No Swinging Watch, Please

Getting hypnotized is a mysterious concept on par with love potions and fortune telling. CBS’s The Mentalist has depicted hypnotism as an ultimate form of manipulation to carry out evil deeds or to reveal true inner passions. But does hypnotism really work? Or is it as real as reality TV?

As a part of the University of Iowa’s back-to-school Welcome Week, the Campus Activities Board will present Comedian Hypnotist Erick Känd.

“There will be no swinging watch in this show,” he said in expressing his disdain for the conventional Hollywood representation of hypnotism.

The mind trick is believed to subdue the body into a rapt relaxation. Then, spellbound by a heightened inner focus, subjects are more likely to acquiesce to suggestions that change their behavior. Känd has crisscrossed the nation and cruised international waters to demonstrate his adept ability to surprise and entertain audiences.

Unfortunately, he will not divulge his favorite stunts or the supposedly unbelievable method of hypnotizing people. However, the performer was willing to relay an amusing event from his Sunday night show at a college in upstate New York.

College Hypnotist with no Swinging Watch
No swinging watches to be found in this college hypnotist show

“I had a girl believing her shoes were phones,” he said. “She answered one, and it was Denzel Washington, and she was bouncing all over the stage talking to him. But then the other shoe rang, and it was Barack Obama. The girl was so excited she hung up on Denzel and continued to bounce around the stage as she talked to Barack.”

Volunteers may also hallucinate and think that their belly button has disappeared or be tricked into believing they have won the lottery. Känd enjoys visiting colleges and universities because students are generally very enthusiastic about hypnosis.

Hypnotism is futile if the person is unwilling to follow the necessary directions, he notes.

“I get rid of people real quick if they’re pretending,” he said. “I don’t waste my time with people who are not giving a sincere effort to concentrate.”

Känd is enjoying a domestic tour, visiting a slew of colleges all over the map to provide opening-week entertainment. The hypnotist will have hopped from Colorado to New York to Texas in a week before he lands on the IMU stage.

He once had a hypnotism health practice in San Diego before the excitement of the entertainment business stole him away indefinitely. He has been invited to hypnotize audiences ranging from Venice, Croatia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Showcasing a hypnotist is a Welcome Week ritual; however, this will be Känd’s first UI appearance.

“We like to have hypnotists because they’re pretty interactive … A lot of people get to participate,” said Nellie Hermanson, the assistant director of student activities and programming for the Campus Activities Board. “[The board members] checked out a host of hypnotist videos, and they selected Känd because they thought he was the best.”

His show is definitely not a static experience. The conjurer of hallucinations and make-believe has an eclectic bag of tricks that keep his shows varied and his audiences mesmerized.

Read original article in The Daily Iowan: No Swinging Watches, Please