MU
Oak Leaves

February 12, 2016

Hypnotist_Stratton_by_Stratton

SLEEPY SELFIE Junior Stratton Smith with hypnotist chrisjones.

Hypnotist Returns

Aaron Lloyd

Are you feeling sleeepy? Were you feeling sleeepy last Friday when hypnotist Chris Jones performed on campus? Known professionally as chrisjones, this hypnotist made his Spartan debut at Welcome Week last year but returned on January 29 to bring some entertainment to the spring semester. He succeeded in not only making the audience laugh but also getting some of the participants to regret being hypnotized. 

chrisjones is one of the hottest young hypnotists around now, but it wasn’t always easy work for the Chicago native.  He started his career by doing stand-up comedy at bars and weddings, while he double majored in psychology and sociology in college as an undergraduate. 

While in graduate school studying Therapeutic Recreation, he learned all he could about hypnosis and began to work to perfect this craft.  He did so by living on a college campus for seven years and performed different tricks on students around him each night. Now he does it for a living.

chrisjones started his show by giving the entire audience a hypnotic suggestion. He told them to make a fist with their right hand and to hold their left hand out, palm up.  He asked everyone to imagine they were holding helium filled balloons in their closed hand and bricks in their open hand.  Without them even noticing, the balloons raised one hand and the bricks lowered the other hand.

He then asked for male and female volunteers who wanted to be hypnotized to come onstage.  He made them relax and those who could be hypnotized, were hypnotized into forgetting their names.

Later on in the show, Jones made the volunteers dance--as if they were at prom--with either a partner on stage or a random audience member. At first they slow-danced, and then the dancing got more freestyle when he switched up the song to something faster paced.  After that, he had them break into groups, male and female, and each group tried to demonstrate how the other sex danced.

While the volunteers were split into their groups, chrisjones moved into the next skit, Family Feud.  He would ask the "players" questions and they would answer with absurd responses. chrisjones would then tell them where that answer landed on the board in terms of how funny the response was.

As chrisjones had spoken about how people often tell him how much he resembles the rapper Drake, it was only right for him to include that element in his show.  For his finale he made the hypnotized people on stage believe that he was the famous rapper and that they were at his concert.  He sang one of Drake's songs and danced to it while the “concert goers” bounced all around him, snapping pictures with him and hugging him.

Storm Shortt, a first-year sports management and marketing major from Laporte, Ind., had a good time at the event. “Coming into the show, I was afraid it’d be too much like the other hypnotist we had, but he blew me away and I didn’t want the show to end," he said. "He was very likable and funny and I cannot wait for him to come back!”

Shortt was not the only first-year student who had a strong reaction to chrisjones’ show, as classmates Emma Clark and Leah Spain both also enjoyed the performance.  Clark, a first-year English and art education major from Whiteland, Ind., actually attempted to become hypnotized by Jones, but the power of suggestion could not take hold of her. 

“He was kind to me when I did not get hypnotized on stage," Clark said. "It was great when he allowed me and the other kid to be a part of the show instead of just instantly sending us back to our seats after the hypnosis didn’t work on us.” 

Spain, a first-year biology-chemistry major from Dayton, Ohio, said that the show was one of the best that she has ever been to.  “He was not only good at the hypnosis aspect of the show, but he was also funny and not your ordinary hypnotist, which kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire show,” she said. 

Whether chrisjones was making people think that they’re zombies ready to feast on the audience in front of them, making them think that they’re political figures, or making them bite the shoulder of an audience member, he always did so in a humorous way that made the audience fall out of their seats from laughing so much. 

“What was so great about the show was that chrisjones really seemed to absolutely love what he did, which made the show so much more enjoyable,” Shortt said.