When you ask people about hypnotism and whether or not it’s a plausible thing, many are skeptical and think it’s all an act; others are convinced the powers of hypnotism are real, and that those hypnotized truly believe everything they’re being told.
The truth is, anyone who went to Tom DeLuca’s show at Williams Auditorium Nov. 30 could probably agree that it was amusing, regardless of their opinion on hypnotism’s plausibility, and I know for me, that’s really the only thing that mattered.
DeLuca picked his volunteers and began to put them under his trance. He started out by telling participants they were fishing and got a huge bite. The audience could tell who was going to give the best show when one participant fell out of his chair reeling like a mad man and the other was on the ground.
Sure enough, the two didn’t disappoint. At one point, DeLuca told the participants they had music coming out of their shoes, and one of the two guys from the beginning proceeded to belt out “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas.
Later, the same participant was convinced he was the gecko from the Geiko commercials. Whenever he heard the word “red,” he repeatedly told the audience he “could save you 15 percent or more on our car insurance.” He then insisted it was because his tail was so magnificent, as he pretended to stroke it and beg DeLuca to touch it.
The other amusing participant also grew more interesting. As DeLuca put his jacket on a microphone stand, he told the man that it was an extremely attractive woman. As the participant approached, he started by dancing with the stand, then passionately kissing it, and finally dragging it toward backstage for some privacy as the audience erupted with laugher.
DeLuca later told the same participant that he was Jackie Chan’s younger brother, as DeLuca and the man faced off in a kung fu battle on stage, complete with sound effects and the man’s attempt at speaking Japanese.
DeLuca convinced one girl she was from another planet, and that somehow, one of the other participants was the only one who knew exactly what she was saying. The two sat on stage babbling some bizarre made up language, seemingly convinced they knew exactly what each other was saying, and for a moment, convincing me as well.
As the night proceeded, the power of DeLuca’s suggestion amazed and amused me. He told one man that he was a friend of all fruit and that fruit had feelings as the man ripped an apple out of DeLuca’s hand because he was about to eat it. Shortly after, DeLuca told him he was starving, as the man betrayed his fruit and started to devour it. Moments later, DeLuca told him that he would realize what he’d done and the man began giving CPR to the apple to bring it back to life. I guess he didn’t know his own strength, because he crushed it on the stage.
There were moments of warmth on stage, as DeLuca told the participants that the person next to them was the nicest person in the world. People on the stage were embracing, full of smiles, gushing over their newly made companions.
At the very end, DeLuca told everyone they were at a party. The music came on, and everyone went crazy, dancing like wild, as one by one, DeLuca sat them down. At last two remained, and when things started to get a little rowdy, the crowd lost it, as finally DeLuca sat both down.
The nice thing about DeLuca is that his show is a perfect balance of family friendly fun and college appeal. Though I wasn’t here last year, apparently the hypnotist was a little more PG-13.
DeLuca showed hypnotism in itself can be fascinating and hilarious, and getting people to do and say silly things make for a great show.
However, there were moments I’m sure appealed to the college student with some rather inappropriate content, such as the dance party at the end or the microphone stand incident.
Nevertheless, DeLuca provided a night of laughs for anyone to enjoy, and I would certainly see him again if the opportunity arose. n