Friday, January 18, 2013

Hypnotist Steve Marino

Hi. This is me, Gino Baileau. I look like a floating head, but at least my face is glowing like that of a pregnant woman. I'm a photography major at the University of Illinois, and yesterday I attended a free event hosted by the Illini Union where a well known performer was putting on a show for students.

As you can see, me and my friend Alex were pretty excited about this event, and it drew a pretty large crowd. 
This is Steve Marino. He's from Boston, but performs across the country in places like Hawaii, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, and other major cities. He's also performed on national television. He travels to high school and colleges to entertain young crowds with audiences ranging anywhere from 30-1,000 people per show. He said he first began hypnosis when he was a math teacher in his younger years, and used it as a technique to relax his students before exams. 
After the show, I asked Mr. Marino more about the history of hypnosis to broaden my horizons on the subject. Apparently, the study of hypnosis goes all the way back to the 1700's with psychologists like Franz Mesmer and Sigmund Freud. In the past, a lot of these people believed that hypnosis was caused by magnetic fields from the universe. Some people were thought to have the ability to pick up certain waves that most humans couldn't. Today, hypnosis is simply defined as a psychological state of sleep marked by a functioning individual at a level of awareness other than ordinary conscious state. According to Marino, hypnosis is not a talent of picking up magnetic fields, but rather relaxing an individual so deep into their own mind where all consciousness is heightened.
Now to talk about the show. First, as seen on the photo on the left, Marino called 3 random individuals up on to the stage from the audience. He had one of the individuals shuffle the deck three times in front of everyone. Then each of the three individuals pick a card and think about the card in their mind. He takes a moment and says the color, number, and suit of the card. All three people go back to their seats. Next, he calls up about 30 people from the audience. 
He talks all of the random people into a tranquil, relaxing state of mind with all of their eyes closed (left). That takes about 5 minutes. Then, he goes one by one and taps each person on the shoulder and says "Sleep" (right). The individuals fall into a limp relaxation. 
Now, the people are in a state of unconsciousness, and will do anything hypnotist Steve Marino demands. Marino tells them to do outlandish things, such as making them play a piano that keeps floating up to the sky over your head (seen on the right).
The show then goes on, and he weeds out the people he knows are "faking" the hypnotic state, and only a few people are left on stage. He makes these people perform even crazier things, such as hug the complete stranger next to you intimately, shown on the left, and dance ballet and give lap dances, shown on the right. 
Skeptics, like myself, could obviously beleive that al of these people are faking their state of hypnosis. It seems way too far-fetched to be real. Nonetheless, it was an experience and I learned about something I had no knowledge of before my attendance to the event. For more information on this performer, visit his website at

Now, let's acknowledge the real topic of the evening: HOW BOMB WAS MY OUTFIT?! 

See you next week


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