student can go into a hypnotic state over a hundred times a day.

“There are thousands of ways someone can hypnotize themselves and sometimes you don’t even realize it,” Sailesh said, describing the “trances” people can enter while driving, studying, or simply browsing the internet. “It could be a few seconds or even a few minutes.”

Sailesh brought the students under a form of “stage hypnosis,” then placed them in a series of comedic scenarios such being trapped in a blizzard and needing to huddle together, acting as superheroes with awkward powers, or being guests on “The Jerry Springer Show” and describing their romantic interests to a crowd of their classmates.

Students watch their classmates under hypnosis during the Laugh at Lunch program on Feb. 28.

Students watch their classmates under hypnosis during the Laugh at Lunch program on Feb. 28.

With this, the seemingly shy volunteers stole the show by sharing unfiltered details of their lives, dancing in a goofy manner, or even playing imaginary instruments. The crowd roared with laughter and gasped in amazement throughout the show.

Gunnar Larson, a first-year Biology major, was one of the skeptics who wanted to experience stage hypnosis firsthand.

“I didn’t know what I was doing the whole time,” he said. “It felt like I was up there for a minute.”

Instead of having the participants wake up to embarrassment and uncertainty, Sailesh gave the students a final command to remember everything in the fondest possible way.

“As I start to remember everything, all the things I was doing on stage I would have never done,” Larson said. “But there’s no feeling of embarrassment. I would definitely do it again.”

To learn more about upcoming Laugh at Lunch, Live at Lunch and other campus events, visit the Student Life and Activities events page.

Check out more photos from Sailesh’s performance here.

– Article and photos by Minh Connors, college relations intern