A night to remember?


Tyler Judon

Chris Jones, hypnotist, takes student volunteers from the audience for his act.

In front of a crowd of PNW students, faculty and staff, Chicago-native Chris Jones hypnotized audience members to hide under chairs, become zombies and answer questions such as what superhero they would be.

The hypnotist, comedian and magician, who performed on Jan. 16 in Alumni Hall, is best known for competing on America’s Got Talent where he was able to hypnotize judge and comedian Howie Mandel, a known germaphobe, and then have him shake the other judges’ hands.

Jones’ interest in hypnotism began when he was in college. Having spent most of those years performing magic and stand-up comedy, he felt that something was missing from his act.

“I saw a hypnotist in college and his show made me go from loving magic to taking a step back and chasing dreams of being a hypnotist across the country,” Jones said.

Jones said that once he entered graduate school, he spent two years working hypnotism into his acts. His background in studying sociology and psychology helped him to perfect his act.

Before becoming popular, Jones previously performed at colleges and said it was rewarding to help students unwind after a stressful week. He said the benefit of performing at colleges is that the audience knows the volunteers.

“I don’t have to convince people I don’t have actors. When I do TV, people assume I know the people, they accuse me of hiring actors,” Jones said. “[Here] they are their roommates and classmates and it makes for a better show.”

Jones wrapped his show by hypnotizing the volunteers to believe they were popular music artists Drake, to which several actually began crying tears of joy. The audience remained shocked.

Elizabeth Nunez, sophomore liberal arts major, said she was mystified the entire time.

“It was almost scary for me to watch all those people being hypnotized. It was crazy for me to think they have no memory of doing anything,” Nunez said.

Even though Nunez was a little frightened by the show, she still said it was one of the most fun nights she’s had on campus.

Jones said when he plans his shows, he tries to make them specific to the college by researching it and looking into information such as what kind of athletics the school offers and what the popular majors are. He also tries to include big topics from the news.