On Saturday Oct. 21, magician and hypnotist Dylan Tenney, paid a visit to the Night Owl Cafe at Keene State College. Tenney, who originates from Claremont, New Hampshire, began to discover his passion for magic on a family trip to Las Vegas about ten years ago. It was there he saw the famous David Copperfield perform, and from that day Tenney began his practice of illusions.
“I bought a book online, and it was one of those ‘learn to hypnotise’ books. I read it and it was probably like 200 pages, and I read it back to cover probably like ten times. I tried and tried and tried and it didn’t work, but once I got the confidence in myself and I believed I could do it, that’s when it started to work. It was just having to get myself in the right mind-set, believing in myself and being open minded,” Tenney expressed.
While magicians perform tricks that seem impossible to explain, many people remain skeptical of their abilities and try to see through their illusions. First-year Kali Liu went to the show out of curiosity of just that. “I’m kind of interested to see if it really works or not,” Liu said prior to the show. “I kind of don’t believe in it. I don’t think it’s possible.”
After a series of magic tricks and illusions, it was time for the hypnosis portion. Nine audience members volunteered to be put into a hypnotic trance by Tennery, and seven successfully were. The crowd observed as participants believed they were at the zoo, the person next to them smelled amazing, Ed Sheeran was singing on their shoulder, and that Tenney magically made everyone in the audience disappear.
Two of the seven individuals who were hypnotized were first-years Elizabeth Nix and Miranda Bonin. While Nix had never been hypnotized before, Bonin indicated that this was not her first time being under the powers of hypnosis.
“It’s like a haze almost,” Bonin said about her experience. Nix agreed and added, “Yeah, it’s like you’re there for it, but you’re not there for it.”
The students continued to explain that while they knew what was happening and what they were seeing, they could not help believe that what Tenney was telling them was true. Although they could see that a belt was indeed just a belt, the power of influence made them believe it was a poisonous snake.
After the show however, Liu reminded skeptical in the legitimacy of hypnosis.
“Honestly, I still have my doubts on the idea that you can hypnosis people, and I feel that there was probably some trick to it,” Lui did admit however that she is more of a believer than she was prior to the show. “ I’m kind of in between of believing it and not believing it.” Nonetheless whether you are a believer or not, both Nix and Bonin claimed to be under hypnosis during the show.
It’s not a question that obtaining the ability to make people question what is right in front of them is difficult. However, Tenney claimed that it’s all a matter of having confidence. “You have to have confidence in what you do because if you don’t believe in what you do, then nobody else will. And that’s not only for magic, but for anything you do.”
As a strong supporter of believing in what you do, Tenney expressed his feelings that you can accomplish anything with some hard work. “You can do anything you put your mind to,” Tenney said many times throughout his show.
As Tenney grows as a magician and hypnotist he hopes to keep putting smiles on people’s faces because more than anything else, his audience is his biggest inspiration.
“My crowds honestly inspire me the most,” Tenney explained. “I’m really inspired by people and places I go. Everywhere you go people are different and you can always see different people, and you meet different people, and they smile all different. So me bringing smiles to people’s faces, that’s my favorite part of being a magician.”
Erin McNemar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org