On Wednesday, Sep. 3, Spidey the Hypnotist performed at UNBSJ’s Grand Hall as a part of Orientation week activities. By 7 p.m., the venue was packed with first year students, Orientation volunteers, Shinerama participants and returning students, all eager for the x-rated show organized by UNB SRC’s VP of Student Affairs, Jen Brown.
Spidey the Hypnotist’s show has been highly anticipated, especially after his last visit to UNBSJ. The talented Canadian is not only a hypnotist, he is also a magician and mentalist. Spidey was a Canada’s Got Talent Finalist and appeared on Discovery Channel’s “Daily Planet” with Dan Riskin. He has been nominated Canadian Magician of the Year, performed at the Just For Laughs Festival, and has inspired documentaries such as “Igniting the Imagination” and “Hypnotica.”
The Quebec-native is an international performer, putting on shows across Canada and the US, as well as overseas from the Caribbean to Europe. Spidey also works with A-list celebrities the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and acts as a Hollywood Consultant on magic, mentalism and hypnosis—in fact, keep an eye out for Spidey’s name in the credits of an upcoming film with Gordon-Levitt.
As the lights went down in Grand Hall, Spidey tested the audience to uncover those susceptible to hypnosis. The room was silent as anxious students closed their eyes, some wanting desperately to be hypnotized while others were more skeptical.
Students were asked to hold both of their arms in front of them, and Spidey suggested that one arm was becoming lighter and the other growing heavy. When students opened their eyes again, those whose arms had moved from their initial position were brought on stage.
In the end, 20 students filled the chairs on Spidey’s stage. New and returning students, men and women, composed the hypnotist’s ‘props’ for the evening.
On university and college crowds, Spidey states, “I would say that college audiences are probably my favourite audiences to perform for because they are at the perfect place in life where there is still a lot of fun, but they’re also quite intellectual.”
The performers thoughts on the matter proved valid, as the students on stage made for an evening of continuous laughter.
Spidey’s antics were comical to say the least, as he hypnotized students to get drunk off water, seduce porn stars and act like the opposite sex. One student argued with his nipples when his name was said, while another became a Chinese rapper—with groupies and all. The later was a crowd favourite, and one of Spidey’s most successful and entertaining subjects.
For Spidey, his hypnotist show is very different from his mentalist performances. As a mentalist, he is confident his tricks will work, but as a hypnotist he is relying on members of his audience to follow his suggestions. The entertainer described hypnotism as follows: “Imagine having to do a show and you’re given your props only at the last minute. Because they’re my props, technically. So it’s really stressful when I step up on that stage.”
All in all, Grand Hall was full of laughter from the beginning of Spidey’s performance to its conclusion. As he revealed what had happened to the students that had been on stage, the crowd gathered around the entertainer and his unsuspecting helpers to get a better view of their reactions.
The hypnotized students were good sports and, though some looked a bit embarrassed, they couldn’t help but laugh at the hilarity that had taken place on Spidey’s stage. The hypnotist sent them all off feeling good about themselves and about the show, with no misgivings and the promise of an incredible night’s sleep.
After the show, second year student Josh Stanton stated, “I laughed the entire time. It was wonderful.”
To learn more about Spidey the Hypnotist, check out his facebook or his youtube channel.