VIDEO: Hypnotist mesmerizes WU audience

Kevin Hurley lulls a crowd to sleep at his show April 6. Hurley literally capitivated students with his hypnosis and made them perform stunts such as dancing.

Brian Dulle / Washburn Review

Minds were completely blown away last Wednesday as hypnotist and comedian Kevin Hurley performed at Washburn University.  Hurley hypnotized 15 different Washburn students making them dance, fly an airplane, drive a car and other hilarious things.

Washburn student Ryan Caldwell was one of the fifteen students hypnotized and said that it was unlike anything he had experienced before.

“All I remember is waking up and I was lying down on the floor,” said Caldwell. “It felt like I had just slept for 10 hours.”

Caldwell said that he would do it again as long as he did not do anything weird during the hypnosis.

“I do some meditations here and there and I thought it would be like that but I was wrong,” said Caldwell

Hypnotist Kevin Hurley said that most folks think that it was an interest in psychology that started his involvement in hypnotism but in fact it was his love of standup comedy and magic and growing up as an instigator.

“I was always the guy that could get my cousin to do crazy stuff and get into trouble so I thought what better way to bring this to everybody,” said Hurley

Hurley had formal training through Ormond McGill, “The Dean of American Hypnotism,” who traveled the world and was about 90 when Hurley caught up with him and had published over 70 books on the topic of hypnosis.

Hurley said that he has been performing across the United States for eight solid years and that he does about 150 to 200 shows a year, 100 of which are performed at colleges and universities.

“Colleges and universities have the best audience because students are willing to try anything,” said Hurley

The first time Hurley hypnotized someone was at the age of 21 at a sports banquet.

“I was reading off the cue cards making sure I got the recipe right,” said Hurley

Mary Bannwarth, the varieties and entertainment director of Campus Activities Board said that CAB first saw Hurley in October at the National Association for Campus Activities Convention that brings a variety of entertainers to one location.

“He was one of the entertainers at the conference and we thought it would be a great idea to bring someone like him to Washburn,” said Bannwarth

Bannwarth said that about 150 to 200 students came to the event making it a big success and that CAB has already started looking at performers for the upcoming semester.

“We just want to bring a variety of different entertainers to Washburn’s campus,” said Bannwarth. “We are trying to satisfy all Washburn students’ needs and entertainment.  We have two shows lined up for the fall and we want to make sure all Washburn students can get the full potential out of the Campus Activities Board.”

Hurley said that the reason he thinks hypnosis is important is because anytime a person can learn mastery, whether it be physical or mental conditioning, it can be beneficial.

“My CD is a hypnotherapy thing and has techniques that I hope people will remember, said Hurley. “I’m 6 ft’ 4 and always get crappy airplane tickets in the back so I do some of the exercises in my head to help me relax.”

Hurley said the power of hypnosis can help a person take a leap to make a change in their life like losing weight or stopping smoking. If a person first changes their way of thinking through hypnosis, Hurley said it can change their circumstances.

“It’s all perception and if a person can alter that perception and hypnosis can help a little bit and that person can get the results they want and become a better person than I think that is cool,” said Hurley

Hurley said that he would love to come back and visit Washburn again and that he has a secret love for the great taste of barbeque.

“As soon as I landed in Kansas City, I asked where a barbeque place was at the ready, so I had lunch at Boss Hawgs, so I am a local and I am coming back,” said Hurley.