On Thursday, October 11, Keene State College hosted hypnotists — Dan Lornitis. At 8:00 p.m., students gathered in the Mabel Brown Room of the Student Center for a night of comedy and laughs. Many of the show’s audience members came from weekly bingo in the Night Owl Cafe next door.
“We were just playing bingo, and we were told to check it out,” stated Lauren Arsenault, accompanied by Olivia and Madison Pechulis. The group of friends then recalled the previous hypnotist at Keene State and said they were, “excited to see what kind of style he had,” in comparison.
Lornitis showed his own style indeed, as he began his night of comedy. He first began with an explanation of what hypnosis is and how it works — a common misconception. He then took the night’s volunteers, who he assured would be entirely safe and not do anything embarrassing.
With calming music playing, Lornitis started the process of hypnosis. Before long, the volunteers were entertaining the audience with a variety of activities they were asked to do. These ranged from a cow milking contest, where each member gave their hypnotized name for their cow — including a Sir Milks a Lot — to modeling, flying on an airplane and more. Quick- paced and full of humor, the hour-long show never stopped as Lornitis moved from act to act. Audience members laughed and applauded throughout, until the group of volunteers was finally taken out of their hypnosis.
A few volunteers were sent back into the audience, as the hypnosis did not work on them. Amongst them was Val Mamish, who said, “At the beginning, I was kind of uncomfortable and did not know what he would have us do. At one point, he said we should feel a tingling in our hands, and I didn’t, and I knew it didn’t work.” Mamish thought she must have been too unsure for the hypnosis to work, but ended up enjoying her night in the audience. Those who had been successfully hypnotized, on the other hand, did not remember anything at all. In fact, immediately after the show, friends gathered around to show them the footage they filmed of what they had done while under hypnosis.
Lornitis stayed after the show to talk with audience members. When asked what inspired him to become a hypnotist, he answered, “I was hypnotized in high school, and it just kind of stuck with me and I thought it would be fun to learn.” Lornitis began as a magician, before starting to learn hypnosis. After years of performing as both a magician and a hypnotist, he made the decision to work strictly as a hypnotist. He is now one of the most highly sought comedy hypnotists in the country.
With a performance met with applause and cheers, Keene State students appeared to agree that Lornitis is a master of his trade. Every audience member seemed to enjoy their time at the show, and left with a smile upon their face. A welcome night of laughs on a Thursday night, Lornitis was indeed a hit with Keene State College students.
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