NEW BRITAIN - A dozen brave people subjected themselves to a loss of their own free will Sunday.
This all took place inside Trinity-on-Main, where stage hypnotist Jim Spinnato ended up with just one fully submissive “hypnotee.”
“This is the easiest thing in the world to do and if you let yourself, you will feel incredible,” he told a small crowd. “It’s like a two- or three-hour nap in 15 minutes.”
Bristol residents Carrie and Sean September agreed that they did not want to be hypnotized.
“I don’t want to miss the show,” Carrie September said.
The people who mustered up enough courage took the stage, ready to accept direction from the man with the microphone.
“Sink into a cloud,” Spinnato told his willing subjects. “Count back from five and you are going to fall into an even deeper sleep. Sleep, deeper and deeper.”
After five minutes, five men were asked to rejoin the audience after Spinnato determined they had not fallen into the desired hypnotic state.
“Play your favorite instrument when you hear me say this word,” he guided the remaining volunteers, all women.
Meriden resident Sarah Walden was the only one to respond to the command. Her fingers began tapping an imaginary piano in front of her.
Laughter roared as the host centered in on Walden.
“Not everyone can be hypnotized,” Columbia resident Carol Hall said while having a drink with her husband, Blaine, before the show. “It’s an unusual thing. Only some people are susceptible to suggestion.”
According to Spinnato, the ability to be hypnotized depends on a person’s concentration.
“I’ve been at this 25 years,” he said. “Once they’re hypnotized, they’ll believe whatever I tell them. I could tell them they’re Michael Jackson and they’ll start behaving like him. I could tell them the person beside them smells delicious and you’ll see them sniffing.”
Spinnato takes his show to colleges and universities throughout New England as well as to the Mohegan Sun Casino. For these crowds, he performs an R-rated version, with more adult-themed tasks and comedy.
Sunday was his third time at Trinity-on-Main.
“This is a good, clean, family show,” he announced to the all-adult crowd, which nonetheless squealed with laughter as the comedian unleashed curse words later on in the evening.
“I love this venue,” Spinnato said off stage. “It’s beautiful. The crowds are always fun here. They’re pretty receptive to this hypnosis stuff.”
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.