When he was 12 years old, Richard Cole saw a hypnotist show at the college where his dad worked. Once he graduated from psychology at Carleton University, he saw another show with the same hypnotist in Peterborough. That’s when he decided to go into that field.
Cole performed a hypnosis show in the Observatory during the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 29.
Owen Sloan and Brady Fleming, level 2 electrical students, and Vivek Jaiswal, a level 2 project management student, volunteered to be the stars of the show. Cole used his powers to put them to sleep and send them into a state of relaxation for a trip to the beach.
“Hypnosis is the vehicle to let the people on stage become comedy stars themselves,” Cole said. “I’m not the comedy star, they’re the stars, I just give them the ideas.”
Cole’s goal was to showcase the comedy side of hypnosis in a clean manner, with nothing embarrassing or X-rated. The closest he got was a joke about naked senior citizens, which made the audience laugh.
According to Amanda Logan, the events programmer for the Students’ Association, the SA was pleased with the turnout, with more students in the Observatory than usual for a laugh-filled lunch period. Cole got the audience in on the action with some activities to keep them engaged.
According to Sloan, the three participants did not feel like they were truly hypnotized, but the experience helped them feel relaxed in the moment.
“I could definitely visualize what he was saying when he was saying it, and it was very relaxing,” Sloan said.
Sloan didn’t know the show was happening beforehand. He went to the Observatory to get drinks and saw Cole performing, which got him interested.
The Students’ Association plans to do more lunchtime programming in the Observatory, including more staged shows. They are monitoring what students are interested in for ideas on future events.
“We want to entice students to come to the Observatory and check it out especially if they’ve never been here before,” said Logan. “You don’t have to be buying food or drinks to be at the Observatory, you can just come and watch a show for free.”
At the end of the show, Cole left everyone with some positive messages to make them feel better about who they are.
“Remember, every time you see your favourite colour, it will be more bright and more vibrant,” said Cole. “Just like you.”