Dr. Wand mesmerizes students at annual Welcome Week show


World-famous hypnotist, Dr. Jim Wand, convinces the hypnotized student that he has given birth.

Shanae Giles, Staff Writer

More than an hour before the 8 p.m. annual Welcome Week performance of hypnotist Dr. Jim Wand began on Tuesday, Aug. 20, the buzzing sound of students lining up to see the show could be heard from inside the University Center gym.

“I’m pretty excited,” Mateka Parker, a freshman early childhood education major said. “I’ve heard a lot of upperclassmen talking about it. I heard that it’s really crazy and exciting.”

Unlike Parker, who has never seen a hypnotist show before, senior Donovan Biggs has seen Wand’s performance many times.

“I’m very excited,” Biggs said. “I’ve seen [the show] three years now and I’m still super stoked. I can’t wait.”

Wand has been hypnotizing FMU students for more than 10 years. Each year, he picks random volunteers, puts them under hypnosis and asks them to entertain the audience with various tasks such as acting or dancing.

Sponsored by FMU’s University Programming Board (UPB), the evening began with a UPB member introducing the nationally-known hypnotist. There was no shortage of volunteers as Wand called student after student to the gym floor, which was lined with more than two dozen chairs.  He gave them a brief overview of hypnosis.  Wand said they would be entirely aware of everything going on and could come out of their hypnotic state at anytime.

“If you don’t want to be hypnotized, then you won’t be,” Wand said. “If you’re trying too hard to be hypnotized, then you won’t be either.”

Wand instructed the volunteers to stare at a spinning blue and red light and counted them down into hypnosis. Of the students in attendance, some, like sophomore Morgan Mason, were hypnotized in the audience.

“The show was crazy,” Mason said. “All of my sisters really enjoyed it, especially since I was in it. It was a wild experience! I don’t remember everything, but I do know that afterward I was a lot less stressed out. I would definitely do it again.”

During the show, Wand asked students to act out various scenes such as imagining they were stretching out on the beach, a 95-year-old college student, and even back up dancing for Nicki Minaj.  At one point, Wand instructed all of the males on stage to imagine they were pregnant and birthing a baby while the female volunteers were the doctors delivering their babies. Junior Hannah Wagner commented on the show.

“The show was very funny; definitely a plus to see people I knew up there,” Wagner said. “There were a lot more people that actually stayed hypnotized this year and it seemed like attendance was up, too.”

Not everyone was convinced of the concept of hypnosis. Tiffany Thomas, a senior ceramics and painting major, expressed her opinion on the show.

“I thought it was okay, but I didn’t believe it,” Thomas said. “I felt that there wasn’t much that he said that would cause someone to be hypnotized; some people were probably acting to get a rise out of the audience.”

Wand has been hypnotizing for over 25 years and owns his own company called Wand Enterprises, The Hypnosis Agency. Wand also holds a doctorate in psychology, has 10 years of clinical experience and performs over 250 shows across the country.