A Project for Better Journalism chapter

I’m A Believer

Hypnotist Tom Deluca. Photo courtesy of tomdeluca.com

If you asked me in the fall of my freshman year if I believed in hypnosis, I would have laughed in your face. There is no way people can fall asleep that easily and be controlled by another human. Not a chance. Then, one Saturday in February, my thoughts were radically shifted when Tom Deluca came into town. Seeing the terrifying seniors get up on stage and do that?!? I then thought there was no way hypnosis could be fake! Ever since that performance, I have wanted to be up on that stage.

I have always looked forward to Mr. Deluca’s visit each year; and I have left all of his shows with a stomach ache from laughing so hard. When I heard he was coming this year, I immediately grabbed a friend and went to Michaels. I had to make a sign that captured Deluca’s attention. Well, it sure did: “Mr. Deluca Sir, Please Pick Me!” it read on a neon poster board with LED lights taped to it. Yes, I was that girl… but hey, it worked and I have no regrets.

When I got selected, I was so excited I could hardly think straight. My heart was pounding as I sat in my chair and tried to calm myself down. He gave us different breathing techniques and assured us he wouldn’t ask anything that would embarrass ourselves. He wanted us to trust him, and then he began to work his talent.

I remember Deluca telling us to close our eyes and count backwards from 300 by threes. His soothing voice kept talking as I began to count in my head, ”…291…288…285”. Then, I was out like a light.

I do not remember anything besides feeling the need to dance, having an urge to hug Shedler, and seeing Ben Archie army crawl behind me. It was a strange sensation that I knew what was going on — kind of — but I was doing it because he told me to. Waking up was incredible! It felt like I had only been on stage for ten minutes, while it was really close to an hour and a half. After I fully woke up, it felt like I received a good eight hour rest, and falling asleep that night was most definitely as issue.

Watching the videos people took of me was so strange. It is most definitely bizarre to see yourself doing things you have no recollection of doing. At first I was laughing and unable to believe that it was actually me. Also, I realized no one should ever let me near a car if that’s how I drive. Then I was cringing due to the fact that everyone got to witness four minutes of my horrific dancing.

Ultimately, it was such a cool and trippy experience, and I would definitely recommend it. And to all the haters and non-believers – trust me… it’s real.