Pierce students and staff left spellbound

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A special show for Pierce students was held on Feb. 5 where the talents of hypnotist Russ Peak were showcased.

After giving an introduction to the audience, Peak guided the students and staff in a group exercise of mental mesmerization, which garnered a murmuring of amusement. Previously selected volunteers were invited to relax on a row of chairs. In a sleep-like trance, the volunteers engaged in a variety of scenarios as narrated by Peak.

Those that allowed themselves to become hypnotized acted out sensations of hot, cold, an insatiable itch, and other stunts that amused the audience. The unwitting members of the show were regressed to a childlike state and played with toys and imaginary pets such as chihuahua and a tiger. Some of the spellbound were instructed to look for leprechauns while others were convinced they were Miss Piggy and Kermit. The show was brought to a close when the key words triggered the bewitched to perform the “YMCA.”

“It was weird,” said junior Nathan VanLaningham, one of the hypnotized students. “It was very relaxing. I felt – not really out of my body – but just really relaxed through the whole thing. I have heard about hypnotist shows but I never actually have done one. It was awesome. I would totally do that again.”

Peak has 20 years of experience with a degree in Bilingual Cross-Cultural Education and a Master’s in Organizational Psychology.

“I actually work at schools as a youth speaker,” said Peak. “I do a lot of shows on academic success on campus culture, making smart choices. And that’s a little different.” ■

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