Tyrone Area High School Hypnotized!

Was it real? Watch the video and decide for yourself!

Jason+Christopher+performs+his+show+with+senior+Conner+Stroud

Nathan Hormell

Jason Christopher performs his show with senior Conner Stroud

Tyrone Area High School recently hosted a unique assembly that showcased the controversial and “mystic” power of hypnosis.

The school welcomed the renowned hypnotist and entertainer Jason Christopher to perform close-up magic and a hypnosis show for the entire student body on Thursday, February 12.

The assembly was arranged by Mrs. Erica Martin and Student Council.

“Student Council tries find ways to entertain and reward the students,” said Martin, “and because Mr. Christopher came so well recommended, we felt like this would be an entertaining assembly program for our students”

It was Student Council President Andrew Bartos, who researched presenters and contacted Christopher himself.

Christopher, from Pittsburgh, has performed for many schools and organizations across the country. His power to place volunteers under a “trance” and have them unknowingly perform humorous skits has proven to be very entertaining.

One of the unique aspects of Christopher’s show, is that he not only performs hypnotism but also does close-up magic tricks with students lunch periods, before the main hypnotism show in the afternoon.

“He came to my table and asked people if they had any change,” commented sophomore Lily Williams,  “Someone gave him a penny and he bent it right in front of us. It was definitely really cool to see and much more entertaining than a regular lunch.”

The assembly began later in the day during 6th and 7th period.

Christopher began by explaining different forms of hypnosis on the whole crowd.  He then asked for volunteers, and selected 15-20, students and teachers alike.

Junior Adam Zook was very enthused to be selected as a volunteer.

“I was interested in hypnosis and I was curious as to if it would work,” Zook said, after being asked why he wanted to volunteer.

“To be honest, I was excited! I really wanted to be hypnotized.”

The next few minutes were used to put all the volunteers in a deep trance, which would allow them to be hypnotized. This process included relaxing music and relaxing thoughts, and it seemed as if most of the volunteers simply fell asleep on stage.

After a few minutes, when most of the volunteers seemed to be in a deep sleep, the music became upbeat and the hypnotist started to have fun.

The assembly consisted of many entertaining skits, in which the hypnotist described a scenario to the volunteers and the crowd. The volunteers would blindly act out the skit, all at the command of the hypnotist.

The volunteers reacted to different scenarios, such as being very hot or cold, being pulled over by the police, and seeing their families and even romantic interests while driving in their “dream” car.

The hypnosis required volunteers to react to funny and sad movies, certain smells, and even the new “temperatures” of the seats they were sitting in.

That show is not something I will soon forget!”

— Mrs. Martin, Student Council Advisor

One of the most memorable skits of the assembly was when the hypnotist “removed” the number three from the mind of senior Connor Stroud.

At his command, the hypnotist completely removed the number 3 from Stroud’s head, and when asked to count from one to ten, he would jump from “2” to “4”.

Stroud’s confusion on why he seemingly had six fingers per hand, yet 11 fingers in total was very entertaining to the crowd.

Volunteers also revealed information about themselves while under a trance, such as the names of their dogs and their favorite smells.

They participated in various competitions such as an orchestral audition which they played an instrument of their choice, and a body builder competition, where they showed off their best muscular pose.

Another highlight of the assembly involved Adam Zook, who was instructed to dance insanely to the song “What Does the Fox Say”, and then stop at the command of the hypnotist, having no memory of why he was dancing.

Zook danced vigorously and carelessly onstage, which was extremely entertaining for the crowd. But what proved to cause even more laughs was the confusion Zook faced when he was told to stop dancing.

The assembly lasted for a little over an hour and a half until the volunteers were let offstage. But prior to being let out of the trance, the hypnotist left the volunteers with no memory of anything that happened during the assembly until they drank something. It was then that the memories would all come back.

Most volunteers felt like they were only onstage for about 10 minutes, and reported that they didn’t remember anything of the experience.

Volunteers were naturally swarmed by their peers, chaotically being offered drinks. The volunteers were confused, but thirsty also.

Junior Marlena Wagner was one of the volunteers that was very thirsty coming offstage. She took a drink, and recalls the experience of the memories of the assembly flowing back.

“After I took a drink, it took me a couple seconds but then everything that happened came back,” said Wagner .  “It felt like I had dreamt it.”

Many volunteers went through this experience, some being very embarrassed about what they did onstage.

Zook became rather embarrassed when the memories of him dancing onstage came back to him. Wagner felt embarrassed about when she unconsciously showed off her muscles during the bodybuilding competition.

Freshman Kathleen Cempa was more embarrassed about her positions when sleeping.

“I was taking a full on nap on Andrew Bartos!” said Cempa.

But overall, the students and staff all enjoyed the assembly.

“I liked it,” said sophomore Alexis Cannistraci, “He was a very skilled magician, and the assembly had me laughing ‘till my stomach hurt.”

Many of the volunteers praised hypnosis as a fun experience, and Cempa and Zook both said that they would do it again.

Mrs. Martin was very pleased with the success of the assembly.

“From what I could tell, the students and teachers had a great time,” says Martin, “I know I laughed a lot and enjoyed watching the kids that seemed really out of it! That show is not something I will soon forget!”