By Rachel Reisman and Miranda Bramson
On Friday April 5, Tom Deluca, a professional hypnotist, came to BHS and left an auditorium full of awe and applause. Junior Fabianna Milazzo channeled her inner alien self and Daniel Ventura revealed his true identity as an undercover spy, all thanks to Tom Deluca’s hypnotic expertise.
The show began as volunteers from BHS hopped on stage, many of whom were skeptical of Deluca’s promises. Once on stage, the volunteers were asked to relax their bodies and concentrate solely on the sound of Deluca’s voice. Speaking mellifluously, Deluca put the volunteers into a tranced state. Senior Joe Ventura claimed he felt very tranquil just a few minutes in.
Before long, Deluca controlled the 14 students on stage and instructed them to perform a multitude of actions. At the sound of his stomp, some students got up and danced around, flailing arms and legs, at the mention of the word “music” participants were convinced they heard a tune coming from their shoe. Junior Sean Pohar was informed that he was in fact a fruit whisperer. Sean became greatly distressed when Deluca claimed he was hungry and held up an apple, who Sean later named Adam. Thankfully, Sean was able to save Adam from the jaws of Deluca and brought him to the safety of his arms.
With two finger snaps Deluca silenced them all and put them back in their sleepy state, awaiting their next instruction.
Deluca was inspired by a professor in college who emphasized the psychological benefits of hypnotism. Hypnosis can serve to ameliorate the effects of traumatic experiences and help patients recover from both physical and mental ailments. Although Deluca’s career began with hopes to help patients overcome trauma and psychological issues, he soon turned to entertainment as he claims his profession is “more of an art than a science.” At age 22 Deluca began to immerse himself in his studies to master techniques. Nearly two decades later, Deluca has graced countless stages nationwide, awing those who fall under his spell and audience members alike. Deluca is a master of the unconscious mind, to say the least.
Essentially, we posses what is called a bifurcated mind – one that is part conscious and part unconscious. With relaxation and trance, we can access and communicate directly with aspects of the deep subconscious mind. The conscious mind, however, goes into a somewhat dormant state as if it is resting while still remaining awake and observant. Many participants claimed they experienced this phenomenon as they were aware of what they were doing but couldn’t stop themselves from listening to every one of Deluca’s instructions.
Surely BHS would be lucky to have Deluca pay another visit in the following years. In the words of Daniel Ventura, “Tom Deluca is the best thing to happen to Briarcliff in the last decade – it was just psychedelically awesome.”