Eleven Oyster River students sat slumped in their seats on stage. Ace Hypnotist Steve Coppola stood before them, “You are a famous musician, and tonight is opening night. Each member of the audience paid a hundred dollars to see you,” his voice boomed through the overhead. Soon to the tune of classical and the audience laughter, the eleven students played an air orchestra that rivaled air guitar championships (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hms6TU4uZJM)
The hypnotist show has been a popular fundraiser for the ORHS Junior Class for years. For the past four Steve Coppola has hosted the show, and this year he decided to change up the show. “Almost everything I had them do was different,” said Coppola. Per usual the show was a filled with hypnotised students doing ridiculous things such as: acting like bullfrog, WWE wrestlers, and test driving cars. Fans were amused and impressed by clap pushups by Skylar Bagdon (Class of ‘17), and a unusual relationship between Tyler McKenna (Class of ‘18) and a mop.
“This is a fundraiser for the Junior class, but we know it will be spent on prom,” says Junior Class President Kendall Bird. Because of this year’s schedule, the usual Thursday night prom is not possible. “Prom is going to be much more expensive because we lost the Thursday at the Red Barn,” says Junior Class Advisor Barbara Milliken. The Red Barn [at Outlook Farm] is also all booked up, so currently the Junior class is looking for other, “more expensive venues,” continues Milliken. This makes the money made from the hypnotist show that much more important.
Some question the validity of hypnosis with some of the ‘hypnotised’ students’ actions under suspicion. Coppola waves away those accusations: “hypnosis taps into the subconscious which makes up 90% of our brain. Unlike our conscious brain, our unconscious is like a five year old as it believes everything we tell it. If I were to tell it there was a blonde leaning against the stage or the cigarettes smelled like onions, it would believe it.” Coppola is a credentialed psychotherapist and physical therapist, but he only uses his training in hypnosis to perform his comedy show.
hypnosis taps into the subconscious which makes up 90% of our brain. Unlike our conscious brain, our unconscious is like a five year old as it believes everything we tell it. If I were to tell it there was a blonde leaning against the stage or the cigarettes smelled like onions, it would believe it.
The Hypnotist show was a success, raising around 1,500 dollars for the junior class. And with a Friday prom costing upwards of 8,000 dollars, the money is a good start to fundraising a more expensive prom.
Writer: Dillon Mulhern