Hypnotist brings mix of humor, music, mind control to MU

chrisjones took his stage act from “America’s Got Talent” to Jesse Auditorium.

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This story has been updated to include Chris Jones’ stage name.

Hypnotist and comedian Chris Jones, who goes by chrisjones on stage, performed for MU students in Jesse Auditorium on March 14. The Chicago native is best known for competing in “America’s Got Talent” and for hosting the hypnosis comedy show “Double Take” on Facebook Watch.

To start the evening off, Jones told a few jokes to ease the audience into the idea of being hypnotized.

“Have you seen ‘Get Out?’” Jones said. “This is not like that. But even if you don’t volunteer, you might get hypnotized.”

As Jones kept talking, his voice became softer and the lights dimmed. He started playing a Childish Gambino song and said how if anyone in the audience should fall asleep, they should fall asleep with their head on their chest and not their head rolling back. As he talked he occasionally punctuated words like “sleep” and “tired” with a sort of click sound.

After about 10 minutes of talking, Jones walked out into the crowd and approached some of the people who had stood up to be volunteers. He sat them down, gave them a tap on their shoulders and their heads rolled forward.

From there, Jones had the volunteers stand up, sit down, move their fingers in tune to Post Malone’s “Rockstar” and even turn into “zombies” with their hands held out. Jones sent the “zombies” out to choose one audience member to “eat.”

Before anyone got bitten, Jones made the “zombies” believe they were high schoolers at prom with their best friend. They danced to Aerosmith’s “Cryin’,” taught each other dance moves and hid each other from the “police.”

For the final act, Jones made four audience members think they were superheroes with any superpower they could imagine, any power except flight.

“I did this trick at a show a few years ago,” Jones said. “One of the guys goes ‘I can fly’ and he jumps and lands three rows deep. He was okay. His friend, he goes, ‘No. Damn it David’ and flew after him.”

So that night saw the onstage debut of Animal Girl, Octopus Woman, Super Dancer and Anonymous. Though they did not stop any crimes, they took their newfound status very seriously.

“You can tell they’re hypnotized because they’re not laughing,” Jones said.

After letting the volunteers show off their powers, Jones snapped them out of their hypnosis, telling them that they wouldn’t remember being hypnotized until they left Jesse Auditorium. MU freshman Kip Soucie said she didn’t remember her brief stint as “Animal Girl.”

“I was in the crowd the whole show,” Soucie said just minutes after coming off of the stage.

MU sophomore Lara Cumming, otherwise known as “Super Dancer,” said she doesn’t remember her short time in the spotlight. Cumming came to the event with the intent of getting hypnotized, despite her skepticism of the subject.

“I didn’t realize I’d been hypnotized until I left the bathroom [after the show],” Cumming said. “I didn’t believe it, but I wanted it to be real.”

Edited by Janae McKenzie | jmckenzie@themaneater.com

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