Comedic hypnotist Doug MacCraw to enchant crowd
Syracuse University junior Nathan Garland never knew he had a secret talent for dance. That was, at least, until he attended a show at ACACIA, where he volunteered to be hypnotized by comedic hypnotist Doug MacCraw.
“At one point I was onstage doing ballet. I can’t do ballet,” said Garland, a computer engineering major. “I was up there just strutting and doing spins.”
It will mark the sixth time MacCraw has used hypnotism to bring out hidden talents on the SU campus. Just about anything can happen at ACACIA’s sixth-annual show featuring MacCraw, which will take place on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Goldstein Auditorium.
Tickets for the show are still on sale at the Schine Student Center Box Office for $5 with a valid student ID and can be purchased up until the night of the show.
The old hypnotist catchphrase, “You are getting sleepy. Very sleepy,” holds true for MacCraw’s shows. MacCraw, an ACACIA brother and graduate of the University of North Dakota, gets participants to do all different kinds of crazy things — everything from falling asleep in their chairs to dancing. He hypnotizes audience volunteers and occasionally the entire bunch.
MacCraw is not only certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, but is also an accomplished stand-up comedian. He combines comedy with hypnosis to create an entertaining and interesting show for the audience, Garland said.
Garland has volunteered to be hypnotized onstage both times he has attended MacCraw’s show, including his ballet performance.
Garland also said not everyone can be hypnotized, but being relaxed and open to the experience helps prime viewers for the show. Being hypnotized is essentially the state of being so relaxed that you become open to suggestion or direction, and MacCraw is an expert in getting people to this state.
At MacCraw’s show, daring audience members who hope to experience hypnotism at a closer level simply raise a hand to volunteer.
“(MacCraw) relaxes you first. The way he talks is supposed to soothe you, and then he just owns you,” said Garland, describing what it’s like being hypnotized. “He has his fun with you.”
If students volunteer to be hypnotized, they won’t forget the night, Garland said. While in a hypnotized state, volunteers remain conscious and aware.
Being hypnotized is both entertaining and relaxing, Garland said. He also said MacCraw has hypnotized audience members to wake up at a certain time the next morning.
Whether students go to be hypnotized or just to watch the goofiness, MacCraw’s shows are always amusing, Garland said.
Said Garland: “How many other opportunities do you get to see an actual hypnotist perform?”
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