8-3-1999

shorthorn.gif (2557 bytes)

Performer to provide comic relief

Flatow to hypnotize, entertain audience

by Sally Claunch
The Shorthorn staff

Students can learn to hypnotize each other and improve their memories Thursday. Hypnotherapist and stand-up comedian Chip Flatow will perform at 7 p.m. in the University Center Rosebud Theatre.

The event is co-sponsored by EX-CEL campus activities and the Admissions Office. The show, which is part of orientation entertainment for incoming students, is open to the public.

Flatow will teach students how to hypnotize each other and will use volunteers from the audience to participate in his improvisational comedy show.

He said hypnosis is not magic, and there is no such thing as "being under a spell." He added that the show will teach people that hypnosis is a real and natural state that everyone goes into and out of several times a day.

"Hypnosis is a part of the way your brain works," he said. "It helps people maintain that state."

Flatow said knowing how to induce hypnosis can be beneficial.

"This is good for college students; it takes practice, but if they can induce a hypnotic state before studying, they can improve their memory," he said.

Flatow said one of the most entertaining comedy sketches he does is to hypnotize volunteers on stage and make them think their clothes are melting.

"Everyone takes it to a different degree - some people are proud of it, others hide behind their chairs," he said.

Flatow said his show is funny but not X-rated. He describes his show as very uplifting and said it does not degrade anyone.

"So much of comedy is only about hatred and ripping into other people," he said. "I want people to feel good and for them to learn more about themselves."

He said that through hypnosis, people can improve their memories and learn habit control and pain control. He said he once broke a bone in his wrist and used pain control methods to set the bone himself.

Todd Benatovich, associate director of admissions, said Flatow's show was popular with new students last year. However, because the show was just for new students participating in orientation that day, only about 60 students were able to attend.

This year, he worked with EX-CEL to hold the show for everyone. He said the entertainment during orientation helps the new students get to know each other and introduces them to the new campus. He said it also helps new students become familiar with EX-CEL.

"This event helps them become more relaxed on a college campus and helps them feel more a part of campus," Benatovich said.

La Kisha Ladson, EX-CEL entertainment and arts director, said she expects 300 to 400 students to attend and that the event is a good recruitment tool for EX-CEL.

"We wanted to do something fun for the orientation kids, expose them to college life and what kind of programs we do," she said.