On Friday, Jan. 25, in the Malcolm Field Theatre, SVSU’s Program Board hosted a welcome back event featuring a performance by hypnotist and mentalist David Hall.
Many students at the show were familiar with Hall’s work, as he had performed a solo hypnosis show on the same stage about a year ago. Students who were surveyed after the 2018 show gave positive feedback, so the Program Board felt that students would be excited to welcome Hall back again.
This time, Hall was joined by his assistant and fiancé, Antonina. The two wowed the student audience with an evening of interactive mind reading.
“Last year the show was focused on hypnosis, so I was excited to see a different side of David’s talents,” said occupational therapy senior Andrea Dasky.
The duo kicked off the performance by asking everyone in the audience to think of a three letter word, and through a series of word associations, they were able to predict that many people would end up with the word elephant.
Student volunteers were chosen on multiple occasions to have their minds read or have messages sent to their minds from the performers. One lucky student was even able to become a mentalist herself with the help of cue cards.
Between mind tricks, Hall gave the audience background information about the history of telepathy, and the use of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) to influence people’s behaviors. It was then that he explained how he had just used NLP to influence the previous volunteer to choose the second card in a stack by saying “second” many times as he was introducing the trick.
The show concluded with a trick in which various audience members chose numbers between one and 10, and David and Antonina were able to accurately predict what the product would be if the numbers were all multiplied together. After the show, students had mixed opinions about whether what they had seen could be considered magic.
“I think it’s all fake,” said social work junior Kaitlyn Schmitz. “I don’t know how they did it, but I don’t believe anyone can magically read minds.”
On the other hand, secondary education sophomore Emma VanWagoner enjoyed the performance and hopes that the performers’ magic was real.
“I want to believe it’s true,” VanWagoner said. “But whether it was really magic or not, David and Antonina were very entertaining.”
Reporting by Macali Gadola, Vanguard Reporter