A Mesmerizing Experience for Erie


After a long morning that consisted of bubbling in answer sheets and rushing to finish in the allotted time for the PSAT, ACP’s students were rewarded with a little treat to congratulate them for being so studious and hard-working. With the PSAT taking up practically the entire first part of the day, the rest of the school day was reserved for a relaxing and entertaining afternoon.

Last quarter ACP was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and the Department of Education (to find out more out on that click here). To congratulate all of our students for their diligent and tireless academic work that earned us the title of “Blue Ribbon School”, Mr. Bickes decided to put together a little treat for all of us. This little treat, of course, was in the form of two hypnotists.

Gerald Bowers (11) running in slow motion while in a hypnotized state.

The “Comedy Hypnosis Show” proved to be a great laugh after a stressful morning. At first most students seemed confused and skeptical, but intrigued, by the hypnotizing duo: Misty and the SandMan. By the end of the show, however, Misty and the SandMan proved everyone wrong.

Two rows of chairs were laid out in the middle of the gym, which were soon occupied by student and teacher volunteers who had previously signed permission forms. Misty and the SandMan were both dressed in unusual yet quirky Steampunk outfits: Misty had donned a black corset over a white puffy shirt with a long black and red skirt that reminded me of a pirate costume. The SandMan, on the other hand, seemed less extravagant in black jeans and a simple shirt. His hat, however, really piqued everyone’s interest: an old-time bowler hat with a pair of goggles stretched over it to give him the appearance of an evil villain in a Lemony Snicket novel.

The goggles did eventually come flying off the hat as he threw it for effect, but with a giggle the SandMan explained that the goggles were the newest edition to his costume and that ACP was the first audience to see it.

The duo then lulled their volunteers, which included Mrs. Michaelson and Mr. Kimball, into what appeared to be a deep sleep. A hush fell over the school, a few whispers erupting here and there, as Misty and the SandMan talked soothingly to the hypnotized participants. Soon enough, the best part of the show began.

While most students preferred to hide their tissues in their pockets, junior Hadi Shiban chose to hide them in his mouth.

They began to describe events and scenarios to the subdued group, from being on a roller coaster to feeling cold to collecting hundred-dollar bills. The pair would simply tell them to sleep and the audience would gasp in astonishment as everyone’s head slowly dropped down and they fell back into a deep sleep.

One scenario had everyone pulling off their shoes, thinking that their feet were itchy because the SandMan had poured itching powder over their feet, while in reality he had swiped a piece of cloth over their feet. Misty would ask them if they wanted hundred-dollar bills, and everyone’s hands would shoot up. She then placed tissues in their hands as money and the SandMan would tell them to hide it from pickpockets. Many students stuffed the tissues into their shirts or pockets, but one student who truly proved to be a great laugh, junior Hadi Shiban, stuffed each tissue he was given into his mouth.

Toward the end, Misty and the SandMan told the group to ballet dance, play a guitar, pretend to be a teapot, bellydance, and to pretend to be a drill. As the end of the program neared, the pair sent the mesmerized people back to their seats in the middle of the gym before counting down to five and telling them to wake up. Everyone visibly woke up and after being asked how long they thought they had been sitting there, answered from ten minutes to an hour. Hadi seemed very confused as he pulled out a ball of tissue paper from his mouth.

The SandMan sent the volunteers back into the audience after telling them that they would have to run back to their seats in front of the audience in slow motion. After they reached their friends in the audience, the SandMan waited a couple of seconds before seemingly hypnotizing the participants with a single word. Many of the volunteers made it back to their seats, with Hadi coming in last at an agonizingly slow yet hilarious pace.

With that, the show ended and Mr. Bickes dismissed everyone. Whether you believe in hypnosis or not, the show truly was an entertaining and comical spectacle for everyone. Speaking on the behalf of my peers, I think that I can say that we would love to have Misty and the SandMan back for another fun and humorous performance!