Hypnotist brings needs relief to stressed students

Chris LaFoy

Between presentations, papers and final exams, Grand Valley State University students need a break. Last night this required retreat was provided by hypnotist Tom DeLuca.

Students started lining up at the entrance of the field house close to two hours before the show was scheduled to begin. The event usually is attended by hundreds of students many looking to be part of the show.

This year’s performance proved to be another success according to attendance. Most of the temporary seating was full by the time the show started. At least another hundred students enjoyed the view from the bleachers.
The interest in the performance has much to do with DeLuca’s 29 year relationship with GVSU.

Deluca’s long career in performing arts has carried him across the globe, but for close to three decades he has continued to make a stop at GVSU.

The four time College Entertainer of the Year award winner relies on a mix of classic group hypnotism tricks and unique material he developed specifically for college campuses.

For a man that went to college in the 1970’s, DeLuca can still relate with the young, academic crowd. His energy was high enough to keep the sleep deprived, energy drink dependent crowd active late into the evening.
The show began with DeLuca picking more than a dozen students from the audience to participate. Most were eager to join the production, jumping up and down trying to catch DeLuca’s attention.

Once on stage, the students were softly spoken to with relaxing, repetitive music playing through the sound system.
Some of the students didn’t fall under the trance, According to DeLuca not everyone he invites to join the stage with him turn out to be susceptible. These students quietly exited the stage.

The first of the physical gags involved the participants thinking they were on a vacation fishing. Arms and legs flailed wildly as an imaginary fish took their bait. After a minute of invisible angling DeLuca put them all to sleep once again.

Throughout the evening DeLuca’s words proved too powerful for some students. When he convinced the group they were watching a scary 3D movie one student started to sob uncontrollably. DeLuca woke the student up and sent her back to the audience unharmed.

Students eventually were given individual back stories that played out throughout the show. One man was the son of an apple, another was the only one in the building that could translate the foreign language of a dragon riding alien named Shakira. A journalism student renamed Shuman was only able to respond to questions by singing, a bit thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.

Some students gave more convincing acts than others, but the crowd was rolling in laughter every few minutes.
The culmination of the night was a dance party filled with moves that will almost certainly become blackmail material for the participants witnessing friends.

Some people will doubt the fact that all the students were actually hypnotized, but DeLuca’s ability to entertain is irrefutable.