I’ve always been intrigued by people who claim to have supernatural-like abilities. Being hypnotized and having my palm read are things that always seemed so cool to me. I don’t necessarily believe that these people are magical, but I am open to the possibility that there is value in their abilities.
At 15 years old, my best friend Nina invited me to go on a cruise with her mother and her due to a last minute emergency where her brother couldn’t go. A cruise has always been another item on my bucket list of things I’d love to do, so I excitedly accepted. Once on the cruise ship, there were an unlimited number of ways to be amused. One night, the main entertainment was the guest appearance of a hypnotist. All of the guests of the cruise ship attended the show that was held immediately after dinner.
Sitting in the third row, I knew that this was my shot at finally getting hypnotized! When the hypnotist asked for volunteers, I stood up and raised my hand, since there were taller people sitting in front of me hiding my 5’1 frame. The hypnotist saw my enthusiasm and called me to the stage along with four other volunteers. I quickly marched on-stage and that’s when I noticed the hundreds of people that I was standing in front of.
The hypnotist told us to relax, close our eyes and listen to everything he says. I close my eyes and hear him speaking, but his mouth is so close to the microphone that I can’t understand anything he’s actually saying. I start to panic. The hypnotist is saying all of these super important things and I’m missing everything! The hypnosis won’t work on me, and I’m going to embarrass myself in front of hundreds of people! Once he’s “hypnotized” all of us, the hypnotist shows off his skills by commanding each of us to do something in order to prove that we are in fact under his control. This is when I really start to panic. I’m not an actress and at this point I can say for certain that I’m not hypnotized. I hear the other volunteers perform the acts that the hypnotist commands of them without resistance. Based on what I heard since my eyes were commanded to remain closed, I realize that I’m the only one who’s not hypnotized, which makes this situation a lot more awkward for me.
Finally the hypnotist signals that it’s my turn to get an order from him by tapping me on the shoulder. He tells me that I’m going to open my eyes believing that the guy next to me pinched my butt. I hyperventilate as I try to mentally prepare myself for my debut as an actress. When he tells me to open my eyes, I immediately turn to the guy next to me and yell, “I can’t believe you just pinched my ass, what the fuck is your problem?” The loud gasps from the audience quickly remind me that this is meant to be a family show and I’m cussing out a guy in front of five year olds. I try to omit cuss words for the rest of my rant and end my performance by shaking my head in anger to indicate I’m done speaking. I should be on Broadway.
The hypnotist continued with the rest of the show and ended by giving all of the volunteers one last order that he would signal us to follow once we had returned to our seats. I was ordered to scream out the phrase I LOVE ICE CREAM as loud as I possibly could when the hypnotist said a certain word. Running back to the comfort of my seat, I repeated the word over and over again in my head so as not to forget that it was my cue since I wasn’t actually hypnotized. He continued by giving thanks to us and started wrapping up the show, while I told my best friend his hypnosis didn’t work on me. He said the cue words for other volunteers that made them blurt out things from the audience and then he said my cue word. I forgot my cue. The audience was completely silent. I realized I missed my signal when literally hundreds of people turned to me expectantly, and I said nothing. The hypnotist looked at me as well and when I made eye contact with him, I could see he was mad that I missed his cue. He quickly continued speaking in order to move the attention away from my lack of response and ended the show. For the rest of my time on the cruise ship, people came up to me and asked what it felt like to be hypnotized. I was also given dirty looks by some parents with young children for cursing, but I didn’t care. I was proud of myself for fooling hundreds of people with my incredible acting skills. Jennifer Lawrence, watch out!