A dozen skeptical students were hypnotized as part of XXX-rated hypnotist Tony Lee’s show at the Observatory on Thursday, Jan. 28.
Tickets were sold out and after reaching capacity at 200, the organizers had to stop selling tickets at the door.
The show was opened by Toronto-based musician Lucas Dipasquale, who played his guitar and sang adapted versions of rap and reggae songs, as well as original pieces.
Lee began by calling up volunteers and proceeded to entrance the group by using the power of suggestion, combined with gestures and commands that held the group under his influence for over an hour.
Among the first hypnotized students to wake up was Scott McKenzie, a first year business administration student.
“It felt like I was sleeping the entire time,” said McKenzie after leaving the stage. “Like a completely subconscious state of mind, and I didn’t believe at all.”
McKenzie was not the only one put under. Other students who went on stage claimed to have been completely unconscious while Lee instructed them to do some not-so-PG-rated antics.
The entranced group was coaxed into giving and receiving imaginary oral sex, lap dances, and even licking whipped cream off another person’s nipples and groin.
“I’ve worked six of Tony’s shows now,” said Dan Grove, a security guard at the Observatory, and the recipient of a lap dance from three different men. “So I’ve seen people do some pretty questionable stuff so I really hope they’re hypnotized.”
Anthonius Leendertz, also known as Tony Lee, grew up in Calgary as a visible minority and started DJing as a way to gain popularity at 13.
“I started DJing at my own high school dances,” said Lee. “And that’s where I got the bug of being onstage.”
In 1985, Lee discovered that he was able to hypnotize people after accidentally hypnotizing his girlfriend of the time.
“I came home one day and as a joke I asked her if I could hypnotize her,” said Lee. “After a few minutes she fell over and I thought she had passed out so I started giving her random suggestions, and she did them. That’s when I was like ‘whoa, this is real.’”
After that he joined a society to learn the basics of therapeutic hypnotism.
He started doing little shows at the bar he managed in Calgary and decided he wanted to tour the country.
Algonquin was one of the first campuses he performed at in Ontario.
Lee remembers a student who would ask to introduce him every time he came to the college to practice his stage presence. This student grew up to be radio personality and Sens announcer Stuntman Stu.
Lee was inducted into the Canadian hall of fame last year and has had one or two shows a year at the college for the last 20 years.