Arts and Life Writer
For most freshmen at Akron, seeing the great hypnotist Michael C. Anthony is a must for your first year. Being a freshman myself, I came to the show without the slightest idea what was going to happen. I only knew that I was about to witness some phenomena that I could not exactly explain.
Overall, the show was enthralling and amazing. It left me with a sense of “Wow! How did he do that? Was it really real?” The only real background I had of hypnosis was the man with a cape saying “You are getting sleepy.”
I was surprised to see Anthony come out on stage wearing jeans and a T-shirt as if he were meeting with friends. In my opinion, I would have liked to see more of a nice button-up shirt and pants. It would have given him a more appeal of authority and class. A cape would not have been bad either.
I had no idea how many people were going to be at his show. If you did not get there early, you were in the balcony. And if you did not get there even earlier, there was a good chance you were not going on stage either, for the minute
he asked for volunteers there was a stampede. I had never seen kids move so fast for a chair in my life. It almost looked dangerous.
Now who is Michael C. Anthony? Well he just happens to be a renowned hypnotist. Anthony’s show is considered one of the best in the world. VH1 called Anthony “The best stage hypnotist on the planet.”
No wonder everyone wanted to go on stage to be the next victim.
I personally would never want to go on stage like that; what he does to the volunteers is almost cruel. He makes them do embarrassing acts and heaven only knows what you will do when you have no control of what is going on. I admit though, it was hilarious and totally unexpected.
Freshman Tory McNeil was one of the lucky contestants to go on stage, where she “twerked” when told to dance.
“Did I just do that? I’ve never done anything like that before. I’m not on the ‘twerk’ squad,” said McNeil.
Anthony’s show started off with all of the contestants trampling on stage, but hypnosis is something that can only be done if you are willing to let it happen. So if you went up there with a skeptic attitude then you would have to go back to your seats.
Hypnosis is defined as a kind of active sleep with suggestions. Anthony explains it as when you are watching a movie and it is really intense, you move with the movie and grab onto your chair because you feel like you are part of the movie, even though you know you are in a movie theater. That is what hypnosis is like. It is just a heightened feeling of sleep where the unconscious mind takes over and listens to the voice inside your head, which in this case was Anthony.
Freshman Kelsey Jones was another contestant who went onstage. Anthony told her that she was a human seatbelt and she had to save as many people as possible by flinging her body across their laps when she heard the trigger word “safety.” She was also told that the guy next to her was wearing amazing and sexy cologne. She explained her experience as “a voice inside my head telling me what to do. I did stuff and I did not even know why.”
I admit I was skeptical about the whole thing at first, especially when I saw people who did stuff before he snapped his fingers and who were overdramatic. Those people looked like actors. I was only skeptical until he had someone come up and said “sleep” to them and they just fell onto the floor (in what looked like a most painful way, I might add). I knew that if they were just acting, they would have had a reaction to falling onto the hard floor.
That was another sign: people did things on stage without any reactions to it. Some people made comfy pillows out of other people and no one had a second thought to it. There was no resistance. That is why I think most people were actually under a “spell” and not just acting along for fun.
UA student Kelechi Onwukwe (or Cha Cha, as named by Anthony) was angered when Anthony got his name wrong. He also comments on the part of the show where Anthony made himself invisible and picked up a water bottle, frightening the volunteers.
“It was really fun,” Onwukwe said. “On stage, the floating water bottle was creepy, but afterwards I thought it was dumb that I was scared. It just felt so real because it appeared out of nowhere.”