Hypnotist comes back to CMU, coaxes humorous acts from students

Ithaca High School junior Hannah Cesar dances on stage along with other participants while hypnotized during hypnotist Tom DeLuca's show Wednesday night in Plachta Auditorium. (Photo by Leah Sefton/Staff Photographer)

Performing CPR on an apple or spontaneously rapping in front of hundreds doesn’t appear on most students’ agendas, but Tom DeLuca has a convincing way about him. DeLuca, a professional hypnotist, said he has come to Central Michigan University for several years and has always enjoyed himself. On Wednesday night, he entertained students in Warriner Hall’s Plachta Auditorium.

Chesterfield sophomore and special events chairwoman Brittany Martin led Program Board’s effort to bring DeLuca back this year.

“Usually On the Fly does it,” Martin said, “but since they aren’t really around anymore, the Program Board took over and invited him back.”

He opened the show by informing the crowd that his show is all about the power of imagination.

“I make up the routines, and that tends to get more out of people,” DeLuca said.

Wednesday’s performance demonstrated how much he can get out of his volunteers. He gave each of his volunteers a special task to coax laughs from the audience.

Ithaca High School senior Seth Miles was one of the volunteers. DeLuca said he used the power of hypnosis to turn Miles into Seniqua, a character portraying a head cheerleader of the CMU squad who happened to forget the school’s mascot.

DeLuca asked Miles who it was, and his response produced an uproar from the audience

“We’re the Nicki Minaj’s,” Miles said, after a pause.

He went on to rap Minaj’s part in the Trey Songz song “Bottoms Up” as a cheer.

Miles later claimed to have no recollection of his impromptu performance.

“All I remember is that I really wanted to dance,” Miles said after the show.

Miles had a group of friends in the audience also from Ithaca High School who swarmed him after the show to inform him of his actions.

“He was hilarious, the whole show was great,” Ithaca High School senior Kelly Kindel said.

Aside from Miles’ antics, DeLuca also convinced students to give an apple CPR and to believe they were from a different planet and spoke in tongues.

Laughter rang out of Plachta Auditorium by the end of the night.

“I had an amazing group tonight, and it’s really going to be hard to top next year when I come back,” DeLuca said.

Martin was equally pleased with the performance.

“I’m very happy with how tonight went,” she said. “The crowd really seemed to get into it and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.”