Mentalist blows minds on campus

Crystal Valdez, Features Editor

Bakersfield College welcomed students back for the spring semester with a Mindsurfin’ Mentalist show that encouraged student participation.
Mentalist and hypnotist Rich Aimes performed the show on Jan. 19 in the BC cafeteria. Students observed as he made predictions and hypnotized their fellow classmates.
“You’re going to see things here that you think are impossible, but I’m here to tell you that nothing is impossible,” Aimes said to his audience at the start of the show.
The show began immediately. Aimes singled out psychology major Jose Gonzalez, 20, telling him, “You got the kind of face where I can tell what you’re gonna do before you even do it.”
Aimes showed the audience an envelope filled with five cards, each numbered 1-5. He drew a circle behind the card he predicted Gonzalez would choose. Aimes began to pull down each card, asking Gonzalez say “stop” when he pleased.
Gonzalez did so as Aimes drew card No. 4. Aimes turned the card around, revealing that his prediction was correct.
The show went on, and Aimes asked two audience members to close their eyes and think about different things.
One of the two audience members was veterinary technician major Kashae Young, 19. Young was asked to think about a place she would like to visit. After she decided on a place, Aimes asked her to write the name of this place on a piece of paper. She handed it to Aimes, who then burned it to show the audience that the paper could not possibly influence his answer.
He then wrote down on another piece of paper what he believed was the place Young had thought of. Aimes asked Young to tell the audience what that place was; she said “Hawaii.”
Aimes then asked another audience member to read what he wrote on the piece of paper. The audience member read what Young said: Hawaii.
The show proceeded, and Aimes asked for student volunteers to participate in his hypnosis act.
“Hypnosis is not some strange guy with a watch [swinging] in front of you going ‘you are getting sleepy’ and all of a sudden you turn into a zombie. Hypnosis is simply relaxation followed by suggestion,” Aimes told the audience.
A group of nine students volunteered and were asked to relax their bodies and their mind.
“When you’re hypnotized you will never actually go to sleep… you’re just going to be so relaxed. You won’t care what I ask you do to… I’m gonna tell you things out loud, and you are going to actively participate in your own hypnosis,” Aimes told the participants before that part of the show began.
Aimes had the nine students focus on their hands and lift them up to the air really high, which all of the students did. Students were asked to picture themselves trapped by an ice-cold wind, and they shivered. Male participants did as they were asked, and danced ballet in front of the crowd.
The participants laughed as they pictured audience members wearing nothing but their underwear, and they “covered themselves” as they thought they were in front of the audience in the same circumstances.
In addition to the opening activity, Jose Gonzalez participated in the hypnosis portion of the show as well. After it was over, he said that he could not remember what happened or what he did during the show.
Gonzalez went on to say, “I just feel rested, like I slept eight hours… Before the show started, I didn’t really believe in all this. But when he guessed my number, man. That was crazy. So I decided to try the hypnotism. I don’t know what happened, so I guess it worked.”

[Photos By Mason J. Rockfellow]