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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Dan Lornitis hypnotizes Stony Brook

Comedian hypnotist Dan Lornitis, standing, uses many volunteers from the audience. He made some of them perform Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” dance. MICHAELA STEIL/THE STATESMAN

Comedian hypnotist Dan Lornitis performed in the Student Activities Center auditorium on Sept. 23.

Lornitis, originally from Chicago, has been an entertainer for 30 years and a hypnotist for 15 years. He travels to different college campuses, high schools, casinos and corporate events.

“I always knew that I wanted to be an entertainer since I was a little kid ‘cause I did magic as a kid growing up and a good friend of mine was a hypnotist. He trained me to be a stage hypnotist,” Lornitis said.

Watching Louie Anderson on the Tonight Show as a child inspired Lornitis to go on stage, he said.

Every year, the Weekend Life Council Outreach Program brings professional entertainers for students and family members.

“This time our students did their own search to find the right hypnotist,” Christine Noonan, coordinator of weekend programs and major events, said.

During his performance, he brought 15 volunteers on stage — 10 men and 5 women.

“When I ask for volunteers, I am looking for some of the most enthusiastic people because you have to want to do it, usually the people that are the most enthusiastic are the ones more inclined to go through the whole process and focus,” Lornitis said.

Volunteers were hypnotized into believing they had a cow and Lornitis asked them for their cow’s name. He also had three volunteers do the Beyonce’s famous “Single Ladies” dance and had them walk like a supermodel. Some volunteers were even hypnotized into forgetting their own names.

Lornitis taught the audience informative facts about the type of hypnosis the volunteers were in.

“Theta State is a midway point of the state of being awake and being asleep,” Lornitis said. “Waking Hypnosis is like sleep walking.”

Most volunteers under the hypnosis of Lornitis didn’t have any recollection of it.

Among the volunteers, there were some people more susceptible than others to being hypnotized.

“I don’t remember much, it was pretty funny and insane honestly. Apparently, I cried,” Sydney Miller, a freshman biology-chemistry major, said.

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